-- tescos opens, after a long campaign by (some) local people to stop it from opening (Stokes Croft / Cheltenham Road / Gloucester Road are a characterful part of Brizzle, with cafes, independent shops, two bakeries, original Banksy graffiti, refreshingly free from all the faceless highstreet brands; the fear is that tescos will put the small shops out of business, and the empty small shops will be taken over by more subway and more startbucks. I rather like starbucks, but I think eight is probably sufficient for one town.
-- some campaigners stage a rather raucus but from what I could see peaceful and good natured demonstation outside the shop. although i use sainsburies, scumerfield and the independent one by the arches, I don't go in tescos if for no other reason than that you don't cross picket lines; you just don't.
-- meanwhile, there is a squat going on in a building near tescos, full of dangerous media studies students and sociologists. squatting isn't against the law -- it's a civil matter.
-- however, mysteriously, the State discovers that the squat also contains a lot of "potential" petrol bombs, or "bottles" as they are usually known
-- the State decides that the best thing to do is to evict the squatters -- i.e send lots and lots of bobbies onto a street where there is already a raucous, but essentially peaceful, demonstration going on
-- they further decide that the best way to do this is to close off both ends of the road so that even local people who have nothing to do with the squat or the demo can't get to their own houses (which is presumably why they surged towards my street)
-- they also decide to do this is on a Thursday before a public holiday, when lots of people are out, have been drinking, and don't have to get up the next day
-- whatever you may say about Chris Chalkley, and he's always been very charming to me, his think national act local campaign (painting murals on boarded up buildings etc etc etc) has either created a sense of a Stokes Croft Community or plugged into a feeling of community that was already there: I certainly have a "sense of place" and am pleased to live in the area in a way that I haven't felt about many other places where I've lived. so naturally, telling people that they can't walk down their own street in a street which has quite such a strong sense of identity was never going to be pretty
-- sure enough a riot develops, bricks get thrown and riot shields and truncheons get put into people's faces and tescos gets smashed up
-- in a fortnights time, when the windows have been repaired and tescos has reopened the peaceful hippies will want to stage another peaceful protest, and presumably the State won't let them because of what happened before
this is just my impression: i don't know any more than anyone else does, and maybe there really was a bomb making factory and maybe V really was bussing anarchists in from Wales. the State controlled media is largely ignoring the story
off to the cathedral now