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(en) France, MEDIA: Police mobilise against gathering of EU anarchists

From Chuck0 <chuck@tao.ca>
Date Thu, 7 Dec 2000 02:11:08 -0500 (EST)


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Up to 100,000 people are expected to demonstrate against the "infernal
machine of the European Union" at the summit in Nice that begins today –
the largest protest at an EU gathering.

Most demonstrators will come from the far left and will reunite the
anti-capitalists who protested violently against globalisation at the
world trade summit in Seattle last year.

More than 6,000 police have been mobilised to protect the summit at the
Acropolis palace, known as "the bunker". And with up to 1,500 Italian
anarchist "zapatistas", and anarchist groups from France, Britain, Portugal,
Denmark and the US planning to attend, confrontation seems inevitable.

Scuffles broke out at French railway stations on Tuesday when members of
a French anti-unemployment group demanded the right to free travel to
Nice.
Police were called to the Gare de Lyon in Paris and to stations in half
a dozen other cities when the demonstrators tried to block ticket offices
and tracks. One group that boarded a Nice-bound train was violently ejected
by police at Valence.

About 50,000 mainstream trade unionists from the 15 EU countries marched
through Nice yesterday to demand protections for workers' rights, but
the "counter-summit" proper will begin today, with demonstrations and
conferences that will allege that the EU is an ultra-liberal Trojan
horse for globalisation.

Several of the anti-globalist leaders prominent in Seattle will attend,
including the French small farmers' leader, José Bové.

Unlike Prague and Geneva, sites of the last two anti-globalist jamborees,
Nice has declared it intends to continue business as usual. The
Gaullist, but former National Front, mayor of the city, Jacques Peyrat, dismissed
the counter-summit as an "extravagant hotch-potch of protest".

The decision to hold the summit in Nice was taken by the French
President,
Jacques Chirac, against the wishes of Lionel Jospin, the Prime Minister,
who feared that the city's far-right tradition and the far-left
demonstrations might prove an explosive mix.

French national authorities will police the event, not Mr Peyrat. A
no-go zone has been drawn around the summit itself, and there are efforts to
prevent some demonstrators from reaching Nice; a train booked by Italian
anarchists was cancelled on Tuesday and the EU's Schengen open-borders
agreement is being suspended at the Italian-French frontier for four
days to allow police to refuse entry to anyone seen as a likely trouble-maker.

"Nice is not, and will not be, under a state of siege," declared
Jean-Rene Garnier, the Prefect (senior national government official) of the
Alpes-Maritimes département, who will be leading the security operation
in Nice.

> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/World/Europe/2000-12/niceprotest071200.shtml
Police mobilise against gathering of EU anarchists

By John Lichfield in Paris


7 December 2000


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