In Perthshire, the towns of Auchterarder, Dunblane and Bridge of Allan were considerably quieter as people feared getting caught up in clashes with protesters and demonstrators. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Co-op confirmed that trade had been slow and a hoax bomb scare at the Bank of Scotland in Auchterarder last Tuesday had led to several businesses, including the Co-op store, being evacuated for a few hours. “By Saturday, everything was getting back to normal and the store enjoyed a very busy weekend,” she said.
While some Auchterarder retailers chose to shut up shop and others boarded up their windows as a precaution, the large police presence largely deterred trouble-makers. In Edinburgh, the official Make Poverty History march on the Saturday before the G8 summit attracted more than 220,000 people, and the atmosphere remained friendly. Two days later, however, there were ugly scenes as breakaway protesters clashed with police. There was trouble outside Sainsbury’s in St Andrew’s Square while Scotmid closed five of its stores near the city centre from 3pm.