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A Day In The Facebook Protest Journal of Rachel Stringer

This Wednesday I went to the G20 demonstrations at Bank and the Climate Camp In The City on Broadgate later in the evening.

After briefly joining in the march to Bank at 11.30am, I was at the Climate Camp from 5.55pm until 1.30am the next day, uploading  images to Facebook and blogging live via my status updates with what was happening.

The photos are here on Flickr with the comments & explainations I wrote as I uploaded them. And below are my status updates as I wrote them, with the live comments from other people. I received lots more comments the next day, saying that people had found it really interesting, important, and were thankful to me for being there. I didn't do anything. I just witnessed it as best I could, and where possible tried to stop parties on either side throwing things or wielding truncheons. And I made tea.

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A Day In The Facebook Protest Journal of Rachel Stringer

Rachel Stringer is ironically going for a monthly Business & Finance meeting at work, in the Square Mile.
07:34
> Carl Morris at 07:36 on 01 April
why is this ironic?
> Simon Duck at 09:09 on 01 April
she can't count.

Rachel Stringer has accidentally joined in the march. It's quite small tho tbh.
11:27

Rachel Stringer - at least 30% are spectators and camera people.
11:33

Rachel Stringer just saw a policeman punch someone in the face
11:45

Rachel Stringer turned up to her Spanish class only to find it shut. Bloomin demo.
12:19

Rachel Stringer is giving put directions to protesters trying to find the demo.
12:29

Rachel Stringer just saw Jesus walk past with a 'Get the Money Lenders Out' placard. She should have gone up and agreed with him and then asked if he could make it sunny for Greenbelt please.
16:51

Rachel Stringer is at the Broadgate Climate Camp In The City. Everyone is pissed.
17:54

Rachel Stringer has just bumped into an old crusty rigging friend...she is not surprised :)
18:22

Rachel Stringer has jst made a donation to Climate Camp to help put on the next one, because she thinks this is a Good Thing.
18:29

> Sarah Dean Hi Rach, I am enjoying your updates and captions from here in Scarborough. Hope it isn't too stressy. Sd x
18:48

Rachel Stringer is a bit concerned by the appearance of 30 more police. Unfortunately they appear not to be alleviating other officers, some of whole have been up since 4am!
18:58

Rachel Stringer shit the police r moving in to a peaceful protest.
18:59

Rachel Stringer police have blocked the sit-in protest in and are 'sterilizing the area' around. Ie no one can be here. I'm standing my ground.
19:08

Rachel Stringer police have cordoned everyone in because the people inside 'have committed offences'. They're not letting anyone out..
19:13

Rachel Stringer the nice police woman in front of her jst said 'this is a complete waste of time isn't it'. It is.
19:15

> Gidon Cohen at 19:22 on 01 April
Keep up the reports Rachel - knowledge is power - you're doing a true citizens job.

Rachel Stringer now a weird standoff. Police not letting anyone in & out but not arresting anyone. Can't quite see how this can be broken without friction unless they move back.
19:23

Rachel Stringer shielded police moving in.
19:33

> Rob Moore rachel, thank you for the eyewitnessing
19:34

Rachel Stringer is off home. She's sorry but cold and a migraine have gotten to her...and nothing seems to be moving on either side.
19:48

Rachel Stringer is lolling cos there r loads of city boys trapped within the sit-in cos they were all getting pissed in the pub on the same steet and jeering at the protesters.
19:55

Rachel Stringer demonstrators have now moved up to the police barrier and r silently standing there. 25 more officers just walked past me moving in.
19:58

> Malin Nylander loving the updates and photos
20:04

Rachel Stringer is still here cos she felt some sort of responsibility to stay. Not sure to who? To them inside and you outside she guesses.
20:05

Rachel Stringer is off to cycle the square mile & see what else g’wan.
20:20

Rachel Stringer managed to stick around longer then the Guardian blog which stopped at 7pmish.
20:40
Rachel Stringer has popped back to the office for crisps, water, ibuprofen and a hoody.
20:44

Rachel Stringer is at the Bank end of Broadgate now. 20 shielded officers jst went past me on the way to Bank. Which is completely shut down
20:53
Rachel Stringer Bizarre. There's now a police van pulled in behind us allowing only 6m between it and the police. Maybe cos it's dark this end and it's using it's headlights to light us up
20:58

Rachel Stringer the Climate Camp man I spoke to said that this end is the bad end...the camp has been split in 2 sections. This section has no access to water now. And the police seem to b pushing slowly in.
21:02
Rachel Stringer likes the nice man giving out ginger tea to people looking a bit wide eyed
21:15

Rachel Stringer just having a jovial chat with a military policeman when another new aggressive one turn up and pushed a girl to the floor for untying the blue tape. They took his number
21:42

Rachel Stringer police estimates r 3000 inside the area
21.45

> Alex Mercer Loving the running commentary lady.
Good work
x
21:46

Rachel Stringer the police jst cleared an area with extreme violence
21:50
> Alex Mercer at 21:51 on 01 April
Noooo! You be careful :(
> Emily Cumming at 22:12 on 01 April
:( mavis, be safe

