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"ricardo dominguez" <>
     Activists Weigh the Cost of Confrontation First Tear Gas Now Bullets
*the girlfish* <>
     genua  :: his name is Carlo Giulliani

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From: "ricardo dominguez" <>
Subject: Activists Weigh the Cost of Confrontation First Tear Gas Now Bullets
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 08:50:51 -0400

Week of July 18 - 24, 2001

Activists Weigh the Cost of
Confrontation First Tear Gas, Now

by Sarah Ferguson

Protesters share a sense that police
will be violent no matter what they do:
A woman hit directly by a tear gas
canister in Quebec City. photo: Jake

Hannes Westberg, 19, has spent the past
few weeks in a hospital bed in
Gothenburg, Sweden, the victim of
panicked cops who fired live ammunition
into a crowd of anti-globalization
protesters during the June European
Union summit. The son of a renowned
Swedish physician and anti-nuclear
activist, Westberg was one of three
youths hit; he lost his spleen and a

That same month, police in Papua New
Guinea shot 17 university
students-killing three-who were
peacefully dispersing a demonstration
against the World Bank and IMF. These
shootings have significantly upped the
ante in the escalating war between
police and protesters at global summits.
"It's definitely a wake-up call," says
Eric Laursen of the New York City Direct
Action Network, which has been staging
weekly vigils outside the Swedish and
Papua New Guinea consulates. "People
have to realize that these are
international protests, and that there
were Americans in Gothenburg who could
have been shot, too."

While many activists feel galvanized by
the repressive policing, others question
whether the level of street combat at
recent events has gone too far. They
fear the violence from small factions of
militants-greatly amplified by the
media-plays to police efforts to
demonize the movement, while obscuring
its pro-democracy aims.

In Genoa this week, authorities have
responded with near hysteria to the
100,000 demonstrators expected to
descend on the ancient Italian port city
during the meeting of the G8-the seven
richest nations plus Russia. A missile
defense system has been installed to
guard against airborne attacks (there've
been rumors of an assassination plot on
President Bush by Osama bin Laden), and
more than 18,000 police and paramilitary
troops have been mobilized in one of the
biggest security buildups in the
country's postwar history. The airport,
train stations, and access roads will be
shut down and the center city blockaded
with armored trucks. That hasn't daunted
the militant anarchists of Italy's Tute
Bianche (White Overalls) movement, whose
members are plotting a mixture of
seaborne assaults and medieval-style
attacks using battering rams and
catapults to launch dead fish and paint
bombs at police.

The mere threat of mass demonstrations
has succeeded in putting the global
elites on the run. Last month the World
Bank decided to hold its June meeting
over the Internet rather than risk a
tear-gas-soaked riot in Barcelona.
(Thousands turned out anyway, resulting
in violent clashes when police stormed
the crowd.) And with few places willing
to endure another "Battle of Seattle,"
the World Trade Organization is hosting
its November ministerial in Qatar-a
repressive monarchy where street protest
is illegal.

But disrupting the pageantry of trade
summits is one thing; building a
broad-based, enduring campaign against
global inequity and the abuses of
corporate power is another. Though the
vast majority of protesters remain
nonviolent, in Europe at least, the
violence of a few threatens to alienate
the public at large. Covering Sweden,
the press was more outraged by the rowdy
"mobs" who tore up cobblestones and set
café chairs ablaze than by the cops who
lost control. Mainstream groups like the
U.K.'s Drop the Debt considered pulling
out of this week's actions in Genoa
because of the prospect of further
violence between police and protesters

"All this whiz-bang of tear gas and
rubber bullets diverts the public's mind
from what's at stake," says Kevin
Danaher of Global Exchange. "We're
losing the substance of our critique. If
anything, we need to be
superdisciplined. The movement is still
trying to work out how we police

With confrontations ranging from
dangerous to comic, imposing order may
be impossible. In Prague, during the IMF
and World Bank meeting last fall, police
were set aflame with molotovs. This
spring in Quebec City, the violence at
the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas
summit was more a defensive, even
sardonic, measure. Cops were hammered
with everything from snowballs and teddy
bears to chunks of concrete, pool cues,
slingshot marbles, and a couple of
flaming Christmas trees.

Carolyn Bninski, 51, of the Rocky
Mountain Peace and Justice Center in
Boulder, watched from a hotel room as
riot police advanced on a crowd gathered
round a bonfire in the middle of a
downtown Quebec City thoroughfare. "I'm
fully committed to overturning the FTAA
and the economic oppression that lies
behind it, but I want to do it
nonviolently," said Bninski, as
skirmishes broke out below. "To me,
nonviolence is not a strategy or a
tactic; it's a philosophy. It's about
being willing to take on suffering so
that people will be won over to the
righteousness of your cause."

