JOIN US AT GLENEAGLES! –urges G 8 Alternatives


‘We are calling on thousands to pile on buses and trains and join us at Gleneagles today,’ G8 Alternatives movement spokesman Mike Arnott told News Line.

This was despite the police announcing yesterday that the march on Gleneagles Hotel would be limited to 5,000.

Arnott said: ‘The police have arbitrarily changed the limit to the demonstration.

‘Originally they said there could be 5,000 at the rally but did not mention the march. Chief Constable Vine said on Channel 4 that everybody was welcome to come up to the perimeter fence at Gleneagles.

‘We have been having this kind of chopping and changing from Tayside Police and Kinross Council for months.

‘We have not blinked and they have usually backed off.’

Arnott called on people to go to Gleneagles rather than the Murrayfield concert organised by Bob Geldof, as Gleneagles ‘will be where the G8 leaders will be.’

He hit back at Geldof for calling protesters ‘idiots’ after the clashes in Edinburgh on Monday and saying ‘the police did a good job’.

The G8 Alternatives spokesman said: ‘People who think the G8 is going to make poverty history could be described as idiots.’

Rock star Midge Ure said the protesters who clashed with police were ‘abhorrent’ and ‘should go home, there’s no place for them here’.

Commenting on the huge police presence, Arnott said: ‘We’ve met police from Somerset and Devon. Manchester riot police and London’s Met police attacked the demonstrators yesterday.’

Meanwhile, hundreds of people marched past Dungavel Immigration detention centre yesterday, although it has been evacuated for the week, calling for the centre’s closure.

And three anti-poverty campaigners from the World Development Movement chained themselves to the top of a 150-ft crane in Edinburgh. They unfurled a banner to highlight the ‘hypocrisy’ of Blair and Brown’s stance towards developing countries.

Millions of people are dying in the developing world because of poor access to cheap medicines and basic healthcare, the British Medical Association (BMA) said ahead of the G8 summit.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the BMA, said: ‘Poverty and ill health are inextricably linked. We can massively increase aid to Africa and write off billions of pounds worth of debts, but we will not make poverty history if we do not enable developing nations to improve their health services.’

Dr Edwin Borman, chairman of the BMA’s International Committee, added: ‘The G8 nations have an historic opportunity to tackle global poverty, but they will only succeed if they put the health of the world’s poorest people at the heart of their agenda.’

• Rock group Pink Floyd have vowed to donate all profits made from their greatest hits album to charity, after record sales soared following the group’s performance at Live 8.

The band, who had not played together for 20 years before last Saturday’s concert in London saw sales of Echoes increase by 1,300 per cent in London alone.

Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour says the money should be used to ‘save lives’.

He said: ‘Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert.’

He added: ‘If other artists feel like donating their extra royalties to charity, perhaps then the record companies could be persuaded to make a similar gesture and that would be a bonus.’

Record sales of all London’s Live 8 performers have shot up since the event, with increases of 863 per cent for The Who’s Then and Now, 500 per cent for the Eurythmics’ Best of album, and 412 per cent for Dido’s Life for Rent.