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(en) France, ANNEMASSE, Media: French Police Teargas Anarchists in G8 Eve Clash

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 2 Jun 2003 09:43:52 +0200 (CEST)

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

ANNEMASSE, France (Reuters) - French police fired teargas on
Saturday to disperse several hundred anarchists in the first major
disturbance ahead of a summit of the "Group of Eight" leading
industrialized countries.
Eyewitnesses said the incident came after the protesters marched
from an anti-G8 campsite near the French town of Annemasse on the
Swiss border to blockade a building where French Socialist Party
activists were meeting.
It was the first clash in what both protest leaders and police had said
would be a series of peaceful marches and sit-ins during the three-day
summit in the nearby French spa town of Evian, which opens on

Authorities on both sides of the border, fearful of a repetition of
violence that rocked a G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, two years ago, have
mounted a massive security operation involving some 25,000 police
and security officials.

It was not immediately clear why the anarchists, carrying their
traditional black-and-red flags, decided to march against the socialists
-- although hard-left movements generally regard social democratic
parties as "hirelings of capitalism."

Marchers said they threw stones at the building where the socialists
were meeting to discuss the G8 summit after guards inside fired a
spray at them. There was no immediate comment from the socialists.

The anarchists began setting up barricades but French riot police
moved in, firing volleys of teargas to push them back to the campsite
at Annemasse airfield, where earlier in the day protesters were
instructed in passive resistance techniques.

Police barricades were going up on both sides of the French-Swiss
border around Lake Geneva to halt protesters trying to move off
permitted routes. Army helicopters circled overhead.

In Lausanne, across Lake Geneva from Evian, various groups
denouncing the G8 leaders, who include President Bush and Russian
President Vladimir Putin, were considering ways to try to block water

While most G8 leaders are staying around Evian, about a dozen prime
ministers and presidents who are summit guests, including China's
Hu Jintao, will stay in Lausanne and travel across Lake Geneva from
the Swiss to the French side.

Protesters accuse the G8 chiefs of acting like "Masters of the
Universe" and say the poorer nation leaders -- who include Brazil's
new left-wing President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva -- will get nothing
more than crumbs from them.

The G8 include Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Russia and the United States.

What We're Doing in Annemasse
by Poon 1:55pm
UK Indymedia
Sat May 31 '03

A trip from the Intergalactique camp to the local supermarket took an
unexpected turn today when we found ourselves in the midst of
several hundred people on their way to protest at a meeting of the
French Socialist Party. Much like New Labour in Britain, the Socialist
Party in France has more in common with the G8 leaders in Evian than
with those of us who want to expose the effects of their policies. Given
this, a group decided to pay a visit to a meeting of the "Socialists" in
Annemasse and we went along for the ride :-)

For a tense 30 minutes or so outside the meeting, demonstraters
banged on the windows and tried to get in to the hall. Eventually
stones and other things to hand were thrown at, and then through, the
windows. The police, who were nowhere to be seen before this point,
soon arrived. They were very quick to use tear gas which sent the
crowd slowly back towards the camp. Local people were cheering us
on and throwing bottles of water from their windows and balconys for
us to wash off the gas. One family were lowering a bucket from their
balcony for our empty water bottles which they re-filled and passed
back to us.

The police then spent several hours pushing the crowd back towards
the camp, firing a lot of gas as they went. I think the action was useful
in that it made clear to the French Socialist Party that their version of
Socialism (i.e. neo-liberalism!) is not a part of our movement of
movements for social change and globalisation from below! It was also
good to see so much support from local people :-)

Photos at:

Geneva, May 30


Lausanne, May 29


Links at:


Link: http://indymedia.org/g8/

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