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(en) Swiss, Lausanne Solidarity Declaration - A response to press misinformation

From Lausane Solidarity <lausanne_solidarity@yahoo.com>
Date Tue, 3 Jun 2003 14:35:24 +0200 (CEST)

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

The iron fist of police brutality is still preventing
us from piecing together the entire puzzle of events
surrounding the Sunday blockades of the G8. And yet,
the usual suspects are at it again. In the past 36
hours, some sections of the entertainment industry
(also known as the corporate media) have happily
jumped into their usual role: a campaign of
disinformation, criminalisation and intimidation. This
is happening in direct support of the state terrorism
being exercised, as we speak, against thousands of
people in Lausanne, Geneva and Annemasse. We are again
confronted with a fine fabric of half truths and
more-than-half lies, posing as the ‘neutral’ and
‘objective’ account of the G8 blockades.

Sheer urgency precludes a response to all the details
of this nebula of falsehood. We have prisoners to
defend, lungs to decontaminate and good stories to
tell. However, one illusion that needs to be dispelled
right now is the ritual separation between ‘good’ and
‘bad’ protesters, manufactured yet again by the
corporate media in all its sensationalist glory. Le
Matin, celebrating its greatest achievement to date in
the art of rabid inflammation, tells us in a blood-red
headline that ‘the black blocks destroyed the dream of
the pacifists’ in Lausanne. Have they ever considered
the possibility that the two share the very same
dream? 24 Heures rushes to quote the rehearsed and
predictable denunciations by the self-appointed
‘leaders’ of the ‘altermondialistes’, that ridiculous
cadre of middle-aged, middle-class, white, male
opportunists, most of whom might as well be picking
the scraps from under the banquet table in Evian. As
if to enforce this image, pictures of masked
‘casseurs’ are faced, on the opposite page, by the
smiling faces of their holier-than-thou categeurs. And
Le Temps, in the most shameless show of
superficiality, characterises the ‘casseurs’ as
anarchists and fascists at the same time, as if two
such diametrically opposed ideologies could coexist in
any space of political expression. And so on and so
on, as it has always been, lies without end, amen.

Enough of this farce.

This declaration of solidarity is written by friends
who participated in the non-confrontational parts of
Sunday’s blockades in Lausanne. We are speaking in our
name only, not in the name of the Aqua or Pink and
Silver blocs, which have disbanded. Still, as far as
the stupid divisions created by the corporate media
go, we would definitely be perceived as the kind of
‘good’ protesters that they so like to cuddle.

We want to say the following, loud and clear:
For us, the only division worth talking about is that
between the people of the world and the masters of
death and exploitation. The only ‘ring-leaders’ that
need to be exposed, isolated, and removed from their
position of menace to society are George Bush,
Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi, Jacques
Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, Jean Chretien and Junichiro
Koizumi. Our determination to disrupt their yearly
feasts of power is matched only by our contempt for
that other handful of losers in suits who, instead of
fighting for the starving millions of the global
South, came to Evian in order to kiss the hands of the

The blockades were undertaken by a very large number
of people, with different expectations and
sensibilities. But it was abundantly clear, at least
to us, that everybody was agreeing to operate in full
solidarity. This was made clear not only by the
written declarations of the different blocs, but also
from the abundant will to coordinate our fluid actions
on the ground. The fact that some of us chose not to
engage in highly confrontational tactics (whether for
reasons of principle or of prudence) does not mean
that we automatically refuse to cooperate, and defend,
those who did choose higher levels of confrontation.
We are constantly looking for ways to live with our
differences, so as to continue acting together for a
world of freedom, justice and peace.

We challenge the corporate media to reproduce a single
quote or sound-bite from Sunday in which someone who
actually participated in the Lausanne blockades
denounces another participant.

There is talk of fascist infiltration of the various
black blocs. Since Genoa these claims have become
certain people’s knee-jerk reaction to high levels of
confrontation, but we are prepared to look at the
facts. Indeed, from what we saw on Sunday in Lausanne,
there was an enormous presence of fascists on the
streets. They were all wearing police uniforms. These
thugs almost killed one activist, directly beat and
tortured hundreds, and left thousands more injured:
bruised by rubber bullets, traumatised by concussion
grenades and poisoned by highly potent chemical
weapons. The corporate media subsumes, under the
single category of ‘violence’, (a) the occasional
erection of a barricade and its defense with a few
bottles and sticks, and (b) the continuous assault on
unarmed masses of people with tear gas, flash-balls
and icy gushes of water laced with pepper spray. This
is an insult to human intelligence, even if the latter
is as low as that of corporate journalists, Leninists
and cops.

All the blockade actions that took place in Lausanne
had the clear objective of obstructing the arrival of
G8 delegates. The difference was only in tactics. A
clear dimension that they all had in common, however,
was the reclamation of our urban spaces. Whether this
is done through a sit-in, a street party, or symbolic
assaults on corporate property, we have the common
goal of cleansing our living space from its
contamination by capitalism and the state. We want our
streets back, but we are tired of asking politely: we
just take them.

Finally, we find it absolutely preposterous that the
media is willing to play this divisive game after
seeing the amazing levels of solidarity that were
present during the police repression of activists in
the Bourdonnette camp on Sunday afternoon. For long
hours in the blazing sun, surrounded by fully armed
police, protesters who earlier in the day had oriented
themselves to vastly differing levels of confrontation
all maintained a non-violent, collective resistance to
the police’s attempts to intimidate and isolate us. We
were constantly making decisions together by
consensus, chanting slogans in each other’s languages,
freely sharing among us the precious little food,
water and cigarettes that we had, and protecting
people that we had never met before from arrest and
brutalisation as if they were our own family members.
We simply cannot believe that the journalists who saw
this happen were not blown away by our level of
cohesiveness and strength. We know that we were.

To sum up: you can talk all you want, but for us the
G8 blockades were a master-class in revolutionary
solidarity. They were the creation of a movement more
united than we have ever seen it in our lives. We have
discovered, together, that the colours of resistance
can combine in a beautiful rainbow if we just try.
Let the sounds of samba and breaking glass harmonise,
because this movement has something stronger than
guns. It has a memory.

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