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(en) Britain, G8 Guide for Internationals

Date Fri, 17 Jun 2005 07:22:05 +0300


Disclaimer: --- For the most up-to-date information always check www.dissent.org.uk.
This guide is available for editing on the Wiki:
http://www.ourmayday.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?action=edit&id=G8InternationalGuide
This guide was created by some members of the Dissent International Networking
group, merging several documents and e-mails produced over the last year.
Essential Introduction:
If you coming to protest and resist the G8 be as self sufficient as
possible. Bring a tent, sleeping bag, waterproofs, warm clothes, shoes to
walk/run in, plate, cup and cutlery and an imagination! In general head
for ‘convergence spaces’ – places where people can find information,
meet, socialise, organise actions and get cheap food. Some convergence
spaces offer accommodation. There will be rural convergence centre opening
on the 1st of July near Stirling.

Enquiries can be sent to dissent-enquiries@riseup.net or telephone
07913 263 515. But always check the website and ‘google’ your enquiry
first. You can also call the following numbers Edinburgh numbers: 0131 477
2954 (London Road InfoPoint).

There will be a free newspaper for the protests, with all the practical
information you need. Look out for this.

1. Dissent! and the Scottish Situation:

The G8 (Group of Eight, the eight most industrialised nations) Summits are
hosted, on rotation, by the group's member states. In 2005, the Summit is
to be held in the UK at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland (less than an
hour north-west of Edinburgh). The G8 mobilisation will be the largest
anti-capitalist mobilisation this summer. There are three main groups
mobilising: Dissent!, G8 Alternatives, and Make Poverty History, and many
smaller groups.

The Dissent! Network: has formed to provide a networking tool to
co-ordinate radical anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian resistance to
the Summit. The network was formed in the autumn of 2003 by a group of
people who have previously been involved in radical ecological direct
action, Peoples' Global Action, the anti-war movement and the global
anti-capitalist movement which has emerged around meetings of those that
rule over us.

Dissent! has no central office, no spokespeople, no membership list and no
paid staff. It's a mechanism for communication and co-ordination between
local groups and working groups involved in building resistance to the G8,
and capitalism in general. It hopes to exist long after the world leaders
have returned home. There are currently over twenty-five local groups
across Britain from Aberdeen to Brighton. The local groups in Edinburgh
and Glasgow go by the name Reshape! There are also working groups that
focus on logistics, action, and much more.

Dissent! is open to anybody willing to work within the Hallmarks of
Peoples' Global Action (PGA).

The PGA Hallmarks are as follows:
1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all
trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive
globalisation.

2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination
including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious
fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all human
beings.

3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can
have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in
which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker.

4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social
movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximise
respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the
construction of local alternatives to global capitalism

5. An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy.
Dissent has held bimonthly meetings. There will be ones in Scotland
regularly in the month up to the summit, that will likely transform itself
into a near daily information sharing and consensus meeting process as
days before the summit.

All Dissent!-wide decisions must be made at Dissent! Gatherings, however,
local groups and working groups can make decisions and even speak to the
media if they wish as local groups. Reshape will be making various maps
and a guide for radicals visiting Scotland, to be available before the
summit. There is another large network called the South East Assembly that
will be mobilising around the G8, based primarily around London, and
shares many local groups with Dissent!

Dissent!: www.dissent.org.uk
Reshape (Scotland Local Group in Dissent Network): www.reshape.org.uk
Southeast Assembly: www.resistg8.org.uk

G8 Alternatives: (G8A): is a predominantly socialist coalition which is
organising is Scotland. They hold monthly, open meetings and have
succeeded in getting people from parts of Scotland involved that Dissent!
has not. Despite their numbers being small, the Trotskyist Socialist
Worker’s Party (SWP), primarily through their front group Globalise
Resistance, have dominated the process. Many within the British left, not
only anarchists and those involved in the direct action movement, are
reluctant to work together with the SWP who have a history of manipulating
political processes to their own ends through their work in coalitions.
The organising process surrounding last year’s European Social Forum (ESF)
in London is just the most recent example of this. Dissent!, however, has
a good working relationship with a number of individuals and groups (such
as the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – CND) who work within
G8A. G8 Alternatives are organising a Counter-Summit in Edinburgh on
Sunday 3rd July and a demonstration to Gleneagles on 6th July, the opening
day of the Summit. This demonstration has been banned by the police except
for a small rally, so currently G8 Alternatives is reconsidering their
plans.
www.g8alternatives.org.uk

