Graffiti in Edinburgh

And what better way to abolish capitalismm mow than to spraypaint a bank and force its corporate masters to pass the costs of cleaning onto the public through higher fees and charges.

Edinburgh has been working itself into a state the past month, bracing itself for the arrival of the G8’s minions and Geldof’s millions. Every second newspaper headline goes something like “Anarchists tell shifty layabouts to camp anywhere” and “Traffic chaos predicted as shifty anarchist layabouts ignore carefully managed system of one-way streets, speed bumps, and rush-hour gridlock”. Edinburgh cannae cope wi’ a million visitors! Never mind that the population doubles every August during the Fringe, and that Bob’s million will probably translate to half of that.

Nobody knows what to expect, so they’re battening down the hatches just in case. Meanwhile, a friend of ours who lives a few miles from Gleneagles says that her village has become a nightmare of police and fences, and her insurance company has warned that it won’t cover damage resulting from civil unrest.

I’m in two minds about the whole thing. Sure, Make Poverty History. And a million people spending a hundred quid each to visit Edinburgh does this... how? At least GNER won’t be poor. Debt relief for Africa isn’t a bad idea (though far from a cure), but the mechanics of it will obviously be complicated, and will depend on the very G8 leaders the graffitists want to Fuck. And globalisation... well, call me a wild-eyed capitalismt, but I like globalisation, on the whole. Good things that have fueled and fed upon globalisation:

Bad things that existed and were, if anything, worse before globalisation:

Still, abolish capitalismm mow, Mr Blair, there’s a good chap.

1 July 2005 · Politics

rory! you are a deadset legend!

Added by shauna on 1 July 2005.

I'd felt sorry for Edinburgh having to deal with so many people at short notice, but I'd forgotten (how could I?) about the Festival. That does put it into perspective.

Added by Sierra on 2 July 2005.

I didn't mind the MPHistory people, who were pretty well-behaved (250,000 people and only one arrest!) but I found the Day of the Anarchists scary. Scarier, in fact, once I'd got out of town at lunchtime and couldn't see what was happening, just hear the sirens roaring into town and the helicopters overhead.

The Festival is not like this.

Added by Kirsten on 5 July 2005.

No, that’s true—my point about the Festival was more in response to all the media predictions of huge crowds of anarchists camping on every available block of land in town for lack of space, which simply hasn’t happened. That sort of talk just makes people anxious.

As for the protest yesterday, although it sounds like it got rowdy for a while in the afternoon, all I saw around 5-6 p.m. was riot police on horses yelling at ordinary people on Rose Street to move away, without a protestor in sight. (Heard that helicopter all afternoon, too. Still not sure what that was supposed to achieve.)

Added by Rory on 5 July 2005.

Sorry - that last comment sounded rather critical of your entry, which wasn't what I meant - just that the atmosphere is pretty different. (Another case of the written word not conveying the tone of voice!) I wasn't particularly fussed about hordes of people descending. As you say, there is room.

The riot police action in Rose Street does sound over-the-top. Then again, we were locked into Old College at one point in the morning, when there was the trouble in Bristo Square, and that was a bit worrying, as were the pictures on News 24 in the afternoon. However, Princes St looked as it usually does this morning. I think normal service could be said to have resumed...

Added by Kirsten on 5 July 2005.

I guess we’re in for a few more days of fun and games yet!

Added by Rory on 5 July 2005.

'Abolish Capitalism Mao' would have been much funnier

Added by Boof on 21 July 2005.