On 2nd November 2005 Lothian and Borders Police issued photos of 31 people they wish to interview in connection with the Carnival for Full Enjoyment in Edinburgh on 4th July. 16 of the photos were published on the front page of the Edinburgh Evening News.
Esther MacDonald, spokeswoman for the July 2005 Solidarity Group, said:
“The Carnival for Full Enjoyment was organised against the G8 and in opposition to wage slavery, benefits slavery, the slavery of debt and the slavery of poor people being forced into the armed forces. People taking action against injustice and exploitation were attacked by police wielding batons and charging into the crowd on horseback. Protestors heroically maintained their demonstration in the face of extreme police violence.
“The people of Edinburgh were disgusted by our city being taken over by a huge occupation force of heavily armed riot police. Evidence for this is the large number of local participants in the Carnival, while on a Radio Scotland phone-in the following day caller after caller denounced the outrageous police behaviour.
“People not involved in the protest, as well as demonstrators, were intimidated and threatened by police who detained people within cordons in the city centre, preventing people moving freely about their own city, ” concluded Esther.
Mark Davidson of the July 2005 Solidarity Group described an incident at the Carnival for Full Enjoyment :
“Police violence included a vicious assault carried out by a contingent of at least 25 riot police on two female medics in Princes Street Gardens. The medic defendants were found not guilty in Edinburgh sheriff court on 21st October. In court police admitted deliberately using pressure point holds on the two women - these inflict intense pain.”
”All I can say is that I’ve never screamed in pain before, but I couldn’t not,” said medic Ruth. “It was definitely the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I was yelling out: “We’re not resisting, we’re not resisting!”” stated her colleague Astrid.
Mark Davidson continued : “Now that a Sheriff has stated that there was no evidence that these women had committed a crime, will these officers be charged with assault? Several other defendants have also been found not guilty as the absurdity of the charges has been exposed. In fact according to the police’s own figures 80 per cent of those who have appeared in court to date have NOT been found guilty.
“While many demonstrators were injured, there were no reports of significant police injuries. This massive police operation is totally out of proportion to any “crimes” allegedly committed, and is politically motivated – when ordinary people are victims of serious assaults there is not a fraction of this effort put into finding the attackers.
“We advise anyone arrested not to panic, but to ask for a solicitor and not make any statement to the police. We urge all facing charges to contact the July 2005 Solidarity Group.
“We pledge ourselves to support all arrested or facing charges in connection with the G8 demonstrations – whatever these charges may be. We can supply legal help, and moral and practical support. G8 Legal Support have many witness statements which can help defendants.
“We call for the dropping of all charges arising from the G8 demonstrations. And we urge all concerned with the freedom to protest and social justice to join us in this call. The attempted repression of dissent during the G8 and this attempted witch-hunt against participants in the Carnival for Full Enjoyment are not isolated incidents. So-called “anti-terrorism” laws, dawn raids on asylum seekers and the introduction of ID cards are just a few other examples of the growing authoritarianism of the state. We all need to stand together and defy this repression. “
There is information for G8 defendants at the G8 legal support site www.g8legalsupport.info
There is an account of the trial of the above mentioned medics, and accounts of some other G8 trials, at www.scotland.indymedia.org
There is an interview with the medics about their arrest at www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/07/317485.html
There is a very full account of the Carnival for Full Enjoyment, with photos, at www.nodeal.org.uk
Scotland Against Criminalising Communities web site can be found at www.sacc.org.uk