Wallace Would Have Been Proud: Genuine Democracy Greets The G8
In the shadow of Stirlings Wallace monument, a hugely diverse crowd of activists, anarchists, anti-capitalists, children and clowns had assembled to show the leaders of the G8 that people are no longer content to swallow their neoliberal agendas, backed up with cavalier militarism.
CADUs week had started with an appearance at Faslane naval base, home to the UKs Trident missile arsenal. Early on Monday morning 1500 protestors encircled the base, blocking all five gates. Activists locked-on, spread their picnic blankets and got comfortable for a day in the sunshine. The 2000 overdressed police officers resigned themselves to a somewhat more uncomfortable and sweaty day as the sun broke through the clouds.
The atmosphere remained unashamedly joyous all day, thanks in no small part to the heroic efforts of several soundsystems including the Brighton Cyclists and Rinkydink, although Mungos Hifi from Edinburgh won a special place in peoples hearts thanks to their day-long dub reggae soundtrack at the South Gate. They were the perfect soundtrack for the carnival atmosphere.
Only four arrests were made, and all for the enterprising souls who attempted to sneak over the perimeter fence. Of particular note was the gentleman who spent all day perched on top of the razor wire, refusing to come down into the arms of Her Majestys finest.
Shortly after 4pm, a consensus was reached that our work was completed and we had no wish to further antagonise the polis, the music was switched off, everybody unlocked, the music came on again, and everybody had a dance in the afternoon sunshine before drifting off to the coaches.
Thanks to everyone at the peace camp for their friendliness and spirit and keep up the good work.
On Tuesday, CADU headed off to Stirling to the Hori-Zone Eco-Camp. The Dissent Network had done a brilliant job of throwing together a temporary camp for 3000 plus people.
Despite the reports in the media about a gathering of dangerous anarchists the vast majority of people present were committed to peacefully exercising their democratic rights. Indeed as the week progressed, the most successful actions were those that fought fire with fluff. The Kids Blockade being a case in point. Never before have riot police looked quite as ridiculous as they did that day, suited and booted against the dangerously unpredictable under-fives.
And of course, no G8 report would be complete without a mention of CIRCA - the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, they truly are the new darlings of the activist community. They were incredibly effective in defusing difficult situations with good-natured mockery and foolishness.
So why were CADU present? We believe that the link between high seas capitalism and militarism is as fundamental as the link between civilian nuclear power generation and DU. Without the use of, or threat of force, G8 nations would find it much harder to force open markets in the majority world. Would Iraq have been invaded if it had no oil reserves? Unlikely. Proving once again that there is no such thing as a single issue pressure group.
And then came 7/7. Shocking as the events were, what became more shocking as the days went on was the perceived value of human life in the media. Where 50 dead in London are worth hundreds of column inches, yet the tedious day-to-day carnage in Iraq barely elicits a whimper. That is not to belittle the horror inflicted on innocent commuters in London, but if we are ever to have global equality, all lives must be equally valued and all deaths equally mourned.
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Page last updated: 6th December 2002