Make Poverty History: This is one of the largest conglomerations of NGO
(Non-Governmental Organisations) and charities ever, who plan to protest
against the G8 by marching the weekend before in Edinburgh to demand “more
and better aid, debt relief and trade justice.” It is led by groups such
as Oxfam and the organisers are expecting around 100,000 people to take
part in the demonstration. The current media focus seems to be on groups
of anarchists disrupting the march and attacking the Scottish Parliament,
which as a tactic has never been mentioned by anyone in Dissent!. The
march organisers are quite afraid of this possibility as well. Already the
media is casting "Make Poverty History" as the "good protesters" and
Dissent! as the "bad protesters." This is a great opportunity for outreach
to many people who are aware of the problems of poverty and debt, but may
never have been exposed to a radical analysis of capitalism and the G8.
www.makepovertyhistory.org

Live8:
There will be eight simultaneous concerts around the world on July 2nd by
various corporate popstars, and an even larger concert on the 6th of July
at Murrayfield in Edinburgh. Bob Geldorf has commanded concerned people
everywhere to come to Edinburgh on July 6th in order to pressure the G8 to
act on issues like poverty. It is unclear what this means or what exactly
or where these people will go, but we can only hope hordes of people can
be introduced to radical politics and possibly even show up the actions.


Scotland:

Scotland has a rich tradition of resistance against capitalism, and offers
a unique combination of advantages and disadvantages to the anti-G8
mobilisation. The anti-globalisation movement has never had a large
presence in Scotland. Yet, most Scottish people are sympathetic to the
problems caused by neo-liberalism and openly hostile towards Blair and
Bush. There is a long tradition of non-violent direct action against the
storing of all Britain's nuclear weapons in Scotland, and an earlier
history of class struggle, from rent-strikes to non-payment of taxes. The
war against Iraq was even more unpopular in Scotland than in England, with
virtually no support for the war. On the day war broke out there were
unprecedented scenes in both Edinburgh and Glasgow when hundreds of school
students went on strike and blockaded roads and then thousands gathered in
the city centres and closed roads, and school children and anarchists even
stormed Edinburgh Castle, defeating the police. However, for the most part
many Scottish people are not not aware of anarchist politics or direct
action. and most adults are not involved in radical politics, although in
general the population is very left-leaning and sympathetic to issues
around trade and poverty. It should be clear that Scotland is not England,
and although Scotland is politically part of Britain, culturally and
historically it is different. Scottish people in general should never be
called English or British and doing so can spark a negative reaction. This
is due to the history of violent land appropriation and destruction of
Scottish culture by the government of Great Britain, and the original
Highland and Lowland clearances in Scotland set the model for the process
of enclosure and colonization employed by capitalism. The Scottish accent
is very different from the standard English accent, and even many who
understand English have difficulty with Scottish speakers.

The G8 in Scotland

The G8 is having their meeting in Gleneagles, a golf-course in the middle
of Scotland off the A9 highway (one of the only two major highways in
Scotland) between Perth and Stirling. It is about an hour away from the
two major cities in Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Gleneagles is not an
urban environment, but a golf course in the middle of a rural glen next to
the village of Auchterarder. Gleneagles is not even a town, but just a
large golf-course and expensive hotel. Due to its small size, it is
unlikely to be able to hold the entire staff of the G8 Summit, and so
staff will travel from one of the nearby towns (Stirling, Perth, Glasgow,
Edinburgh) to Gleneagles. Gleneagles is right next to a highway, and
surrounded by uninhabited hills.

Travel to and in Scotland

Anti-G8 Transport Hubs, offering lifts, and explanations of how to get
to Scotland, from the rest of the UK and from Europe as cheap as
possible are here: [http://www.cambridgeaction.net/taxonomy/page/or/2934].
You can add your transport offers here too.
Police are already talking about restricting travel to Scotland, so the
best idea is to come as early as possible and travel in an inconspicuous
manner. It is easy from most places in Europe to get to London, and the
low-cost bus system Megabus (www.megabus.com) (10-15 Euros) goes to
Glasgow. In general, public transport is very expensive from England to
the UK (typical train tickets costing 80 Euros and typical bus tickets
costing 40 Euros from London to Edinburgh).

