reclaim the streets
my day out
>> oh to be an Anarchist!
my day out (2)
suits you sir!
so why the city?
more to come?
Lovely day in the sun
Oh to be an Anarchist!
My Comrade and myself stroll off the train to amazing sights & sounds In Liverpool street station. Crack open first beer. R.T.S drummers in full swing with people swarming from all area's into the middle of the Station.
Start to march/swing hips to the lovely sunshine awaiting us all outside. Loads of people, surely more than the 6,000 BBC mentioned, definitely more than the 4,000 cefax mentioned. This was definitely a Carnival Atmosphere. Very cool guy in a very smart suit-wearing ray bands carry The Anarchist Flag, lovely. Nice to hear all the Banks advising people to dress down for fear of retaliation. Couple of protesters scales a building and drape down a banner, whilst another climbs on a bus, which was stuck in the crowd, and waves a flag, to big cheers of the crowd, the people on the Bus realise it ain't going no-where so get off, leaving only the driver In there.
At this point I saw no trouble from any of the police, a few wondering around amongst the crowd.
Start marching/dancing again through the Financial District, loads of poor workers looking out through their hutches at us all swinging beer, dancing and generally enjoying ourselves, poor things. The march goes under a bridge where everybody gets on down to some seriously good drumming. A fire hydrant then starts spurting out water like an old 70's cop movie: Cue big messy water action, superb. Then the marches stops and people spread out.
Decide to try to find a Pub open, Coppers Answer: No pubs round here open. Grungy Protester with pint in his hand answer: Yeah there's a Pub just up the road....Hmmmm so who do I trust with my safety. Have a lovely pint of the Black stuff, sitting on the pavement watching a whole mixture of people milling around.
Have a walk with our pints to find a very small road protest, people stopping the traffic by sitting in the middle of the road. There were only about 20 people in the road but already all of the buses were trying to turn around, which was proving very difficult. Decide to join in, sat in the middle of a main junction in London, sun shinning, Guinness & fag in hand, oh joy.
Stroll back down to the Carnival, find a Punk band playing next to a nice little patch of glass, sit and listed to them for a while and then off to the Van that was pumping out something hard & fast, jumped around until I could jump no more. Sweet.
Went back to the patch of grass and bumped into some friends, sat and listened to a bluesy type band. Just after this things started to get a bit edgy, it was probably around 4:30pm - 5:00pm. We stand up and check out what is going on, behind us Riot police are moving down an alley, to the left of us there are Horses & Riot police forming a line. The Riot police who are coming down the alley start to get bricked, people were pulling up paving stones and smashing them, some idiots were throwing bricks & bottles without any knowledge of where Protesters or the Riot Police were. Not Good.
As the Police in the alley were getting stoned, the Police to our left on Horseback started charging, now we were almost blocked in by the Riot Police in the Alley, the charging Horses, the Riot Police behind the horses and a waist high fence that went down the road. So to escape we had to jump the fence and run to our right. Even worse.
To jump the fence on an average Sunday would take a hop and a skip and you're over, this is made harder when you have a complete mixture of Abilities of people mixed with the sheer panic of people realising that they were being charged by Riot Police who's only goal was to give you a good beating, no matter what age, sex, colour & religion.
Who says the Police Discriminate!!
About three of us stood on the fence and helped people over, it came down to one women who could not get over, she turned and faced the full force of a riot shield going into the middle of her face, I was about an inch away. I outstretched both of my arms pleading to the Riot police to allow here to get over, she staggered back to her feet, she was knocked again to the ground. My Comrade at this time came running back to get me before I too would have been Police meat, we tried to pull her under the fence but here rucksack got caught, the Police again hit her when she got up.
At this point all of the emotions in my head were swimming, what if she was pregnant, why were the Police like this, why do we live in this kind of society, rage was beginning to run through my veins, My comrade dragged me away, the Girl got under the fence and we ran to the relative safety of two Lorries which were stranded. A numbness came over, like when someone dies and it takes you a day or a memory for it to sink in. Now I could understand why people were retaliating with such rage that they do not consider the consequences.
We sat on the lorry, we get passed a nice cigarette, I still can see the women refection from the riot shield. We see people with cut heads, a guy with his leg broken, the bone visible. Then the windows of the office block start to go through to cheers of the crowd, these seem very minor victories and none that settle my stomach. We see two riot police in the alley standing, visors up, faces showing, stand talking, everything seems to have calmed, The lull...
After ten minutes I turn to look at the alley another Policemen has joined them and the Horses & Riot police are moving again to our right. All of a sudden I see 10 riot police in the alley, all still with their visors up, truncheons in their holders and their faces showing. I look again and one signals to me and the people to get off the truck, 1 minute passes after this we see the Riot Police in the alley pull up their face masks, pull down their visors and pull out their truncheons. Its time to get off the truck and suddenly they're running at us swiping in the air with their truncheons, and then comes the horses, everybody turns to run and panic once again breaks out.
These waves come in every 15 or so minutes, at 6:30pm it gets too much for us and we find the only escape.
I cannot yet express what I think, the first part was what I wanted, the second part was not what I wanted. It seemed that some protestors did not want the first part, the Carnival, and only wanted the second part, the Violence. The Police, if that is what you can call them were only interested in one thing and that certainly was not trying to calm and already very tense atmosphere. I am a peaceful protestor, I can understand why people do turn to violence especially after the actions of the Police, I just wish they would not turn to violence...
I just wish the Police were there to Protect the Innocent...
But two words ring in my head. Stephen Lawrence. RIP
Oh to be an Anarchist..
© Craig Rhodes