The Carnival for Full Enjoyment travelled around the streets of Edinburgh on Monday 4th, involving a cast of G8 Summit protesters, clowns, police and local people. The Carnival called upon 'workers, migrants, students, benefit claimers, New Dealers, work refusers, pensioners, dreamers, duckers & divers' to resist the 'daily grind of the institutions that plunge us into overwork, poverty and debt.'
The day started with police and groups of protestors playing cat and mouse through the streets, as police quickly started to stop and search people under the Section 60 imposed all over Edinburgh. At 12pm groups of people began to gather in and around Princes St. From that time on, and throughout the day, police tried to heavily repress any demonstration using scores of riot police, horses, dogs, and endless batton charges whilst attempting to pen in groups of people. As a result several clashes occurred in the Princes St and Canning St areas that resulted in more than 100 people arrested, including teams of street medics that were spcificaly targeted for harassment and arrest. Around 60 protesters were also treated for injuries caused by the heavy handed policing. Despite this many streets in central Edinburgh were taken over by protestors throughout the afternoon.
Newswire Reports: Medics interview and reports 1 | 2 :: Police [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] :: Princes Street [ 1 | 2 ] :: Carnival for full policing :: Debunking the Myths :: Day report on IMC Scotland
Reports and Pictures: Princes Street [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 ] :: Financial District 1 | 2 | 3 ] :: Clowns [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] :: Bristo Place [ 1 | 2 ] :: Soundsystem Seized :: IMC IE on the day
Video: Clowns | Police | Local retaliation 1 and 2 | Arrest outside IMC centre
The day began with police insisting on searching members of the Clown Army, resulting in hilarity for everyone (except maybe the police). Meanwhile, a second group of clowns chased the police. The heavy-handed policing continued, with use of riot police, dogs and mounted police. Many Carnival-goers were penned in by police on Canning Street and kept there for three hours (or longer in some cases), before being photographed and searched. A number of protestors objected to this and so, in a show of solidarity, a group refused to leave the pen. This lead to at least ten of them being arrested.
Another part of the Carnival moved to Princes Street, where baton-charges forced demonstrators against the fences of Princes Street Gardens. Around 35 people received hospital treatment for injuries caused by climbing over the spiked fences around the garden to escape the attacks of the riot police. In the afternoon a group of clearly identified street medics was arrested and the vehicle impounded with all supplies.
After this, the carnival moved around the centre of Edinburgh, incorporating people leaving work, along with many local youths. Police charges continued, along with at least 17 arrests of protestors and onlookers. Police met particularly fierce resistance from local people, who attacked the police (many of whom are English), shouting "fuck off out of our country". Police withdrew from the city centre area.
In the midst of this chaos, there were more bizarre scenes. The clowns did their acts, dusting off uniforms, directing people or marching. Repeatedly hundreds of shoppers and tourists just stood there to watch the spectacle, finding themselves directly in one big mixed crowd in front of a police line. At various points, tourists sat in the park eating picnics while riot police massed a few yards away, while the mobility of the crowds sometimes left lines of riot police formed up, apparently guarding empty streets from invisible protesters.
But repression was heavy throughout the day. A sound system travelling to the carnival was siezed on its way there. There were reports that police were targetting medics, while University security (on the advice of police) forced the Convergence Centre in the student union at the Teviot Centre to close. At around 11 pm three police vans turned up outside the Forest cafe and Indymedia centre where two people were arrested (Video)
The Legal Support Team has informed that over 100 people were arrested during the day's actions and protests. Most of them are being released on bail, but effectively deported from Scotland as they will have to sign on their local police stations everyday until their cases are heard in court.