Residents of 'the lang toon' take cover

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The Independent Online

In the shadow of the Ochil Hills, the former mill town is the closest neighbour to Gleneagles Hotel and the centre of the largest security operation ever undertaken in Scotland.

For weeks, the 4,000 inhabitants have been dreading the G8 summit and bemoaning the problems it has brought to this small, rural community.

On top of the multi-million-pound security operation - involving thousands of police officers, barricades, road closures and overall disruption - possible violent confrontations between protesters and the authorities are making the village anxious.

Along the extraordinarily long main street, which gives the place its nickname of "the lang toon", several business are already boarded up, while others have notices on the doors announcing plans to stay closed during the summit.

Large numbers of residents have left the area for the week while others admit to stockpiling food and water in case they can't get to the shops.

Roads around Gleneagles hotel, which lies just a mile and a half from the town centre, have been resurfaced while lamposts, junction boxes, post boxes and drains have been inspected and sealed against possible terrorist interference.

A physical barrier of more than 10,000 panels stretching more than five miles has been erected along the boundary of the hotel, complete with temporary watch towers and surveillance cameras at strategic intervals, aimed at preventing unauthorised access to the venue and its 850 acres of extensive grounds.

While residents living closest to the £500 a night hotel have been issued with special passes so that they can move more freely inside the exclusion zone many of those living on the main street, where the doors of old mill cottages open directly on to the road, have put up Make Poverty History posters in their windows in support of the 70 or more bus loads of protesters expected to arrive for the first day of the summit

Several other businesses see the summit and influx of protesters as a welcome boost to trade and are preparing to welcome the crowds with extra opening hours and special deals.

The protests


Blockade at Faslane, home of the Royal Navy's Trident missile-carrying submarines.

Carnival of Full Enjoyment, Anarchist protest groups take action.

Military Families Against the War rally at Saint Augustine's Church in Edinburgh. Stop the War Coalition event at 5.30pm.


Protest at Dungavel immigration removal/detention centre, Strathaven, south Lanarkshire.

1.30pm Friends of the Earth/People & Planet Climate Justice Action protest outside BP refinery at Grangemouth.


G8 Alternatives march in Auchterarder, which will pass within 500 metres of the Gleneagles Hotel.