Posted by: Ciaran | June 5, 2010

Getting in the mixer

A very brief post after a hectic day out covering ‘Super Saturday’ in Cardiff for my soon-to-be employers, Media Wales.

After following Unite Against Fascism‘s march from Cardiff Bay up to the City Hall, attention then turned to a protest by the English and Welsh Defence Leagues on the other side of the building.

In the midst of the action, five couples were booked in to be married in the City Hall.

Everything was very peaceful until the second coach-load of EDL/WDL supporters arrived, at which point a large number of people – claiming to be affiliated to UAF, though many had not taken part in the organised march earlier in the day – tried to attack the bus.

It was my first journalistic experience of being involved in a chaotic, unstable situation, with police being forced to push and shove demonstrators (not to mention the media) to regain control and restore order.

And then – as I managed to fight my way back through the police lines, waving press accreditation and notepad furiously – I was in the thick of things again when missiles rained in as I filmed the EDL members getting off the bus.

It was a changeable and at times slightly volatile situation, and I enjoyed the challenge of reporting on it.

Today also showed me a lot about the demands of multimedia journalism, as my jobs ranged from normal reporting to doing video vox pops and interviews to taking pictures and keeping the film rolling when things got out of hand.

Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s Wales on Sunday, as well as plenty of multimedia coverage via WalesOnline, yourCardiff and Guardian Cardiff.


  1. err…”missiles rained” is a bit of an exaggeration, don’t you think?

  2. How wonderfully self-aggrandising, you are a true hero.


    • Thanks for your comment Gash. I’m not seeking to be self-aggrandising – I’m merely saying it was a learning curve for me. As I said, I hadn’t reported on anything like that before and I found it a challenge.

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Depends what you want “rained” to mean. I’d accept that there wasn’t an incessant shower of stuff, but when you’re stuck on the end of it and bottles, coins, lighters and all manner of odds and sods are landing around you, it sure does feel like it…

  4. fucking hell mate if a few missiles thrown at you scares you this much youre in the wrong job you should have went to a big game in the 80s today wasnt even handbags been told tescos want checkout girls

    • Thanks for your feedback. I don’t think at any point what I wrote says I was “scared”, and you’ll be delighted to know that I didn’t feel threatened at any point.

      I’ve been to football matches myself – albeit not in the 1980s – and seen much, much worse. But as I’ve written, the difference was that today I was reporting on that kind of thing for the first time.

      Looks like I don’t need to drop off the application to Tesco just yet, then – but thanks for the tip.

  5. This afternoon I followed the hash-tag #cdfdemo and found your blog.

    I am enthused to read an individual’s tweets and blog of the demo which refrains from partisan or adherent views, with no embellishment of the events.

    Besides, your plain admission that there were five weddings taking place in the near vicinity needed no further embossing to put across its ironic value.

    Due to the nature of my comment, that compliments effective and accurate journalistic practice, I am compelled to comment on the words left by ‘remedial_gash.’

    Firstly, I feel that ‘words’ is an accurate and all too generous description for ‘Gash’s’ comment, left without punctuation or syntax. Others not so kind may infer that you are semi-literate with an attitude problem, and almost certainly sport a shaved head.

    So then on the face of it, maybe Ciaran Jones’ blog post was too typographically elaborate for you to understand. Because when I read it, and I won’t ask for your thoughts on this, I understood that the journalist was just doing his job. No mention of heroics.

    Just in case my comment is so far, lost on you, here’s a translation in your language:

    fucking hell gash if a few words thrown at you scares you this much youre in the wrong job you should have went to a big school in the 80s today wasnt even big words been told tescos want checkout girls

    Oh, and ‘remedial_gash’? …. You said it

  6. >>and almost certainly sport a shaved head<<

    Less of the shaven head prejudice, please: there are all sorts of reasons men (and women) are bald, cancer therapy, alopecia, male pattern baldness, genetics – and, as in my case, choice.

    Now, of course, we get upset if a particularly nasty group of people adopt it as a uniform statement, but "tarring with same brush"?

    My own blog on yesterday

    • Quite agree with you Peter. But I think in fairness to Kathryn the point she is presumably trying to make is that some people use that choice to set it as some kind of statement or group marker, in the same way that they might choose to wear a certain brand of clothing or carry a certain type of insignia.

      One thing I neglected to mention about yesterday that was interesting was the fact both sides used the flag of St David in their protest – like the shaved head, in some ways, something which can clearly have very different reasons or markers behind it.

  7. I agree with you Peter and I’m sorry if the comment offended you.
    I was not trying to infer that all men who have a shaved head should be accused of having similar, volatile personalities, but obviously the generalisation of my comment was suggestive of the opposite.
    Perhaps I should have left out this comment or made it clearer that the shaved head is, unfortunately a strong signification for individual groups in society.

    • Oh dear it appears that my attempts to write heavy irony are getting rusty!! No offence taken, really.
      On your serious note, I suppose that the banning of uniforms for political parties in the UK (‘cos of the Blackshirts of Mosley’s fascists) makes it difficult to have distinguishing, tribal markings: hence wearing Red, or having a yellow ribbon, or the rainbow flag.
      Ciaran – national flags have always been subject to hijack: political parties do it all the time.

  8. […] some situations, it’s about taking a calculated risk. I covered an EDL protest with a UAF counter-protest while I was still a student (albeit a postgraduate rather than an undergraduate) and was not […]

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