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(en) Britain, Reinventing Dissent: Anarchist Analysis of G8 2005 - II. (2/3)

Date Sun, 25 Sep 2005 07:22:56 +0300

The Month Before July 6th: Not One, but Three Convergences
One problem with mass mobilisations is that no one
knows exactly how many people are going to show up.
When a member of the Edinburgh Council asked someone
from the Dissent! Convergence Working Group exactly
how many people were in their "organisation," the only
response was somewhere between a thousand and twenty
thousand. While everyone coming in from afar didn't
need full “Bed and Breakfast" treatment, some legal
autonomous space near both major transport centres and
within spitting distance of Gleneagles was crucial.
The Dissent! network decided on the ambitious policy
of opening multiple convergence centres: Urban
convergence centres in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and
a rural convergence centre somewhere near Gleneagles
itself. Since there was a whole week of actions
planned in or near the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh
in the run-up to the G8, it made sense to have a base
in both cities. Most people would come directly to
either Edinburgh or Glasgow rather than directly to a
rural convergence centre near Gleneagles. With
Glasgow having a large and historically volatile
working class, and Edinburgh hosting the massive Live8
and "Make Poverty History" events, it was reasoned
that some of these people could be tempted to join in
more radical politics once they were actually exposed
to them.

The Dissent! network formed convergence working groups
six months before the protest to look for someone
insane enough to rent a piece of land or a building to
anarchists. In Glasgow there was no problem finding a
nearly derelict warehouse that could be rented for
hard cash and no questions asked, and soon the Glasgow
convergence space was up and running, with funds
allocated to help get a new permanent social centre
off the ground.

Edinburgh was another story. The tight housing market
in the expensive capital of Scotland made finding
space for a full-scale convergence centre impossible,
so a shop-front opened as the “Dissent! Infopoint" to
offer free Zapatista coffee and G8 information to
interested parties. After what was either a naive or
an insane plan by the Scottish government to house the
anarchists and police in a single football stadium in
Edinburgh, pressure from everyone from the Dissent!
network to the Green Party prompted the city to
provide state-sanctioned protest camping in the Jack
Kane Centre, miles away from Edinburgh City Centre.
The protest site was revealed to have a price-tag and
to come complete with security and surveillance. On
July 1st, anarchists arriving in Edinburgh on the
train from London decided to set up a squatted
campsite more to their liking in Pilrig Park. This
horrified the authorities, who proceeded to drop the
cameras and lower security, and even let Dissent! set
up their own tent and food facilities.

In order to bring in more people from the streets, the
Dissent! network in co-operation with the reformist
yet very effective People and Planet student group
(who once offered a workshop entitled "Reform or
Revolution: Why Reform is the Answer") set up a free
"Days of Dissent" conference of workshops and films in
Edinburgh University. Around the corner, in the
remains of a former church, Indymedia set up dozens of
computers to serve as the media communications centre
for the G8 protest.

Inspired by the "VAAAG" village set-up in Annemasse,
France at the 2003 protests against the Evian G8, the
rural convergence centre was designed to be both a
demonstration of the world we want and a base for action
against the G8. The amount of energy spent in specifying
exactly how the world we want would function was intense,
and the original idea for a campsite was transformed into
an idea for a Eco-village to demonstrate sustainable
alternatives to life under capitalism. With the protest
just a few weeks away there was still no Eco-village in
sight, despite six months of intense searching, forming
a non-profit company, planning the details down to the
plumbing, and allying with much more publicly respectable
groups such as People and Planet and Scottish CND. Two
sites on which tentative agreements had already been
reached fell through. Rumour had it the owners received
menacing visits from agents of the state. In an emergency
manoeuvre, the rural convergence working group approached
the City Council in Stirling (the city due south of
Gleneagles and on the A9 trunk road to Gleneagles) and
made a simple statement: It was fundamentally better for
everybody, including the residents of Stirling, if the
protesters had a legal place to camp with proper food and
toilets than to have them squatting buildings and
rampaging throughout the countryside. One member of
Parliament from the region reported concern from his
constituents that Italian anarchists would be camping in
their backyard with their sheep. After considerable
debate and even interest from Stirling Council in
greywater systems, a cattle field behind the Stirling
football stadium was offered to Dissent!. It was
unfortunately bounded by the swift-flowing River Forth on
all sides except the entrance. For actions it appeared
to be a certain trap but it was still far better than
having no place to hatch plans and organise within
walking distance of Gleneagles. The chessboard was
finally set.

