Genoa Police Brutality

Jul 01, 2001

GR members in Genoa report outrage and anger at police brutality – police have shot dead one protester – but also that protesters are in good spirits and have high expectations for tomorrow’s march.

The story since our train left Calais on Thursday is as follows:

The Train

After the harassment the train has had from the French government, there was jubilation when it finally set off from Calais. 350 people were onboard, many of them waving from the windows as the media watched.

The mood on the train was excellent – passengers are a wide mix of people, including pensioners, trade union delegates, debt campaigners, socialists, environmentalists, anarchists and a priest.

Two lively meetings on the train discussed non-violent direct action and the politics of the anti-capitalist movement in general.

People on the train were interviewed this morning on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.

People on the train got through the border without any hassle, and then transferred to coaches as planned to take them to Genoa.

Genoa, Friday

Over fifty thousand people have been taking part today in actions around the fence which surrounds the Red Zone – the area in central Genoa where the G8 summit conference is taking place.

Several thousand Globalise Resistance supporters marched towards the fence, which is 4 metres high and made of metal, hoping to confront it. Police attacked with water cannon and pepper spray, and protesters retreated. Several people were also injured, beaten by police as they retreated.

The protesters then attempted to confront the fence at another location. They then joined with the French organisation ATTAC, who were taking part in a peaceful protest elsewhere on the fence. At this point there were a total of 3,000 people involved in this one protest. As people left this protest, police tear gassed them.

Police have also attacked the Convergence Centre – the information centre for people arriving in Genoa to join the protests. The “black bloc” of demonstrators, including anarchists and people committed to direct action, had retreated into the Centre when police had tried to break up their protests. Protesters had erected barricades. The police brought a mechanical digger which dismantled the barricades, and then used tear gas against the three thousand people who were in the Convergence Centre.

There is outrage and anger at the behaviour of the police, who have killed one demonstrator by shooting him in the head and seriously injured another by running them over. Despite these attacks, morale is high. People are determined to continue the protests tomorrow, when up to 150,000 are expected to march with the demand Drop the Debt.

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