Careful Now – Concerning Gail

30 03 2011

With adrenaline pumping in my veins following my escape I turned to find out what had happened to my friends. The pincer movement had closed and those inside were for the most part trapped. As I moved along outside the police line I could see some were defiant on top of Nelsons Column but not everyone was in such a boisterous (and possibly drunk) mood.

Bystanders were walking past, partly amused and partly in awe of the kurfuffle. I explained to one visiting tourist the meaning of my sign, though I think the TV show reference was lost on him the simple message of “Careful Now” resonated.

At 3:30 into the video clip I find my good friend and fiery anti-fascist Gail, trapped behind the line. Her own account of events can be found here. Already suffering from concusussion as a result of a steel barrier being thrown over her head the police were not letting her out. At that point a bottle smashed across the helmet of the police officer, thrown by some drunken idiot further back.

Despite the danger of the situation Gail still wasn’t being let out. I attempted to reason with one copper, saying it wasn’t a big deal to let out one lone woman but clearly orders were orders and any sign of initiative, empathy or reason is drummed out of government employees if they want to progress up the greasy pole, a fact I’ve found recently with Job Centre staff!

I was told to move back for my own safety, which was fine but what about the safety of Gail?

Moving back behind the flaming pile of Socialist Workers the intoxicating madness of the situation had taken hold. I spied a suspicious looking figure weaving in and out of the police lines unhindered and carrying a checkered backpack whilst talking constantly into a Blackberry.

Caught up in the wave of paranoia and fear I presumed him to be either a journalist or one of these “agent provocateurs” which had been spied in similar protests. Policemen in civilian clothes kicking up shit in a crowd and then nipping behind police lines once it all kicked off.

I had dismissed such things as conspiracy theory but since the revelation of undercover police officer infiltrating environmentalist groups (and dipping their wick in anything that moved) it could just be true.

Part V ” Never Leave a Mate Behind”



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