They were all there, even a 1am in the morning as we were stopped and searched and breathalised in a "routine stop". The Met, from Manchester too. Armed with batons and cameras, and an endless supply of stop and search forms.
We arrived around 1.30am, but only because of the police intervention while we were lost on our way to Climate Camp near Sefton. Okay, we had hit the pub enroute, but not in any mean or offensive manner. But it worked to our advantage when we, three hardcore hippies and one tired and half-drunk hack, were personally escorted by the police to the entrance of the camp, and a waiting greeting committee of men in yellow coats. And we were searched again. But it was all polite and friendly. until they found my mountaineering helmet. thewn it started to get serious. And my excuse of wanting a sturdier helmet to cycle round London in was not greeted well.
But we were in and bedded down for the night in preparation for the following day.
7am: the rain came down, the sky was grey. I suddenly remembered why I moved south. But that thought was soon quashed by feelings of de-ja-vu. Hang on. Big wet field, home of an activist camp, rain, damp, looming clouds, everything wet, surrounded by hundreds of police. It was like the good old days. Stirling and the great greedheads playing golf at Gleneagles and president of the world running over cops on his mountain bike.
The main actions marched round the camp for 15 minutes, stiring up the noise and activists. People were already locked on to a gate of the Drax power station and halfway up a lighting tower.
I followed the White Bloc out, with the Rythmns of Resistance samba band following close behind. Mud and rain. a bad mix. We were soaked up to the knee, clogged with mud, bogged down, but continued on. The police were slack at the start, concentrating on those who tried to leave the camp via the main road, only to be met with loud hailer calls from an undisclosed senior officer screaming something about immediate arrest.
We tramped our way through fields and mud, over fences, up hills and through forests until we bumped into a Met FIT team who are so close to me I'm planning to adopt several of them as pets.
We hit the road, blocked the traffic, then turned cross-country again because it looked like the road ahead was blocked with police vans. More fields. More police. Several FIT teams by then and an entourage of yellow coats.
This for most would be enough. But, no. We needed more. Something deranged and so drastic it could only be created by the sick and deranged mind of some rural gas chamber fascist. Suicide farmers.
Yes indeed. There he was. Yelling, "Get off my land" and tanking his red tractor at full speed into the march of protestors with no regard for life or law.
The police grabbed him,as activsts ran for cover in the next field.Unconfirmed reports later said he was arrested, only for his son to attack the Kids Bloc outside the main gate of Drax power station with the very same tractor and armed with a dog.
The protestors made it to the fence to be met with riot police and guard dogs. And it all kind of ended there. RoR hammered out serious noise. The police outnumbered the protestors two-to-one and milled around trying to find the organisers and leaders of an anarchist movement.
So, that was it. well, for me anyway. We found a shop, drank beer, chatted to the various members of the London FIT teams about building houses on flood planes.
Indeed. Up to 40 arrested. Blockades, lock-ons, kids being mowed down by loony farmers in tractors. It could only be considered a success.
But for now, the tension has eased, the party is brewing, and probably the police will raid us at 5am when we are all getting emotional from too much booze. Life goes on. and so does Drax. It started churning out twice as much CO2 clouds the moment the mainstream media left. The Indymedia tent is turning into a harsh mix of cider and technology. And it can only be for the better of mankind.