Global Street Party, 16 May 1998 - report

Birmingham - press reports

For now I want to say that this is not how I will remember RTS Birmingham.

But this is typical of British press covering RTS events.

It was a beautiful day of music, old and new friends, sunshine, thousands of party people, excellent samba band, volleyball, tripod hiccups with one falling over and one being taken off the street after the police attached wheels to the bottom (about time they figured that one out really), excellent banners and of course lots of colourful clowns all laughing in the face of the super power summit.

Bad police decision of the day must go to the cop who gave the order to a silly snatch squad of police that were sent into the thick of the crowd in what seemed to be an attempt to take the sound stytem. They then had to be escorted out by the crowd by party people with one policeman being custard pied - oops - we were saving that for Blair, Clinton and Co.


A major UK news organisation reports: *
Sunday May 17, 10:34 AM GMT
Angry Clashes In G8 City

Several protesters are in custody after angry clashes in Birmingham city centre.

Bottles were thrown as hundreds of officers in full riot gear tried to control crowds from the Reclaim The Streets group at the city's Bull Ring Centre.

One police officer was injured as some protesters tried to overturn a car as their street party turned violent.

The activist movement arrived in Birmingham to protest during the G8 summit of top world leaders about what they alleged was "the cult of the car".

Police officers from the West Midlands and Thames Valley forces blocked off much of Birmingham city centre to traffic as violence erupted.

West Midlands police said one officer suffered minor injuries during the rioting.

Supt Mike Goodwin, of the West Midlands Force, said: "It is unfortunate a minority of the protesters were not content with a peaceful demonstration and arrived with the intention of confronting police.

"There were some bottles thrown and at least one police officer has received minor injuries. As a result of this some officers donned protective head gear and several arrests were made after drunkenness and public order offences.

"These individuals were given every opportunity for a peaceful protest and the police sought only to ensure public safety."

Protester Jackie Barrett, 23, claimed crowds were intimidated by such a strong police presence. We came here with the sole intention of having a party and raising the issues relating to our environmental agenda. We wanted to have a good time but how can you do that when you have got hundreds of police breathing down your neck all the time?"

* We insist that the interests of scholarship and criticism can in this case be served only by quoting the entire report. Fair Use, guv.

Back to street party list
RTS home