What's in the bag?

By Kristina Weaver (a.k.a. Sgt. Ina)
Contributor to Shut Them Down! The G8, Gleneagles 2005 and the Movement of Movements.
Geography and Creative Writing
Glasgow University

The police have given us the scenic route to Dungavel Detention Centre: Serco-owned prison for men, women, and children asylum seekers. It's July 5th - 4th day in a week of actions against the G8. Tomorrow we will converge on the golf resort and summit site Gleneagles. The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (C.I.R.C.A.) will unveil Operation H.A.H.A.H.A.A. (Helping Authorities House Arrest Half-Witted Authoritarian Androids). By 'building the fences higher' and helping police to keep the 8 greatest 'errorists' safely contained, we'll turn the day on its head and congratulate the thousands who have already 'won.'

This summer's protest against the emperors of corporate globalization has been special in its local politics. We've built a community garden in line of a motorway slotted through working-class Glasgow, and we've shut down the Faslane Nuclear Submarine Base. Today police have emptied Dungavel to hide its prisoners elsewhere. For now, cries of solidarity bounce back from the dark hollow of the prison, but in the months to come a movement to end the criminalizing of 'distant others' in 'our' midst will swell.

Police stop us tumbling, motion-sick, off the bus. Before letting us join a depressed rally in dire need of a laugh, they have orders to search all clowns. In Basic Rebel Clown Training we learned to stuff our pockets with surprises - dildos and false teeth - for the police to find. We also practiced the arts of emptying our egos, re-inventing our worlds, and keeping our power. To my left, General Support treats her cops to a song about bananas. Major Pan-Sweat salutes and runs through his 'clownbattant' details like a loon P.O.W... 'What's in the bag?' My attention turns to the owner of the gruff question - young male cop looking bored and vaguely scared. 'In there?' I point, happy to oblige. 'Why, that's a water bottle, and above it is a rainbow, and next door is a package of band-aids, and tucked underneath, waving up at you, is my secret flock of tiny green men...What's in your bag?' He manages a smile.