Phoaties fae today’s very large demo in Perth, which must have numbered upwards oa a thousand, including many fowk fae Perth, and a very healthy turnoot fae the Dundee left, which was both pleasing and encouraging. Oor squad oa five fae the SUWN was augmented by the weighty presence oa wee Annie, wha can be seen in een oa the phoaties, alang wi Sarah Glynn, geen it laldy when a bus oa fash passed the protest . Following the march tae the High Street, the polis attempted to corral the demo in Scott Street,which connects with South Street, whaur the fash were due to assemble. Oor wee squad decided tae forego the temptation oa the polis paddocks and worked oor way roond tae South Street, so that we could at least get within spitting distance oa the ‘master race’ when they arrived.
When we emerged intae South Street we were greeted wi the ‘black bloc’ being chased aw ower the place by the polis, before they were eventually kettled ootside a cafe. There was an extremely large and sometimes provocative polis presence, which at points actually became dangerous. It was clear that the right to protest was being curbed, both by the utterly unreasonable demands being made by the polis to clear the pavements of protestors, giving rise to a scrum between polis and anti-fash with Jenny and the twa Sarahs’ oa the SUWN very much to the fore, no giving an inch tae polis threats and their use oa disproportionate force in attempting to push them back and push them aroond. At its height, the battle for the pavement got a wee bit tasty wi the polis snatching front line protestors, but these attempts were aw foiled by comrades, including Jock and Tony, prising them back fae the clutches oa the polis.
The massive polis presence meant that the fash remained barely within earshot, and it was clear that, if nothing else, the whole exercise had proven useful to the polis in deploying and testing their crowd control techniques – to the extent that the right of the anti-fascists to protest was seriously curtailed. Lessons hae tae be learnt fae the day’s events. In particular, the anti-fascist movement will hae to gie careful consideration as to how they can mare effectively STOP the fash, and noa allow themsels tae be dictated to regarding HOW they protest.
It is clear, though, that we have the strength in numbers. The turnoot the day was well impressive, as was the sense oa solidarity. The Scottish left is at its maist effective when it is united, something we’d aw dae well tae remember. Such was the impact oa the Perth demo, that.coming back in the train tae the RED YES CITY some oa the SUWN squad expressed their fervent wish that the bastard seed oa Britnationalism wid caw in oan us sooner rather than later. We’re sure their presence wid gie the local anti-fash and indy movement a right guid boost. However, we canna promise that their visit wid be as incident free for them as their wee jaunt the day was.