The Week Before July 6th: The Eco-village Opens

Within days after the deal was made, the cattle were
cleared off the land and the rural convergence site
was ready to roll. Somehow a giant lorry had been
captured by anarchists and went around the whole
country collecting all the needed wood and other bits
for the Eco-village. The Eco-Village was set into two
main sections, one a small section for People and
Planet to hold their festival, and the other the much
larger "Hori-Zone" initiated through the Dissent!
network. As a week of intense set-up began, volunteers
worked day and night to get everything sorted out,
anarchists from outside Britain began pouring in, and
the Eco-village began to take shape. Against all odds,
it actually was a genuine Eco-village: thousands of
anarchists managed to live for a week in an ecological
fashion, including a vast "diversity of toilets" (as
Starhawk put it) ranging from composting toilets to
the immensely non-ecological but legally necessary
porta-loos. Water was dealt with via greywater systems
were meant to filter the water through woodchips
inoculated with beneficial water-cleansing bacteria
(although the clay soil of the site made this
difficult!), and an alternative energy collective had
varying levels of success in getting wind and solar
energy working to help power mobile phones and an
Indymedia Centre. As for ecological living, even the
BBC noted that it "could be a model for us all." The
Eco-village was criticised for not being ecological
enough, since many non-recyclable materials were used
in its construction, and a lot went to landfill
afterwards. However, if more time had been available
for set-up instead of waiting for Stirling Council to
commit to giving the site to the protesters, better
planning could have made the eco-village even more
ecologically sound. Some felt excluded by the often
haphazard decision-making process at the Eco-village,
including the so-called “The Bureaucracy Bloc,"an
unelected group which ended up dealing with
infrastructure and all manner of troubleshooting.

The camp was organised around "barrios" or
neighbourhoods, usually centred around a kitchen,
since a kitchen provided a natural place for everyone
to be together for breakfast and dinner. Each
neighbourhood had its own consensus meetings and would
self-organise in order to deal with its own problems,
and each neighbourhood would send representatives to
the site-wide consensus decision-meetings that met
every day to deal with village-wide issues. The
Dissent! Network emerged from the realm of
bureaucratic meetings and ethereal cyberspace to
become concrete and real, as each local group and
social centre became a neighbourhood within the
Eco-village. Food was bought from local organic farms
and distributed through the network of neighbourhood
kitchens. Medics provided rations and supplies to take
care of people's needs both in the Eco-village and for
the blockades. Whole neighbourhoods took care of
children, and a loving and caring spirit made the
Eco-village a surprisingly relaxing hive of activity.

It was a virtual kaleidoscope of resistance: a death
metal band raging against capitalism, pagan healers
helping anarchists deal with emotional trauma, and
Celtic fiddle keeping everyone's spirits high. A
number of Stirling residents visited and came away
impressed both by the welcome they received and by
just how together it was. Many others, nervous of
communicating with us, drove up to the entrance to
have a look and turned back. Corporate journalists
were kept corralled in a media tent outside the
Eco-village. The occasional noisy drunk would be dealt
with by a "tranquillity team" of mediators who
maintained security on site, while others watched the
horizon for approaching police. Many people, when
confronted with the idea of a world without
government, quickly retort that without government we
would just rob, loot, and kill each other off.
Instead, without any state thousands of people lived,
loved, and actually made decisions together by
consensus, often agreeing to disagree and respecting
the wide away of diverse opinions there. For those in
the Eco-village, it was like living the revolution.

