Around The World In 20 Memories - 5 : Barricades In Gothenburg


It was June 2001 and the EU Summit Merry-Go-Round had worked its way around to the Swedish city of Gothenburg. It was to be a special European Council meeting which would involve the participation of all the new candidate States from Central and Eastern Europe. It was also special because the American President George W Bush was going to be attending the meeting and this meant that, even more than ever before, the meeting became the focus of widespread protests against everything from Globalism to GM foods. The police  quickly decided that the majority of the protesters were staying in the area of the city close to the University and therefore decided to seal that part of the city off with massive containers brought in from the nearby docks. As a tactic it was fairly effective, the only problem was that the hotel I happened to be staying in was in the same street as the University. Thus, each morning, clutching my official press pass, I would walk down to the bottom of the street and begin what was a perilous climb over the container barricade (they are bigger than they look), and each evening I would have to make the return journey. Ah, you can't buy memories like that.

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