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AAR | 20.03.2003 21:19 | Anti-militarism

The Aberdeen Coalition for Justice not War called for an "informal Peace Rally" at 5pm at St Nicholas street (which is in the centre of Aberdeen beside Marks and Spencers) on the day that the war would start.

The Aberdeen Coalition for Justice not War called for an "informal Peace Rally" at 5pm at St Nicholas street (which is in the centre of Aberdeen beside Marks and Spencers) on the day that the war would start.

A couple of us went there earlier (4:30pm) and hung a banner from a high up position above the entrance to a shopping centre close by (attaching it to a metal railing), saying "All wars are terrorist! Bin Bush, Bin Laden, Bin Blair". As soon as the banner was hung, two police officers rushed to the scene, but without being able to reach the banner and the person that hung it, they repeatedly demanded for the banner to be removed because they said that "this is private property". We didn't accept this, and we told them that if the owners of the so-called private property (actually the metal railing) asked us to remove it then we would. A person was taking pictures of the whole incident and that irritated the cops who left after accomplishing nothing. Minutes afterwards a security guard and (presumably) the manager of the shopping centre appeared, almost running, and without saying anything to us they appeared. Then the manager clambered through some bushes and violently, holding a pair of scissors in one hand, tore the banner off the railing using his free hand. He started screaming things like "get off my property" and a bit of jostling with our comrade took place, as he continued holding the pair of scissors really close to him. The two policemen were present and clearly took the side of the manager, though they had witnessed his violent and threatening behaviour. Not that we expected anything else from them… the justice of the landlords is still intact in Britain. Anyway, the police took our comrades personal details, but not the manager's… That is until we said that we would take the manager to the court for assault with possible further violent intent. Only then were the police forced to take his details, and then they also took the details of others who had witnessed the incident… and in one case they forced a girl to give her details!?! Anyway, we don't believe in, and we don't trust state justice, as the justice system always takes the side of the rich and powerful, and as the war itself is proof of the complete absence of social justice at all levels (from local to international). So there is going to be no court action against these miserable fascists… The fact that you are reading this report right now and that you are finding out how this unjust and irrational system (called capitalist democracy) is working in practice, is enough for us.

Meanwhile at least 200 people had gathered at the assembly point… And at around 5:15pm the people began to move towards Union Street (the main street of Aberdeen). Here we were met with a police line of about 15 officers, who denied us access to the street! What follows is extremely rare for Aberdeen… The first line of protestors, among them the organisers, stopped and moved no further, and began chanting. Suddenly two of us with our banner (saying "WAR IS THE HEALTH OF THE STATE! SMASH CAPITALISM!"), moved around the line of police and into the centre of the street in front of oncoming traffic. We don't know if this encouraged people or not, but immediately people started shouting, and passing the police line, ran into the middle of the street. So suddenly both lanes were blocked and traffic stopped… only for a few seconds as one of the pigs rushed over to us and aggressively forced us to the pavement and started threatening, of his powers and …right… to use violence to remove us. So we found ourselves with the rest of the crowd in the other lane. Some people sat down in the road forming a link with their arms. So half of the protestors were in the street blocking the one lane.

The police tried to remove us, but without succeeding as they were pushed back by people forming links and using the poles of one banner to push back. Suddenly more police vans came to the scene… Pigs leapt from their vans and started attacking people! The ones who had sat down were brutally dragged along the street by legs and arms to the pavement, and a few to the police vans. Then even more people went on the street, behind the protestors' link, and a real hand to hand struggle began… a shoving "match" with the police… lots of shouting and chanting (from our side), lots of threats (from the pig's side), people pulled out violently from our line. All this happened over a 15minute period when finally after a few attacks the pigs managed to force us on to the pavement.

Notably a few of the people, who had organised the protest, standing next to the police, were urging people to retreat to the pavement! It seems as their image might be tarnished… and we are talking here for our self-defence against the puppets of the state machine, and our right to protest against this and every war!

The result was more than a few people arrested. Some say 6 arrests, others talk about 13, we couldn't find out how many there were for sure. We stayed for half an hour with more chanting taking place and with the police lines between the street and us enforced… and then gradually people dispersed. Some people were left disappointed, wanting to do more, as we did block the traffic but only for a short time.


Aberdeen Anarchist Resistance

PS: we 'll try to send some photos soon.

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