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(en) Poland, Warsaw, Media: Anti-Globalisation Protests march in Warsaw

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:57:25 +0200 (CEST)

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Thousands of anti-globalisation demonstrators marched through
central Warsaw on Thursday as the city hosted an economic
summit marking the reunification of Europe.
Flanked by police in riot gear, some 3,000 young leftists,
accompanied by a sprinkling of radical trade unionists and
laid-off miners walked down one of Warsaw's main streets,
chanting anti-globalisation, anti-capitalist and anti-war slogans.
Rolling slowly among the marchers was a float draped in a
blood-red banner with white lettering proclaiming: "The
world is for the people, not for (U.S. President George W) Bush."

Protesters carried placards and banners reading "People are
more important than profits".

Almost 1,000 business leaders and government representatives
are in town for the European Economic Forum, discussing
issues of EU integration as Poland prepares to enter the
European Union with nine other states on Saturday.

Although black-clad, long-haired anarchists predominated,
the protesters included a group of laid-off miners forced to
dig coal out of illegal makeshift pits to feed their families.

The crowd crawled along major Warsaw thoroughfares flanked
by shops, cafes and other businesses boarded up in
anticipation of the kind of rioting that had erupted at
other Economic Forum sites including Seattle, Genoa and Prague.

The heavy police presence, which included water cannon
tucked away in side streets and a helicopter clattering
overhead, was dismissed by many protesters as a typical
example of politicians and the media inciting public hysteria.

"They have been building up the tension for weeks and
inciting public panic, but the only reason is to score
political points," said a 30-year-old lawyer from the
so-called "Legal Team", a police-brutality monitoring group.

"And the media have to have something to show on television
and write about. It's all about profits," he added.

The march is due to move past the Finance Ministry, the
American Embassy and end outside the Polish government
headquarters in the early evening.

"The media reported that football hooligans from all over
Poland were coming to start trouble, but fortunately so far
they have not been heard of," said one policemen surveying
the march.

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