At the word suffering, Blackstar, an
18-year-old anarchist from Denver,
grimaced. "People between 16 and 22
years old are pissed off as hell because
in 15 to 20 years, the planet is going
to be a fucking wasteland," he said. "So
we don't want to be passive anymore.
Those are old tactics for older times."

Their late-night exchange shows the
difficulty this still congealing
movement has in forging a coherent
strategy of mass protest. At one pole
are pacifists like Bninski, veterans of
the anti-nuke and Central America
solidarity efforts, who take their model
from Gandhi and Martin Luther King. At
the other are a small but increasingly
visible group of radicals who believe
that militant confrontations-everything
from smashing Starbucks to chucking
rocks at police lines-work.

Like Blackstar many come from a
generation that has never seen
nonviolent protest achieve real change.
"Fear is a very important thing," says
Rockstar, a 22-year-old anarchist from
New York. "It's all we have in terms of
power leverage. We don't have money to
buy our politicians. If you don't have
money, that's all you have."

Veteran activists argue fear alone can't
sustain a cause-or even get a message
across. "The militant fringe of the
movement that's willing to engage in
public acts of vandalism or scrap in the
streets has done an amazing PR job,"
says John Sellers of the Ruckus Society,
a direct-action training group. "It's
one of the most dynamic in growth
because it's so emotionally charged.

"But since Seattle, we still have to
slow down and talk about what we're
fighting for, and what does our victory
look like," Sellers adds. "That vision
has to inform what we do. Do we want to
build a movement that's about throwing
chunks of cement and then celebrating
when we take a cop out? Or a movement
that has respect for life, and that
represents a moral and ethical high
ground to the violence perpetrated by
the state?"

Such idealism is vulnerable on the
street, where protesting has become a
kind of extreme sport, requiring ever
more elaborate uniforms of protective
gear, training in tear-gas survival and
scaling walls, cell-phone-wielding
communication teams, and an army of
street medics to treat the wounded. In
Quebec, kids joked that instead of
forming anarchist soccer leagues they
ought to take up lacrosse to boost their
skill in volleying back gas canisters at
the next showdown. After the April
summit, Sports Illustrated ran a photo
of a protester whacking a gas canister
with a hockey stick-a rather worrisome
editorial wink.

As a rite of passage, summit hopping has
become chic. Trumping protesters' ire,
the Gap has begun hawking its jeans in
window displays that feature anarchist
flags and slogans like "Freedom" and "We
the People" in fake black spray paint.
Similarly, Apple is using the image of
young militants waving red flags in a
new "Think Different" ad, and Lipton is
running an iced-tea commercial that
spoofs on activists getting blasted with
water cannons.

You can't blame the corporations for
seeking to co-opt anti-corporate rage.
"The violence has become almost
ritualized," says Mike Roselle, a forest
advocate for Greenpeace who founded the
Ruckus Society and helped start Earth
First! "People aren't that freaked out
by someone breaking a Gap window
anymore. They're not blaming
provocateurs. They know this is a
serious grassroots uprising that spans
leftists, environmentalists, labor, and
students, and that people are not afraid
to keep coming back for more."

Perhaps more surprising than the nearly
5000 tear gas canisters that police
fired at demonstrators in Quebec was the
willingness of the crowds to hold their
ground. By the second day, it wasn't
just black-clad anarchists and nihilist
street kids dashing into the fray to
hurl back the fuming, red-hot canisters,
but ordinary college kids, angry locals,
even a mother with a child on her back,
incensed that the cops had fired into
her group of peaceful demonstrators. The
summit became a lesson in how
indiscriminate force can radicalize a
movement. "The cops basically just
inoculated a whole new generation of
kids who aren't afraid of tear gas
anymore," says Danaher of Global

Yet there's a danger in getting caught
up in these protests as a form of
abstract guerrilla theater, divorced
from the real consequences of
globalization. Or the consequences to
yourself. Eric Laferriere, a protester
in Quebec, was hit in the neck by a
plastic bullet and underwent an
emergency tracheotomy. He left the
"Carnival Against Capitalism" with a
six-inch metal tube in his throat. And
with authorities now targeting activists
as the new domestic "terrorists,"
protesters who engage in more militant
actions could well get stiff jail terms.
A judge in Eugene, Oregon, recently
sentenced a young member of the Earth
Liberation Front to more than 22 years
for his role in setting fire to three
SUVs and in the attempted arson of an
oil truck.

