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G8 Day1: G8 Blockades, Mass Arrests and Fence Breaches

imcista | 06.07.2005 22:00 | G8 2005 | Globalisation | Social Struggles

Movement against the G8 started very early this morning: while the beacons of dissent were still burning in the dark in the Ochil Hills, hundreds of people were making their way out of the Stirling convergence eco-camp 'Hori-Zone' to head for Gleneagles. Initial clashes with riot police forced many back, but other went on to occupy roads. In Edinburgh there was an attempt to blockade G8 delegates in the Sheraton Grand hotel and people obstructed delegate coaches as they passed through the streets. The M9 motorway was also blocked by a several hundred people.

Throughout the morning multiple blockades were set up on the approach roads to Gleneagles, from people locking themselves together to the late afternoon Kids Tea Party blockade. All this activity resulted in many G8 delegates having to delay their trip to Gleneagles. Later in the afternoon, and despite sporadic torrential rain and long traffic jams, people continued to converge aound Gleneagles Hotel. Just before midday, the police announced that the G8Alternatives march and rally at the town of Auchterader had been cancelled, but despite this announcemnt thousands of people continued to stream towards the G8 Summit location. Coach loads of protestors were also delayed for hours by police roadblocks, but the majority were allowed through in the end.

Meanwhile a spontaneous demonstration was taking place in Edinburgh. This was mainly made up of some 700 people whose buses had been prevented from reaching Auchterader. The demonstration started in Princes Street and was quickly penned in by police, with some people arrested violently. Local people watching the police actions shouted "outrage" and "disgrace".

In Auchterader at around 1pm, up to 10,000 people started to move towads the perimeter of the fence. The demonstration included many national and international groups and networks, as well as a large battalion of the clowns, Seattle’s Infernal Noise Brigade and an International Samba Band. This mixture of people, groups and nationalities gave a cheerful and colourful athmosphere to the demonstration.

When the march reached a fence blocking the road to Gleneagles Hotel many people paused bringing the entire march to a standstill. Later a determined group of people dismantled the fence in front of police lines, whilst another group of about 700 people moved into a nearby field towards another fence that actually formed the enclosure of the Glenegales Hotel. This was also partialy dimantled by this crowd, and a watch tower attacked. At this point police presence was masive, with hundreds of riot police, police on horses, police with dogs, and even military helicopters that kept dramaticaly flying in more riot police. The crowd maintained their ground for over an hour resisting police charges, whilst a group of about 100 people staged a sit down protest in front of the gap caused by the earlier breach of the fence. Eventually a big police charge managed to push people back down the hill and out of the fields. While Auchterarder itself was full of protestors, many local residents were friendly and there were no clashes or property destruction.

The Legal Support Team reported "hundreds of arrests" throughout the days actions and blockades, whilst a later update spoke of "over 400 arrests" confirmed, several of which are the result of London's FIT teams.

[Complete Timeline Reports: Stirling/Gleneagles Timeline | March on Gleneagles | Edinburgh Timeline | Glasgow Timeline]

Edinburgh Reports: 1 | 2 | 3] [Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5] [Video]
Stirling: Report | 2
Blockades: Reports (various): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 + 10a | 11 | 12 | 13
Blockades Photos (various): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15
Blockades Videos (various): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Autcherarder/Gleneagles: [Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8] [Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 14 | 15 | 16] [Audio: 1] [Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]

International Solidarity: Collected Reports | Bern, Hannover, Heidelberg, Lugano | Kansas City | Sidney [pic] | San Francisco | Barcelona

Protecting the leaders
Protecting the leaders



Hide the following 5 comments


07.07.2005 14:31

Advocating free speech, the right to speech and saying the mainstream media are bad, bad people yet your taking down postings which obviously are views not keen on being told by your site.

Shame on you! Shame!


Gleneagles Demo

08.07.2005 22:29

The story of how 400 protesters occupied an open field at Gleneagles and STILL managed to get surrounded by police

Alex Nunns.

The G8 Alternatives demo at Gleneagles today was a very strange affair. To start with, it was officially cancelled, yet it ended up with military helicopters hovering over young kids who were rolling around in a field. At 10am the police told the media that the demo could not go ahead for reasons of public safety (read: because it was not endorsed by Bob Geldof and Richard Curtis). By this time the G8 Alternatives coaches from Edinburgh were already en route, as were many others from all around the country.

At 11am we were stopped by police and forced to park up in a huge improvised coach park/detention centre on a roundabout eleven miles away from Auchterarder for an hour. There then followed an almost surreal period as a convoy of dozens of coaches was escorted by police along closed off country lanes to Gleneagles. The matador was leading us by the nose into the bullring.

Not that we didn't want to be in the bullring, of course. In fact news was spreading that up to 500 demonstrators had been turned back to Edinburgh and were planning an improvised demonstration, and that activists from the Stirling campsite were being viciously repressed and prevented from travelling. The trains had been stopped from running, meaning that our apprehensive convoy contained all the people who would be on the demo. But it was clear that we would get to have our march, and that the earlier cancellation was merely a police lie to keep the numbers down.

The march, which had been organised by the Globalise Resistance/SWP/SSP crew, began in predictable fashion. Galloway gave a rousing speech, and then everyone trudged off behind a plethora of banners and placards. The march moved extremely slowly down the narrow roads, passing the houses of locals who sometimes waved and sometimes asked why we wanted to shout at a fence. Just how incisive a question that was became clear when we reached the gates of Gleneagles, or rather three rows of steel barricades backed up by three rows of riot police backed up by a row of mounted police. Nothing could be more symbolic of how close these eight 'leaders', all of whom profess a passion for democracy, really are to the people. (Appologies to Vladimir Putin who really shouldn't have been lumped in with the other 7 there, having never professed such a passion).