Saturday July 2nd: Make Poverty History

The "Make Poverty History" march began in the Meadows of
Edinburgh - sort of. While many people had imagined an
actual march from one point in the city to another, the
organisers had set it up so people would literally march
in a circle, for the sole purpose of a media stunt: A
white band around central Edinburgh, just like the "Make
Poverty History" wristbands that had been distributed
throughout Britain. Having seriously underestimated the
number of marchers, the event became one big traffic
jam. People were standing around for hours waiting to
begin marching, while others milled around on the large
lawn of the Meadows, listened to speakers, and paid
money for bottled water and food from corporate stalls.
It was, in short, a "happening" rather than a march, and
a very disempowering one at that, although many of the
speakers did have a surprisingly radical flavour and
questioned the legitimacy of the G8, the IMF, and even
occasionally capitalism itself. Despite threats by
certain members of "Make Poverty History" that those not
wearing white would be removed from the march, a horde
of clowns showed up to add colour and humour to the
event. Dissent! had printed eighty-thousand fliers
carefully subverting the logo of "Make Poverty History"
to "Make History: Shut Down the G8," in order to
encourage everyone at the march to stay on in Scotland
and take direct action; everyone from old Scottish
ladies and young children from council estates took the
fliers, often resulting in confused questions and
engaging debates about social change. While the message
of anti-capitalism was spread, few of those people
seemed to actually come to the Eco-village, showing not
surprisingly that it takes more than handing out a flyer
to get people to act.

Anarchists met in a disorderly fashion in front of the
"Days of Dissent" conference. There had been debate
about whether anarchists should split up into small
affinity groups for the march or march as one large
contingent in order to radicalise it, but as the moment
approached the crowd simply split into two main groups,
with one sizeable Black Bloc running off early and the
clowns and others making their own way later to the
march. After a good deal of pointless milling about, the
colourful anarchist contingents mostly dispersed into
the crowd, but the the Black Bloc tried to lead a
breakaway march. It was a bit too late, for by then the
police had enough time to prepare their forces and
surrounded them with heavily armoured riot police,
sending a message to all that no unauthorized
demonstrations would be allowed. Using the particularly
British policing tactic of "frustrate and disperse,"
they managed to isolate and eventually split-up the
Bloc. For better or for worse, the rest of the march
seemed to pass without incident. Nobody knows if they
actually managed to create the giant white wristband of
people circling Edinburgh, although there were thousands
upon thousands there.

Monday July 4th: Blockading Faslane Nuclear Base

On the Monday before the days of action, two actions of
differing natures happened in Edinburgh and the Faslane
Nuclear Base. For seven years before the G8, Scottish CND
and Trident Ploughshares had organised large non-violent
blockades at Faslane, home to Britain's infamous Trident
nuclear submarines. This year they moved the date of the
protest close to the G8 summit in order to remind people
that the G8's domination of the world was backed up by
murderous wars, not by handing out debt relief to poor
countries. This long and proud tradition of civil
disobedience was only strengthened by the energy and
numbers brought in by anti-G8 mobilisation, and for most
of the day the entire base was shut down. The police,
long-accustomed to this sort of thing, actually were
rather kind and accommodating to the protesters. In
Edinburgh, a different story was taking place.

Monday July 4th: Carnival for Full Enjoyment

In Edinburgh, the Carnival for Full Enjoyment took
to the financial and tourist district of Edinburgh,
in order to connect the mobilisation against the G8
to the everyday struggles of people in the city.
The carnival encouraged everyone to take a day off
work in protest against low wages, lack of job
security, over-working, and dole slavery. In the
city that played such a key part in the birth of
the anti-poll tax campaign, this definitely hit a
chord: thousands of locals showed up for the
Carnival, and Princes Street was lined with
ordinary people waiting for something - anything -
to happen.

