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(en) Synthesis of indymedia news from Nice

From Revolt News <Revolt.News@pmail.net>
Date Fri, 8 Dec 2000 17:44:00 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

>From http://france.indymedia.org

This is a first attempt at synthesizing the 
events of the last two days. Please provide any 
comments, error corrections (Thu 7 Dec, 10pm) 
(translated from the original French Fri 8 Dec 

 Wednesday 6 December, the day before the 
opening of the European Summit at Nice, 70,000 
people gathered for a demonstration in this 
French city. The majority of the demonstrators 
were present under the banner of the European 
Confederation of Unions (ECU(?) ou CES, 
Conf=E9d=E9ration europ=E9enne des syndicats). As well 
as the union members, there were associations of 
the unemployed, immigrants, environmental 
activists, groups of communists and anarchists, 
autonomous groups, Kurdish and Turkish 
activists, women's collectives, Basque and 
Corsican activists, etc. There were initially 
planned to be two different demonstrations: the 
unions on one side and the "anti-globalisation-
ists", unemployed people's associations, ATTAC, 
progressive and left-wing parties, etc. on the 
other. It finally turned out that the joined 
together at the last moment, even if their 
demands were not the same. In fact, the ECU/CES 
supports the adoption of the Charter of 
Fundamental Rights but criticises its weakness, 
while the Collective for a Counter-Summit 
(grouping together numerous associations) 
rejects the Charter for Fundamental Rights. 

 The path through the streets authorised, by the 
Mayor of Nice, ex-member of the National Front 
(fascist party) for the demonstration was not 
sufficiently long. This is why the unionists 
were already folding up their banners with the 
feeling of a job well done when the end of the 
procession was barely beginning the march. 

 This demonstration was carried out calmly, and 
most of the unionists, as was planned, returned 
to their countries (by plane) after the march. 

 The night of 6 December, 2000 people gathered 
in the Leyrit Gymnasium in order to participate 
in a meeting. Susan George spoke in order to 
announce the present vapidity and decadence of 
international institutions and that changes 
would not come from above. Fran=E7ois Dufour spoke 
in the name of the Conf=E9d=E9ration Paysanne 
(Farmers' Coalition). He explained, among other 
things, why the now world famous Jos=E9 Bov=E9 was 
not present. In fact, Jos=E9 Bov=E9 was intercepted 
on Wednesday in Paris by security forces and 
violently slammed to the ground, when he tried 
to enter the site of the prestigious Automobile-
Club, place de la Concorde, where an 
agricultural conference on the WTO with Mike 
Moore, head of the WTO, was being held. 

 Just as in Prague, hundreds of Italians 
mobilised to participate in the demonstrations 
in Nice. As in Prague, they took the "Global 
Action Express" train for the journey. As in 
Prague, the 1500 Italians of Ya Basta, Tuti 
Bianchi, Rifondazione Communista, were blocked 
at the border. Despite the protests of the 
Italian authorities, the French authorities 
protected by rows of hundreds of riot police 
(CRS) refused to let the Italians through. 
Unperturbed, some attempted the transit by foot. 

 This is how the activists were blocked at the 
Italian border town of Vintimille, where they 
arrived around 0:30am. Since the railway station 
was circled by the carabinieris (Italian 
police), the Italian activists slept in the 
train. The even squatted another train in order 
to have a bit more room. The following day, 
after some discussion, the demonstrators left 
the station in procession in order to visit the 
French Consulate. The Italian police charged 
immediately, and fairly fierce combats took 

 The carabinieris fired tear gas [at close 
firing range?, translation unsure of "=E0 'tirs 
tendu'"]. Several people had to be transported 
to hospital. After the confrontations and after 
having reached the Consulate, the Italians 
decided to return to the station. So, they were 
able to demonstrate in this border town. They 
discussed with the locals and went their way 
back home. At G=EAnes (Genova, [English name?]), 
Rifondazzione Communista launched an appeal to 
demonstrate and demanded the sacking of the 
Prefect (Governor) responsible for the police 
violence at Vintimille. 

 In response to the blocking of the train at 
Vintimille, at Nice, at the end of the big 
demonstration and while the counter-summit was 
underway, thousands of demonstrators went to and 
occupied the Nice railway station and demanded 
the opening of the border for the Italian 

 The riot police (CRS) reacted by attacking the 
demonstrators and throwing them out of the 
station. A few scufflings then took place in the 
centre of the city of Nice. 

 Also in response to the blocking of the 
Italians, many Spanish and French went to the 
border in order to support the comrades in arms. 

