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(en) IMC France report on Nice repression

From Joe Black <revolt.news@usa.net>
Date Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:49:15 -0500 (EST)

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

Intergovernmental Conference in Nice:
Impressions (english trans/front) by IMC-France =
1:02am Wed Dec 13 '00 translation@indymedia.org =

 Summary by France-IMC of the protests in Nice. =
(1) Freedom of movement, expression, and protest =
ridiculed (2) Witnesses and journalists were =
prevented from shooting videos. (3) arbitrary =
arrests and convictions (4) Unkept Promises: =
civil force observers were not welcome (5) The =
conditions in Nice that aided or caused the =
confrontations =

 trans. by Julie Rose =

 (1) Freedom of movement, expression, and =
protest ridiculed =
 The Italian express train blocked =
 Although they had paid their ticket and had =
their identity papers, about 2000 Italians were =
blocked at the border at Ventimille. Several =
thousands police officers were waiting for them =
by foot. They got to the border on Wednesday at =

2 PM, and they were sent back to Rome the =
following afternoon, after confrontations with =
the police. =

 Eight protesters were injured. The Schengen =
Agreement guaranteeing freedom of movement in =
Europe had been violated, preventing the =
Italians from going to Nice. Since the Italians =
were not consumer goods, they did not have the =
right to cross the border. =

 There were clashes at the border on Wednesday =
evening. Nearly 3000 protesters converged and =
moved toward the railroad station in Nice to =
denounce this infringement of the right of =
movement and expression. Result: a torrent of =
tears (from teargas). Why were they blocked? =
They are "Tutti Bianche" ("the Invisible Ones =
"), with Ya Basta! The police are afraid of =
their methods of nonviolent direct action, in =
accordance with the beliefs of Vittorio de Ya =
Basta! =

 In support, twenty Spaniards joined the =
Italians at the border. But the French stopped =
the Spaniards. =

 Friday evening: there was a new demonstration =
of support. This time there were no =
confrontations. The police chief of the Alpes-
Maritimes agreed to let them cross the border, =
on condition that they be escorted to =
Marseilles. As they were powering their cars, =
the Italian protesters were surprised that their =
cars had been streaked and their tires slashed, =
even though they were all within 5 meters of the =
police officers... We welcome the tax havens in =
Monaco, but not people! =

 At Cape D'Ail at the Monegasque "border," 200 =
Confederation AC! protesters were stopped by a =
cordon of police officers. The protesters called =
for the suppression of the tax havens, carrying =
"Capital Sharks" cardborad sign. =

 Suppresion of the free trains =
 Although 6.8 million francs (5.7 million by the =
town of Nice and 1.1 million by the =
Intergovernmental Council) were spent getting =
people to Nice, the state refused the unemployed =
passage to Nice on the free trains. Where the =
trains left from--Paris, Dijon, Lyon, Bordeaux--
police officers waited for the protesters. =
Scuffles and several casualties resulted from =
this confrontation. However,leaving Nice, people =
had no problem getting on the free trains. The =
No Pasaran network had arranged for the free =
trains. =

 Conclusions: =

 (A) the rich have the right to express =
themselves =

 (B) the poor have especially the right to be =
turned away =

 (2) Witnesses and journalists were prevented =
from shooting videos. =

 A Zalea TV journalist was arrested Thursday =
when he was shooting a protest against the =
Intergovernmental Conference. He was brutally =
knocked to the ground and hancuffed throughout =
the afternoon. He was released only when the =
assistant national prosecutor intervened under =
the pressure from Zalea TV and Reporters Without =
Borders. Three Kri-prod (a Strasbourg =
collective) reporters were arrested as they were =
shooting video of the demonstrations at the =
entrance to the Leyrit room. =

 One cameraman dodged a blow from a police =
officer, while another officer tried to take its =
camera from him. Twice, the police tried to =
prevent a Indymedia journalist from filming a =
scene where identity cards were being checked, =
and also when the police were getting ready to =
evacuate the Leyrit room. A Patriot journalist =
shooting an altercation got violently kicked in =
the groin by a police officer. =

 British journalists filming the beating of one =
protester were violently shoved. =

 (3) arbitrary arrests and convictions =
 Warning for future protesters: Cheese is =
considered a weapon! =

 Two Spaniards have were arrested and sentenced =
on Friday to one month in jail and two years of =
personae non grata in the Nice area. Arrested =
with seventeen other protesters, they were =
convicted because they had in their bag a =
helmet, a headdress, and an all-purpose pocket =
knife. No one, not even the police officers who =
arrested them, could formally identify them and =
prove that they participated in any of the =
protests =

 (4) Unkept Promises: civil force observers were =
not welcome =

 Although Pierre Moscovici, Secretary of State =
of the European corporations, had promised that =
civil force observers could attend the debates =
of the Intergovernmental Conference, they were =
refused access to Droits In Front! and to the =
World Observatory (a watch group). =

 (5) The conditions in Nice that aided or caused =
the confrontations =

 There was no space made ready for the =
protesters (only a small space was provided at =
the last minute) No space prepared by the State =
or the town hall to accommodate thousands of =
protesters, violating basic civil rights. For =
two nights, Nice became the one town in France =
most inhabited by law enforcement authorities =
(SDF). The mayor of Nice even voted for an anti-
begging ordinance in 1996. =

 Preventive Measures: =

 On Thursday D7 at the beginning of the =
afternoon, a few hundred people peacefully =
gathered in front of a police station to protest =
against the arrest of two Spaniards. A cordon of =
CRS (police) awaited them. Although a delegation =
of three people were speaking with one =
representative of the police force, teargas =
grenades were hurled at the protesters from the =
inside of the police station. No violence cause =
this action at that time. The action surprised =
everyone (including some CRS officers inside the =
police station. Not prepared, these officers got =
hit with the same tear gas as the protesters =

 Redress must begin with attacking these =
"preventive measures": =

 Let us point out Article 13 of the Universal =
Declaration of the Human Rights: =

 " Any person has the right to leave any country =
including his, and to return to his country" =

 As well as Article 19: =

 "Any individual is entitled to the freedom of =
thought and expression, which implies the right =
not to be arrested for his opinions and that to =
seek, to receive and to disseminate--without =
consideration of border--information and ideas =
by available means of expression. This is =
necessary in order to show people concrete =
things that exist in the world." =

 So therefore Thursday afternoon a group of ten =
people chose a few targets to hurl inoffensive =
balls at: seven bank buildings; two floors of =
Prisunic (a department store), and a buffalo-
grill restaurant. The police had to evacuate =
those places. =

 france.indymedia.org/ =

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