"The barriers were going up. Down George IV Bridge and all along Princes Street, workmen were busy putting them in place. Road repairs and building projects had been put on hold, scaffolding removed so it couldn't be taken apart and used as missiles. Mailboxes had been sealed shut and some shops boarded up. Financial institutions had been warned, staff advised not to wear formal clothing - it would make them easy targets. For a Friday evening, the town was quiet. Police vans cruised the central streets, metal grilles fixed to their windshields. More vans were parked out of sight in unlit side roads. The cops on board wore riot gear and laughed among themselves, swapping stories from previous engagements. A few veterans had seen action during the last wave of miners' strikes. Others tried to match these memories with stories of soccer battles, poll-tax demonstrations, the Newbury Bypass. They exchanged rumors about the expected size of the Italian anarchist contingent".