My official BBC Blog, Idle Scrawl, is now up and running, on Moveable Type, inside the BBC's firewall. Check it out on http://blogs.bbc.co.uk/paulmason/ and tell your friends! Sincere thanks to all those who have linked, trackbacked and commented here - fire away on the new blog! Cheers Paul
Jeremy Paxman and myself (stunningly rendered, left) will make television history by broadcasting part of Newsnight from within an online multiplayer game called Second Life. Tune in at 2230GMT to see my report on the startling, frightening and inspiring world of MMORPGS - thats massively multiplayer online role playing games, newbie! LOL (etc).
There'll be a mock trial of Bush and Blair this Wednesday night at 2230 GMT: the charge - that the Gulf War II allies have broken international law in their conduct during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since this is not being hosted by an anarchist website but by the BBC's flagship nightly current affairs programme (I work for it) I imagine this will cause controversy.
Watch this space. It may take a couple of months but the world's most dynamic broadcasting corporation is now committed, in principle, and reserving its rights, and bearing in mind the incredible technical challenge involved, to relaunching the blog on an official basis. More details to follow, as they emerge.
I am still inside the police containment cordon at Canning Street. The samba band have stopped playing, the black bloc are having a rest. They are nearly outnumbered by a massive press corps waiting patiently to be questioned and let go. Surreally people are also calling me about the situation post the Sherpa meeting. The Germans are blocking an aid deal at the G8 and some mainstream NGOs are worried that their US counterparts are getting ready to hail any old deal.
I am presently, simultaneously, discussing the fine points of aid policy on the phone with NGOs, while conversing with European anrchists about the demerits of the corporate media, which they believe are many.
Update: The police containment tactics seem to be working. I am now free. A group from the SSP was outraged on our behalf, because they saw riot shields deployed. But the shields never came within real sight of the crowd I was with. About 400 protesters are still trapped, along with a cycle courier who was delivering to the right place at the wrong time. As there is trouble elsewhere, it may be a long time before people are released. I didnt see anybody injured.1500hrs
I feel this may go on a little while now. The black bloc have formed a line between the dancers and the police.Some are unmsking and doing a surly hanseatic jig. It is all bit like a scene from Breughel. >>Filed from my P910i
11am Usher Hall, Edinburgh. I am at the G8 Alternatives Summit, whose start time of 10am was a bit early for a lot of people. There are around 1,000 on this site, one of three. Its an anti-war rally with George Galloway, Fausto Bertinotti (leader of the Italian communists), Sami Ramadani, an anti-war Iraqi. This is the traditional left: they are generally chipper this morning because yesterday's demo was critical of Blair and receptive to them (they say). No sign of anarchists, Wombles or Clown Army, so most of the camera crews have packed up already.
I have just heard that the police and council have given the go ahead for protesters to march to the fenceline at noon on Wednesday 6 July. Chris Nineham of Stop the War, one of the organisers, acclaimed the decision as "a victory". He said the plan was for a peaceful march: the route will be from the sliproad at Auchterarder station, up the A9, turn left onto A824...
The Zapatista rebel movement in Chiapas, Mexico has today issued a major position document, rethinking its political strategy. Why does this matter at Gleneagles? Because the EZLN, to give it its true title, was the major influence on anarchists and eco-activists who went on to form People's Global Action, which has been the most influential force in the formation of the anti-globalisation movement. It's a major political event for Mexico. But it is also bound to echo through the movement converging on Edinburgh which is having its own internal debate about whether it's too close to the mainstream political process. Oh, and stand by for the footy match of the century...
A group calling itself Make Poverty Worse has called a counter-demonstration on 2 July. Their website warns:
"On the streets WE will square up to those marching woollie liberals, making sure our opinions overshadow theirs, while encouraging our friends in government and law enforcement to nip their desires for a better world in the bud."
I am not sure whether this is a deftly executed anti-globalisation spoof or an actual reality TV series being planned for Channel Four.