A participant writes -
The day started badly with police sweeping people gathering at the west end of Princes Street away from the city centre, down towards Haymarket and penning them in. However around 1pm other people managed to come together at the west end of Princes Street, sweep past a weak police line and make it eastwards half way along Princes Street.
Here they almost met the Infernal Noise Brigade contingent, who had defied police corralling and made it westwards along the main street of Edinburgh’s capital, only to be once more surrounded by police.
It didn’t prove possible to unite the two groups, the Infernal contingent having to once more head off eastwards. Shortly after this the group which had driven east from the west end made a big push to get through the police lines. This almost succeeded, but as both demonstrators and police tumbled to the ground, the police line just held.
Some time after the demonstrators changed direction, heading unhindered back west up Princes Street, a FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT banner to the fore with chants such as NO BORDERS NO NATIONS STOP THE DEPORTATIONS. Turning south into Charlotte Square a stand off with mounted police ensued, the details of which were not clear to me.
After some minutes the majority re-grouped, several hundred strong, and headed east along George Street and then south into Princes Street. This to me was the most inspiring period of the day. Totally unhindered by police we took over the whole width of Princes Street. Two magic carpets and the Freedom of Movement banner moved in unison down the street, as the chants of Whose Streets? Our Streets rang out, along with anti capitalist slogans in Italian. This was perhaps around 3pm.
As we burst into a run, heading east, a group of police in front of us turned and ran like rabbits. Actually they were in no danger, the running was a playful expression of our joy in taking over the city centre.
Now however things turned nasty as police drew their batons and started attacking demonstrators. At this point I took a nasty blow to the hand from a police baton. Luckily for me two street medics were on hand and did an excellent job in treating me. Others were worse injured, as riot police were deployed and the iron fist was used.
Nevertheless demonstrators held the ground in Princes street and danced as a small sound system on a trolley blasted away. Later as late afternoon went into evening, police moved in, attacking demonstrators on Princes street and the neighbouring gardens.
The later events are already covered in other articles.
Away from princes Street, demonstrators converged on the Social Security head office at Lady Lawson Street, home of top Scottish snooper boss Joan Kirk, and flyposted the building. One of the main themes of the Carnival was resistance to “benefits slavery.” There were unconfirmed reports of an action – or an attempted action - against a sheriff officers building.
There is a confirmed report of a “mini riot” in Rose street in the early evening, where the eye witness says local youth and black bloc united against the common enemy – the polis. Missiles were hurled against the police, who had assaulted people.
Latest mainstream news reports, as at 10pm Monday, describe 90 arrests, though earlier reports from legal observers, at around 8pm, said there were 30 detentions and 2 arrests, both for breach of the Peace. Reportedly women are being held at Dalkeith, south of Edinburgh, and the men in Livingston, West Lothian.
NOTE This is not a complete report, but covers what I saw personally or had reported to me by reliable witnesses.