New Civilization News: Genoa Violence Report    
 Genoa Violence Report0 comments
5 Aug 2001 @ 20:22, by Flemming Funch

There are more horrifying reports about the police violence against demonstrators at the G8 Summit in Genoa. Well, not even demonstrators, but people sleeping peacefully. See the full text.

From: Doug Everingham

I am dismayed to see a relayed e-mail message dated Sat, 28 Jul 2001 from: "Ned Iceton"

I have copied sections of the message below. I am horrified at the alleged atrocities and expect all persons who profess democratic and humane principles to join me in calling for due investigation, penalty and compensation by the Italian government.

Public protest is a keystone of the edifice of any democracy. Violence by demonstrators calls for discriminate control of the perpetrators, not indiscriminate police intimidation or provocative infiltration of peaceful demonstrations. Violence by law enforcers is a warning to those who would learn from history that requires more of us to protest, not fewer -- otherwise the tactics of police instigated and government tolerated terror can escalate to a holocaust as happened in another civilized country allied with Italy over half a century ago.

(Dr Hon) Doug Everingham
Australian Minister for Health 1972-75
World Health Assembly Vice-President 1975
UN Delegation Parliamentary Adviser 1982
Member, National Consultative Committee on Peace & Disarmament
(Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade) 1997-2000.

Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 00:52:32 -0700
From: Starhawk
Fascism in Genoa
by Starhawk

I was there when the carabinieri raided the IndyMedia Center and the Diaz school, in Genoa, at the end of the protest against the G8 meeting. We heard the shouts and screams, couldn't get out the door, ran upstairs and hid, fearing for our lives. Eventually the cops found us, but we were the lucky ones. A Member of Parliament was in our building; lawyers and media arrived. There was some obscure Italian legal reason why the police could be deterred. They withdrew.

But nothing could save our friends across the street, at the school where people were sleeping and where another section of the Independent Media were located. The police entered: the media and the politicians were kept out. And they beat people. They beat people who had been sleeping, who held up their hands in a gesture of innocence and cried out, "Pacifisti! Pacifisti!" They beat the men and the women. They broke bones, smashed teeth, shattered skulls. They left blood on the walls, on the windows, a pool of it in every spot where people had been sleeping. When they had finished their work, they brought in the ambulances. All night long we watched from across the street as the stretchers were carried out, as people were taken to the jail ward of the hospital, or simply to jail. And in the jail, many of them were tortured again, in rooms with pictures of Mussolini on the wall.

This really happened. Not back in the nineteen thirties, but on the night of July 21 and the morning of July 22, 2001. Not in some third world country, but in Italy: prosperous, civilized, sunny Italy. And most of the victims are still in the hospital or in jail, as I write this four days later. ...

--That the police could carry out such a brutal act openly, in the face of lawyers, politicians and the media means that they do not expect to be held accountable for their actions. Which means that they had support from higher up, from more powerful politicians. According to a report published in La Repubblica from a policeman who took part in the raid, when the more democratic factions within the police complained that the Constitution was being violated, they were told, "We don't have anything to be worried about, we're covered."

--That those politicians also do not expect to be condemned or driven from office means that they too have support from higher up, ultimately, from Berlusconi, Italy's Prime Minister, himself.

--That they could beat, torture, and falsely arrest Italians means that they do not expect to be held accountable by their own people.

--That they could beat, torture and imprison internationals shows that they do not expect to be held accountable by the international community. And indeed, who is going to hold them accountable? George Bush, the unelected, unmandated heir of a coup? Sweden, which just used live ammunition on protestors? Canada, builders of the Wall of Shame?

--That Berlusconi could support such acts means that he must be certain of support from other international powers, and that these overtly fascist actions are linked to the growing international escalation of repression against protestors.

--That the Italian government used tactics learned from Quebec: the wall, the massive use of tear gas, and that the RCMP had observers in Genoa in preparation for next year's meeting in Calgary, means that police repression is also a global network. As we learn from each action, so do they.

--That the Italian government are now targeting the organizers of the Genoa Social Forum shows where their agenda was heading all along: the discrediting of the antiglobalization network, the discouraging of peaceful and legal protest as well as direct action. The leader of the Forum has lost his job. Others are fearing for their freedom and safety.

It's hard to make sense of all that happened in Genoa. So much happened so fast, and in the middle of it it was hard to know what was going on. The Black Bloc suddenly appear in the midst of a square that is supposed to be a safe space for peaceful gatherings: the police gas and beat the women and the pacifists and let the Bloc escape. We are having a quiet lunch in the convergence center by the sea, when suddenly tear gas cannisters are flying into the eating area and a pitched battle begins directly outside, not a hundred yards away from the main march. Prisoners report being tortured until they agree to shout "Viva il Duce!" The police rationale for the attack on the school was the supposed presence of members of the Black Bloc-but they never attacked the actual Black Bloc encampment, and by the night of the attack most of the Black Bloc had left the city. ...

There are signs, however, that their strategy may backfire. On Monday all over Italy 250,000 people took to the streets. The pressure is on for the Minister of the Interior to resign; Berlusconi's government is threatened. There were demonstrations at Italian embassies all over the world. We need to keep the pressure on, to make sure the issue doesn't fade away. Keep calling and writing the embassies. Get your political organization, union, workplace or group of best friends to write and call. Ask your local news media why they are not telling this story. Now is not the moment to be idealogical and purist; now is the moment to call in all our allies, set aside our differences, and act in solidarity. For if this level of repression goes unchallenged, no one is safe, not the most legal NGO, not the most reformist organization with the mildest demands. If we don't act now, when a political space remains open to us, we may lose the space to act at all.

Continue to organize and mobilize for the next one. Fear is their most powerful weapon. The fact that they must resort to fascist violence shows that we are a serious threat.

If we want to continue to be a threat, we also need to look critically at our own movement, to identify what we do that leaves us wide open to infiltration and manipulation.

And we need both better preparation and better networks of support for these actions.

The Genoa Social Forum needs support. They've sent out the following call-please answer it:

On Monday the opposition has demanded in Parliament the resignation of the Ministry of Interior and on Tuesday demonstrations in thirty Italian cities are held, with more than 250,000 people participating.

We ask your help for denouncing these threats to democracy and justice. You could act in one or more of the following ways:

1. Write a short statement (or a brief article) in support of the right to protest against the G8, in solidarity with the Genoa Social Forum and the peaceful demonstrators. Please state clearly your affiliation. The texts will be published by the Left daily Il Manifesto, and by other media around the world.

2. Send formal messages of support on behalf of associations, NGOs, media organisations, Universities, etc.

3. Write/sign an international appeal for democracy, justice, respect of human and civil rights. If many of you are interested, we can work together on a text in the next days.

Please send your articles and messages to the Genoa Social Forum
via San Luca 15/9 - 16124 Genova
tel. 010 2461749 fax 010 2461413
e.mail -

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