Dead Men Left

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Scotland in Sunday fabricates G8 blood transfusion scare story"

You may have seen this:

Health chiefs are asking Scots to donate an extra 20,000 pints of blood amid fears that next month's G8 summit could descend into violence.

Plans have also been drawn up to import blood supplies from south of the Border if rioting breaks out among the huge crowds expected to descend on Edinburgh.

The Scotland on Sunday laying it on with a trowel. "Scotland braced for chaos... If there is blood spilt during the G8 demonstrations then a good supply of blood will be essential..." and so on. Lenin wrote to the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, and, gosh, this is complete nonsense. From their reply:

Contrary to the headline in the newspaper last weekend, SNBTS is not
expecting a "blood crisis" to coincide with the G8 Summit and is not expecting a blood shortage as a result of G8.

Unfortunately, we believe there was a misrepresentation of the conversation which our spokesperson had with the journalist.

Scare stories notwithstanding, my guess is that there will be something of a softly-softly approach throughout the G8. Perth and Kinross council, I suspect, will back down from their ban, just as the authorities in England backed down from bars on antiwar demonstrations. Comparisons with Genoa will not hold. Back then, Gianfranco Fini, of the "post-fascist" National Alliance, was placed in charge of a police operation. A concerted effort made by Berlusconi's government to beat protestors into submission. Serious evidence of collusion between police and fascists, both infiltrating demonstrations, has emerged, with the violent "Black Block" being used to justify repeated attacks on peaceful demonstrators. Later, sleeping demonstrators were beaten unconscious by riot police, dragged off to a holding centre, torutured and held incommunicado for a few days. Jonathan Neale, in You Are G8, We Are 6 Billion describes all this very well, putting it in the context of Berlusconi's domestic concern to secure his (otherwise weak) government. (The Globalise Resistance magazine, "Resist", Genoa special, provided some immediate coverage.)

This is quite a long way from Gordon Brown positively inviting people up to Edinburgh. The politics are quite different. As long as they cannot force a divide between "good" and "bad" protestors - and that's been made very difficult by Geldoff - they cannot and will not want to repeat the same tactics. So quit your panicking; I'm going to stick my neck out on this one: anybody who feels like it should get themselves up to Edinburgh and Gleneagles for early July.