A very brief summary of the day
The Smash NATO protest, timed to coincide with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Edinburgh, had been planned to start with a text message notification of the starting point of the march. Unfortunately technical problems prevented this from going out to people, so those marginally in-the-know assembled at the west end of the meadows unsure of what was going on, and anyone less clued in simply didn't get there.
At around 10:50am perhaps 30 people had gathered at the west end of the meadows. We were approached by two people who identified themselves as plain clothes police officers. So, rumbled already, we exchanged pleasantries with the plain clothes officers, a third of which arrived shortly after the first two.
Predictably the friendly 'facilitate your demo' plain clothes officers were followed around 10 minutes later by three vans full of the regular yellow shiny jacket police mob. Their phalanx filed towards us and surrounded the masked ninja faction (which was the overwhelming majority of our by then 40 or 50). After this the ninjas suffered a predictable martyrdom, with affronts to personal space, barely provoked destruction of the sound system, and all that accompanies this game.
Eventually, perhaps fearing being kettled, perhaps seeing the futility of these scuffles in a situation where we were practically outnumbered, the demo dispersed across the Meadows in a disorderly retreat. Perhaps five or ten went to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), where the Parliamentary Assembly was taking place, and held banners. Over the next hour and a half those who had dispersed in the other direction across the meadows made their way in dribs and drabs to the EICC.
The demo ended outside the EICC with a small crowd of perhaps 40 people. There was a little shoving of reinforced banners towards the police, but otherwise the majority of the crowd didn't show much interest in macho posturing.