Rachel Stringer is taking down police numbers
21:53
> Ian Black at 21:54 on 01 April
999 is usually a good one.
> Denis O'Hare at 22:12 on 01 April
Like a man in uniform do you ;-)

Rachel Stringer police are now clearing the numbers with extreme force towards Liverpool street
21:56

Rachel Stringer police jst told us we're not allowed to take photos. Which is bulshit. So we're taking photos
21:58

Rachel Stringer is back at Broadgate watching the police move in on all sides
22.05
> Rob Moore at 22:05 on 01 April
godspeed and steady on
> Craig Steephens at 22:15 on 01 April
you'll never get in the corney and barrow in those shoes

Rachel Stringer police vans have moved. Which might mean we're gonna prob have to run in a min as they force 3000+ people down one street
22.18
> Sarah Faust at 22:21 on 01 April
eeeeek! be careful! X
> Rob Orchard at 22:26 on 01 April
Blimey, are you still stuck there? Stay safe, missus!

Rachel Stringer is here out of choice with a sense of responsibility. If she prayed this is probably her way of doing it. She would like to see a peaceful end to this but is unconvinced there will be..
22:28
> Buzz Rozwell at 22:38 on 01 April
Loving this live update right into my office here in Vancouver, Mavis. Take care out there.

> Geoff Hammond re.live photos - thats good! i have just been through them! and wanted to say ello! Just watched it all on the 10 pm TV news (being middle aged stay at homes and all that!)
22:35

Rachel Stringer is arguing with a crusty because she doesn't think all the police r evil
22:44

> Phoebe Elizabeth Reith are you ok?? x
22:45

Rachel Stringer is being moved back by the police
22:46

Rachel Stringer just stopped a man throwing a brick. For now
22:53
>Thomas Carter, Sarah Faust, Rob Orchard and 2 others like this.
>Alex Mercer at 22:56 on 01 April
Well done you

Rachel Stringer is a bit scared now. What with the bottles and stones. She just had another stand up row about throwing things. Unfortunately there are a lot of people throwing things
22:59
>Ben Mynott at 23:01 01 April via Facebook Mobile
>You go careful out there Rach xxx
Daniel Schnable at 23:04 01 April via Facebook Mobile
>Take care u, admire your stance, but be safe. Not u, but other fools out there.
>Mia Ridge at 23:04 on 01 April
Be careful! Don't they realise they're just playing up to stereotypes and destroying the credibility of the whole protest?
>Gina Cady at 23:30 on 01 April
Thinking of you Rachel. Take good care of yourself xx

>Rob Orchard Massive massive respect to you for doing what you're doing. Hope it doesn't all kick off around you, and hope you get home safely when you choose to head back.
23:28
>Geoff Hammond how are you getting on? not heard anything for a while?
23:32
>Sophie Walker Hey Rachel. There's some gret pics that you're putting up. Be careful out there though... x
23:32

Rachel Stringer is out of the running bit and back in no mans land by the police barriers. Having chatted about God to a man down a side alley
23:53

Rachel Stringer is oooh more police back again...must be about to clear out the people still stuck on the other side of barrier in the camp
23:56

Rachel Stringer lots of cheering from inside the climate camp
00.02
>Sarah Faust likes this.

>Alexander Credé loving the updates, was there this afternoon, what time did you come down? whats the status with climate camp, the tents still up or have they all been cleared?
00:06

>Henry Scowcroft go you xx
00:09

Rachel Stringer is having hilarious conversations about god an theology whilst waiting for police to repeat the earlier process. If she goes offline it's jst the her fone ran out of juice
00:13

Rachel Stringer looks looks like there's a few hard core left but most have gone...presumably evicted
00:39

Rachel Stringer jst talked to a demonstrator who's left the camp. Apparently a few hundred left but the police r now coming in so strong people r leaving cos they're scared
00:42

Rachel Stringer police movin in again..
00:45

Rachel Stringer all seems to be pretty quiet again. Rachel is makin the officers in the police car outside of work a cup of tea, whilst she warms up
00:58

Rachel Stringer has made tea for the police but given she just looked outside and all the riot cops were there with protesters shouting, it might not be the right time to serve it
01:08

Rachel Stringer is protest over. Police have cleared the area and arrested anyone remaining. I'm exhausted. I bet am awful lot of other people are too
01:16

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Thursday 2nd April 18:06

Rachel Stringer is at Bank. Quite a few regular bobbies, whilst left over protestors gather on the steps of the Royal Exchange. The boarded up WWI statue has become a monument to the protest, the people, and the dead man.

Pictures here

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Comments

  • Steve Threlfall-Rogers says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Just to say well done - not sure I would have had the guts to stay the distance.

    Also, was good to see what appears to be an impartial view.

    03 April 2009 18:38
  • Paul says:

    A voice of sanity from near the front line. Thanks for that!

    04 April 2009 01:21
  • Giles says:

    Thank you

    13 April 2009 10:43
  • Rachel Stringer says:

    I've just been sent this link http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/apr/16/letters-surveillance-protests-police which includes an letter from the Head of Christian Aid about the police intimidation they suffered at a peaceful protest they arranged last month.

    16 April 2009 11:27

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