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G8 - blockade

123 | 09.06.2007 16:23 | G8 Germany 2007

Heiligendamm - east gate report

Wednesday 6th June 2007.Heiligendamm.

Thousands of people marched through the fields to the east gate (gate 2) where the road and the rail track were both successfully blockaded for 2 days and 2 nights. There was no violence even though the blockade was right at the fence and it soon turned into a friendly peaceful festival. A small group from Rhythms of Resistance and the Clown Army entertained the blockaders while they transformed the space between the blockadors and the riot police into a space of frivolity and humour. 7 helicopters landed in a row by the field but surprisingly some protestors started walking towards them with peace flags and balloons. The helicopters unloaded some more riot police and took off continuing their circular flights around the area. Police on horses was also by the Nearby field without intervening.

Apparently the water cannons were initially unable to reach the blockade by the east gate due to another blockade a few meters away.

The locals were keen to support the blockades with supplies. The Police, though, warned them that they were associated and equipping an illegal act but this did not seem to stop their generous supplies.

After the first day of the blockade, magically food, blankets, toilets, water and soap appeared. the material that was used by the police to keep protestors on one side was turned into hammocks. The soundsystem from Queeruption, metal bands and Rhythms of Resistance supplied the music and all was kept pleasantly peaceful.

The East Gate blockade (also called the Peace blockade) had the concept of total non-violence and no barricades using objects; just people. And it seemed to work well…

Things were not as peaceful at the blockade at the West Gate. There, the water cannons were in full effect, but even with that the blockade held well for quite a long time as hundreds of people from the East Gate blockade marched to the west gate to reinforce the west gate blockade.

The east blockade was very successful as the gate was kept blockaded for over 48 hours. But it left a few puzzled. Was the East gate a stage for the Police’s public relations with the media while other protestors were brutally beaten up? Or was the Police plainly unable to control all the blockades happening at the same time with thousands of people; especially as they were supported by the locals?