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Don't be a G8 casualty

Jim Jepps

 

So you're full of piss and vinegar and ready to give the world leaders a good spanking... but are you prepared? There are a number of issues it's worth preparing for BEFORE you set out for Scotland, rather than after, and, I hope this list can help prepare you for what is to come. It's all bloody obvious but we all forget something...

The first and most important thing is that although it's perfectly acceptable to accept a friendly helping hand now and then do not become a burden on your fellow protesters, its not on really. This means that the obvious things you need, need sorting now.

Do you own proper shoes / boots that will take you to where you want to go? Do not start out up a Scottish mountain in flip flops - its silly but people do it.

Are you fully equipped with sun cream, any hay fever medication you might need, midge cream (very important in Scotland apparently), any asthma medication you may need?

Do you have warm clothes for when its chilly? Do you have water proof clothes for when it's wet? Are you ready for when Mr Sun comes out?

Do you have money / a card in case of emergencies? Do you have a map - they're very cheap and could save you a lot of trouble.

Liquid refreshment (I do mean water) is very important, as can be food.

Do you know where you are sleeping? And if you're sleeping in the open do you have tent / sleeping bag - don't come running to me if you get there hoping to wing it and the place is chocker block full and no one has room for you and your smelly socks... at least if you do come running to me, wash those socks first! You won't be able to buy accommodation in Edinburgh by now - but the Stirling rural convergence centre looks like one of the best places to go, check out dissent for more info on this.

In you are camping have you got between you flash lights, loo rolls and everything else you'll need?

Do you know where you are going and how you are getting back? Take the phone numbers of people you're going with in case you get split up and let them know where you are to help avoid mishaps.

If you're going with friends stick to them - if you're not, hitch up with people who want to do the same sort of actions as you do and stick to them. It's important for your safety if things get hairy to be in an affinity group and to stick to it like glue - it's far more dangerous to split off on your own than to stay with the crowd. It might be a good idea if you are going with a more experience crowd to have a chat to them about what to expect, and what their plans are, a bit of forewarning can go a long way.

There are roughly three different strands to the G8 protests;

The Make Poverty History, "let's hope our leaders make the right decision" fluffies, the G8 alternatives socialist style block who like to march, sell papers and to sit in rooms discussing, and the anarcho, let's build a radical bivouac Zapatas... of course these may be crude generalisations... make sure you are in the block that suits you. It's not a good idea to tramp along with people off to deliberately get arrested if you are petrified of the police for example - and likewise if you think breaking down the fences is where it's at you'll have a disappointing time if you hook up with your local churches or NGOs.

Try to get a good idea of what you want to do and where - use our resource page to review your options, most of the sites have useful directions and maps.

Do not carry anything that might 'embarrass' you if searched by the police. There are two reasons for this - one, the police may just be looking for an excuse to detain you and, two, anything you carry could be used against the people with you, especially if you are in a vehicle with them. Incidentally, the police will be very vigorous checking out MOT, Tax etc. people have already come a cropper in Scotland over things like this - make sure you have all your documents and every thing is in order - do not give the police the excuse they are looking for.

Are you able to carry everything your taking? If not dump the unnecessary before leaving the house.

And what have I forgotten? Email me now and I'll pass it on

Oh yeah! Have fun.

June 2005

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