September 4, 2005 by cosmoakacitizensmith
over the way from me are cells containing tracksuited kids, not much older than school age. they have been nicked for various offences, from stoving cars into bus stops to armed robbery. none of them look that scarey, they’re just kids.
“hey pal, u got a smoke?” one of them asks
a guy i am in the cell with throws a lit one over and they chase it around the floor like a bunch of hungry wolves.
“you been done for the g8 stuff?” asks one.
as it happens, the three other blokes in my cell are all politicos. there’s an english guy who was arrested at edinburgh station at the same time as me, (and for the same reason), a greek anarchist who lives in london and a scottish guy called donny who works for the scottish socialist party
“aye,” donny says. “did you see any of the demos?”
“aye!” shout all the kids. they say that some of them were at the confrontation on tuesday in the centre of edinburgh. they couldn’t believe that people were standing up the the coppers in that way. “felt like getting stuck in myself!” one of them says.
we are all quite concerned in our cell because we could be held on remand till our trial dates. mine are in october and november and it’s only july. i am thinking, this is crazy, i have been peacefully protesting and if that happens, i’ll lose my job, my house the whole lot.
it’s the same for everyone else. again, we try to laugh and chat, and even have a juggling competition with used chip wrappers, but a lot of the time we’re spacing out in our own heads.
me and the english guy are moved to some cells nearer the court. one of the kids is moved with us. he’s sixteen and he was in a car that his mate stoved into a bus stop. “he’ll go down,” says the kid, ” but that’s cool, jail’s his second home. i’ll be ok, it’s my first offence.”
the english guy teaches him how to juggle. the lad seems impressed about us getting nicked for standing up for what we believe in. it turns out he left school and got some qualifications but hasn’t bothered to pick his certificates up. we try and persuade him to do it and go back to school.
eventually, after another quick session in front of the beak, we are told we are free to go. according to our lawyer, aamer anwar, (the man who took a scottish force to task and found them guilty of insitutional racism!!!), the coppers have been acting like “arseholes” by imposing impossible bail conditions on people.
so much so that there are apparently there is a big van full of metropolitan police waiting to nick us again for breaching bail, despite the fact that the conditions have changed to allow us to get out of scotland. he tells us he has arranged for us to be met by some people outside the court who will drive us wherever we need to go and make sure the police don’t nick us.
the overall effect of all this is that i now begin to feel what a police state might be like. i am reminded of a traveller friend of mine, bernie. she told me that during the 80s she used to park up with here mates in lay-bys right off the beaten track, and riot vans would turn up, coppers with no markings or numbers on would get out and beat them up and trash their vans.
they can do it if they really want.
outside the court, we are met by a group of people from the scottish socialist party, including an MSP, rosie kane. she has been suspended from the parliament along with the rest of the MSPs from her party for staging a protest in the parliament building against george bush.
it is good to see some people outside the can who know the score!
i am given a lift to the airport by one guy and he doesn’t leave my side till i am through into the departure lounge. nice one, geez!
all the way to the airport, i duck when i see cop vans or roadblocks. i think i am going a bit crazy. so much so that in departures i get a curry meal deal at the wetherspoons pub even though it costs about seven quid.