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From: "SchNEWS"
To: "SchNEWS Subscribers"
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 21:47:42 +0000
Subject: SchNEWS 168, 22 May 1998


BIRMINGHAM: Seventy thousand people have gathered to hold hands round the International Convention Centre and are calling for the eight leaders of the worlds most industrialised nations (the G8) to give debt relief to the third world.

However, those eight leaders whom US President Bill Clinton said "will focus on things that really affect people on the street" won't hear them cos they've moved 35 miles away. The reason, according to a report on BBC "Midlands Today" was the planned protests!

A few hours later and most of the Christians have gone and it's the turn of a ten thousand strong Reclaim The Streets (RTS) posse, to bring the Bullring part of the city to a standstill, as they party and protest in the street.

Welcome to the Global Street Party, happening in 37 cities across the world, not just against car culture but also free market's a selection...

TORONTO, CANADA: Hundreds of people took over one of Toronto's major streets, but soon after the party kicked off police did their best to spoil the fun, pushing people over and bursting balloons with knives just like the nasty kids that you didn't want at your party. A part of the crowd was intimidated and left, the rest tried to keep the street reclaimed and were met by more police violence. In the end four people were nicked under 'unlawful assembly' legislation. One man, Gregory Herrington, was also charged with three counts of assault police and one assault with a weapon, and released on a $2,000 bail with his wrist in a cast. He faces the most serious charge against political activist in well over a decade.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL: Over 500 people joined Israel's first RTS. The organisers decided to get a police permission, but as the crowd got far bigger than they expected they ended up choosing their route as they pleased, ending in a pleasant sunset rave.

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA: The Ljubljana lot went for Critical Mass instead where, unfortunately only 40 people showed up. Still they had a good time biking around at an average speed of 5.3km/h as their "Ministry of Correct Image, Department of Statistics" informed us.

LYON, FRANCE: Lyon crew (about 200) managed to block a main street for a while with tripods, drumming and a float, but decided to withdraw when "nearly a million police" (perhaps a slightly exaggerated estimate) eventually showed up with clear intentions to behave badly.

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS: Nearly 1,000 had a wild party and blockaded a six lane highway for five hours. We don't know if there was a translation error but they say police mixed with the crowd at the meeting point, sat on the pavement, assisted to get the soundsystem generator going and were eager to go wherever the crowd would lead them, keeping a very low profile until the very end!

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: No info about the numbers. Lots of arrests, after one hour police towed away the soundsystem. Still the party went on with drumming and whistling until dark.

SIDNEY, AUSTRALIA: The third RTS in Sidney seems to have been a massive success; about 3,000 people, three different stages (Rock, Techno and Reggae) and a nice and cheerful party. The English Judges on the scene voted "9.9 across the board, absolutely the best, culturally most diverse and interesting party we've ever seen"

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC: The party set off very well with four soundsystems, drummers, puppet theatre and fire performances enjoyed by more than 3,000 people. Somehow police didn't get the joke and ensured what turned out to be the biggest riots in their for the last four years. Three McDonald's were destroyed and sixty four people nicked, but all were later released without charge except nine who remain in custody facing hooliganism charges.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: Had a demo against "mad car disease" with party mood, colourful costumes, carnival drums and high spirits!

TURKU, FINLAND: 1,000 people occupied a bridge and a street in the city Centre; they had seven bands playing and a hell of a time.


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road protests 1998   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links