The state and the media had promised everyone a
riot in central Edinburgh, and they were hell-bent
on making it transpire. Hordes of cops were
everywhere, and they went out of their way to
harass, as the newspapers put it, the "most
militant anarchists": The clowns. They also again
quickly trapped the Black Bloc, and targeted medics
for arrest. However, the Infernal Noise Brigade
made it to downtown Princes Street and then
courageously took the streets. The police reacted
by blocking them in. However, as one older Scottish
gentleman noted, while from their limited
perspective the police thought they had won the
day, the anarchists did a classic pincer around
Princes Street, as there was not one but three
gathering spots for the Carnival. As these other
groups arrived, the police found themselves
surrounded by people on every side, and proceeded
to panic.

The carnival then began in full force. Police
attempted to block one unit of their carnival with
a line of horses, but the hilarious movements of a
black IWW sabotage cat puppet terrified the horses.
Police from Manchester attempted to arrest a man,
and anarchists were outdone by angry locals who
shouted for the English cops to get the hell out of
their town, and backed up their threats by throwing
uprooted flowers, rubbish, and even benches at the
police! The carnival sought to move people to
targets like the Social Security head office, home
of dole fraud investigator Joan Kirk. Large bits of
carpet with handles were used to help reclaim some
of the streets, and even a sound system was pulled
out at the last minute.

Many locals were disgusted with police behaviour
and enjoyed the Carnival because of, not despite,
the chaos: People roaming the streets, cars
trapped, music playing, clowns mocking police
officers, the houses of the corrupt and wealthy
targeted for payback. It was anarchy in its most
pure and undistilled form, and it felt a hell of a
lot better to everyone involved than the
zombie-like shopping that dominates Princes Street
every other day of the week.

Wednesday July 6th: The Day of Action

"Violent Extremists Come to Gleneagles: And we're going
to try to stop them!" the web-page of Dissent!
proclaimed. And against all odds this is exactly what
happened. The hill-walkers met at the historic
Gathering Stone inside the grounds of Stirling
University, and began their long walk through the Ochil
Hills. On the top of the breath-taking Scottish hills
and within viewing distance of the wine-glasses at
Gleneagles, the hill-walkers lit their "Beacons of
Dissent!": the fires on the hill that traditionally in
Scotland were the signal that an invasion was near. The
day before July 6th, the day of action, the Eco-Village
was abuzz with last-minute talk of blockades. Likewise,
a series of difficult meetings were taking place in the
Glasgow warehouse, and anarchists were busy hatching a
scheme in Edinburgh as well. To say that communication
between the various convergence centres was difficult
would be an understatement: people for the most part
had little or no idea what other groups were doing.
Although last minute guides to blockading the G8 had
been produced by the notorious Deconstructionist
Institute for Surreal Topology, to almost everyone the
plan seemed vague and informal: Find friends, exit the
convergence centre, and stop the delegates on the roads
by whatever means you can. There was a method to the

Scotland is home to an insect called the midge. The
midge is like a mosquito, but terrifyingly tiny, and
they travel in hordes, making them even more ferocious
and unstoppable. Due to their small size and speed, one
cannot even slap them to kill them, but can only resist
by literally running away from them. In retrospect, the
entire plan seemed to be based on "The Midge
Principle": Hundreds of irritating and determined small
groups moving in and out of critical road junctions
would be impossible for a centralised police force to
cope with. This contrasted with the "Make Poverty
History" march, which seemed to be based on the
behaviour of another common Scottish animal also known
to wear white: the sheep. The police, much like a
shepherd, can easily control vast numbers of people if
they are docile and scared of confrontation. In
contrast, the "Midge" action was based on confrontation
through swarming, so that even when facing a vastly
superior force, smaller groups could overcome it by
surprise and speed, so long as they were highly mobile,
co-ordinated, and had numbers at the critical point of
engagement equivalent to that of the superior force.

