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G8 report 6th July

Curly | 08.07.2005 18:58 | G8 2005 | Anti-militarism | Globalisation | Repression

Eyewitness report, police tactics and suggestions for future demonstrations.

After a long journey and much misdirection by police, our bus miraculously made it inside the Gleneagles security cordon at the press location (we were heading for Auchterauder). Just outside were a group of penned in cyclists. At this point someone in the police realised their mistake and the bus was surrounded and boarded and escorted away from Gleneagles. We were misdirected again by police roadblocks (I lost count how many) until we reached the A9 where we witnessed the car of a Japanese delegation being blockaded by protesters. They were blockading a side road where we had just come from. The police were blocking the A9, so we had to turn away again. We found somewhere to park up eventually and set off on foot through the beautiful countryside. After walking about 8 miles and several S60 searches we reached Auchterauder and joined the back of the march. After a while the march slowed down and stopped. The police moved in and stopped anyone else from joining the march. Someone moved forward to see what was causing this. The route of the march had been funnelled, so that there was only enough room for 2 people side by side to pass through. There was a barbed wire fence that was virtually unmanned and protesters had been forced to go through this due to the weight of protesters behind. Protesters had entered the field and riot police were moving in. Official stewards initially told us to go back a bit to relieve a crush, then told to march forward but slowly, then to march back. We marched back arm in arm. Then motorcycle police followed by 6 riot vans forced there way through this peaceful march. The last van was blocked by the marchers until we reached the park. I spoke to many the people from Auchterauder before and after the march, not one was against the march, they were supporting us. The only aggression I saw that day came from police. As we were leaving it looked like they were targeting and arresting some clowns for imitating police horses and marching police.

Suggestions for future demonstrations:

Increase unofficial communication between the front and back of a demonstration.

Stay together to prevent dispersal.

Take enough food and water.

Police tactics:

I'm amazed we got there due to police obstruction.

It seemed that the intention was to give people no other choice but to go into the field, due to the bottleneck that was created and the gaps leading into the field. Could this have been done to provide a photo opportunity for riot police coming out of Chinook helicopters?

Driving through a demonstration with riot vans to intimidate.

S60 seemed to be employed to intimidate (only a couple of people were searched).

Having said that some of the police were genuinely respectful and friendly.


Comments welcome