Hitch-hiking is possible in the UK, although crossing the Chunnel (Tunnel
between Calais France and Dover England) often results in long waits and
an actual passport check, and unless a sympathetic driver lets you in
their car, thirty-some Euro fee.

For those that do not care about the harmful effects of flying on the
ecosystem, there are also a number of low-cost airlines that go direct to
Scotland, and due to government aid these prices if booked ahead of time
can be as little as thirty or forty Euros. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) has
their main base in Glasgow Prestwick, about an hour north of Glasgow, and
regular flights from all over Western Europe go there, including Rome,
Barcelona, Milan, Brindisi and Franfurt-Hahn. Easyjet (www.easyet.com)
flies from London and Edinburgh to many other locations and is cheap. Air
Scotland is another low-cost airline that goes directly from Athens to
Glasgow (www.air-scotland.com). Dissent! and other international groups
may help set-up border actions against people preventing from entering the
UK, and a legal support phone number set-up to help those who have been
stopped available at the website soon (www.g8legalsupport.info).

G8 Trains from London

Luckily, the Southeast Assembly is booking their own trains directly from
London to Edinburgh for the G8. See www.resistg8.org.uk for details on how
to get a seat on the train Tickets cost £50 return – although some
discounted tickets may be available – the first train leaves on 1 July and
returns on the 9th. The second leaves on the 4th and comes back on the
8th.

2. Mobilisation and Schedule of Events:

Although the mobilisation against the G8 is very large and diverse, we
will in the following schedule focus our attention on events and spaces
that are organised by or will have a significant presence of
anti-capitalists and anti-authoritarians.

Evict the G8

The purpose of the day of action is to shut down the G8. Due to their
high security measures, a direct march on Gleneagles is unlikely to work.
Instead, currently focus is on getting as close to the security perimeter
as possible and blockading the G8 using a diversity of tactics.
Gleneagles hotel, with a capacity of a few hundred, is simply not big
enough to hold the thousands of delegates and bureaucrats needed to run
the G8 summit, and while the leaders themselves will be flown in via
helicoptor, the lower-level delegates will be forced to come in via roads
and trains, making them very vulnerable to a blocakde. If a sizeable
portion of the G8 entourage can not make the meetings, the meetings will
be effectively shut down.

On a large scale, this protest resembles the previous 2003 G8 Summit in
Evian. The summit was similar because the protest was decentralised around
several large cities with the main target, the G8, meeting on a remote
mountain top with a few main roads leading there. This also is similar to
the situation at the 2003 EU Summit protest where part of the protest was
held in Halkidiki. It was felt in general that the 2003 G8 summit protests
were a moderate success, as it delayed the summit for several hours. The
situation for the G8 2005 protests is similar, with the main meeting
taking place in Gleneagles Hotel, an hour north from the major Scottish
cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow with only one major highway accessing the
road. However, with the main target being difficult to defend due to its
large perimeter and being much closer to large urban centres, Dissent!
feels it is possible to gain a major and inspiring victory against global
capitalism by directly shutting the G8 down by blockading the roads going
to Gleneagles while other groups go over the hills to enter Gleneagles.
This is not ridiculous since the last G8 Britain in 1998 in Birmingham
meeting was effectively re-located due to fear of protesters and pressure
from both NGO and direct action groups. For information about previous
summits prepared by Dissent! see the "Days of Dissent" publication
available at:
www.daysofdissent.org.uk.

The final plans for disrupting the Summit will be made at open meetings in
the convergence centres. Everyone is invited to get involved. At the
previous Evian G8 2003 protests, there was a large camp-site and
convergence centre called the "VAAAG" that many felt was a great success.
It was an autonomous village run by consensus that promoted radical action
and thought. However, it was in France while Evian was in France so it's
main weakness was that it was too far from the actual target of protest
itself, and many people found it difficult to make it from the VAAAG to
the actual protest. At this protest, the main rural convergence centre
will be as close as possible to Gleneagles itself.