The heightened level of street combat
isn't likely to cool off any time soon.
Some anarchists are looking to launch a
campaign of chaos in Washington, D.C.,
during the September meeting of the IMF
and World Bank. An Internet call for a
militant Black Bloc action reads, in
part: "We will not rest until every last
bank has been burned, till the memory of
banks has been erased from our world."

While it's hard to take such claims
seriously, the old ground rules of
protest are changing. Demonstrators are
increasingly reluctant to denounce
people who engage in vandalism or fight
with cops, for fear of splitting the
movement into "good" and "bad"
protesters. And they share a creeping
sense that the cops will behave
violently no matter what activists do.
"The police are leaving less and less
room for nonviolent protesters to get
their message across through traditional
civil disobedience," says Laursen of the
Direct Action Network.

"It's really hard to say all we're going
to do is lock ourselves down in an
intersection if the police are going to
use a lot of violence against us."

The new buzz is about "diversity of
tactics"-delineating zones of protest
for different levels of confrontation
with police. This anything-goes approach
fits with the ideal of maintaining an
openly democratic, nonhierarchical
movement. But in practice, such an
open-ended strategy can easily allow for
more aggressive tendencies to hold sway.

Organizers in Quebec tried to set aside
green zones for festive, nonviolent
protest, a yellow zone for "defensive"
nonviolence, and a red zone for "high
risk" actions. But they quickly changed
color with the level of police response.
By the end of the first night, the
streets were a surreal collage of heated
battles interspersed with throbbing
techno jams, street fires, and om-ing
peace circles, all enveloped in clouds
of noxious gas. In fact, the protests in
Quebec were as militant as they were
because more peaceful groups ceded turf,
rather than try to carry out nonviolent
civil disobedience within the diversity
of tactics model. Quebec union leaders
chose to direct the massive "People's
March" of up to 50,000 people to a
coliseum parking lot miles away to avoid
mixing it up with anti-capitalists who
were intent on tearing down the fence
erected to seal off the summit in the
upper portion of town. That decision
frustrated many rank-and-file members,
who later donned scarves to brave the
gas-soaked bluffs.

"A lot of our members were appalled by
what the police were doing, and wanted
to show their opposition in a more
meaningful way," says Catherine Louli, a
media rep for the Canadian Union of
Public Employees. "But the question is,
If we were to stake out a piece of that
fence for a nonviolent direct action,
would we have been able to carry it
through? How would other groups react if
in our action, peace officers will
subdue someone who throws rocks at
police? I'm all for 'diversity of
tactics,' but it has to be a two-way

For some, the whole concept is just too
freewheeling. "If a movement is going to
win over a majority of the population,
it's got to show that it has
responsibility," says George Lakey of
the Quaker-based group Training for
Change. "These global collisions are
vague because there are no precise
goals. There's hardly a framework for
even thinking about long-term strategy
and building allies amid all the focus
on tactics and police violence."

Lakey has a point. Rather than debating
whether property damage is "violent,"
activists need to focus on whether it
supports their larger aims. The problem
has been how to formulate clear goals in
such a sprawling movement, with some
groups seeking to reform institutions
like the IMF, and others looking to
abolish them altogether. But points of
consensus are emerging. In D.C. this
fall, instead of focusing so much on
shutting down the IMF and World Bank
meetings, activists with Mobilization
for Global Justice (an umbrella group
that spans labor, environmental,
student, religious and direct-action
groups) are uniting around central
demands such as debt cancellation for
impoverished countries and opening these
private meetings to public scrutiny.

"The shutdown calls worked to bring
people together for the earlier
mobilizations, and to draw attention to
these global institutions, which weren't
really on the radar screens of most
Americans," says organizer Nadine Bloch.
"But now we want to be clear on what
we're asking for, and focus on
alternatives to show that we're not
anti-globalization, but

Despite the tension between
confrontational and nonviolent factions,
demonstrators have managed to shift the
terms of discussion for economic
liberalization. In the U.S. Congress,
there's far more consensus, particularly
among Democrats, that new trade
agreements must have stricter labor and
environmental standards than were
included in NAFTA. The credibility of
the World Bank and IMF is on the brink
as a growing host of critics-including a
Nobel Prize-winning economist-question
the ability of these institutions to
alleviate poverty. Pressured by
environmentalists, the bank recently
announced it would consider no longer
funding oil, gas, and mining projects.

More importantly, the general public has
begun to agree with the demonstrators'
politics. According to a recent survey
by the University of Maryland, most
Americans think U.S. trade policy favors
multinational corporations over the
concerns of U.S. workers, and 74 percent
said the U.S. has a moral obligation to
ensure that foreign laborers don't have
to work in harsh and unsafe conditions.

