the shell garage on upper street in islington was closed for several hours this afternoon by more than a hundred protestors
at lunchtime around 50 people gathered at oxford circus, watched by quite a large police presence with several van-loads on stand-by. the station was briefly closed 'due to sheer weight of numbers' but re-opened after ten minutes, and they set off for highbury and islington.
meanwhile, around 40 cyclists met at marble arch and, followed by a couple of police vans, they took a circuitous route through hyde park, down past buck house, and then for a triumphal lap round parliament square, shouting out support over the mobile sound system to the democracy village and to the decade-long protest by brian haw.
the mass then carried on up to angel, and then along upper street to the shell garage, which had already been well and truly closed down by the foot-soldiers and by the rhythms of resistance samba band (mostly deputised by soas members).
the shell garage looked great! several people held a huge "danger - keep out" banner across one access. a simple "closed" banner was strung across the other. above, another banner declared "stop shell's tar sands hell", and some activists found a route up to the roof to drop another "stop tar sands" banner from there.
a head-count numbered 125 at one point. an excellent turn-out on a day with when there were several other protests in town, and most encouraging, there were many new faces, keeping the fit team and police photographer, neil, busy.
police-wise, there were about a dozen officers around making notes, and one FIT team. down the road were another serial waiting in a van, and another van of TSG further out of sight.
activists handed out hundreds of fliers, and public response was overwhelmingly positive.
before the end of the protest, i left to cover events in parliament square, but i spoke to others who arrived there later and as far as i know the protest finished peacefully without arrests.
Original article on IMC London: http://london.indymedia.org/articles/4808