Urban Actions:

It is also recognised that if the police make it difficult to directly
shut down the G8 in Gleneagles, then the protest will simply go to
another location after the attempted shut-down. The climate change group
in Dissent! is planning a large action against the root causes of
climate-change in a secret location yet to be announced. We believe this
action will be large and inspiring, and done on a scale never before
seen. There will also be many decentralised anti-capitalist actions
before, throughout, and after the days of the summit.

Schedule of Events

Copies of this schedule can be found by following the “action” link on the
Dissent! website: www.dissent.org.uk

June:

The protests will begin with the setting up of a rural convergence centre
and campsite in Perthshire and convergence and meeting spaces in Glasgow
and Edinburgh. This rural convergence centre will be as close as possible
to Gleneagles itself and will be capable of giving camping space to
thousands of protesters. However, it is likely to be too small to fit
everyone Infopoints and convergence centres will open in Edinburgh and
Glasgow capable of holding large meetings and having workshops. A small
amount of sleeping space has been booked in Glasgow and people are looking
for sleeping space in Edinburgh. A number of decentralised actions and
initiatives will begin in Edinburgh and Glasgow to build momentum for the
G8. For example, the information about Cre8 Summat on the Dissent!
website.

July:

Saturday July 2nd Make Poverty History” in Edinburgh: The event is
expected to be the largest march in British history over globalisation
issues, with over 100,000 expected. However, the march is reformist and
even endorsed by elements of the British government. There will be a
large and active anti-capitalist component to the march under the banner
"Make Capitalism History" and “Make the G8 History” that will give the
march a more radical character.

Sunday July 3rd:Make Borders History Tour in Glasgow.
People will go on a tour in Glasgow to visit places of visible and
invisible borders, and places of migration control. Since migrants may be
on the walking tours, care must be employed by everyone on the tour.
www.makebordershistory.org


Monday July 4th The Faslane Blockade with Trident Ploughshares near
Glasgow (Helensborough): This will be a non-violent blockade of the
Faslane Nuclear Submarine Base outside of Glasgow. Large blockades happen
at Faslane every year, and this one is expected to be very large and shut
the base down.
http://www.faslaneg8.com/

Carnival for Full Enjoyment in Edinburgh: A day of actions to resist
social cuts, privatisation, precarity, workfare and increased pressure on
those in employment being imposed throughout Europe and beyond.
www.nodeal.org.uk

Thursday July 5th Tuesday 5 July Open Borders, Close Dungavel Asylum
Seeker Detention Centre! Near Glasgow: “Close Dungavel, No-one is
Illegal!” mass protest near Glasgow. Glasgow Campaign
to Welcome Refugees. glascamref@hotmail.com

Wednesday July 6th Global Day of Action in Scotland: This is the Global
Day of Action Against the G8 including public blockades of the delegates
as they arrive.
www.g8blockades.org.uk
For info about the global day of action see: www.agp.org

There will be Beacons of Dissent! (fires, although controlled as to not
damage the ecosystem) lit on the hills around the that should be visible
to those in Gleneagles on the night of the July 5th before the blockades .
Then from the hills, hill-walking groups will walk straight over the hills
and to the front door of Gleneagles. http://silver.j12.org

Friday July 8th The International Day of Action against Climate Change:
This day of action will feature at least one and possibly multiple
large-scale direct action on the major infrastructure responsible for
climate change in Britain. Details will be announced closer to the date.
www.dissent.org.uk/climateaction




3.Convergence Centre and Logistics:

See website www.dissent.org for details.

Dissent! will have as much as possible legal and safe housing for the
protesters set-up and is co-operating with other groups in order to do
so. Unlike in Greece, for example, there is no asylum at Universities in
Britain. Unlike England, squatting is illegal in Scotland and it is
expected that there will be attempts by the police to shut down any
squats, as happened in Dublin during the May Day 2004 events. So, legal
housing is important if we want to focus on shutting the G8 down. The
legal convergence spaces need more money, so help with fundraising
throughout Europe is needed. If the legal convergence centres are shut
down by the authorities or if the legal accodation provided by any
authorities is unsuitable, Dissent! will squat land and take over
buildings as a last resort.

