Vorbemerkung: Walden Bello, philippinischer Soziologe, mit seinem Institut "Focus on Global South" in Thailand, ist einer der bekanntesten Globalisierungs-Gegner aus dem "Süden". Den ersten Text hat er knapp vor dem Beginn des G8-Gipfels in Genua auf seiner Homepage veröffentlicht, den zweiten am Schlußtag des Gipfels.
Seine Kritik am "Black Bloc" ist aufschlußreich.
Der "Schwarze Block", der für sich den Begriff
"Anarchisten" vereinnahmt (und dabei die gewaltfreie
Tradition und Grundhaltung der meisten Anarchisten ignoriert)
und geschickt durch Polizei, Politiker und Medien instrumentalisiert
wird. Die Demonstranten haben ihren Kontrahenten auf beiden Seiten
wieder einmal ungewollt eine realistische Manöversituation
für die Erprobung von Strategien und Techniken zur "Aufstandsbekämpfung"
geliefert. Welche Rolle dabei infiltrierte Provokateure (teilweise
Zivilpolizisten) spielen, muß - auch aus den Erfahrungen
von Seattle bis Prag - erneut recherchiert und evaluiert werden.
Dies ist - neben anderen Faktoren - der Grund warum ich mich an
solchen Großdemonstrationen nicht beteilige.
Zwei weitere Erlebnisberichte von Starhawk, einer Trainerin und
Aktivistin in gewaltfreier Aktion aus den USA, findet ihr unter
Matthias Reichl, 23.7.2001
Tensions Rise in Genoa as G-8 Summit Nears
..by Walden Bello
......"Strategy of Tension" is the phrase in
the air as Genoa prepares for the G-8 Summit. The explosion of a letter bomb
that hurt a policeman has made some people compare the atmosphere to that which
existed in the 1970's, when a series of bomb explosions in Milan, most of which
remain unresolved, became the pretext for a crackdown on the progressive movement.
No one is saying that the authorities deliberately set off the explosion, but
all groups associated with the Genoa Social Forum organizing the counter-summit
vehemently deny that anyone from the progessive sector and civil society had
anything to do with it.
......An unparalleled series of restrictive moves have been set in motion
by authorities, ostensibly to provide security to the leaders of the G-8 that
are meeting in this ancient Italian city, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
Leaders of the Genoa Social Forum, who expect some 100.000 to 200.000 people
to join the protests here, say that the moves are simply directed at scaring
people from coming and "criminalizing" the movement.
......Many people, including Nigerian lawyer Oronto Douglas, have been prevented
by France from entering Italy. There are also reports that Jose Bove, a key
leader of the anti-corporate globalization movement, was stopped at the border,
though he was ginally allowed through. Upon hearing of instances of French authorities
cooperating with the Italian government's restrictive moves, Susan George, one
of the luminaries of the movement, said, "I am ashamed of being a French
...... The authorities have made life "very difficult" for the Genoa
Social Forum organizers, said Cristina Bianchi, one of the key organizers. They
told hotels not to accept reservations except for people from the press. They
were late in making available the huge tents near the beach where the Forum
was to be held. They pulled out their offer to provide services for simultaneous
translation at the last minute.
.......Despite these obstacles, the Social Forum was launched on Monday, January
16. Panels have been set up on a variety of topics, including "Our World
is not for Sale," "Globalization and Work, " and "Who Needs
Trade Liberalization." The massive teach-in is in preparation for the mass
marches and mobilizations that begin on Thursday.
.......Authorities have sealed off the ancient center for the city from demonstrators.
However, a number of groups, including the famous Ya Basta! ("White Overalls")
have promised to breach the so-called "red zone," using special instruments
to force their way through.
.......With heated preparations going on on both sides, Genoa promises to
be a confrontation between the pro- globalization elite and the anti-corporation
globalization forces that will rival Seattle, Washington, DC, and Prague.
.......After being here for a few days, I am more than ever convinced of the
words of C. Fred Bergsten, a partisan of globalization, that their side has
lost the initiative and that our side now has "the ascendancy."
From homepage; http://focusweb.org
The Battle of Genoa
by WALDEN BELLO
Genoa; Sunday, July 23
Organizers of the anti-G8 protest in Genoa say that 200.000 people came from
all over Italy and Europe to join the mammoth demonstration yesterday. In contrast
to Friday, the day seemed to be relatively peaceable...until the evening. At
around 11 pm, while I and several media people were filing stories, the police
barged into the Genoa Social Forum press center in search of "anarchists."
"Prensa, prensa," we shouted, our hands held high, as baton wielding
carabinieri pushed us and commanded us to sit on the floor. We were captives
for the next hour, but things were worse at the high school next door which
served as temporary quarters for people coming from out of town. About 200 police
in full riot gear crashed into the building, rounding up Nazi-style about twenty
young people suspected of being anarchists.
Still things were less chaotic than the day before. I will never forget Friday.
The police van came careening down the Via Giovanni Tomaso Invrea, moving
crazily from one side of the narrow street to the other in pursuit of protesters.
