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The Carnival for Full Enjoyment

Jim Jepps clowns around

Am taking a break from the Carnival for 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" today 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 their 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 minute's 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 - how'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"

From BBC News

'Politicians have got us nowhere'

The protest in Edinburgh dubbed "The Carnival For Full Enjoyment" was called by anarchist groups in protest at the G8 summit at Gleneagles.

The groups do not put forward a spokesperson because they do not believe in a hierarchical structure but BBC Scotland spoke to one protester who called himself Robin. This is an extract of what he said:

The Carnival For Full Enjoyment has come out of the need to do something about the really serious problems the majority of people face.

Problems like low pay, like job insecurity, like increasing casualisation and decreases in pensions, for claimants, poverty-line benefits and cuts to benefits.

This G8 summit gives those of us at the bottom of society an opportunity to link working-class struggles on a local scale with the same kind of struggles that are going on all over the world.

The Carnival For Full Enjoyment is in solidarity with the powerful social movements of the global south.

We believe in direct action because relying on politicians and leaders has got us nowhere.

This direct action is against institutions that are keeping us down and ripping us off.

We completely refute the lie that we will be targeting ordinary workers as many of the participants are workers in major companies.

We believe that if our planet is to survive the huge problems we face, the disempowerment of the majority of people, the dire poverty in the global south, climate change - if we are to survive this we need a fundamental change.

What we'll need to do is to fundamentally reorganise things.

Our vision is of a society that is run from the bottom up with grassroots control in all areas.

A society where the profit-motive is abolished and where the most important thing is the satisfaction of all human needs in the widest sense.


July 2005


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