Faced with an escalating tide of mass
arrests, border closures, and the
likelihood of getting seriously maimed
by the expanding arsenal of "non-lethal"
police weaponry, protesters have begun
to question whether mobilizing
large-scale demos is, in the long run,
sustainable. Summit hopping remains a
rather privileged exercise, and there's
a limit to the number of people eager to
endure tear gas for causes that may seem
divorced from their everyday lives.

That's why more activists are choosing
to focus on the local impacts of
globalization. "One of the problems of
these summit protests is they've been
showcases for young white activists, and
not those who are most affected by the
policies they're demonstrating against,"
says Jia Ching Chen, of the San
Francisco group JustAct, which organizes
youth activists of color. "We can't
change the system unless (we find) ways
to involve the people who are actually
feeling the impacts of
globalization-poor people and people of
color who don't have the resources and
can't take the risk of going to some big
protest where they might get arrested."

During the FTAA protests in Quebec,
there were over 80 rallies, marches, and
direct actions across North America,
including nonviolent blockades at the
U.S.-Canadian border in northern
Washington and Buffalo, New York.
Activists also marched from San Ysidro
to Tijuana in an effort to draw
parallels between the job losses in the
U.S. and the environmental and social
squalor brought by the spread of
maquiladoras in Mexico. While these
demonstrations don't have the
international splash of large summit
protests, they put the injustices of
globalization on people's doorsteps.

The protests surrounding the WTO's
November meeting may present the first
real test of whether the fervor of mass
actions can be achieved on a local
scale. Already, activists in New York
are scheming to blockade the New York
Stock Exchange as part of a global day
of teach-ins and actions against
corporations and financial institutions.

"I think Qatar will start to spell a
different way of doing things," says
Tony Clark of the Polaris Institute, a
progressive think tank in Canada.
"There's no opportunity for a mass
demonstration. So that will compel
people to decentralize and regionalize
their actions. And I think that's better
for the movement in the long run. Unless
we do develop a broader, more
decentralized movement, we won't be able
to build the momentum to turn things
like the FTAA and the WTO around."

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Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 07:23:02 +0100
From: *the girlfish* <>
Subject: genua  :: his name is Carlo Giulliani


Now it's a turning point!!!
by Flaco 3:49am Sat Jul 21 '01 (Modified on 7:42am Sat Jul 21 '01)

Italy's police sent 23 year old Carlo Giulliani to his grave tonight.
Surely, it is time to make some changes. The power is in the hands of
the wrong people.

A Turning Point. A call for global General Strike

For decades - from Asia to Africa, Latin America and beyond, families
have been burying fathers, sisters and first born sons for physically
confronting the forces of capitalism. But today spells something
different. For the first time, the global elite has begun to kill the
children of its own people.

Seattle may have been a watershed, but today in Genoa is a turning point
for the anti-capitalist movement. How we play it from here will have
repercussions far beyond the streets of Northern Italy. It was no freak
overeaction, or worst case scenario, that left one mother mourning and
another preparing to, as the sun hit the sea tonight

 The snowball that has been gaining weight and speed as it rolled from
Geneva to Prague to Gothenburg has become far too thorny a spike in the
side of those steering the planetary carve up. So bullets meet brains -
and young people are shot dead for daring to think there can be another

The message from the world?s authorities is clear: go back to your
homes, do not meddle in what does not concern you - because if you do we
will kill you.

 From every government in the G8 hideout, the desired outcome is the
same: that the western world?s young-blood upstarts will return to
smoking dope and stealing traffic cones and leave the intricasies of
global economics alone. Dissent, they say, will no longer be tolerated.
The whip of economic dictatorship is finally cracking at home.

But where we go from here is yet undecided. Bush, Berlusconi and their
cronies, want us to crawl back to our workplaces, to the fear of
unemployment and to the gratitude for an irregular playtime. But we can
say no. We can say: you?ve gone too far. We can say: we do not care how
well protected you are with your armies, your police, your banks or your
brands, because we have had enough. You cannot shoot us down in the
street and expect us to walk away.

>From everyone who walked away from the streets of Genoa today, and from
our brother Carlo Giulliani who was gunned down for caring too much, the
call is going out to the workers, the players and the carers of the
world: the time has come to say: Ya Basta!. Enough is Enough. On Monday
the workers of Italy are threatening to embark on a general strike in
defiance of a global elite who think they can kill those who will not
tow the party line.

And, the call is going out from Genoa to the people of every country on
this planet. Join us, and down tools in solidarity with Carlo and and
the millions who died alongside him, and demand that we finally set this
planet on the road to a genuine, inclusive democracy. Let the message go
out to the world?s would be leaders that when they pulled the trigger,
they signed their own death warrant.


July 20 2001

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