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(en) G8, evian report - An incomplete account of events during the G8 Evian summit

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 10 Jun 2003 17:31:54 +0200 (CEST)


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> From: manch(at)imaginator.com]
Just got back from the anti-G8 protests along with the other Anarchist
Federation people. Overall it was good, the anarchist village was very
interesting, several thousand people stayed there and it was well
organised apart from the last couple of days for which nothing had
been planned in Annemasse. The anarchist village was organised as a
federation of "barrios" (neighbourhoods of tents grouped around
kitchens) which held assemblies in the mornings to decide tasks
(cooking, cleaning, building...) and actions.

For the first few days we went to some debates (on Latin American
anarchism, the general strike in France) and concerts, small
demonstrations in Annemasse (a small town next to Geneva, on the
French side) and Geneva. We met anarchists from around the world,
including some people from NEFAC and South Africa. We also met people
from Cardiff Anarchist Network who seem interesting and friendly.

On Sunday the big demonstrations started. We chose to go on the
blocade of the road between Annemasse and Evian (other blocades
occurred in Geneva and Lausanne) rather than the large but fairly
pointless big march to Geneva (which had a sizeable -5000- red and black
bloc). After walking a few kilometres we were confronted by the
police, built barricades and fought against tear gas for 8 hours. The
villagers in this area were friendly, offering us tea and bits of
timber to build barricades with. The various blocades delayed the
arrival of G8 staff and several meetings had to be cancelled, but that
was the only inconvenience caused directly to the summit.

I think that the CLAAACG8 (anarchist convergence)'s decision to focus
mainly on a red and black cortege on the march on Sunday, and its lack
of planning for the following days was a mistake, they should have
concntrated more on direct action.

The next day we took a train to Geneva for a demonstration against
water privatisation, but the train was delayed by the CRS coming on
board and searching everyone. In Geneva we took a tram en masse and
then walked to try and rejoin the other demonstrators at the WTO, but
were blocked by lines of German police with water cannons. We (the AF
people) split off from the main group down a side street with a few
black bloc style people to reach the WTO, but changed our minds when
we heard the main demonstration had headed off, so we tried to rejoin
a group of protestors in another part of town. During this time we got
split up and I and 3 other anarchists wandered around town trying to
see what was happening. We noticed a large group of people (later
found out it was a demonstration against police brutality - one man
broke his spine and 250 arrested in Lausanne) were surrounded by a
bridge. We went on a smaller bridge next to it but this was soon
blocked by police who were only letting people out after checking
their IDs etc. We decided to pass through the police lines as we had a
train to catch - a mistake as I was searched and had all my anarchist
literature, goggles, black clothing confiscated, but was then let
through. While we were standing in this area we four were suddenly
grabbed by plainclothes police and bundled into cars to be driven off
to the main police station, where we were searched again, pushed
around a bit and put in cells. After a while two other demontrators
were thrown in, a guy from indymedia and someone else, both Genevan
locals. After 2 hours three of us were taken out and driven 15km away
where we were dumped, but we managed to hitch hike back to town... The
battles against the police continued, with rubber bullets and water
cannons being used but we went to the legal team and indymedia to try
and find the rest of our arrested friends. At around 1am I got a ride
back to Annemasse.

The demonstrations contnued the next day but we stayed around camp
preparing to leave and there was a big meal with the locals invited at
the end. We left early wednesday morning to get back as there was a
transport strike going on...

Matt


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