[sixties-l] Genoa Protests

From: Ted Morgan (epm2@lehigh.edu)
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 15:16:39 EDT

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    attached mail follows:

    In response to Gretchen's suggestion, I thought I'd pass along the
    following Znet report on the protest in Genoa. I also includes some
    helpful websites.
    Ted Morgan

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: ZNet Update - Genoa
    Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 21:41:30 -0400
    From: "Michael Albert" <sysop@zmag.org>
    To: <znetupdates@tao.ca>


    As most recipients of ZNet Updates likely know, July 20 began a series
    of demonstrations in Genoa Italy against the G8 (major industrialized
    nations) meetings. As with demonstrations in Seattle, Prague, and
    Quebec, activists seek to explain and reveal global institutions like
    the IMF, World Bank, and WTO and to reverse worsening rules of
    international cultural and economic exchange, as well as address
    domestic sexist, racist, statist, and capitalist injustice. And, indeed,
    our steadily growing opposition to "globalization" has brought world
    leaders and corporate heads to fear for their most revered agendas.
    Bush, Berlusconi, and cohorts know that if a huge mass of humanity gains
    sufficient knowledge, hope, and confidence, we will force new and more
    participatory relations against the tide of their preferred elitist
    globalization. Bush, Berlusoni, et. al. have therefore decided to try
    their usual recourse, violence.

    In Genoa they sought to send a message. Oppose us and you will pay a
    high price. And the simple fact is that we need to recognize that if the
    context of our actions leaves world rulers the option to do so, they
    most certainly have the military means to make good their threats. In
    Genoa they set loose their police, aroused beyond even normal levels of
    violence by grotesque fascist imagery, to brutalize dissent via torture
    and shooting. They seek to intimidate not solely the dissenters on the
    scene from even conceiving of disobeying further, but also the broader
    public. Bush, Berlusconi, et. al., are trying to ensure, for example,
    that in the next go around in Washington DC, from September 28 to
    October 4, there will be a small showing of manageable proportions
    rather than the feared immense outpouring of dissent and resistance they
    fear. Corporate elites want to reverse our momentum, pure and simple.

    So what is our response to their violence?

    Fear will exist. It is human. To read about what the police have done in
    Genoa can't help but arouse concerns about safety. And it ought to. We
    should not be ostriches about their vile capacities. But trembling
    should also not exist. Passivity should not exist. And we should not do
    their work for them, dwelling so insistently on our physical pains as to
    disrupt our mental focus and interfere with our broader messages. Nor
    should we react in a kind of dance of danger, thinking we must escalate
    our actions in the same terms they think about escalating theirs. The
    compelling and powerful answer to addressing state violence rarely
    varies from a simple logic. Given our resources and means, we must
    educate about the issues at stake more widely. We must attract and
    sustain ever wider and more lasting support. Our demonstrations must
    include so many people, with so many backgrounds, from so many parts of
    society and so many societies, that the effect of elites utilizing wild
    and intimidating repression will not be to diminish our size and
    capacity, but to enlarge both. We must make Bush and Berlusconi's
    favored tatics benefit us, not them. That is the road to victory.

    If the state can enter our organizational centers, like the Italian
    Indymedia and organizing offices, and can beat to physical submission
    our members, if the state can assault our marches and rallies, and if it
    can do all this with impunity and without a cry of outrage not only from
    us but from much wider circles threatening to join us, then the state
    will do so.

    In coming days and weeks, our discussion about tactics at our
    demonstrations needs to keep forefront a simple logic. What choices on
    our part will best widen our base of support and thereby grow our size
    and deepen our commitment and knowledge, entrenching our dissent and
    even threatening its percolation into other dimensions of social life?
    And what choices, at the same time, will best restrain the military
    capacities of the state by creating conditions under which for them to
    unleash their dogs of war costs them more in lost public support then it
    costs us in harshly broken bodies?

    This is not a pretty cnor even a humane calculus, but it is the logic of
    dissent against monstrous violaters of human civility. We need to make
    known the state's violence against our dissent, of course. But we need
    to retain our priority focus on globalization and capitalism, and on the
    vastly more widespread and deeper violence of these ubiquitous systems.
    We have to achieve growing popular support, growing morement commitment
    and insight, and to simultaneously saddle the state's preferred
    repressive options.

    Michael Albert
    Z Magazine / ZNet


    Here then are a number of sources of direct reports from Genoa...and
    there is more online on ZNet...at http://www.zmag.org

    The most complete reporting now coming from Italy seems to be that which
    is made available by the Italian and the international Indymedia Sites.
    Already, in the short history of emergence of these movement
    institutions, they have become critically important and powerfully
    influential vehicles of our efforts to speak truth to the powerless and
    simultaneously confront those with military and economic power with our
    even greater people's power.

    IndyItaly: http://italy.indymedia.org/

    IndyCentral: http://www.indymedia.org/

    There have additionally been numerous reports emerging from Genoa,
    including from people affiliated with ZNet sending us materials. What
    follows are three links to essays by ZNet folks from on the scene.then
    the full text of a collective statement emerging from Genoa on the 22nd.

    Starhawk's second report. http://www.zmag.org/day_two.htm

    Starhark's first report. http://www.zmag.org/genoa_7.htm

    Walden Bello's report in the Nation.