Rural Convergence Centre:

The rural convergence centre will function as a group of autonomous zones,
including a zone for Dissent! and anti-authoritarians, which will likely
be the largest zone at the rural convergence centre. Other groups such as
People and Planet (an ecological student group) will also have zones. The
convergence centre will be run jointly by consensus of these groups, and
each group will be wholly responsible for its own zone.

The convergence space will operate around a "neighborhood" system,
similar to the "barrio" system used at some previous resistance camps.
Neighborhoods will host camping, eating and meeting together and will be
the focal point of decision making on the site. The neighborhoods will be
information and discussion areas to aid communication across the site and
beyond. Inter-neighborhood meetings will manage the whole site.

Many groups are already hosting neighbourhoods but more are needed. You
don't need to be a huge group or have loads of equipment to host a
neighbourhood. The neighborhoods should be self running, once people start
arriving. The aim is for each neighborhood to be as autonomous as
possible, with its own kitchen or food serving facilities,
alternative-technology power sources and meeting space. A neighborhood
could also include anything else you would like to bring, like a library,
cinema, crèche
or spaceship. A site plan has been created by the 40+ participants at the
recent ‘Earth Activist training course’. People are needed to be on site
setting up the space on the 25th June until the site opens.

Lots of stuff is needed for the site, see
http://www.dissent.org.uk/content/view/195/125/ for the full list. Please
provide what you can. Transport is available to get larger objects to the
site, although if you can find a way of getting it here yourself, then all
the better.

Everyone except cops and mainstream media will be allowed on as
individuals to the Dissent “Hori-Zone” part of the rural convergence
centre. Media will be kept off site at a separate media debriefing
location, and no left politicians will be allowed to control a zone of the
site. Free and cheap food will be provided. The rural centre will be run
on the "barrio" (neighborhood) system, with each barrio itself being
autonomous and capable of making its own decision. The barrios will
likely be centered around kitchens. Many in Dissent! hope the rural
convergence centre will serve as an anti-authoritarian model of the world
we want. It will be based on ecological principles and all groups
entering the site will be expected to help out with site security.

The site will be open to all from the 1st June. Bring a tent and your
dreams of another world!

Urban Infopoints in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow will have “infopoints” that will be open
twenty-four hours a day for protesters to come to in order to be given
information about current events and accomodation.

Glasgow Convergence and Infopoint

The Glasgow Infopoint is currently located at G42 Collective, Suite 3,
674 Pollockshaws Road in the “Southside” of Glasgow. This is on South
Glasgow, get either the 44, 22, 23, 57 in Central Glasgow and ask for
Eglington Toll. It is approx 30 mins walk from the city centre. If you
have problems call 07981 954 132. For accomodation, there is an autonomous
Dissent urban convergence centre in Glasgow. It is a warehouse that will
offer legal housing for as many people as it can legally have capacity to
hold.

Edinburgh:

The Edinburgh Infopoint is currently located at 25 London Road, Edinburgh.
To get there from the East end of Princes St (the end where the bus and
train station is), go left at the end down Leith Walk, and take a right
down London Road, after the crossroads it is on the right. Dissent! has a
second shop-front info space in the city at 10 Albert Place.

Currently in Edinburgh there for the week around the Summit the Student
Union of University of Edinburgh (located in the City Centre of
Edinburgh) will be used by Dissent to host free workshops and large
meetings, as well as other groups like People and Planet. The Student
Union used by Dissent will be the Teviot and Potterrow Edinburgh Students
Union Building in Bristo Square across from the Indymedia Centre in the
Forest Cafe. This centre will be crucial for groups to do training and
outreach to the public (due to the presence of the Make Poverty History
March and Live8 in Edinburgh), and to serve as an initial "welcoming
point" for protesters in general. To inquire about the schedule of events
at the Dissent convergence at the University of Edinburgh contact .

There is currently no legal autonomous accommodation in Edinburgh, and
according to current news (subject to change) the city government is
providing legal accomodation for a ten pound flat fee on a first-come,
first-serve basis at the Jack Kane Centre, which is located at 208 Niddrie
Mains Road. The police have also said in the media they may be lenient on
camping in the plentiful green spaces in Edinburgh, and Dissent may seize
land if needed. Prepare to be flexible! It may be necessary to send
people to Glasgow for accommodation before the 1st July. We are
still actively looking for large warehouse space, and all other avenues.
However, options in Edinburgh are almost exhausted.

