Bristol RTS (10th July 1999)
from SchNEWS Issue 220, Friday 16th July 1999
Last Saturday 350 party people closed off part of the M32 for a few hours for a Reclaim The Streets party. Despite the best efforts of the organisers and lengthy negotiations with the cops to keep things peaceful, the boyz in blue came in heavy handed in full riot force and dogs only an hour after the celebrations commenced. The cops made 20 arrests on the day with 8 appearing in Bristol Magistrates on Monday.
So why the major panic on the part of the forces of law and order? Post June18 hysteria? So it seems, as the Bristol Evening Scare Mongerer dutifully informed its readers that the party was organised in a squat in Stoke Newington and a pub in Hackney (this was news to the Bristol party people!).
The paper then surpassed itself in the paranoia stakes by saying 'In previous marches the women and children have been lined up in front while the militant fringe have come up behind armed with poles and sticks. The women and children, who frequently get hurt, are known as cannon fodder' to some extremists' Amazing the lengths some people will go to to have a bit of a boogie whilst making a statement!
Speaking of dirty tactics, the police were ushering people through the police cordon assuring them that they would be allowed to leave the other side only to be trapped by police who would not let them out again. People and children suffering from the heat were forced to remain inside the cordon without water.