    State terrorism in Genoa
    International action appeal
    Genoa, early morning 22nd July 2001
    We write from the building of GSF and Indymedia in Genoa after
    witnessing the worst human rights violations in the short history of the
    young movement against capitalist globalisation. Two people were killed
    by the police on the 20th, one in Genoa and one at the border, and
    someone else might have been killed in the most outrageous display of
    fascist state brutality that all of us have seen in our lives, just a
    few hours ago in front of this building.
    This night the police broke into the school Diaz (across the road), one
    of the accommodation places of GSF were people were sleeping at that
    moment, and beat up everyone to the extent that most of the people could
    not walk out and had to be carried in stretchers out of the school. We
    don't know how many people were badly injured because we lost count of
    the amount of stretchers carried out of the school, but they brought
    about 30 ambulances for the injured people. The police also brought at
    least one body bag outside, maybe two, but we don't know yet whether
    there was a corpse inside either or both of them. Everybody was either
    arrested or taken to hospital. According to the testimony of one person
    who could escape before being arrested, people were lying on the floor
    saying 'no violence' when the police broke into the first floor where he
    was, and they battered people so badly that one of the officers had to
    intervene to stop the massacre. In one of the pictures taken by
    Indymedia (http://italy.indymedia.org) you can see a plank of wood with
    nails covered with blood lying next to a corner with big patches of
    blood on the walls.
    The police also broke violently into the GSF and Indymedia building at
    the same time, but here they only destroyed and stole materials. They
    did not attack anyone (although in part of the building it was difficult
    to breathe due to the tear gas). Italian parliamentarians were also
    struck by policemen while they were trying to enter the school Diaz
    while the police was beginning to remove the injured.
    On the 20th and the 21st the police terrorism in the streets was
    unprecedented in recent Western European history. On the 20th they
    murdered a young protestor from Genova, who was shot once in the
    forehead and once in the cheek, and drove backwards over his corpse. A
    young french woman was killed in the Ventemiglia border on the same day,
    while the police was preventing her and other people from entering the
    country. Police attacked and teargassed all the different groups that
    took part in the action. For instance, they threw tear gas from
    helicopters into the assembly point of the pacifist march, charged
    against the tutte bianche and the Network for Global Rights before they
    even started their actions, and injured a still unknown number of
    people. They deliberately mixed the different sorts of political
    expression, trying to create conflicts (for instance by pushing part of
    the black block into the pacifist assembly point). On the 21st they
    massively attacked part of the demonstration for absolutely no reason,
    teargassing the whole area (including the parking lot that served as the
    GSF convergence centre and a nearby beach) and some people were forced
    to jump into the sea just to escape from them - only to find police
    boats facing them in the water. Both on the 20th and the 21st there were
    riots all day, all over the city, which were clearly provoked by the
    police. The forms of provocation were diverse: the television showed
    images of a group of people dressed in black going out of a police van
    and breaking windows, and the black block was visibly infiltrated
    throughout these days. We respectfully ask our friends from the black
    block to reflect on the meaning of this fact, not just for them but for
    everybody else. This request is not meant to imply that they should not
    be present in large collective actions, but merely that we encourage
    them to rethink their role and choices in them. One possible way would
    be to play a role focused on solidarity and defense of other groups,
    similar to the one so successfully carried out by the black block in
    People who are taken to the hospitals are arrested immediately after
    receiving first aid, unless they are in an extremely bad condition. One
    person, a member of a nonviolent group, who was horribly beaten up while
    sitting on the floor with his hands up, went through that experience. In
    the police station he was repeatedly tortured like everyone else there.
    The police was hitting the already wounded areas of his body and
    battering him for no reason. Another person who was arrested and
    released says that they were beating everybody and forcing them to
    scream 'viva il duce', which means long live Mussolini.
    The police terrorism started well before the actions. The last weeks
    were characterised by police searches all over Italy, followed by what
    everybody here considers to be a reproduction of the strategy of tension
    used by the Italian state in the 70s to crash social movements. Letter
    bombs were sent (by whom?) to policemen, the police exploded a car in
    the centre of Genova because it was parked in the same place for several
    days, and they alleged in the media that bombs had been planted in
    several places (including one of the accommodation spaces of the GSF) -
    all of these in order to create an atmosphere of paranoia, fears about
    demonstrators and social terror. They also arrested several people
    before the actions, including a particularly brutal case of a young
    woman who was kept in isolation for four days for having a van (which
    they claimed would be used to break into the red zone) where she kept a
    hatchet for camping purposes. The people who were arrested with her
    report that they were also tortured physically and psychologically,
    including forced exposure to a succession of three posters: a
    pornographic one, followed by one of Mussolini and then one of the Nazi
    Army in action.
    We know that many solidarity and denounciation actions have already
    taken place all over the world and that many more are being planned (see
    http://italy.indymedia.org). We encourage all the groups that have not
    planned actions yet to do so, and to prepare for sustained actions to
    continue until those responsible for these outrageous human rights
    abuses pay the full price for their actions. We suggest to these groups
    that their minimum demand would be the resignation of the Berlusconi
    government. There is a list of Italian embassies at
    http://www.ethoseurope.org/ethos/embassies.nsf/ (go down to the link
    Embassies of Italy).
    We think that we need to turn this situation into a serious
    international problem for the Berlusconi and the other G8 governements,
    not just due to a basic sense of justice but also because we feel that
    the survival of the movement and of many of us might depend on it. This
    brutality shows the actual panic with which the rich and powerful are
    reacting to the clear fact that the world is beginning to listen to us.
    Seeing that they can no longer write us off as a marginal, temporary
    phenomenon, they are now removing all masks of ostensible democracy and
    showing their real face - one of oppression, violence and terrorism.
    Por todos nuestros muertos, ni un minuto de silencio. Toda una vida de
    lucha. To honor our dead, not a minute of silence. A whole life of

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