cctv as seen from venue
the main stage b4 the party
the fire patrol arrives
april fools! no entry
full riot gear
obstructing the highway?
at least sainsbury deliveries were fucked by police
the huge space was still being prepared for tonight's party as more and more people arrived to take part in the various workshops on offer.
a little after five o'clock some police cars arrived with fire officers, and the fire officers were shown around the space by organisers. after some negotiation, one of the rooms was closed up, and a fire exit area was cleared, but the firemen then left giving the space a clean bill of health.
as the music started, and the upstairs indymedia cinema packed out, more people arrived throughout the evening. fantastic vegan food was supplied by 56A, the punks colourfully took over the front room, the breakbeats slammed in the dj room and the main stage carried various live acts.
then as april fool's day approached, a few cops decided to play silly games and set themselves outside the gate stopping anyone else from joining the hundreds inside. despite this provocation, people at the gates remained calm. half the samba band was inside and the other half (due to play) were kept outside by the few police at the gates. the split band managed to play some solidarity rhythms between them.
although the crowd of fifty or more outside could have easily overwhelmed the police at that stage and got in, everything stayed peaceful.
meanwhile though, the police set up road blocks near highbury and islington, and further up holloway road by the central library, and in a repeat of the ridiculous over-reaction of anarchist bookfair 2005, the whole of holloway road (a main london route) was sealed off. then the riot squad turned up. without warning they piled into the dozens of people outside the gates, sending drums, bicycles and people flying as they violently cleared the area outside the gates with batons raised.
the familiar police lines then set themselves up, and fully kitted riot cops pushed the small crowd up the road away from the gates. a few folk staged a sit-down and one person was quite roughly arrested.
police were overheard talking about waiting for a magistrate's warrant to seize the sound systems. this would mean entering the building, and stopping nearly a thousand party-goers. as more and more police vans turned up, i was now outside the cordon and wouldn't be able to get back to the venue or get any worthwhile shots. hopefully others will report the next stages from inside, so i came home to put up some photos.
what is it with islington police and anarchists? at least the sainsbury trucks couldn't get through to make their deliveries.
some photos of the daytime here:
We went back later on to be greeted by a great atmosphere, and a fantastic venue. We were in the back room when the music stopped (breaks room), there was a lot of shouting but we couldn't make out what they were saying, so we went to the gates - there was a lot of riot police outside, no one could get in, or out, so we stayed in until 3:30, the drummers kept everyone happy - the atmosphere was good. Obvioulsy if everyone started to leave then the police would be able to get in more easily, so a lot of people stayed behind while everyone was packing up. I don't think any equipment was lost, unless the police confiscated it when they were leaving in their vans.
By the time we left there about 4 police vans parked outside but no riot police and not a lot of cops around, and Holloway Road was open to traffic again.