[updated 07 November 13:08]
06 November 2009
Earlier tonight, protesters in St Andrews blocked the four-lane road leading towards the Fairmont Hotel, where the G20 Finance Ministers meeting is currently taking place.
Nae Tae G20 found out about the action via our legal and media support lines and we able to arrive to the scene quickly.
The five activists used locking arm tubes (lockboxes, lockon tubes) to form a circle in the middle of the road, blocking both lanes. The road is a three way fork where the A917 leading northwest to St Andrews and southeast to Boarhills/Krail meets the B9131 leading south to Anstruther.
The blockade lasted for over an hour and the last protester was cut from their arm tube at 20:08. Police presence kept the road blocked for another 16 minutes.
In summary, the protesters action created a full traffic stop in all three directions from 19:00 GMT until 20:24 GMT when traffic was finally allowed to pass. The queue of cars stretched far in all directions and within line towards St. Andrews included numerous cars, several coaches, and at least one hotel van heading towards the Fairmont Hotel. According to BBC Alba (Gaelic) in a report filed by reporter Micheal MacNeil, the blockade prevented Alistair Darling, a Scottish MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer (British finance minister), from reaching the hotel until the road was able to be cleared.
Police later phoned the Nae Tae G20 legal support line, on request from those arrested, and we learned that the five individuals were being held until a court hearing on Monday morning where they will be charged with “obstructing a highway.”
While observing the blockade from the sidewalk, numerous legal observes were shoved by police, one being knocked to the ground. The Chief Inspector, wearing three stars non his shoulder, was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene and reported to legal observers that he was in charge. Subsequently, he verbally threatened three legal observers, calling one “a dickhead,” and made a veiled threat stating “tomorrow’s going to be a bad day – and not for me.’
Following traffic resuming, the legal observers with Nae Tae G20 were stopped by police and forced to provide their names and other identifying information or be arrested. Police also individually filmed each leal observer and described them physically to the camera. Approximately ten minutes after this, while returning to town, the legal overseers were once again stopped and detained by police while their personal information was “verified with police criminal databases.”
Pictures taken by Nae Tae G20 legal observers will follow in a subsequent post.
If members of the press would like to utilize the photographs provided, credit the photographs to “Nae Tae G20 media team.” The Nae Tae G20 media liaison, Alex Brown, can also be contacted via phone for questions regarding our account of the roadblock action.
For mainstream media coverage of the action, visit:
BBC: Five arrested close to G20 hotel
Getty Image’s: pictures posted on NPR: