JJ. Am taking a break from the Carnival of Full Enjoyment to bring some rather scattered thoughts. As I set off this morning it was clear that Edinburgh people were very keen to let me know I should "watch myself" as "today is the day of the anarchists", which sounds more like a Hollywood film than a protest.
The 'carnival' has been very well attended but I couldn't say by how many thousands. The original hoodies - the black clad anarchos were there, the media friendly clown army, lots of fluffies and a good number of bobbies turned out to support the protest, or not.
Things I've not seen today; any police with numbers on thier shoulders. None at all.
Something I have seen today; tourists and locals being shoved around by said cops.
In all honesty I can say that the police have been over reacting and getting pretty shirty. There have been arrests but at this stage have no idea how many. It appears to be illegal to run about laughing and reclaim your own streets for a bit.
Things I've not seen today 2; any anarchist being violent.
In fact the carnival atmosphere from the beginning was really excellent and relaxed. As the police began to set up the boxes in which we are meant to live the chaos started to over spill.
The police presence has been large and the numbers of under cover cops seems excessive to say the least.
Slogan of the day; Who G8 all the pies?
Somewhere else in Scotland; discussions on women's liberation, people recovering and faslane protests.
Something else I saw today; naked man running in and out of police lines to the cheers and whoops of the crowds. His enthusiasm began to die as he realised the police would do nothing and after ten, fifteen minutes of wandering around he wandered back into the protest, I hope to find his clothes.
Incidentally I've been converted by the Clown Army. The incredibly disproportionate press coverage they were getting before the protests was beginning to get on my wick - but having seen them in action I've relented.
On Saturday for the minutes silence they had marched into the Meadows and formed up in a huge circle (150 of them?) I thought "Hello, they're going to subvert the silence or something." Nope they observed the silence and at the end cheered and clapped with joy then rushed in for the largest group hug you've ever seen. Respectful and fun, cool.
Today I've seen clowns lying in a supposedly cleared road in front of police horses. After quite a while the police couldn't bear it anymore and retreated. Wow! The power of clowning sleep - who'd have thought it?
The clowns also went down very well with the crowd and chatted and joked with them which was excellent PR. It also appears that wearing clown make up is a very good chat up technique - it certainly worked on me. Respect.
Big up to; the anti-capitalist medics who were quick and efficient with the minor injuries I saw them attend to.
Star road sign; "Make Poverty History - expect delays"
Indymedia time line could be useful for more info as it comes in.