I flattened myself against the wall, and it missed me by two feet. Another six
inches and it would have mowed down the man in front of me. "Assassino,
assassino," people screamed as the vehicle stopped a few yards away. A
bald carabineri opened the door and glared at us.
Everything happened so quickly. Just twenty-five minutes before, at around
2:15 pm, a column of around 8.000-10.000 people, led by the famed specialists
in civil disobedience the Tute Bianche, were marching down the Via Tolemaide,
with marshalls using megaphones announcing, "This is a nonviolent march.
We believe in nonviolence." The goal of the marchers was to reach the twenty-foot
wall of iron that the authorities had erected around the Group of Eight meeting
site at the Piazza Ducale about two kilometers away.
They never reached the wall. At the foot of the hill, at the intersection
with Via Corsino, carabineri hidden in a small side street started firing tear
gas in an unprovoked attack that scattered the advance ranks of the march where
there were many reporters and television crews.
The Battle of Genoa had begun.
Throughout the next four hours, the battle unfolded in the narrow sidestreets
and the small piazzas of the Corso Torino area, with the battle lines shifting
constantly. The police would attack with teargas, vans and armored personnel
carriers. The protesters would retreat, then come back with stones and bricks
ripped from the pavement. Huge trash bins were turned over to serve as barricades.
"Genova Libera! Genova Libera!" would erupt from the crowd everytime
the police were forced back.
At 4:20 pm, I had my first glimpse of an injured man being carried away by
the first aid personnel of the Tute Bianche. It was at around the same time
that one person was shot dead by carabineri in the same vicinity. Ambulance
sirens blared constantly. Later I would find out that about 150 people had been
injured during the day--about fifty of them being members of the media.
I also learned later that there were acts of civil disobedience throughout
the day, the most dramatic apparently being that of a woman from the so-called
"Pink Bloc" of marchers who tried to scale the steel wall to place
grappling hooks on it, only to be hosed down brutally by the police when she
had got nearly to the top.
Unfortunately, the anarchists--the so-called "Black Bloc"--were
also around. Despite efforts by mainstream demonstrators to dissuade them with
dramatic pleas for nonviolence, they went about burning a couple of cars, including
an Alfa Romeo. They also moved down Genoa's beautiful seafront drive, the Corso
Italia, selectively breaking windows--breaking those of banks and car companies
while leaving those of restaurants untouched. "Capitalism kills" with
an anarchist logo alongside was painted on walls.
Many protesters were very upset about the antics of the few hundred anarchists
in a global assembly of about 100.000 people. Fabio Bellini, a 25-year-old Genoan,
told me: "It is right to demonstrate against the G-8. It's right to fight
for a better world, and that's why I'm here. But I don't understand the window
breaking. I'm sad for Genoa." Pam Foster, the coordinator of the Halifax
Initiative in Canada, asked: "Why did the police go after peaceful demonstrators
but take their time dealing with the anarchists?"
The antics of the Black Bloc were the subject of many passionate debates when
the protesters streamed back to the convergence center at Piazza Kennedy at
dusk. Observing one of these spontaneous arguments, Han Soeti of Indymedia-Belgium
commented, "There are reports that instead of arresting anarchists, the
police were escorting some of them to critical areas. I heard the same thing
in Prague and Barcelona."
It is, however, for the new Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, that
the protesters, both Italian and non-Italian, reserve their greatest anger.
During the struggle at the Corso Torino, Gino Pierantoni, another Genoese, told
me, "I don't know where you will find truth in this mess. But I am sure
that a great part of the blame rests with this man, who really is incapable
of leading this country." Berlusconi is regarded as having militarized
the situation, going against the moves of the local government, which tried
to accommodate the protest movement. A retired Italian general who headed the
United Nations peacekeeping force in Beirut in the seventies summed up the feelings
of many Italians when he commented that he did not know why Berlusconi assigned
20.000 carabineri to Genoa when he only needed 2500 troops to keep the peace
in the whole of Beirut.
As in Seattle, Washington, DC, and Prague, organizers of what has been the
biggest anti-globalization protest so far are worried that the street battles
and the antics of the anarchists might overshadow the message that they wanted
to deliver to the G-8. Over several months, the Genoa Social Forum was able
to line up about 600 groups behind a pledge of non-violence. It also sponsored
a week-long teach-in, involving international speakers, with topics ranging
from "Who Needs Trade Liberalization?" to "Mechanisms for Global
Democracy" to "Alternatives to Globalization." Among those who
delivered talks were anti-globalization gurus Susan George, a critic of neoliberalism,
and Jose Bove, better known as the man who dismantled a McDonalds restaurant.
The G-8, however, was deaf to the protests on the streets. While Berlusconi
delivered a carefully crafted statement saying he was "saddened" by
the death of the demonstrator, he also said it was not connected to the G-8.
To add insult to injury, the G-8, on the evening on July 20, issued a statement
in which it encouraged the launching of a new round of trade negotiations in
Quatar. Opposition to a new round and the World Trade Organization was what
had brought thousands of people from all over Europe and the world to Genoa.
In: "The Nation", 23.7.2001
(Published on the internet by Matthias Reichl