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What the well-dressed anarchist will be wearing this summer; Protesters' DIY riot uniform.

Byline: CHARLES LAVERY

ANARCHISTS have been issued with fashion advice on what to wear during protests at this summer's G8 summit. The style guide has been posted on the internet and claims dustbin lids, motorbike helmets and lifejackets will help them take on police.

The DIY kit is part of hardline groups' tactics for targeting the summit of world leaders at Gleneagles, Perthshire, in July.

They want thousands to attend protests wearing the uniform - which can be put together for less than pounds 75.

Protesters have been advised to protect their heads with a second hand motorbike helmet or gas mask.

The style guide also recommends donning a white boiler suit - which can be picked up for around pounds 5 - and football shinguards, which cost about pounds 10.

Protesters are supposed to use the uniform to form giant barricade formations like those used by the Roman army.

As well as the fashion tips, the guide also recommends DIY 'weapons' to take, such as custard pies, itching powder and tennis rackets.

There is advice on how to make a shield and instructions on how to use it in a riot. The guide, called Bodyhammer, has been aimed at notorious protest groups such as the Black Bloc and the Wombles - the White Overalls Movement Building Libertarian Effective Struggles.

The extremist movements are both believed to be heading for Gleneagles.

Bodyhammer's author - known only as Sarin - said: 'In response to the first generation of anti-crowd weapons, people used simple defensive tools to try to protect their bodies.

'Now, with the second generation being introduced, we need to move away from weak personal tools towards active, collective tactics.

'While the police have abandoned any attempt to hide their militarisation the protesters must be seen to maintain the rules of the 'game'.

'Any new tool needs to tread the subtle balance between humorous provocation and serious confrontation.

'We need more tools of non-lethal defence - baton-grabbing jaws and giant magnets, tennis bats for returning tear gas, interlocking shields, itching powder grenades, stink bombs, cream pies laced with stinging chemicals, poo cannons, urine-holding tanks connected to hand pumps and hoses.

'We march with a mission and should those in power order others to stop us, we have a right to defend our bodies as much as our message.

'In the last couple of years, shields, helmets, armour and large barriers have started to emerge on the protester side.

'Made of foam, inflatable rubber, tarpaulin and other soft materials, these tools have become DIY versions of ancient armour made for the physical contest of the modern street.

'Once stacked together in a Roman tortoise formation, the tools create a communal barricade that offers safety from riot batons and non-lethal projectiles.

'By interlinking arms and tightly grabbing the handles of the barrier, the combined body weight of the crowd can be brought to bear against the police lines.

'As the human wall of polypropylene starts to push through the police lines, accounts tell of individual officers becoming isolated and panicking.

'They break their own lines and try to reform in small defensive circles.' Tactics such as these are routinely employed by Black Bloc and the Wombles.

Members of the groups were among hundreds involved in running battles with police during the Genoa summit in 2001.

Many carried weapons such as spiked metal poles and clubs.

While peaceful protesters fled from police, Black Bloc and Womble members ran toward them and threw tear gas canisters.

One protester died in the riots. To avoid similar tragedies, military intelligence and police have been watching anarchist leaders across Europe.

Known ringleaders have been placed under 24-hour surveillance and court orders will be sought to stop them entering the UK.

Tayside Police are also co-ordinating a pounds 150million security operation for Gleneagles.

Ringleaders from Black Bloc and the Wombles have already visited the Gleneagles area.

The Wombles back the uniform recommended by Bodyhammer and are urging people to get kitted out for the G8 protests.

One of the group's pamphlets also advises on the best helmets to wear to avoid serious head injuries.

On the leaflet, one member says: 'Motorcycle helmets are the best because they give you the best protection - but they are almost impossible to smoke in.'

Underground.. overground - groups gearing up for G8POLICE are expecting dozens of protest groups to attend the G8 summit and are preparing to deal with massive anti-poverty marches as well as guerilla-type direct action.

Some groups are expert in sudden blockades and infiltration while more sinister anarchists enjoy violent confrontation. Here are some of the groups due to attend.

#Wombles

The UK branch of Italian group Tutti Bianchi, meaning all white, which has groups all over the world.

The hard-line Wombles are famed for wearing white overalls to protests.

Anarchist leaders are believed to have already visited Gleneagles in preparation for G8.

# Earth First!

Founded in 1979, they believe in 'direct action to confront, stop and eventually reverse the forces responsible for the destruction of the Earth and its inhabitants.'

# Black Bloc

Anarchists against global capitalism. Have used violence, such as at Genoa in 2001.

Also protested against the Olympics in Athens in January 2004.

#Globalise Resistance

The direct action group are concerned that corporate power is too pervasive and believe international economic institutions are encouraging privatisation.

# Dissent

This UK network of resistance to the G8 summit has peaceful and violent sections. The majority of member groups are intent on peaceful protest but some individuals are threatening direct action. Representatives met last month in Tuebingen, south of Stuttgart, Germany.

# Greenpeace

The environmental agency promotes peaceful protest but is skilled in stunts which generate worldwide publicity, such as anti-war campaigners climbing Big Ben in March 2004.

#Friends of the Earth

Members will take up non-violent protests only in their bid to highlight environmental abuse by the world's richest nations.

#Christian Aid

This respectable charity will conduct peaceful protests. They campaign for an end to world poverty along with charities such as Oxfam, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and Save the Children.

CAPTION(S):

Tips: The Bodyhammer style guide recommends boiler suits, shinguards and a bin lid shield; Armour: The pounds 75 DIY `uniform' is designed to protect protesters from injury during clashes with police at Gleneagles, inset; GAS MASK: pounds 15; BIN LID: FREE; LIFE JACKET: pounds 20; BOILER SUIT: pounds 10; FOAMPADDING: pounds 10; SHIN PADS: pounds 15; Demo: Black Bloc against Olympics; Protest: Greenpeace on Big Ben
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 13, 2005
Words:1074
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