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Glasgow Mayday report

fleabite | 01.05.2006 23:25 | Mayday 2006

Started as advertised at Buchanan St for 1pm. Fair few folk, but not as many as previous couple of years. No sign of a soundsystem. Good spirits. Cops around the outside, but not /too/ bad.

Finally we set off about 2 o'clock. Cops blocked us in in Nelson Mandella Place. Seemed quite random and arsey of them - it really was just a bunch of folk having a moving party and there was no trouble. Finally they let us move on again, but stopped us a couple more times before we got to Charing Cross. They actually totally surrounded us and we were walking in a bubble of cops. Individuals could mostly go through the line but the cops would randomly also be arsey and not let you through.

When asked under what law we were being detained (during the /long/ periods when they were just holding us still) I was told repeatedly that there was no law they were using, nor a specific police power. Course there wasn't much I could do with the knowledge that we were being held in effect illegally as they were many, and there were children etc with us so we needed to keep it fluffy.

Actually, everyone on the demo stayed in remarkably good spirits, dancing to the drums and soundsystem when it finally caught us up. The clowns were there, as they have been on many other events since the G8 and provided a welcome distraction and lightening of the atmosphere.

As we went up through Anderston (if it extends up behind the Mitchell to the university area - otherwise don't know what that area is called) the folk in the working class area we were going through asking what was going on, what all the police were dong there etc. I had some good conversations with locals about how if you were mugged or whatever and you called them the police wouldn't come but here there were so many just for a party. The folks on the demo looked so obviously fluffy with children, silly costumes etc. Even the folks with bandanas on looked just part of the party.

Into the park, again the police trying to be as intimidating as possible, making us walk practically in single file through a corridor of them.

But then the sun reappeared, the tunes went on and we danced till the sun went down.

No arrests, no severe injuries (just minor folks being roughly handled by cops)

Nice day. Good to mark Mayday. Shame about the overbearing cops.

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02.05.2006 05:00

Here's a mayday present from Bolivia to cheer us all up.

EVO Morales, the Bolivian president, last night ordered his soldiers to occupy the country's natural gas fields immediately and threatened to evict foreign companies unless they sign new contracts within six months giving the state majority control over petroleum production. Mr Morales said soldiers and engineers with Bolivia's state-owned oil company would be sent to installations operated by foreign petroleum companies. Britain's BG Group and BP, as well as the US-based Exxon Mobil, are among those firms operating in Bolivia. "The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources," Mr Morales said in a speech from the San Alberto petroleum field in southern Bolivia. Bolivia has South America's second largest natural gas reserves after Venezuela. Within the next six months, all foreign companies must turn over most production control to Bolivia's cash-strapped, state-owned oil company, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPBF), Mr Morales said.

Evo L

Only in Britain

02.05.2006 12:18

Such tragelaughic things only in Britain happen. Excuse me, but I've been totally disgusted from what I witnessed yesterday by participating in that ridiculus situation. The pressure here is so big and the resistance against it so small. Kind of a pathetic apathy if that makes sense. They treat you like a criminal by filming you without shame, they dont let you walk "for your own safety" and a continuous silly game of whether the law is exercised or not or which law exactly and bullshit like that. And we sit there and "dance"...I wish you good luck and strength. I know there are people who more or less feed the same aspirations as me and others but I really don't understand the scenario. Good bye.