Although the plan sounded dodgy, autonomy worked: in
their neighbourhoods in the Eco-village, groups each
met and had decided together how far they were willing
to go to stop the G8. The answer was pretty damn far;
the highway to Gleneagles was many hours from the
Eco-village, and rainclouds were gathering. Since the
Eco-village was surrounded by a deep river and had only
one exit, it would be ludicrously simple for the police
to simply block the exit and trap everyone inside. To
counter this, affinity groups began leaving the
Eco-village en-masse the evening before the day of
action, often with nothing but a plastic trash-bag for
a raincoat and no supplies to block the road but their
bodies. Hordes of affinity groups scattered to the four
winds, each trekking to find their own way to the A9.
The police set an emergency "Section 60" order that let
them stop and search anyone in Scotland for weapons, a
technique used mainly to separate activists and even
arrest them. As the groups slipped out one by one, the
police seemed to be sleeping on the job.

The Black Bloc Strikes Back

As nightfall approached, roars could be heard from the
campfire. Over a thousand people, including a large
Black Bloc, had stayed behind in the camp, preparing
themselves to march straight from the Eco-village to
the M9 motorway (which becomes the A9 a little further
north). This courageous plan was dubbed the "Suicide
March" since it likely meant a direct confrontation
with the police, and for the inevitable throw down
with police the Black Bloc prepared by having some
impromptu padded armour, a “battering ram" made of a
line of lorry tires attached to a banner, which bore
the bemusing text "Peace and Love," and some "big
sticks." Since it was assumed that the police would
attempt to block the camp early in the morning, the
mass walk-out set its leaving time for 3:00 AM. As the
Black Bloc gathered in front of the mass walk-out as
it readied to leave, the heavens opened and a giant
torrent of rain came down, soaking the Bloc and all
the affinity groups already outside of the

Resolute, the mass walk-out left the camp - only to
discover that in an act of shocking incompetence the
police had not blockaded the exit to the Eco-village.
While the police did eventually move in to stop the
Black Bloc, it was too little and too late as much of
the Bloc had left the Eco-village unchallenged. When
the Scottish police finally managed to stop the Bloc
en masse, they attempted to trap them in a nearby
industrial estate. The police learned all too soon
this was a mistake, as in a controversial but tactical
move the Bloc began to wreck corporate outfits like
Burger King and Pizza Hut. This was exactly the type
of behaviour the police were trying to stop, and they
had just caused it by trapping the Bloc in a corporate
shopping district. The police backed off and the Bloc
managed to find a road out. As the Bloc approached the
M9, the police finally pulled out the riot cops and
formed a line blocking their route.

To the shock of the police, the Bloc reacted with a
full frontal charge on the police lines. Ya
Basta!-style armoured members took the initial charge
- and then, in a very non-pacifist move, turned on the
police and attacked them from behind! The front line
of the Bloc was armed with the infamous big sticks,
and managed to beat the police at their own game by
giving them a shocking beatdown, while rocks were
thrown at the police from behind. Overwhelmed by the
ferocity of the Bloc, the police line collapsed and
the impossible was accomplished: The Black Bloc and
others involved in the mass walk-out victoriously took
the M9, shutting down traffic going to Gleneagles. In
a panic, the police sent hundreds of riot cops to
surround the Bloc, but again the Bloc battled their
way out, and eventually dispersed and escaped through
the Scottish countryside to return victorious to the
Eco-village. The "suicide" plan was a momentous
victory, for the taking of the M9 by the Bloc would
turn out to be the largest and most public of a series
of blockades.

