Protests at recent international summit meetings have prompted assertions about `global protest' and `global civil society'. This article provides a detailed and contextualized analysis of the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland, focusing on the dynamic interplay between police and protestors. The authors argue that local variables were critical to the experience of this manifestation of `global protest'. Focusing on the policing of events in Edinburgh, they highlight the preconceptions and assumptions (frames) underpinning police operations and contribute to a more interactive understanding of police—protestor relations. Protest emerges in relation to the `polis' (simultaneously denoting both the political community and the police), and neglecting this relationship leads to incomplete analyses. In concluding, the authors consider the implications of their research for the policing of political protest.