So the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers came to a three-day meeting at Nether Edge's Marriott Hotel.
Their unwelcome started early with a banner drop near Park Square roundabout and the revelation that the police consider the whole shennanigans as "Operation Octagon". The Convergence Space, with Indymedia Centre kicked off with an "Insurgent's Breakfast", mass leafleting took place in the city centre and Meadowhall and an late afternoon Critical Mass.
Focus then moved to an assembly of people on Devonshire Green protesting for the right to protest, the assembled set off into town to be meet the Critical Mass. After having their way blocked by police at Barker's Pool and at the entrance of Surrey Street by the Town Hall they congregated for a while. A number-limited Stop the War protest took place outside the Lyceum. Unfortunately the folks who walked down Fargate and tried to turn onto Arundel Gate had their way blocked by cops and eventually riot cops. There were two arrests around this time.
More details are in the "Read more..." section of the article and from the links below.
Actions against the G8 started bright and early in Sheffield with a co-ordinated banner drop (video | report) at 7am on bridges over the main road out of Sheffield to the M1 motorway, reminding commuters of the G8's presence in Sheffield over the next three days. While things were quiet at the Marriott Hotel, where the Justice and Interior Ministers are holding their meeting, the early morning traffic at Park Square roundabout was greeted with samba beats from Rhythms of Resistance Sheffield and leaflets informing them of the G8's intentions to further dismantle civil liberties in order to advance the so-called "War on Terror" and increase national security. Caught by suprise, the police were slow to turn up. Documents left in the back of one police vehicle revealed that Sheffield was the subject of "Operation Octagon". The action wound up at around 8am with no arrests.
Meanwhile back in the heart of the city centre, on Matilda Street, down from the Shrowroom cinema in the former Yorkshire Art Space, the Convergence Space was springing into life complete with a Indymedia Centre. Banners were dropped from the windows and at the entrance, and an "Insurgents' Breakfast" rustled up for the gathering activists. People later took to the streets on a Weapons of Mass Information action, distributing information on the policies of the G8 to people in the city centre and Meadowhall shopping centre.
In Meadowhall, four people dressed in white decontamination suits with 'NO G8' on the back, plus one clown were met with heavy resistance from the private security staff, including plainclothes store detectives, while distributing information. They ended up surrounded by 20-30 security staff and were escorted, or in some cases, carried out of the shopping mall, as where the accompanying Indymedia people [Video].
In the town centre, Weapons of Mass Information were handed out to shoppers, the police and also in MacDonalds [Video and Photos].
The Critical Mass had a good turnout of at least 70 people, including skaters, bikes and people on foot. It set off at 5ish from Devonshire Green and was followed by three police vans. Around 7-10 people on foot at the back were held under Section 12 on West Street and were dispersed away from the Critical Mass one by one, though they later joined back up with the others.
The demonstration that had assembled on Devonshire Green at 5:30pm, initially to protest for the right to protest after having been denied the right to march down to the dinner at the Winter Gardens, was able to link up with the returning critical mass and link back around into the city centre. It was not however, able to link up with the Stop the War Coalition demonstration which started at 6pm on Arundel Gate by The Lyceum, which police limited numbers to 100.
At 7:00pm there was Samba on Fargate with about 300 people spread around the streets. The demo then moved down High Street. At the roundabout at the junction of High Street and Arundel Gate a young man was arrested and some scuffling occured to chants of "Let Him Go!", "Shame On You!" and Rhythms and friends marking time. Despite the protest the man was bundled into a waiting police van.
Around 7:20pm there was another arrest of someone trying to run through the [predominantly] Manchester police lines with a banner outside TJ Hughes. Protestors tried to get down Arundel Gate, but more heavily-armoured and helmeted reinforcements were brought in to prevent people going any further.
The G8 ministers arrived at around 7.35pm via Surrey Street. So after being unable to go down Arundel Gate, the demonstration went back to Surrey Street, where the protesters had earlier been blocked by police officers from South and West Yorkshire, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, London, North Wales and possibly other forces. By 8:40pm, it seemed that the demonstration wass petering out and Arundel Gate was reopened to buses.
One demonstrator was arrested after five people left the demonstration at around 8pm and were walking back to the Convergence Space. He was arrested under the public Order Act for allegedly spitting during the demo.