Travel from Urban Centres to Rural Centres

Dissent is hiring a number of mini-buses to go from the various urban
centres to sites of actions and the rural centre, as well as from Glasgow
to Edinburgh and back. We are also looking into hiring buses for the large
days of action, like the buses hired to go to the EU Summit from Salonika
in 2003. These buses are expensive and money is needed for them to be
hired. If you are coming from anywhere and can drive, your skills will be
needed. We are asking for people to come as self-sufficient as possible in
terms of transport. Please bring bikes, cars, vans, mini-busses and busses
with you!

How to Dress for Scottish Weather

The weather in Scotland is one of extremes, and during the summer months
it is warm and pleasant but very rainy. Due to the proximity to the sea,
weather in Scotland is milder than its latitude would have one guess, but
also very unpredictable, so be prepared for anything. It will likely rain
frequently so bring water-resistant clothing and boots that can handle
mud. In July, there may be sunlight till nearly midnight and only a few
hours of darkness before dawn. If possible, bring a tent for use with the
eco-village, and other supplies needed for the outdoors. A sleeping-bag
will be a necessity. A tent is also essential - consider buying one if you
don't have one!

Blood-sucking Insects!

All visitors to Scotland should come prepared for the “midges,” a very
annoying Scottish variant on the mosquito that travels in swarms. They can
cause as much physical pain as the police if you are unprepared. To escape
a swam of midges, simply walk very fast away. Bring heavy-duty insect
repellent and having some sort of covering for the body and face is highly
recommended.
4. Indymedia Scotland:

www.scotland.indymedia.org
and Indymedia UK www.indymedia.org.uk

There will be an Indymedia Centre opening in Scotland for the G8 protest,
run jointly by Indymedia UK and Indymedia Scotland at Forest Café, 3
Bristo Place from the 29th of July. The Forest Cafe is a volunteer-run
café and arts space, and is also a useful point of information, and
provides cheap food. The Indymedia Centre, directly upstairs from the
Forest Cafe, will have e-mail checking and video editing facilities with
subsidiaries in Glasgow and the rural convergence centre. Effort will be
made not to video tape or otherwise use media that may incriminate
protesters engaged in direct action. Some video footage will be used to
document possible police brutality (as this video footage has sometimes
saved activists from lies of the police in court) and also to inspire
people around the world. Indymedia will also have a dispatch number for
news to be announced on its website in the run up the G8.


Communication System for Mobile Phones:

There will be a communications network set-up by Dissent! that uses
text-messaging over mobile phones to communicate the location of the
police and other news. Please bring or consider purchasing a mobile phone
that works in the UK. The number and how to subscribe to the communication
system details will be distributed upon arrival at one of the convergence
centres.

5. Repression and Scottish Law:
Shortened version of more comprehensive text available from www.g8legal.info

Scotland, once being a separate nation, historically has had always had
separate legislation from the rest of Britain as regards everything,
including protests. There is not one clear statute or code setting out the
different criminal offences, but everything is based on the interpretation
of the judge.

Scotland is one of four countries that make up the UK, commonly referred
to as 'Britain'. References to 'mainland Britain' are to England, Scotland
and Wales. There are no border regulations between the four within the UK.
Border crossings have also been used by British police and immigration
officials to question people. To minimise the risk, travel as
inconspicuously as possible (think about your clothes and means of
transport etc.). If you are stopped, answering a few basic questions may
get you in, but if you are detained then request a lawyer. We suggest the
following: Bindman & Partners In England/Wales: 020 7833 4433 and a number
will be forthcoming from Scotland at www.g8le.

Ids, Weapons, and Drugs

Once in Britain there is no requirement to carry ID. While when arrested
and detained, the police have the right to ask for your name and address,
you do not have to prove it to them. They instead Also, cannabis and other
drugs are illegal and are a reason to arrest, as in drinking alcohol in
public due to various bylaws. Carrying a knife (even in your pocket) in a
public place is illegal. It is illegal to carry an offensive weapon,
including carrying things like a large stick to a protest. An offensive
weapon is an item designed to cause injury or something carried for the
purpose of causing injury.