 During the night of 6 to 7 December, the cops 
patrolled in order to systematically stop and 
check identity papers of any group of more than 
three people. 

 Thursday 7 December, at dawn, thousands of 
demonstrators converged towards the Acropolis 
(the place where the official summit is being 
held) in order to block access. Around 5000 to 
6000 people formed different bunches in order to 
hassle the participants of the Summit and the 
numerous cops protecting them. 

 The arrival of the heads of State at the 
Acropolis was not really perturbed. In contrast, 
in the streets, the calm of the previous day was 
replaced by quite violent confrontations with 
security forces. Traffic was blocked in numerous 
parts of the city. The demonstrators were 
charged at and also charged themselves against 
the very widespread police barricades which 
protected the security boundary of the Summit. A 
cloud of tear gas formed above Nice to such an 
extent that the air-conditioning system of the 
Acropolis sucked it in and (it seems) made 
president Chirac sneeze. 

 There were combats, banks burnt, windows 
smashed. A few arrests, too. The demonstrators 
did not attain their target. Which was too well 
guarded by the cops who went even to the lengths 
of door-to-door visists in the "red zone" in 
order to track down locals one by one. 

 The 2000 European delegates were, in effect, 
well protected. As well as the presence of the 
various police forces which arrived from all 
over France (and military forces too), the were 
also interception teams ready to intervene in 
the sea as well as from the air in case there 
was any breakthrough into the security zone. 

 This morning, we were able to observe an action 
by about forty BAC police (cops of the Anti-
Criminal Brigade) who entered into action in the 
conflict zone in the centre of Nice. They were 
armed, among other things, with "flashballs", 
rubber bullet pistols, and chased small groups 
of isolated demonstrators. 

 After the events of this morning, many people 
retreated to the Leyrit hall, centre of the 
Counter-Summit. Later, the gymnasium was 
evacuated by those 2000 people with the kind 
help of the police who fired tear gas and water 
cannon into the room. 

 This morning too, the Assembly of NGO's and 
European associations, named the "Crossroads of 
Civil Society", was held in Nice in order to 
discuss possibilities of working towards a true 
European Constitution which would not rest 
merely a declaration of principles. This meeting 
adopted a motion presented by Raffaele Salinari 
which denounces the behaviour of the French 
authorities with respect to the Italian 
activists' train as "anti-European". 

 This afternoon, several anti-fascists 
confronted the security forces of the neonazi 
party of Le Pen (National Front) who had 
organised a gathering with the approval of the 
City Council. The cops were no longer there and 
one anti-fascists was seriously injured. 

 There was also a demonstration of European 
federalists. In particular, a group of young 
federalists organised a sitting which was 
violently repressed by the riot police (CRS), 
just a quarter of an hour after the adoption by 
the European heads of State of the famous 
Charter of Fundamental Rights, charter against 
which the demonstrations of the last two days 
were organised. 

 Also this afternoon, the autonomous activists 
undertook "smelly ball" actions (banks, 
supermarkets, Buffalo Grill), to "show to people 
a concrete way in which things stink in the 
world". The targets had to be evacuated. 

 In the evening, some demonstrators were 
(already) about to go home, trying to cross the 
police filters at the Nice train station. Others 
organised a general assembly in the Leyrit Hall, 
recovered by other demonstrators (it seems) 
after the evacuation this afternoon. 

 Other info: 

 In the context of the movement to go to the 
Summit of the EU at Nice, several collectives 
were created in France in order to go there by 
free train travel. In several French cities 
(Paris, Nancy,Dijon, Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux, 
Montpellier, Toulouse...) people thus gathered 
together in order to travel together. In 
response, the public authorities and politicians 
reacted by policing actions: railway lines being 
occupied and police evacuations, negotiations 
for low fares, body searches, police charging, 
injuries and arrests. 

 Following the big lodging problems for the 
demonstrators, squats were opened in Nice. In 
contrast, a squat was evacuated by the cops. In 
the night of 6 to 7 December, demonstrators were 
lodged in the Leyrit Hall planned for the 

 Around sixty (60) arrests were noted (thirty 
according to Belgian public radio). There were 
injuries both to demonstrators and to police 

 Some "anti-globalisation" activists got 
together again at the border with the 
principality of Monaco to protest against that 
money laundering paradise. 

 In principle, a solidarity action should 
already have taken place in Ireland and Italy. 
In Brussels, 200 people gathered the 6 December 
to support the Nice demonstrators.


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