Manchester RTS

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
21 Oct 96 04:05:32 EDT

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From: Robert Miller,
Date: 20.10.1996 12:25

Subject:Manchester RTS

Yesterday, 19th October, between 700 - 1000 Reclaim the Streets people took
over a section of Oxford Road for the afternoon. We arrived with our kids
at 1.15pm at St Peter's Square for the start of the party. Friends told us
it wouldn't be moving off till about 2pm. So needing to feed hungry
children, we went off in search of a bag of chips and somewhere to sit and
eat them. This put us in a brilliant spot to watch the party kick off. At
2 o'clock, three or four activists unfurled a banner across Oxford Road,
much to the bemusement of motorists. Within minutes hundreds of people
were taking over a stretch of the road and traffic was being diverted.
Sound systems were set up and cafe stalls doing a roaring trade. The party
went on till 6 o'clock, with police standing round , not knowing what to
do. I could go on describing the vibes, but folk can probably use their
imaginations quite effectively. Far and away the most exciting aspect of
the day was the presence of a group of around 40 Liverpool dockers. My
partner and I spoke to a few of them. They explained that they'd come
over because the RTS people had gone over to support them two weeks before
(and received a leathering from the police). This is something that seems
to terrify the state. Middle aged dockers and their families acting in
solidarity with young eco-warriors. Dockers dancing to rave music from
sound systems. Meanwhile, friends of ours on the eco-scene in Manchester
say that they are going back to Liverpool on Nov 25th for another mass
picket. They said that they are going at least in part to show the
Liverpool police that they won't be fucked around. They see the importance
of the link and intend to make it grow. The funniest thing of all is the
absence of the big trot groups from all this. But perhaps I should say
the best. It's ironic that for all their workerist posturings, the SWP
express fuck all solidarity, whilst crusties and vegans are prepared to
battle the police!
Two footnotes: in an act of petty revenge, the filth impounded the van
belonging to the Sunflower Vegan Cafe, who provided the food. Costing about
#120 to get it back.
Second: whilst the impressive display of solidarity was going on, the ICC
were busy sitting in a pub, holding a meeting called "In Defence Of
Revolutionary Organisations" - presumably an attack on us in Subversion.
We, Subversion, were Reclaiming the Streets. Anyone on this list
sympathetic to the ICC like to pick this one up?

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