|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" email@example.com
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
Fascism in Genoa
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
--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
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
--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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com