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(en) Britain, Cardiff Reclaim The Streets Sat Aug 21, 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 25 Aug 2004 16:15:48 +0200 (CEST)

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Just thought that people might appreciate a short report from the
Cardiff RTS that took place today. I would estimate about 150 -
200 people turned up and spent half an hour enjoying some tunes.
Wahay - a political action that didn't involved endless paper sellers
and boring speakers. (I love it when you go on a anti-war demo and the
speakers tell you, wait for it, they are against the war! Fuck a duck!)
The police obviously thought that the dozen officers would
suffice to restrain the determination to stop some traffic. As we
moved they suddenly realised that we were heading for Newport
Road (a major road that goes through the city centre). So cleverly
they decided that they would form a line with a mere 6 foot gap
between each copper to stop us halfway down a pedestrianised
Street (Queen Street). Several conversations went like this:
Copper: "You can't walk down ere me old son, right butt?!"
Protester: "But I'm just walking around consuming all this
overpriced tat, little piggy, please let me through." Copper: "OK
then me old china".

Onwards then the brave protesters did plunge, innocently getting
cramp half way across Newport Road while most of the police
were still on Queen Street harrassing innocent shoppers. (The
theme for the day by the way was the less bright protectors of the
peace stopping disinterested consumers who looked slightly
'alternative' and telling to get back over yere or risk arrest.

Anyway back on Newport Road capitalism was momentarily
overthrown as the usual rush hour jam started a bit early. Much
pushing and shoving with many police officers shaking with
sexual excitement as the prospect of a set to was on the card. In
the end we were far too polite for such roistering doistering and
the police had to miss out on their kicks.

They made up for this by randomly arresting the mouthier
sections of the crowd just to show they meant business. Yeah
because being nicked and held in a police cell for charges which
would only give the CPS a giggle at best is really scary.

At this moment unknown heroes suddenly screeched onto the
scene with a hired van (i don't think they will be going back for
the deposit) which was parked and locked in the middle of the
road. The fools - didn't they realise that this would hold up the
traffic? Oh they did. Anyway a few more arrests and a smashed
windscreen later we were off!

Confusion reigned as we walked down Queen Street and again
they didn't know how to stop us. I must say thet the passers by
were very friendly. They looked like coma victims suddenly
awoken from the deadening circle of unpayable debt and buying
worthless crap that would mean working stupid amounts of
overtime. Add your own "protest as spectacle" critique here.

As we hit the open road again things got a bit nastier as the
crowd seemed to be swollen by some likely lads and the
continuing confusion over who was protesting and who was
shoppping. A few more arrests and a bit of excitement and i
spotted one of the coppers who had 'forgotten' to put his id
number on give someone a good smack, bravely holding his stick
thing in his hand (ooh er, missus!!). After remonstrating him
(and by God people we were in "staring out the protesters mode"
now!!) i was informed that the problem in society was
"incivility". Not punching some unarmed protester in the face
with a night stick but not saying excuse me as you do it, that is
the problem, do you see!!!!

But anyway blimey this demo went on a bit i can tell you. So off
we went again back onto more pedestrianised streets which was
causing them so many problems. In fact a small victory was had
as the police received quite a few reinforcements allowing petty
criminals everywhere to increase their productivity tenfold!! It
was also nice to be informed by the senior officer in command
that not displaying your id number was not illegal but just "a bit

Anyway after blocking up about thirty buses (you wait ages for
one then a rts demo backs up thirty at once!) on St. Mary Street
we ended up a bit corralled in after something was 'negotiated' by
some anarchist fascist steward type (only joking it was the right
time to retire to a park as people were getting tired off the run
around especially the many cute kids, bless.). Myself i got a bit
tired of being shoved around by about six coppers because i was
walking slightly slower then everybody else (i am 32 ffs!). One
copper informed me that he "can do what i want because it is the
law, innit!!". I loved the conversation: "one more word and i'll
arrest you!" "sod off copper", "one more word and i'll arrest
you!" "sod off copper", "one more word and i'll arrest you!" "sod
off copper", "one more word and i'll arrest you!" "sod off
copper", "one more word and i'll arrest you!" "sod off copper",
"one more word and i'll arrest you!" "sod off copper"! Lovely

Anyhoo i then left for a delighful herbal tea in the organic cafe,
which was delightful.
Jeff f this country.

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