Gleneagles Surrounded

Earlier, it had generally been thought that affinity
groups would never leave the camp the day before and
move into position to take the roads. It was just too
much to ask of activists from all over the world who
had just come to Scotland and had little experience
with rural actions and the topography of the Scottish

That is exactly what happened. No doubt bringing much
planning to a crescendo, affinity groups spent the
evening and night before the day of actions scattering
around the roads surrounding Gleneagles in a radius of
several miles, waiting to stomp on their targets. A
vacation in the Scottish countryside this was not: it
rained heavily during the evening and vicious midges
attacked the activists. As the morning traffic
started, the groups mobilised and took the roads -
creating an almost impossible policing situation.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, the activists were
everywhere. A handful of affinity groups made sure the
first wave of actions to halt traffic at all crucial
junctions leading to Gleneagles was successful. One of
the first blockades to hit was an innovative
five-person lockdown in Muthill near Crieff, a small
village immediately north of Gleneagles that had never
been discussed openly as a site for protest. Thinking
themselves safe, the American delegation to the G8 had
located in Crieff, and then had to spend hours waiting
for the police to disable the complex lockdown.

At the same time, another blockade, this time using a
car with lock-ons inside and underneath, hit the small
road south-east of Gleneagles at the village of Yetts
o' Muckhart. Because the police had to spend so much
time getting the Crieff blockade dismantled, this one
was up most of the day. Just in case the delegates
were re-routed around the A9, another large blockade
hit the exit from Perth, with two smaller ones
south-west of Perth, near Forteviot and on Kinkell
Bridge. Even earlier, the train-tracks going to
Gleneagles were disabled using a compressor, tyres set
ablaze on both sides a warning. With the Black Bloc
taking the M9 west of Gleneagles on the A9, the hotel
was completely surrounded by blockades for most of the
morning. The Canadian delegation never even made it to
Gleneagles. Mission accomplished.

The original plan was to co-ordinate these blockades
with disruption at the hotels where the delegates were
staying in Edinburgh and Glasgow. This made sense
given the convergence spaces present in both cities.
While most of the anarchists had gone to the
Eco-village, the blockades guide released on the
Internet somehow got garbled by the media, who
announced that the anarchists' main plan was to
blockade Edinburgh and riot in Glasgow, and in
response more of the police seemed to be based in
Edinburgh and Glasgow than in Stirling.
Disinformation, whether on purpose or not, helped to
confuse both the police and ourselves. There was truth
in the reports; instead of going to the Eco-village, a
substantial group of anarchists stayed in Edinburgh.
In the early morning, they went to the Sheraton Hotel
where Japanese G8 delegates were staying, and while
hordes of police officers prevented any mass action,
as the delegates climbed on a bus affinity groups
blocked the road by throwing a bin into the street and
surrounding the bus. Then, as delegates left the hotel
with the help of the police and made their way north
to the Forth Bridge, a giant steel bridge connecting
Edinburgh to central Scotland, anarchists crashed two
cars into each other on the road to blockade
delegates, in a literally death-defying action.

In Glasgow, many of the anarchists had felt out of the
loop of the action plans, and were getting ready to head
up to the Eco-village, when another wave of anarchists,
including the WOMBLES, showed up in order to blockade the
hotels in Glasgow where the delegates were staying.
However, by then the anarchists already in Glasgow were
demoralised and in the process of leaving, so the
blockade organising in Glasgow broke down. To add to the
confusion, on the afternoon of the day of action the
police mounted a huge operation against the WOMBLES. The
WOMBLES had been a major anti-authoritarian organising
force within London for years and had bested the London
Metropolitan Police before, and their social centres had
been the main hubs of organising everything from
Indymedia to medic trainings in London in preparation for
the G8. The police were sure they were the ring-leaders
behind the G8 blockades, guided perhaps by the blind
assumption that the UK anarchist movement works like the
police, an operation commanded from London. As the
WOMBLES were in a van leaving Glasgow, the police
proceeded to surround them with hundreds of police and
arrest eleven of the WOMBLES on "conspiracy to breach the
peace" charges; charges so ridiculous they were dropped
almost immediately. The next day the WOMBLES were even
attacked by the police in a pub! The WOMBLES did have two
strengths which doubled as weaknesses: their open
organising meetings allowed the police to discover their
identities and plans easily, and their support of
militant direct action (as well as many them dressing in
all black) made them the stereotypical anarchist targets
the police were looking for. Due to the general confusion
and repression, the blockades in Glasgow collapsed.
However, one strength of a decentralised network is that
no matter how strong one of its components is, the rest
of the network and its connections continues even if that
component is lost. The amount of repression the WOMBLES
faced is directly proportional to how effective they've
been in the past in contesting the state.

