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h a i r y j e d i . n e t - Cat And Mouse On The Streets Of Cancun.
Written by Sean for Cancun Indymedia. Alas, the site is down so I can't get the images off it that go with this article.
Last minute plans made in various bars over several nights paid off brilliantly on the last day of WTO talks. Activists made plans to come into Cancun's hotel zone by stealth, disguised as media representatives and tourists and planned a time to launch their attack.
At 1pm a group of about twelve stepped out onto the road insisting that they were going to walk through the zone to various bars and cafes on the other side of the Conference Centre. Merely stepping into the road alerted the security services and the police that something was up [image]. The police tried desperately to pacify the activists but were largely unable to. The situation quickly turned into a comical game of cat and mouse with the protestors jumping fences and running around in circles [image]. The police, who clearly have had a policy of not arresting nor harming protestors, had major troubles keeping up with this group of protestors. In effect, traffic was barely able to trickle through always waiting for a gap in the cat and mouse game.
After 20 minutes of these activists dodging security and police, another activist came out from behind the wood-work and stopped traffic in the last remaining lane by stepping out in front a bus [1 | 2]. This protestor gave an impromptu speech about the evils of the WTO. Traffic was effectively stopped from moving completely for about 15 minutes as the bus driver learnt about the WTO's plans to create a extra legislative layer that sat above all other democratically elected governments, overriding them.
The police were quite slow to respond, but after half an hour or so they finally penned all activists into cages surrounded by police [image] on the road and negotiations for their release began - to be quickly interrupted by another small group of activists lying in the road blocking more traffic. This last group's blockade was highly effective but short-lived and the group was penned in to a seperately fenced cage.
And then the announcement came: The Kenyans had walked out of the talks and the 5th ministerial of the WTO had collapsed! The Kenyan delegate had only good things to say about the street actions including "If it was not for the protestors outside on the street, we would not have been able to shut down these talks".
Huge celebrations began in the cages while the groups awaited legal advice and release-negotiations to be dealt with. Finally, three hours after the first group stepped into the road, coaches arrived to take the activists back to ground zero to celebrate a successful action and the big news of the day.
Written by Sean and Eleusa for Cancun Indymedia