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Police do their best to contain NATO chaos; succeed (just)

IMC Scotland repost | 14.12.2007 17:42 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Terror War

Police let show their lack of a plan for today's NATO summit on the outskirts of Edinburgh, not knowing quite what to do with activists found well inside their supposedly secure area.

Decent information was made available to the group of about thirty protestors, hippies and others who'd be offended at either description. The venue, the hotel ministers were staying in, their route and arrival time within twenty minutes were all known, so at least three groups broke off and made out to block the closed off road to Craigiehall base, where the NATO summit was held.

Police had been expecting normal traffic tactics to take care of any protest, and indeed, about half of those there were happy to stay at the top of the road, with banners and placards up on the A90. Others experimented with non-tarmaced routes to the base, and for the most part got pretty close, though not inside.

It's unfair to say the police were not at all prepared. Toys they brought along included a CCTV van, cops armed with cameras, the cutting team, an 11-cell prison bus and a car removal lorry with staff, courtesy of Edinburgh Council.

Faced with an almost unprecedented public order situation, though (small groups of people each walking across the fields towards the base), it seemed they didn't quite know what to do. The first group were stopped in the fields by two cops on horses. The next group made it to a point on the road to be blockaded, but lacking equipment and with police yards away, were stopped and escorted out. No-one arrested and it didn't stop more from trying.

All in all, plenty to learn from. Any number of factors could have pushed it in our favour - a few more trees to hide in, a little earlier (this was soon after sun-up), maybe protestors not being outnumbered by participants at the summit - Yeah, I know it was short notice, but it's the organisational head of lots of armies - d'you think they're gonna wheel out Bono to announce it for you?
It's nice (in a way) to see the police are so complacent when they think we're not watching. But, then, the meet still went ahead - maybe they know something we don't...

IMC Scotland repost
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