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NATO Summit 2014 – Newport and Cardiff – 4.9.14

September 4, 2014

I spent the day in the centre of Cardiff watching the preparations for the arrival of the NATO leaders for a dinner in Cardiff Castle after the summit in Newport. There were talks of demonstrations and a siege of the castle by anti NATO activists. The whole day had a pretty pleasant atmosphere. When the time came and the police numbers swelled around the perimeter fence the demonstration got under way. There wasn’t an enormous number of protesters but enough to fill one junction at the end of Queen Street on one corner of the castle. They made a good noise and got their views across clearly and with good humour. There were a couple of minor incidents with the police but they generally consisted of the police escorting a small number of protesters away from the main crowd. No arrests that I witnessed though as the one person I did see being escorted away was allowed back 10 minutes or so later. A anti-ISIS group marched by and received some applause at one point.

When the police escorted convoy finally arrived mid evening there was quite a crowd lined up along the barriers. Lots of people were excited to see Barack Obama arrive, which he did, by helicopter. As the cars, with their blacked out windows, drew up there was a small group of protesters shouting things like “Scum!” and “Fascists go home!” but nothing that constituted any sort of a riot and nothing that required the groups of enforcement officers, lurking a few hundred yards away down some of the side streets, to be called in. Overall the atmosphere was quite party like with a number of people enjoying a beer outside the Goat Major public house opposite the castle gates and the organised protesters playing music and performing acrobatics in their small area.

Here are some sketches I made during the day. There should be more to follow.

Cardiff_castle-1 Cardiff_castle-2 Cardiff_castle-3 Cardiff_castle-4 Cardiff_castle-5 Cardiff_castle-6

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