Stop & Search

There is no general right for the police to search you. There are
exceptions to this, for example under drugs legislation, if they have
reasonable grounds to suspect you of possession of illegal drugs. The
police will often try to get people to co-operate where they have no legal
power to compel them to do so. If you allow them to search through your
bag, for example, anything they find may be used as evidence against you
in any trial, even if they had no legal power to compel you to submit to a
search. The police can only carry out a "pat down" search unless you have
been arrested, and you are only required to remove outer clothing (e.g. a
coat) in public. You are not required to give a name or address if you are
searched, only if you are detained or arrested.

Conducting searches: Section 60 Orders
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act:

A Section 60 order is the power of the police to stop and search in
anticipation of violence. The first thing to note is that actual violence
is not required. If the police believe that incidents involving violence
are likely to occur and it is necessary to do so to prevent their
occurrence, they may given authorisation to stop and search people and
vehicles within a specified area for up to 24 hours. It is almost certain
that Section 60 Orders will be authorised throughout the G8 summit. Once
in force the uniformed police of any rank can stop people and vehicles and
search them for weapons or dangerous instruments. No suspicion of that
person or vehicle is required. Anybody can take anyone's photograph in the
U.K. Therefore the police can take a photograph of you and they may do
this whilst performing a Section 60 search. You do not need to co-operate
with this, unless you have been detained or arrested. You do not have to
give your name and address, explain why you are there or answer any
questions. The (uniformed) police can also require that any item be
removed which the police think is wholly or mainly for concealing identity
(e.g. masks). You have a right to be given a written record of the
search, even without giving your name or address. The Section 44 Terrorism
Act also works similarly to a Section 60 order.

Detention and Arrest

The police can either detain or arrest someone. The power of the police
to arrest is defined at common-law so there are no certain criteria.
Generally, if they reasonably believe you have committed an offence you
may be arrested - like when practise you are caught in the act. Otherwise
it is usual to detain you. Whilst you are detained you have the right to
have a person informed of your place of detention (and so may contact the
G8 Protest Legal Hotline). There is a legal support team set-up that will
be running 24 hours a day, and have people on hand to attempt to visit
people and vehicles to pick them up from jail and court. Addresses in the
United Kingdom will be provided for international protesters by Dissent.
You do not have to prove to the police that you live there.

Detention

You may be detained if you are reasonably suspected of having committed an
offence that is subject to imprisonment, which can be almost anything.
You need to be told that: you are being detained and what you are being
detained for. You cannot be held in the legal state of "detention" for
more than six hours, after which time you must either be released or
arrested. You do not have to give any information apart from your name and
address. Give no comment to any other questions.

Arrest

You may, depending on the circumstances, be processed at the scene or
taken to the police station. You will formally charged, asked a number of
questions and photographed. You do not have to give any information apart
from your name and address, and can just say "no comment" to the rest of
the questions. Giving a false name is an offence, while giving the
address of a place you are staying at in the UK (such as one provided by
Dissent) is legal. We recommend giving "No comment" as the answer to all
questions after giving your name and address. After this you will be
put in a cell. At some point you will be taken out of your cell to be
fingerprinted, to be photographed and they will likely take a DNA sample
(using a mouth swab). You will be either released, asked to sign an
undertaking (see section 7 below) or held until the next working day for
court. Usually, you will only be held for a day. They can keep you in
custody until a court appearance. They can release you with a report
being sent to higher authorities m to consider whether to prosecute.
Anybody who appears on a complaint (low-level charge) must be tried
within a year of their first appearance.

For very serious matters you will appear "on petition" and may receive a
jury trial. If you appear in court from custody you can apply for "bail"
(an amount of money to guarantee your appearance in court)so that you
remain at liberty until the trial (which may be many months away). Bail is
more likely where the police can confirm your address in the UK. If you
are from abroad you may be required to surrender your passport. The police
do not have the power to deport people once they are in the UK. The Court
may recommend deportation as part of a sentence, but it is unlikely.

Dissent is planning on having a series of jail solidarity demonstrations
with any protester arrested during the course of the G8 protests, and
maintaining long-term solidarity with internationals who are arrested.

