Police hem in Gleneagles protest, 6 July

Submitted by AWL on 6 July, 2005 - 8:01

Sacha Ismail and Karen Johnson report.

On Wednesday 6 July a determined hard core from the G8 mobilisations took their message to the site of the G8 summit itself, which started that day at the Gleneagles Hotel, near the village of Auchterarder.

The police had surrounded the hotel with a huge fence, five miles long, twelve feet high. In places it was a double fence, with police, or extra fences, between the two main fences.

In the morning the police told people getting on coaches in Edinburgh that the demonstration had been banned or cancelled, and backed down only after people started demonstrating in Edinburgh. The coaches were repeatedly delayed by police on the way to Auchterarder. Some had to wait four hours before they left Edinburgh. The aim of the police was evidently to break up the demonstrators into smaller groups and to wear them down before they reached Auchterarder.

From Stirling, where many protesters were camping, trains were cancelled, and people set off at 5am to walk the 15 miles to Auchterarder.

Others had set off the previous day, to camp in the hills near Auchterarder overnight.

The main protest was a march and rally of several thousand people in Auchterarder, heavily controlled by a very large and well-planned police operation which stopped it at random points and quickly swooped on any breakaways towards the fence.
Other activists organised blockades on the M9, the A9, and other roads nearby.

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