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Final G8 report from your IMC Foreign Correspondent.
summit mobilisations |
Wednesday July 06, 2005 20:15 by IMC Éire foreign correspondent
Thats all folks.
My good friend Neil, the Police intelligence gatherer.
I am exhausted completely now, the last few days of doing stuff has taken its toll on me. I woke up this morning (admittedly I did hit the snooze button twice for an extra few minutes), and got geared up for my cycle up towards Auchterarder. I went downstairs to get my bike and looked outside... and what greeted me except the scourge of all fairweather demonstrators, (maybe the G8 brought it with them) rain. Pouring down after days of sun and some patchy cloud yesterday. Admittedly my heart sank. My bag is a piece of shit and definitely not waterproof. You can tell I'm a real pro at this sort of thing, bringing a video camera in a non-waterproof bag.
So I hit the road in crap spirits, having glanced at the morning news with footage in the murky dawn light from Stirling of people throwing rocks at a Police van. This had spurred me on somewhat, although the radio was blaring out that every road from here to John O'Groats was being monitored by Police, and many of them were closed due to "small blockades" (their words, not mine). The bike has no mudguards so my arse was instantly spattered with horrible, dirty cold water. I kept my head down though, and the food was fuel in my belly.
I made it to the big bridge across the firth towards the A90 (leading towards the A9, one of the main targets of the blockades), but was stopped by the Police waiting on the south side. I dont know whether I exude suspiciousness, but needless to say they pulled me over, the day that was in it and all, and starting pulling my bag open at the side while I answered questions. Ah come on lads, dont be taking the electrical gear out in the rain. Anyway, cut a long story short because I think you know how it ends, they turned me around and told me that I couldnt cross the bridge. Section 60, for your own safety, reports of violence in Stirling, thank you very much sir, and so on. I didnt put up much of a fight because to be brutally honest, my heart wasnt fully in it for the long trek in the rain.
So I went back to help out at the Indymedia Centre. When I arrived there, nicely soaked and tired, the Police were outside, taking pictures again. The same guy who was taking pictures all day Monday was there, sticking the camera in people faces again. Neil is his name, I almost feel like I know him at this stage.
I headed downtown then later on when reports came in that a section of the G8A people were not being allowed to go to Gleneagles, and were marching up Princes Street instead. Captured some of this, including the snatch squad arrest of some of the spokespeople/organisers. Came back to the IMC Centre then to upload some stuff & edit footage & general help out. Reports were flooding in all day to the dispatch desk. Its interesting to see how a media centre works during a summit demonstration, I would like to have been more involved with it in the run up.
Overall it was an enjoyable experience getting involved with the centre, if a little isolated at times, some of the things like AFAIK running the dispatch or checking the IRC channel is only left to 'trusted' people (fair enough, but I would have liked to have given it a go I think), and if you didnt actively ferret out information about what was happening then it was difficult to get a grasp on where to go or what to do with your footage... but working here has gone some way to chipping away at some negative aspects of my own, such as working individually all the time (although I still cannot stand meetings with: hand signals, "technical points" [opportunity for someone to talk about something they know loads more about than other people, making them feel good] or "direct responses" [opportunity for someone to talk without having to wait their turn] and the like) or my general assumption nowadays that people = arseholes, I met and made some new friends, which is a rare and pleasant occurence.
Thats about it from me really. Sorry for the short report today but my fingers and eyes are too sore to continue. Hopefully other people will fill in the blanks left by myself, either later on or in the coming days. Heading home tomorrow so I hope you IMC readers got some enjoyment from my reports. Maybe some video footage will surface soon too.
More of the images lifted from video incidents today are available at:
Take care, over and out.
One of the G8A people arrested by the snatch squad.