We all looked at this spectacle for a few minutes, as if we had never seen riot police before, and then did a U-turn to go back to where we had started by a parallel road. At this point, I saw something I couldn't believe. The fence stopped on the corner, leaving open access to a field that stretched right up to the main security fence around the hotel complex itself. No one had ventured in to the field, but I decided to hang around as it could only be a matter of time before someone did.

Sure enough, a few minutes later at 4pm a man dressed in black carrying a black coffin bravely strolled out across the field. Oddly, he was followed by a group of Congolese people dressed in white carrying a white coffin. And then by demonstrators carrying a huge Iraqi flag with the words Make Occupation History emblazoned on it. Gradually, these isolated few became a trickle, which became a flood as the Infernal Noise Brigade, an American marching band, headed to the fence with dancing protesters in tow. Sections of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army followed, and soon there were 400 people scattered across the field.

In a matter of minutes, the staid atmosphere of a formal procession had changed to one of spontaneity and life. Protesters massed by the fence, pulling a section down under a police watch tower. Inexplicably, some proceeded to walk straight through the gap and were immediately arrested. A tree on the boundary was climbed and covered with banners. Elsewhere the Infernal Noise Brigade were noisily marching in random directions up and down a hill, while the clowns were clowning around. Some activists were rolling around in the crops; others had formed themselves into a giant H, apparently tempting the police helicoptor overhead to land on them, which would really have taught the police a lesson.

By 4.20 the riot police arrived on the street where some marchers were still dutifully marching through (socialist discipline, you see), and the mounted police that had previously been stationed behind the fence appeared in front of it. Then suddenly the atmosphere changed completely when a military Chinook helicopter circled very low overhead. There was outrage from the protesters in both the field and on the road, with people remarking that they had never seen a military helicopter on a public demonstration. The chopper landed and dispatched around 30 riot police, before taking off to get some more. At least four times it came swooping in, seemingly within touching distance, plainly trying to intimidate protesters as much as possible.

Meanwhile the longest riot police line I have ever seen had formed up, covering the entire width of the field. More police marched in on the street, followed by a detachment of clowns who had perfected the art of the distinctive police march (even down to the serious faces). In response to the police manoevers the whole crowd began to chant 'we all live in a terrorist regime', with a real sense of urgency and fear to it.

At this point there was an appaling example of protest stewarding. The stewards, all appointed by G8 Alternatives, began telling people that they had to move on back to the park. They claimed that there were police waiting to cordon us in on the road, which was simply not true. I asked a steward how a cordon could be successful with a whole field in front of us. She just said that if I wanted to get clubbed in the head that was fine. Other stewards shouted that if we did not move on then they would not be responsible for us, before promptly clearing off up the road. The role of stewards should be to help protesters with the situation they are in, not to tell demonstrators what they can and can't do. Instead of staying in solidarity with the protesters in the field in the face of police intimidation, the stewards were clearly more concerned with the agreements made between G8 Alternatives and the authorities. Apparently the organisers reputation with the police was more important to them than their reputation with protesters. It seems it is not just Make Poverty History that has been co-opted.

Within minutes the mounted police began a charge, causing the protesters nearest the fence to scatter. Some were hit with shields and battons. At least one sustained a serious cut to the head. All of those in the field began to run back towards the road, pursued by police with attack dogs. The huge police line formed a giant arc across the field, which gradually closed in, cutting off the space. By 5.30pm the field was clear, and protesters moved on down the road.

It was obvious that many of the protesters in the field were inexperieced, and some were very young. Having occupied a large field blocked only on two sides, it should not have been possible to get surrounded so quickly and easily by police. There were no narrow city streets and convenient buildings perfect for hemming people in. Protesters effectively walked up to a heavily policed fence and waited to be pushed back. A fluid, constantly moving demonstration could have circled round the whole hotel complex, breaking off in to smaller groups and then reconverging, and there would have been no way to surround it. This might actually have caused disruption to the summit for a sustained period of time, and would have lifted protesters' morale. It seems that demonstrators are far slower at learning new tactics that the police are.

Back on the coach, I found that the nice Scottish woman I had sat next to had since turned into a Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown. I told her of something I had witnessed: a group of three people dressed like activists who were huddled round a CB communicating about positions in the field - no doubt police agent provocateurs. In turn she said that a cabbie had told her of having nervously picked up a group of 'scruffies', only to find that all of them had police badges. Protesters will have to show a lot more ingenuity than they have this week if they are to seriously disrupt summits in future.

We departed the scene as we had entered it, directed out by police from what felt like a set-piece battle.


typo in link in feature

09.07.2005 13:40

There's a typo in the "hundreds of people" link in the above feature. It should link to:, but the html code has "a href="/en/2..."


Auchterarder G8 demo

12.07.2005 19:12

Personal experiences of G8 demo here:

mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

Raliement des francophones

14.07.2005 14:00

Bonjour !

Ayant participé au G8, suivi les black blocs et la manif de Gleneagles, j’ai rencontré des français et des belges… j’aimerai beaucoup les retrouver pour garder contact (petite idée derrière la tête pour l’avenir avec ceux que ça pourrait tenter)…
Mon mail :


mail e-mail:


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