An analysis of today’s newspapers and yesterday evenings reporting of alleged events, juxtaposed with our own experience and observations as participants in the Gleneagles march brings sharply into focus how poor, unbalanced, inaccurate and partisan current standards of journalism currently are.
Of particular note were the plethora of reports of fences and police lines “being breached” at the stage of the march bordering the field adjacent to the Gleneagles barricades. Fences and police lines that weren’t in fact even there, although AFTER a few hundred people had crossed into the field, a token line of riot police (who were observed again, as we saw in Edinburgh on TV, assaulting a number of peaceful marchers & bystanders) were deployed to line a small section of the field bordering the official march route. It is widely felt by experienced campaigners (and I am convinced in my own mind that this argument has considerable merit) that this particular ‘flashpoint’ during the march, was deliberately stage-managed by the authorities in order to create photo-opportunities for the media, and establishment-favourable propaganda.
It is indeed extremely intriguing as to how and why the majority of the press covering the march, came to be encamped 100 feet in the air at this particular location (in row after row of expensive cranes) so well in advance.
Had they tried, I doubt Hollywood’s finest producers could have engineered the ‘battle-scene’ any better!
A G8 summit and security operation costing £500 million pounds, justified by eye-catching images of police brutality misreported by the media as “rioting protestors“. The nations taxpayers can now rest easy in their beds knowing their money has been well spent! All is right with the world, yet again the police our very own Sillitoe-tartaned superheroes (the goodies) have protected the nation against the baddies, i.e. us lot, to quote one commentator, “wot won’t shut up and keep complaining about nuthing”.
The only mainstream media that came close to balanced and accurate reporting was relegated to a minority viewing position late at night on last nights Newsnight Scotland. It was good to see the issue of deliberate police concealment of identity numbers highlighted (which was widespread and witnessed by many) . Many of the police spotted doing this had the exact same white cloth material wrapped around their shoulder badges, indicating that this concealment was organised and deliberate.
In a rather surprising display of apparent anarchist fashion following amongst the constabulary, one other practice that was going on that was widely witnessed was the sight of considerable numbers of police officers (mostly English) concealing their identity with light-weight balaclavas. Covering the lower half of their faces. Even while sitting in swelteringly hot police-vans!
Is Scotland really that cold or could there be some other reason why police dressed in riot gear, clobbering innocent members of the public with impunity in SAS-style tactics, should seek to wish to ensure there is little realistic prospect they will be subsequently traced and identified!?
The Scottish police authorities have consistently claimed that police officers going over the top during the G8 protests and demonstrations would be dealt with firmly. I see little evidence of that, indeed, its clear that many of the officers seconded in have received clear instructions from their superiors of how to avoid the possibility of facing any redress or disciplinary proceedings for malfeasance whatsoever.
It was also astonishing and somewhat surreal to be amongst the buses entering the area where EVERY OCCUPANT was stopped and searched. In a clear and apparent act of racial discrimination, unusually exacting attention appeared to being paid to buses containing large foreign contingents.
These searches took place apparently without any of the standard legal requirements for stop and search. No receipt or official documentation was given to any of the parties searched.
Indeed, within Auchterarder itself, a number of people (again mostly folk singled out on racial grounds) even suffered the audacity of police attempts to confiscate, but effectively steal their personal property, again without due process of law, any standard legal justification or receipt or documentation exchange.
The growing warnings from many quarters that we are increasingly living within a police state here in the UK seem to be being consistently proved right.