1st April, 7.30pm
A diverse group of anarchists, environmentalists, peace activists, and world leaders descended on the City of London today, all concerned about the global economic crisis and seeking positive solutions. Those with less direct involvement in the day's official meetings held their own in the streets, waving colourful flags and banners and dressed in imaginative costumes.
Of all the day's gathering's the Climate Camp crowd, who flocked in their thousands to occupy the road of Bishopsgate outside the European Climate Exchange, held the most peaceful vigil. Whilst some at the Bank of England had disagreements with the police and the banks they stood in front of, Climate Camp in the City has been a truly positive space offering tea, food, and workshops among its array of pop-up tents. Throughout the day this Panda #02 has had reports of jolly exchanges with peaceful police and a generally super atmosphere. All in all, a wonderful carnival of a street party.
At 7.15pm, someone high up decided this had to stop, and police began to assemble in riot gear before attempting to seal off the camp site. Over 100 riot officers moved in to stop protesters leaving or entering the camp, and then attempted to sweep inside, pushing sitting campers back into a squash as resisters sung “this is not a riot.” One told me that they were hit repeatedly with a baton whilst holding their hands up. Nonetheless, campers continue to hold the space, and have announced they will stay their for 24 hours. Last in was that "cops have sealed off the area and are standing waiting with weapons." Campers remain defiant. Watch this space.