July 20, 2005 by cosmoakacitizensmith
just out of stirling near a football stadium and a morrisons supermarket lies a temporary eco-village by the name of hori-zone. it is an experiment in alternative living as well as a place to plan mischief, let yr hair down and sample vegan culinary delights.
there are also a couple of stages and bars, giving it a free festie vibe.
it is bounded on three sides by a river, which makes it really easy for the police to cut it off from the outside world. choppers buzz overhead from time to time, having a quick snoop around. ostensibly this is a legit operation, or at least it is tolerated by the coppers.
i am told that the other two spots that were originally planned were shut down due to pressure on the local landowners. but maybe they realised the need to have somewhere to stay for lots of people if geldof manages to get his ragtag army to march edinburgh and erm…make poverty history.
conveniently, the site is a few miles from the gleneagles hotel, where the g8 are planning on having a meet up next week. wot larks.
i’m camped up with m8s from cardiff. people are camped in what are called “barrios,” which i understand is anarchist for “posse” or “crew.” but i’m still not sure what the difference between that and an “affinity group” is. anyhow, a samba barrio makes its presence felt by wanting to camp together, but this involves moving lots of people who have already set up camp, so already backs are beginning to be gotten up. but this is alternative living, and things get sorted out.
the other thing to mention is that this is an international gathering. i hear, french, german, spanish, hebrew and various mutant strains of english as i walk around. it’s all mainly white faces, though.
things are pretty primitive. the toilets are mainly big pits in the ground with temporary wooden structures to sit on. bum splinters! nice! the boys room is a shallow pit with a huge bale of straw in it. there are also showers with buckets and a few chemical toilets as well.
when i arrive, it is time to relax and drink some beers. on one of the stages is some excellent hip-hop. dj rubbish, of “inside a whale’s cock” fame, is giving it some large to the crowd. and later on two human beatboxes and a host a rhymers rip it up in fine style. v.happy!!! :))))
but of course this isn’t a free festival, it’s a political protest and there is an edge to everything that keeps u on guard. on the hill nearby is the wallace monument, (that’s braveheart to u folks), and suddenly i’m communing with my inner scot. having been born down the road in glasgow, i have here what i don’t have in cardiff, brighton or london…family roots. but i don’t think this was the kind of scottishness my mother’s family subscribed to.
suddenly i’m part of an army fighting for truth and justice and freedom just like mel gibson in that film, and we’re gonna knobble the english, erm i mean g8, no make that the generic bad guys, just u wait and see.
but trying to get to sleep that night, i can hear my grandfather turning round and round in his grave!