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Policewatch Films

Thursday, 12 June 2008

"You Can Stick Your FIT Team Up Your Arse!" - a personal account of fitwatching at the Carnival Against The Arms Trade

Smash EDO's Carnival Against the Arms Trade was one of the best actions I've been to in a long time for a variety of reasons. It was heartening to see so many people starting to confront police cameras, and even more empowering to see so many police lines broken.

I've confined my highlights to fitwatching for the purpose of the blog, but this is not intended to take away from any of the other wonderful things that happened.

Attempting to keep the Evidence Gathering Teams away from the very impressive looking bloc at the start of the march was a lot of fun. We literally had them on the run. By the end, we simply had to approach them with our banners and flags, and they'd leg it down the road. They spent the majority of the march unable to get clear shots, and people on the bloc thanked us for keeping them away.

The anti-fit chanting from the march was brilliant, and acted as solidarity for fitwatchers. It can often feel slightly isolating being outside the main mass of people, and this made us feel as though we were still part of the march.

When we arrived, an EG team thought they could escape us by climbing a hill. They were quickly surrounded, and had to beat a hasty retreat. It was a lovely sight to see the number of people pouring up the hill after them.

Two petty (or is that pretty?) sights from the day - Steve Discombe losing the plot, screaming and swinging his baton, and Ian Skivens getting splattered in white paint. Unfortunately, I didn't witness the latter, but have been reliably informed it was a sight to behold.

I don't want this post to sound facile, and I know it's not about having fun. But being empowered after so many years of them calling the shots is fun. The tables are turning. We are coming back. It'll take a while, nothing ever happens overnight. But slowly, we will build a new, effective street movement, a movement which will not be pushed around by the cops, a movement that will not tolerate harassment and intimidation. A movement ready and willing to fight back.

Fitwatch will not do this by itself, but it is part of changing the psychology of demonstrations. I'm bored of hearing "Whose Streets? Our Streets?" being chanted as the cops pen us in. Whose streets? Let's think about that one, and let's reclaim those streets.

"No Justice! No Peace! Fuck the police! " Come on then...anyone coming to the anti-Bush demo on 15th?...


a pedant writes... said...

"Steve Discombe losing the plot, screaming and swinging his baton" - Stephen Discombe (according to the Daily Mail, January 30, 2007)

fotdmike said...

Yep. Fitwatch-wise it was one of the most inspiring events I've attended.