Police Tactics:

Policing in Britain is via regional police forces - there is no national
force. However, an officer from any Scottish force has full police powers
anywhere in Scotland and it may be that English police are sworn in
Scotland for the G8. This may lead to some conflict between Scottish and
English police. The English police are only brought to Scotland in case of
emergencies, the last time being the Miners Strike in the 1980s. In
general, the police in Britain favour crowd control and surveillance
tactics, often intimidate and control protesters. If this fails, they
prefer to attempt to beat protesters with metal batons and otherwise
physically break the protesters in combat. Although this may change, the
police do not use chemical weapons. There are rumours of stun guns.

Police in Britain are issued with metal retractable batons, which cause
nasty head wounds but minimise the risk of brain damage or death. Long
side handle (US style) batons are also in use, but less favoured. CS gas
is issued, but not often used - guidance refers to life threatening
situations. Pepper spray is used, not generally in crowds, but mostly when
making arrests by spraying in the face. Water cannons have never been used
on the British mainland but supposedly have been ordered from the
Netherlands and so will probably be deployed at this protest.

Horses are used for sealing off streets or to guard buildings and to break
up crowds. Dogs are also used, mostly to protect key buildings and at
roadblocks, but given the rural nature of Gleneagles they may be more
widely used in the hills. Roadblocks and checkpoints have been widely used
in the past and are to be expected around Gleneagles, especially on the
Firth of Forth bridge between Edinburgh and Gleneagles.

In Britain the police favour close contact public order policing. The main
tactic is to divide very large groups of people into smaller groups and
surround and contain them, sometimes for hours, before dispersing one by
one. Continuously moving about can make this more difficult for them. When
they fail to divide groups, riot police are sent in lines to break up and
disperse crowds, by hitting out with batons at peoples' heads. Mounted
(horseback) police are also used in the same way. The police also use
teams of snatch squads to make arrests. These consist of 6 officers in a
triangular pattern, with the outer police protecting the arresting
officer.

The police also make wide use of photographers, video camera operators,
helicopters with video cameras (which take surprisingly clear footage) and
evidence gathers, who record a running commentary. Forward Intelligence
Teams (FIT) are police issued with photos of known activists, who they
follow. Despite their title their main role is harassment.

The Scottish police force is not very competent compared to many of their
European counterparts, having been outmaneuvered by school children on a
regular basis. There are also not many police in Scotland - only 12,000 by
the latest estimate. The police in Britain most experienced in dealing
with dangerous situations are those in Northern Ireland, however, due to
political instability in that region they will not be used in Scotland.
However, there will definitely be English police imported, and the general
level of police preparedness will be high. Most of the police will not
have ever seen an anti-globalisation protest. The police are primarily
used to dealing with non-violent civil disobedience and marching, and so
may be surprised by some of the tactics used by European protesters.

The London Metropolitan Police Force (“The Met”) is also being deployed,
and current reports have them hosted near the corporate media in Stirling.
This police force has had considerable experience with large-scale
demonstrations and anti-capitalist actions, and have a tendency towards
heavy crowd control and brutality. However, they will be out of their
element in Scotland and it is unclear how they will be deployed and how
they will interact with the Scottish police force. This situation will be
made even more confusing by the interactions with American and other
security forces, and this may impair ability of the police to make
decisions and act in a co-ordinated fashion.

Gleneagles is a large hotel surrounded by acres of golf-course off a major
high-way (the A9) with small roads coming off the major highway at regular
intervals. It is currently surrounded by a small chain-link fence, much
smaller than those that have been previously taken down at large protests.
It is surrounded and visible from the Ochil Hills. There have been
road-closings on the minor roads around the hotel, and the police are
determined to keep the A9 open for all traffice, and will have regular
checkpoints. The London “Met” police are based in Stirling, and so is the
corporate media. The Americans appear to be coming through Glasgow
Prestwick airport, and will be running their own security. There will
likely be a large police throughout the area, although they will be spread
quite thin by having to deal with all the protests and protests. The
police are likely to be surprised by any level of co-ordination, planning,
and courage - so get ready!

Converge upon Scotland,
The G8 makes plans, people make history!

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