Back with another one of those Black Blockin' Beats (Shannon!)
anti-war / imperialism |
Sunday December 07, 2003 01:24 by redflaremist/(i) - magpies
A bystander commented: 'They just ran down the hill into the jungle!'
We spilled out and headed straight
for the roundabout north of Lidl. Or is it Aldi? I'm not sure. We made a brief
detour through the marsh & briars that was perhaps a slight error on our
part. Sun Tzu says to defeat your enemy you must know the terrain. If only we
had some of the local kids who joined in at the roundabout (and all masked up!)
with us earlier on... the natives have good information...
"More Shannanigans" - IAWM
from report by Random Input Then the march
continued down until it met a gardai roadblock of layers of barriers and sour
pussed coppers. Also I noticed some suss looking dudes lurking at the end of the
long lane on the right, who when people went up to the gate with cameras, moved
off. Who were these mysterious strangers I wonder?
Get all sides of the story of D6 here....
Photos: 1 2 3 & video 4 5
Video: 1 2
1 2 3 4 5 6
Grassroots Bloc report.
GNAW bus hit the road at 9.30am, bumped into the IAWM buses at Borris in Ossary. They told us they were going to leave Shannon at 4.15pm to go to Limerick. First we heard of it. Some people wanted go to, some didnt, as it turned out in the end it was after 6pm by the time we left Shannon and the driver took us straight back.
The buses were pulled over near Bunratty and flag poles and placard sticks were all confiscated. The outcome of this was that this demo was the "flattest" I have ever seen. Apart from 2 black flags, a Palestinian & Irish Flag, and a massive puppet dancing around, there was nothing above head height at all. Made a welcome change!
We spilled out and headed straight for the roundabout north of Lidl. Or is it Aldi? I'm not sure. We made a brief detour through the marsh & briars that was perhaps a slight error on our part. Sun Tzu says to defeat your enemy you must know the terrain. If only we had some of the local kids who joined in at the roundabout (and all masked up!) with us earlier on... the natives have good information...
We ended up coming into the tail of the IAWM march but kept our distance, staying separate. Then attempts were made to run through the forest into the industrial estate (bordering the airport) on a number of occasions. The cops threw people out of the forest but the good thing about these attempts (and this was post-mortem analysed on the bus home) was the de-arresting of people. It was good to see people grabbing onto others and not letting the Garda drag them back towards more Garda.
We then went to the next roundabout and the IAWM doubled back towards Lidl. We stayed there on the assumption that they were going to try and block the road further back.
There were a few "scuffles" at this roundabout. At one point we blockaded a Garda van that was trying to drive through us, then they tried to back away and we blocked them in as well at the back.
A motorist attempted to surge through the crowd but was surrounded by angry people. Other smaller incidents meant that for a while the temperature was kept high, a couple of black masked heads dragged signs from the new bridge into the roadway, and others hauled the red and white plastic roadwork barriers into the street. Again the Garda were grabbing people (not sure if they intended arresting them but support from the crowd was unwavering, everyone linked up and didnt let people go, it was very good)
Then some IAWM "stewards" came along and told us that the movement was leaving the area. We wanted them to hang on and keep moving around or maintain the blockade but from reports I think their blockade finished up at their appointed time of 4.15 or so.
There were another couple of attempts to get into the airport via the industrial estate, via the forest or the pedestrian bridge but there were too many Garda. Another black blocker was scaling the bridge but a Garda pushed him back down the steps. Another Garda who was chasing him from behind was headbutted accidentally when his colleague pushed the black blocker down the steps.
The second Garda was stumbling around in pain (hamming it up if you ask me) but the first Garda grabbed onto the protestor and wouldnt let him go, saying "you assaulted him, you assaulted him" when this was obviously bullshit. Again the crowd swarmed and wouldnt let the Garda drag him away - but he just wouldnt let go. More Garda arrived and it was getting messy... but it was only through the persistence of the crowd not to let the Garda take the protester that people were able to explain what happened, and he was freed after he gave his name and address (but still being held on by load of people).
Some others managed to get onto the bridge and approach the industrial estate but were stopped on the north side. After waiting for them we regrouped and then bunched up into lines (see one of the other reports for photos of this)
We then went up towards the first roundabout which the IAWM had vacated around an hour previously. There was a MASSIVE line of riot cops, yellow jackets, horses and special branchers there waiting for us, lined up to divert our march right back into Shannon town.
But as we approached the police line, people were getting adrenalised and we decided to try and break the line. I dont think the Garda really expected this, and as we pushed them back more and more of them arrived behind, turning into one big scrum (with them kicking the legs of people [including children] to beat them back). The shielded riot cops stepped in and formed a line (of sorts) with the plexiglass shields. At the east end of the line, a "Mountie" nearly trampled a couple of people with a bit of over-eager trotting about.
The line break didnt happen, we were knackered after it but the cops were knackered too - especially the riot cops. They dont seem to be fit or trained very well, they just look like normal Garda (fat, red-faced, big ears, incredibly stupid, etc) with big padding on. Nowhere near as organised or pyschologically prepared as their European counterparts. They just dont seem to be mentally able to think on their feet.
Best headfuck of the day was seeing a black blocker stick her sanitary pad onto the nice clean plexiglass shield of one of the cops...
We stayed there for a while, effectively closing off the roundabout (the line of cops was doing our job for us - nice one)
And then headed back for the bus ... and back to the Pale with Eddie the Deadly bus driver... a legend.
So overall I think we did OK. Seeing people push en masse against cop lines means they're not scared any more of the physical presence of the cops. Very important. Also the de-arresting was good.
As regards our secret master plan (if I told you I'd have to kill you) maybe we didnt even come anywhere near pissing distance, but its going to be very difficult to do that in future I think. In fact I imagine all demos at Shannon in future will take this format - regardless of whether its a blockade or just a straight boring non-direct action march. I think its a lot less work overall for the cops if they can keep people as far away from the airport as possible. Letting people anywhere near it at all just means possible runway invasions.
And the blockades as well. Perhaps not all roads closed, yes very frustrating, but it is important to be there and keep the issue on the map. Doubtlessly soon enough the US will "officially" start some other unjustifiable war (isnt all war unjustifiable??) and maybe we'll have the chance to strike while the iron is hot... and win.