Bilderberg 2010: Why the protesters are your very best friends
The people who are being detained, searched and questioned are not playing some game. They are deadly serious, and they are worried to death
Guerrilla journalists in Sitges, where the Bilderberg conference is being held. Photograph: Alex Amengual Photograph: Alex Amengual/guardian.co.uk
Ivan was alone on the roundabout. He had been left in charge of the banners while everyone else ate breakfast.
He slipped an empty bottle of red wine into a binliner and stretched. At his feet was a chalk-drawn pyramid showing the structure of society, the word “pueblo” at the bottom, and the tip pointing up the hill towards Bilderberg. It’s a short pyramid today, maybe half a heavily-armed mile from Rockefeller down to Ivan.
Ivan’s bed last night – is it had been the night before – was the scrub by the roadside. “It’s not so cold in my bag,” he said. “A lot of times I travel in the mountains – in the mountains, you can sleep anywhere.”
A lone Catalonian in green trousers, he clutched a leaflet and stood in the Sitges sun as, up the hill, billionaires and finance ministers ate kiwifruit patisseries.
The shame, the awful poignancy of Bilderberg, is that, for much of the time, there are more delegates up the hill than there are protesters at the foot of it.
On that point, there’s something I’d like you to do. I’d like you to extend a grateful thought, a prayer of thanks, an idle nod of acknowledgment – a something, an anything – towards Ivan and all the others who have come to Sitges to bear witness to Bilderberg 2010.
These people are on your side, they are fighting your corner. And if you don’t think it’s a corner that needs fighting, or if it’s a corner you think is being fought by the people up the hill … well, good luck to you.
I want you to know, though, that the people who are crawling around on pine needles with long lenses, trying to identify delegates (and doing pretty well, by the way), the people who are being detained, searched, questioned, then heading out again into the hills, the people who are sitting late into the night at the campsite bar, talking about distracted populations and central banks, are not lunatics.