Swarming the A9

One by one, all the early morning blockades began to be
cleared off, but these were only the beginning.
Hard-lock blockades are by nature troublesome and
difficult for the police to deal with initially, but
once they were removed and the participants arrested, it
was easy to get the delegates through. While the groups
hard-locked on the perimeter of Gleneagles made sure the
traffic got snarled, many affinity groups which didn't
have pre-decided targets proceeded to get as close as
they could to the hotel itself and literally jump in the
road. These affinity groups, after many hikes, played a
sort of cat-and-mouse game with the cops, capitalising
on two obvious principles. The first is that drivers
tend to stop when they see someone in the road to avoid
running them over, even if said driver is transporting
G8 delegates. The second is that the police are by
nature terrified of leaving their comfortable cars to
run into some countryside field to chase an anarchist.
The combination made the blockades around Gleneagles
almost impossible for the police to deal with, as their
reliance on cars often led the police themselves to be
blockaded. A typical blockade struck first early in the
morning, and simply walked around the highway, and a few
people doing this was enough to bring traffic to a
standstill. If there were any available materials, such
as orange traffic cones, they were re-arranged (and
there are even reports of burning tires being thrown
into the road). Groups self-evidently had plans, as the
BBC reported that some activists hung-off via ropes from
overpasses from the motorway to blockade the exits; this
was an exceptionally courageous move given that at G8
2003 a British activist had nearly been killed when the
police cut the rope on which he and his comrade were

The vast majority clearly had no plan but to cause
disruption, and groups would appear on the road,
blocking it by just walking around until the police
could mobilise and get near them, or dragging branches
and dislodged paving stones onto the tarmac. Then, they
would simply exit the road and go into the nearest
field, walking away in order to get to another part of
the road. The police almost never followed them, and
would eventually disperse to go deal with another
blockade - and at that moment, the affinity group would
reappear at another nearby location in the road,
blocking traffic yet again till the police re-mobilised.
This effect was multiplied exponentially by the number
of affinity groups doing it. Just as the police would
mobilise to stop one group, another group would appear
and blockade their way!

The clowns were present all over the place, tantalising
the police and keeping everyone in good cheer. At a
certain point there was even a "kids' blockade" of
children blocking the road. A car blockade left the
Eco-village, and they gleefully thanked the police every
time they were stopped and searched, as this delayed
traffic even more. Cyclists, who had arrived in
Scotland on a bike-tour against the G8, also lended
their mobile support. At the Eco-village people kept
flooding back in and out, and a transport group kept in
touch with information from Indymedia, a Dissent!
info-line, and various bike-scouts and affinity groups
in order to attempt to re-route groups to critical
junctions. The police were simply unable to keep track
of the movements of so many small groups taking the
highway, such that even after the hard-locks were
eliminated and the Black Bloc returned to the
Eco-village, the highway remained blockaded. Delegates,
media, and other assorted staff could not make it to
Gleneagles, and inside the hotel the meetings tottered
close to collapsing, with nothing of any substance
happening. The BBC announced that the roads were closed
by the anarchists and the police sent announcements
urging everyone to avoid the A9, stating that traffic
all over central Scotland was a mess. The Scottish
police were caught with their pants down. The news
reported that a member of the Scottish government
announced that "Dissent! was both organised and
dangerous." At the Eco-village, one person stood up at a
consensus meetings and announced that "We have
successfully destroyed 10,000 of Britain's best police

See story with pictures on:
Taking the Fence Down

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