1st of April 2009, seen by many as the day the G20 was to organize in London, where 6400 men and women (out of six billion) would decide how 90 % of the world’s wealth would be used in the face of recession.
We could have gone to the Excel centre, been caged by pigs (I say pigs because after seeing their blood lust on Wednesday I can see police as nothing else) and stood miles away from any world leader with our chants unheard.
Fuck that, we organised to go to the heart of Capitalism in this country, outside the Bank of England and turn it into an open free space. Throughout the year tax payers have been burdened with the debt of the financial district, we’d already paid for this area with out tax, now was the time to claim it.
At noon a possible 5,000 but more likely 3 – 4, 000 congregated outside one of the rotten hearts of the capitalist system. As our numbers grew police presence fell, they stomped away to block the streets surrounding us with vans an lines of cops. They treated us like a cancer, trying to stop us spreading to the rest of the city, we didn’t care, we were where we wanted to be.
Immediately thoughts were chucked up on the walls with our writing spread out over the banks, ‘this was built out of blood’ scrawled on the Bank of England hit a somber note with me. Live music and homemade systems released a melody to hungry ears as street dancers moved through the crowd. Without toilets people came together attaching banners around a coroner so people could maintain some modesty from the hordes of journalists as they took a piss.
A sense of achievement loomed, unlike the last seven years where each mass demonstration organised by the StWC would be followed by an equally lackluster demonstration a month later with 15,000 less people on the street, we knew this was a beginning, that people would come together again, this was a foundation of a movement.
Despite being penned in people were happy, the police were stuck out at their lines unable to bark commands at us. But some of the more experienced protesters were already weary and anger began to be uttered as normal pigs were replaced with by one’s tooled up and draped in riot gear. As the riot lines began to edge forward what the media call hard line anarchists, but I call comrades, were brave enough to stand up and force them back down the streets, as the pigs retreated they left their precious Royal Bank of Scotland unguarded, its windows were smashed and a few computers were reclaimed by the tax payers then hurled to the ground outside. But riot cops were waiting inside filming the events, leading to speculation that protesters were attacked by the police then when angry enough left to create a little carnage for the media circus to justify the ten million pounds spent on policing.
As more unarmed protesters braved the police batons their line was broken where many managed to escape the police escalations of violence. By seven the police were continuing to batter protesters who despite being unarmed were able to hold their own, when news started to filter in of a death.
By now free from the police pen I was able to roam the city attempting to find more news instead coming across a military operation of helicopters, armored cars and more riot police attacking the peaceful Climate Rush protest. Too tired to join the camp I acted like a coward and left, so I could be back tomorrow at a memorial being held.
On Thursday there was a memorial outside Bank, even here the filth showed their colours hitting the mourning.As we left we passed along the convergence centre, where many protesters were sleeping, to see riot police attacking. rampART (a squatted community centre) was also under attacked , the police had entered through the roof and were smashing their front door in. Equipped with tazer’s the filth held the residents hostage for two hours before dragging two protesters away.
Later I saw a friend who had cared for the dieing man as the police continued to baton charge the crowds, here is their statement, http://london.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1019 ,my words aren’t adequate to describe the event.
The time between launching ourselves free from the sadistic police pens and hearing about the death is falling into a haze, as police reassert their power through violent attacks on our community centers even the memory of feeling free is fading. I felt that for a few hours I came a little bit closer to the mood George Orwell expressed when first entering Catalonia. There was a sense of freedom, that we had control, that we’d taken back our space that for so many years had been under their cosh, the buildings our Class built with the streets our Class laid, and now financially, through tax payer’s money, owned by our Class was truly ours again.
It was only for a few hours, but that feeling is worth fighting for.
A demonstration called ‘Getting to the truth’ has been called this Saturday 4th April at 12pm at the Bank of England. It demands an independent public enquiry into Ian Tomlinson’s death as well as communicating disgust and anger at the violent and brutal policing of the G20 demonstrations.