After gathering at the meeting point just round the corner from Sequani labs, it seemed wrong to turn away towards town and go on the march (for which the cops had given everyone ‘permission’). Activists therefore spontaneously decided to make a break for the labs. Unfortunately, the cops soon noticed what we were up to and formed a line, leaving most people stuck under a bridge and unable to get to the site.
What followed were multiple attempts to try out different access routes, only to be thwarted and shoved around by the police each time - which resulted in a few people getting nicked. We eventually went on the march about town.
The fact that most of us were unable to get to the labs seemed to be mainly down to two things:
- Low numbers. It’s understandable if you expected this to just be another kettled march, but it’s a shame that more did not come. This event was clearly designed to be more than just another a-b march, and solidarity was needed. Also, in comparison with some events, there really didn’t seem to be a huge police presence.
- Failure to think tactically. Even with low numbers, we could have achieved much more if only people were thinking strategically throughout. People didn’t seem to notice when there were major gaps in police lines, or failed to react when one random cop decided to walk amongst the crowd to de-mask us. This is precisely why only some of us got past the police at the start - the group was fragmented and pretty slow. I got the impression that many - although not all - were stuck in a march mentality, too used to being told when and where we could protest. We need to respond quickly and creatively!
Overall though I definitely think it was well worth it!
One behind a mask