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(en) Scotland, EDINBURGH, Media, Police Confront G-8 Protesters

Date Tue, 05 Jul 2005 16:01:36 +0300


Police scuffled with black-clad anarchists and
antiglobalization protesters Monday in the streets of
Edinburgh, and 450 demonstrators sat down in the road
blocking an entrance to a naval base for nuclear submarines.
The demonstrators at the Clyde Naval Base, who protest
every year, vowed to shut down the base for Britain's
nuclear armed Trident submarine fleet during the G-8
summit meeting. starting Wednesday in Scotland.
"It is vitally important that people make the link
between the industrial war machine and the poverty that
so many people are suffering from around the world,"
said protester Jenny Gaiawyn, 26.

As two helicopters circled overhead, helmeted police,
including a contingent on horseback, stopped a march
by some 300 anarchists and opponents of globalization
in the city's financial district, then slowly let them
go one by one. Most of the marchers wore black, and
some had masks.

There was also a standoff in Edinburgh near the Sir
Walter Scott monument where riot police stood three-deep
to stop a mix of about 150 clowns, anarchists and local
people.

Protesters jumped up and down and blew whistles, stood
atop bus shelters and dragged several park benches onto
the road. Some directed obscene gestures and shouts at
police.

One man stripped off his clothes and walked naked down
the street, pursued by reporters.

But there was also a lighter element. Some protesters
kissed police riot shields, leaving lipstick marks. A
bagpiper wearing a skateboarding helmet provided a
musical accompaniment.

Office workers leaned out of windows to watch as one
clown waved a carrot at police horse, another tried to
tickle their noses with a feather duster.

One protester held up a banner outside Starbucks saying,
"abolish capitalism before it kills the planet."

In Gleneagles where the leaders will meet, mounted
police and a mobile surveillance camera unit were seen
on the streets. Minor roads were closed, and police
roadblocks were set up around the hotel, site of the
summit. The hotel was also protected by a 6-foot tall
steel mesh fence, a series of watchtowers and a network
of surveillance cameras.

About 10,000 officers from all over the country are
policing the event.

At Clyde Naval Base, more than 100 police officers were
stationed at its entrance and at intervals around its
perimeter. They appeared to be adopting a low-key
approach aimed at avoiding confrontations with the
protesters; no arrests had been reported.

The protesters later broke up into smaller groups and
marched around the base's perimeter fence. At several
entrance points, groups of between six and 10 sat on
the ground and joined hands with plastic piping covering
their arms in an often-used tactic that makes it more
difficult for police to separate them and remove them
from the scene.

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