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G8 arrival - St Petersburg latest

Oscar Beard | 14.07.2006 10:09 | G8 Russia 2006 | Globalisation | World

From the official G8 press office on an island off the coast of St. Petersburg.
Don't ask me how I got in here, I'm still questioning that myself. Must be the pink Hawiian shirt and the everlasting grin.

As expected the border crossing into Russia from Latvia was long and tedious.

I was visited by some six seperate border guards, finally one who spoke English talked to me, questioned me and I had to prove I was a legit hack and that I had an escape route from Russia after the G8.

Still, it was all fairly polite, but delayed the train some 30 minutes while I was checked out.

As the train pulled away from the check point and a tremendous thunder storm rattled across the sky, thoughts jumped to old James Bond movies, as I watched the guards surrounding another train.

Here in St. Petersburg, at the press office - that I will be leaving as soon as possible to get over to the convergence centre at Kirov sports stadium - the word is all demonstrations are banned, as previously thought some protests were authorised.

Activists and protestors are authorised to be in the stadium, but it is beleived if anyone tries to leave in mass this will be halted.

Today, 14 July, is the Global Day of Action. Currently I have no information about this. Is it going ahead here? Anywhere else?

I don't know.

The first known demonstration here is tomorrow, 15 July. The left and opposition groups plan to march. Also listed are the International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and Rise Up against G8 policies.

Not sure how safe it is to be posting from here to IMC, as since sitting at this computer peole keep coming up and taking my photograph without my permission. And surely everything in and out of here is being monitored.

Bad vibes and paranoid feelings. I feel like the enemy here, but I have the same credentials as anyone else, so hopefully that should back me up, at least for now.

Oscar Beard
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