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Occasional Cinema stopped by police in Mina Rd Park

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Stop Press: things have calmed down - police backed off from moving in on the revamped cinema showing and people, and police, drifted off after the screening. Just one police van slowly circling round the area later. Good news was local pubs and takeaways did a roaring trade..

There seems to be a confrontation building in St Werburghs this evening. Police turned up and stopped the Occasional Cinema event in Mina Road Park, presumably because of the planned showing of the first full film on the Stokes Croft riot of 21st/22nd April.

A 'peaceful Stokes Croft protest' had been planned for tomorrow, 28th April in Stokes Croft and Facebook numbers pledging to attend had already topped 500 before the Facebook site was pulled. Today protest spokesperson, 'Oli' announced the event was cancelled because of concern that it might 'attract larger numbers than originally expected and potentially get out of hand'.

So this evening's Occasional Cinema in St Werburghs became the focus of police attention, despite the fact that such events in the past have always taken place peacefully with the organisers even clearing up after them.

At least a hundered people then started to drift north up Mina Road and police, trying to anticipate their movements, brought several police vans and at least a dozen officers to points at either side of Mina Road tunnel and to Watercress Road by the City Farm.

The crowd congregated at 'Banana Tom's' house in the Ashley Vale allotments with people continuing to arrive at dusk and the police helicopter circling overhead. Three individuals were seen to wheel a stacked sound system rig down the footpath from Ashley Hill with the music pumping out over the normally quiet allotments. It appears to be a stalemate at present but the police were apparently threatening to use anti-rave legislation although the event was now taking place on private ground.


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