All Quiet on the Scottish Front
The past couple of nights have been a bit surreal. I meant to post something last night about the Night Before the Big March Thingy, but got distracted by having too much work to do. Which is a good thing, some nights, but others, not so much.
Anyway, last night on the way to work, I saw bands of roaming police officers in groups of 12 - 15. At the corner just at the end of the North Bridge, they seemed to be escourting or watching or something as a bunch of kids that looked... scattered or bedraggled or something. Police officers here wear bright yellow vests, which makes them very easy to pick out of a crowd, or out of the dark.
I also was passed on the bridge by two full vans of police officers. They would have each been carrying at least six officers from what I could see. The whole thing seemed really... over policed, to me.
Then I got to work and they told me that was typical of a Friday night in Edinburgh.
Anyway, the night was quiet, all things considered, and I went home and fell into a very exhausted sleep.
The next day (which would be today, I guess), everything was eerily quiet around the hostel. I finally managed to get enough sleep, simply because the Royal Mile was closed off to most traffic, and so there was nothing to wake me up until the church bells started ringing at about 3:30. So, the question of whether I was going to go march or sleep was answered for me. Since every other morning the traffic or my room mates has woken me by noon... Well, I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or not.
One of the girls at the hostel did get out to watch the march. It started at 11, and she got to one of the streets it was on around 2, and watched it for an hour, and said the whole line was still going strong when she left at 3. She got some great pictures and the like, and there was a very active police presence for the whole day. I ended up taking a walk down to South Clerk Street, trying to find a laundry mat, and a lot of the roads were still closed, and the streets just seemed busier than they have on other days. I saw a lot of the signs still being carried, a lot of people in shirts and carrying banners and the like, and stuff like that.
Oh, that was one of the things I wanted to mention. There have been banners everywhere for the past two days, being put up by the city on the lamp posts, being carried around by people on bikes, and even one that looks picture-postcard perfect stuck in the ground around the castle. The view of it from Princes Street is great, and I really should get out there with a camera.
A lot of the businesses that closed have "Make Poverty History" signs on their windows. My friend, who makes cynical look good, made the comment of "Of course, if the capitalists are on your side, you won't loot them during the riots."
Tonight seemed really quiet when I came in to work, so I don't know what will happen. I suspect that all the preparations and the like will feel like they were for naught, but perhaps they were a good idea. You know how it is, when you plan for a disaster and nothing happens, you feel a bit let down. But the weekend isn't over yet, and the G8 summit is still on the horizon.