August 21, 2005 by cosmoakacitizensmith
the idea is this. the g8 are meeting in gleneagles a few miles away. george bush, tony blair and all the bigwigs are going to be helicoptered in.
a large number of others, however, e.g. translators and support staff and the rest, are to be bussed in from around the locality.
so if all the roads in and out of gleneagles are blockaded, you have no g8 meeting. simple logic in theory, but in practice…..
some groups leaving stirling are large, others small. some leave late in the evening, others throughout the early morning. the thing is, no-one is sure how the police will react.
maybe they’ll let people out in dribs and drabs. maybe larger groups will be needed to go out and break cop lines before anything can happen. either way at some point the cops will probably shut the camp or at least make it difficult for people to leave.
it’s all about strategy, and if u think about it too much, yr head twists and turns and u end up doing nothing.
some groups apparently get out fine, and after a long old romp through the hills, end up at their destinations. another large group leaves early in the morning before sunrise. they get up to a road in an industrial estate and get stopped by a line of cops. the black block start amassing bricks and there is a lot of confusion. suddenly all hell breaks loose, the cops are pushed back by an assualt of missiles, and the nearby burger king and pizza hut get it. completely trashed.
apparently, the group battles its way through the rain down motorways, over hills, down lanes and into council estates before finally reaching the m9 motorway shortly after sunrise. braveheart again comes to mind.the road is blocked, much to the fury of drivers, with paving stones and trees and anything else to hand.
again, there is a lot of confusion as protestors who wanted to keep it fluffy get caught up in violence.
at about 8 am, i am in a medical van attending to people who have been assaulted or who are just exhausted from running around in the pissing rain trying to find roads. a group of riot cops stop us and it looks like we are about to be arrested. they seem freaked out and are ready for the kill. then they get called off elsewhere and abandon us to our own devices.
in actual fact, they seem really freaked out.
we drive around the roads around stirling as a gray, rainy day dawns and we come to a bridge where we can see a stretch of the m9 below us. there are no cars going in either direction.
the m9 has been completely blockaded.
up ahead there are protesters on the road with a huge pink and black banner saying “no more deportations.” there is a samba band slightly further down and people dancing in the middle of the road. on the radio, the early morning announcer tells us in her business-like way that drivers should avoid using the following roads…… we look at the map as she says the road names and it dawns on us that the impossible has happened.
the whole of central scotland has been brought to a standstill, not just the roads in and out of gleneagles. it is just before 9am. there is no way the g8 can meet.
it’s no good. i well up and get all emotional.
shortly afterwards, the police try to clear the m9 of protesters. they drive a load of vans at speed like a bunch of nutters down one of the lanes and force everyone off. i have never seen so many police vans in action!
at about 9.30 i am walking down a side road off the m9 with a large group of people who have been forced off the road when some meatwaggons pull up, a load of riot cops tooled up with shields and sexy extendable batons get out and start to chase us.
i am taking in information faster than i can process it….. this is like a film. quick!!! scatter to the hills! the baddies are coming!!!!
we leg it onto some farm land and a farmer comes out in his 4×4 and gives chase. what the hell!?! he’s completely lost the plot, gets out his motor and starts getting handy with a hammer. he must be having a laugh!
no, he isn’t. we’re running even faster now…
his wife is screaming and going mental to try and get him to chill out. two riot cops make it over to him and try to do the same. meanwhile, a herd of cows who have been completely disturbed by the surrounding events start charging and knock over a girl in the stampede. more coppers and protesters to the rescue. we’re on another side road by a castle. even more riot vans, even more coppers, even more sexy extendable batons.
run, run, run……
i am running up a field and there is a huge hill at the end of it. behind me, a whole mass of riot cops. this should be interesting. i feel a stab of pain in my ankle. “u!” a voice screams from behind me. “get down!”
to be honest, i need no second bidding. in fact, i was right down on the ground moments after i felt the sexy extendable baton engage with my leg. “ouch!”
i am on the ground. i look up and a riot cop in full gear lowers his shield and grabs me. “stand up!”
i stand up. he hits me again. “ouch!”
“get down!” i sit down. i’m not to sure if i like how this game is going.
fortunately, he stops. up ahead, there is a female riot cop who has grounded four or five women from the queer block. they, (the women, not the riot cop), are sitting in a circle holding hands. they ask me if i want to link hands with them.
i look over at them, an picture of defiant womanhood. then i picture myself sitting under this riot cop, a picture of cowering manhood. something about the contrast makes me laugh.
“thanks, i’ll be fine.”
for a few surreal moments, i feel that they are going to let us go off on our merry way, game over. but no. the whole charade of giving details and getting searched and formally charged starts right there in the field.
my extended anarchist holiday is over here, with reality rudely intruding. that’s it. done. nicked. busted.