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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July 2005, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
G8 protests: UK panellist's video diary
Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams, 21, from Oxford, is a member of the BBC's UK interactive panel.

He is taking part in Wednesday's G8 protests near Gleneagles.

He is sending updates from the protests throughout the day in text and video, using his 3G mobile phone.

AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1815 BST

We're back at the park and it has all calmed down now.

The police seem to have brought the situation under control at the flashpoint area back at the perimeter fence.

There's a bit of a deflated feeling among peaceful protesters here because of the violence that just occurred.

Demonstrators breach the security fence surrounding the Gleneagles Hotel

It's certainly not the same kind of positive feeling as I experienced at the make Poverty History March on Saturday.

It has hurt our cause massively as the media and people watching will obviously just concentrate on the violence.

But we had anticipated trouble. I'm not sure what the motives of the violent protesters are but for the 95% of us that are here to demonstrate peacefully we are simply resigned to it.

And we have our own sense of solidarity - the violence doesn't break your will.

The local residents here that I spoke to also seemed to have expected some violence, although some said they hadn't received enough information ahead of today's march.

I don't think today's march is really going to change anything but I'm glad I was here instead of watching it on television.

It also makes you go home and campaign harder for what you believe in.

PERIMITER FENCE, AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1700 BST

It has turned very nasty here.

I'm at the corner of the perimeter fence surrounding the Gleneagles Hotel which is a major flashpoint.

It's chaotic and there are people running everywhere.

It is only a small element causing all the trouble, but a lot of other protesters seem to have been caught up in it.

Demonstrators break through a police line and enter a field near the security perimeter surrounding the Gleneagles Hotel
Some protesters have broken through police cordons and fences
There are more and more riot police coming in now, some being taken in by army helicopter, which has just flown right down over us - literally metres overhead, which seems pretty provocative to say the least.

The police seem to adopting a kind of 'come and get us' attitude by doing this.

There are missiles being thrown and periodic flashpoints all over the place.

There is a huge media presence in amongst it all, with photographers everywhere.

Some protesters have broken though into the field behind the fence and are being circled by cavalry police.

Fences are being uplifted and seem to be flying all over the place.

Stewards are trying to calm things down by telling people to move on and go back to the buses, so that they don't become penned in.

I am starting to make my way back into the town to get away from it as it's very nasty indeed.

As I look back I can see various skirmishes in the fields.

And I still have no 3G reception!

MARCH ROUTE, AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1615 BST

I've just seen the first bit of violence and tension here all day.

As we came around a roundabout, there was a fence blocking part of the route.

Some protesters started rocking the fence and throwing sticks and stones at police standing behind it.

Riot police have now moved in and the fence that provoked the flashpoint has now been pulled down.

Protesters and riot police are now in a sort of standoff. Both sides are taking photos of each other.

MARCH ROUTE, AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1530 BST

I am marching amongst several thousand protestors, not as many as there were in Edinburgh last Saturday, but still a good turnout.

Some shops are boarded up and there are lots of police lining the route.

Stuart Craig, from Bridge Of Allan, Stirlingshire, has emailed in to ask me what the police's attitude towards the protesters is like.

I would have to say that earlier, when we were trying to make our way here, it seemed to me as if they were happy to use any disruption as an excuse to send us back to Edinburgh and cancel the protest.

Police in Auchterarder
There is a large police presence in Auchterarder
But now they seem to be reacting quite well to us and are keeping their distance.

Jason, from High Wycombe, has also emailed to ask: "What do you expect to achieve? What are you actually protesting about? Are you trying to put pressure on G8 leaders for debt relief?"

I am here as one small voice to try to make my point as part of a bigger voice.

I am protesting against eight men who only represent a small percentage of the world's population to remind them of their obligation to the rest of the world's population.

I don't want to let them off the hook.

I especially want to see a link made between poverty and climate change, as you cannot help the poor people in Africa without first tackling the problems caused by climate change.

As for debt relief, there is a pitiful amount of debt relief being given out by these countries, especially when compared to the amount of money being spent on their militaries, for instance.

START OF MARCH ROUTE, WEDNESDAY 1440 BST

We are out on the main march route now.

Unfortunately I have lost 3G coverage on my phone, so it'll be just text updates until I can restore it.

There are a lot of police around us now, but overall it's a friendly march so far.

There is someone nearby imitating the famous picture of an Abu Ghraib prisoner being electrocuted.

AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1350 BST

We just arrived in Auchterarder after what turned out to be a four-and-a-half hour journey from Edinburgh - it should have taken about an hour!

We are standing in the park where most of the protesters are gathering ahead of the march to Gleneagles.

There's lots of noise and the atmosphere is very good-natured.

It's very colourful with tons of red banners all around.

George Galloway is standing nearby making a speech.

The local residents seem very welcoming - despite some media reports to the contrary - and there are plenty of Make Poverty History banners hanging from windows on the streets.

There are a lot of police on the streets, but hardly any in the park where we are standing.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was some trouble along the way, as those who want to cause trouble will always hide in big crowds, but for now, all seems peaceful.

EN ROUTE TO AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1210 BST

Despite the news that the protest in Auchterarder had been cancelled, we have just been told that we will now be on the move towards Auchterarder and Gleneagles again in the next few minutes.

Riot police contain G8 protesters on the M9 motorway near Stirling on the route to Gleneagles

About 15 minutes ago we heard from police that we were being advised to go back to Edinburgh.

We think that may have just been an attempt to make us go away and not protest at all.

We've now been told that the protest can go ahead and that the police will escort us towards Gleneagles.

Police have told the organisers of the protests that the anarchists who were blocking the road will be removed to unblock the road for us.

If they didn't let us go ahead people would have protested here and there would have been quite a lot of trouble.

So we're going to get there, we'll be able to protest at Gleneagles, thankfully for the majority of peaceful protesters.

EN ROUTE TO AUCHTERARDER, WEDNESDAY 1100 BST

We are around six miles away from Gleneagles, just on the edge of Perth.

Our coach has just been stopped by police and there are around 50 other buses backed up behind us.

Police say they are trying to clear the route, which, they say, is being blocked by anarchists.

This seems a bit strange obviously because these protesters wouldn't want to stop others from getting there, including many peaceful protesters on the bus I'm with now.

It seems as if they may be trying to stop us from getting through and may be trying to stop the protest altogether.

It's causing a lot of anger here and potentially causing trouble.

Some people want to march the two hours to Gleneagles from here.

It's unclear what's going to happen at this stage, but it's not looking too good.


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