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Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 21:25:59 +0100
From: Road Alert!

An account of the York Street Party

Around four hundred people showed up and reclaimed a section of road that is widely used (on foot) by the local community. There was absolutely no hassle from the police (though they looked rather surprised when the tripod went up), who had been contacted before hand and were in extreme fluffy mode. In a slight departure from the usual formula, there was no sound system, although greenpeace's solar generator (sparky) showed up and powered some amps for guitars and mikes with local bands playing. Many drummers made the walls ring with a much pleasanter sound than car traffic. In all everyone seemed to have a good time and a lot a people enjoyed the sound systemless relaxed atmosphere, though there was an enjoyable half hour or so of acid house via sparky to round things off.

As always (or at least often) there was a reluctance on the part of many in the local community to get involved, though they seemed to enjoy it and the only real complaint was that the ring road was not taken out as well! (it should have have been, but best laid plans...).

The last three street parties (Hull Sheffield and York) had little or no resistance from the police, whether this is a new policy of leave it alone and might go away or if they've simply given up trying to stop them I don't know. It is something to be built on though. The other notable feature of them all was that they all featured an 'undercover' (ha ha) copper with a camera. While he got followed around with a sign (saying under cover cop) at York and got a sign on his back in Sheffield, something more should be done about this and people should take responsibility on the day to look out for and harrass police evidence gatherers.


The local Sheffield newspaper "The Star" published on Thursday,
22 May 1997 had the following article on page 31,


> "Road party protesters' hit-list fury"
> "City boss uncovers secret plans"
> "Sheffield's City Centre Manager Kim Culley is to alert towns and
> cities throughout Britain that anti-car activists are on their way.
> Mr Culley has hacked his way into the website of demonstrators
> Reclaim the Streets just days after hundreds caused traffic havoc
> in the centre of Sheffield.


> And he unearthed secret plans to hold similar demos elsewhere.
> Hundreds blocked roads around Devonshire Green and Charter Row
> for a huge street party.
> But despite putting up barriers police decided not to clear
> demonstrators from the streets.
> Now furious Mr Culley has written to South Yorkshire Chief
> Constable Richard Wells and city MP's demanding to know what
> action they will be taking to stop it ever happening again.
> "In this day and age it shouldn't be tolerated" he said.
> "The business community is concerned that it was allowed to go ahead.
> "They just allowed a small group of people to practically
> paralyse the city centre."
> The Internet Reclaim the Streets diary shows demonstrators are
> now planning similar traffic chaos in:
> Historic York on May 31.
> Kingston-upon-Thames on May 26.
> Bristol on June 20.
> "This group go around planning to cause confusion and upset," he
> added." They come around prepared with lawyers and video equipment."
> There was nobody available for comment today from the Reclaim group.


And I thought hacking was illegal.

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