nettime's_reductionist on Tue, 24 Jul 2001 07:33:21 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> genoa redux digest [riemens, lovink, barbrook, halleck]

Patrice Riemens <>
     'Stay at Home for a While' Guardian article on Genoa
"geert lovink" <>
     More on Genoa: The Magical Mystery Tour of the Fake Black Bloc 
richard barbrook <>
     GENOA: 'THESE THINGS HAPPEN' by John Barker
DeeDee Halleck <>
     Press release on the attack at IMC Genoa

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Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 00:44:34 +0200
From: Patrice Riemens <>
Subject: 'Stay at Home for a While' Guardian article on Genoa

(bwo Emmanuel Videcoq/Toni Negri/Multitudes list)


            Katharine Ainger

                    (The Guardian, Monday July 23, 2001)

    Plenty of old hands were saying someone would die at Genoa. The signs
were clear in the escalating militarisation on both sides. But the members
of the Landless Movement of Brazil (MST) could tell you that Carlo Giuliani,
the young man shot dead as he protested at the G8 summit, is not the first
casualty of the movement challenging neoliberal globalisation around the
   The MST suffer ongoing persecution for their campaign for land reform in
Brazil, their opposition to the World Bank's programme of market-led land
reform and to the corporate control of agriculture through patents on seed.
Recently three students protesting against World Bank privatisation were
shot in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Young men fighting World
Bank-imposed water privatisation have been tortured and killed in
Cochabamba, Bolivia. George Bush, Tony Blair and Clare Short, who portray
those who protest at the unaccountable institutions of global governance as
ignorant, violent enemies of the poor, do not seem to notice that the poor
are leading the protests.

    Those who run the global economy still seem to think their worst problem
is that they can't find a secure place to meet. Instead of addressing the
root causes of the protests, the World Trade Organisation is fleeing to the
Qatar desert, beyond the reach of even the most determined activist. The
real problem is that its ideological adherence to "free" trade is casting it
not just into the desert, but into the political wilderness. The regime it
is implementing is so destructive that it is sparking off a global uprising
against neo-liberalism.

    Broadly, these uprisings can be described as struggles against the
commodification of every aspect of life - water, genes, atmosphere,
healthcare, culture, public spaces, land. For each locality, the moment when
the people cry "Enough!" is different - but it is usually the moment when
something regarded as central to the culture becomes privatised.

    For the Zapatistas of Mexico it was the signing of the Nafta agreement,
which outlawed the common ownership of land which Emiliano Zapata, folk hero
and revolutionary of 1911, had fought for.

    For much of southeast Asia it was the IMF austerity measures imposed on
their shattered economies after the financial crisis of 1997. In Britain, it
may be the slow sell-off of the NHS to private healthcare multinationals.
Antoni Negri and Michael Hardt, in their seminal work, Empire, call this
grassroots network of struggles "the multitude". It is the opposite of a
concentrated strata of power from above, in which decisions that affect
billions of human lives are made at a transnational level.

    The multitude embodies the real world below: humanity, nature, culture,
diversity - all those factors not reducible to a commodity to be bought and
sold in a global marketplace. In fact, the movement is not
"anti-globalisation" at all. If anything, it embodies "globalisation from
below" - an international multitude which challenges the idea that "the
global surfaces of the world market are interchangeable".

    But the movement, particularly in the wake of the Genoa summit, urgently
needs to build its own, alternative democratic legitimacy. For democratising
the global economy will ultimately not come through increasingly militant
action at summits, but through building a genuine, grassroots legitimacy
from below. Instead of chasing into the desert in Qatar, we should build a
broad-based, pro-democracy movement at home.

    In a million small ways in Britain, that process has already begun. As a
result of campaigning by the World Development Movement, the Scottish
parliament will be holding the first parliamentary debate over WTO's General
Agreement on Trade in Services, which threatens to lock anything deemed a
"service" into privatisation. Unions are beginning to organise against Gats;
the rank and file are already beginning to rebel over public sector

    Middle England continues to complain about GM crops and the railways,
while Scottish crofters have joined the radical, anti-WTO, international
peasant farmers' union, Via Campesina - whose largest member is the MST.
This is the birth of a genuinely popular global uprising against corporate
control and the hijacking of democracy. The movement against economic
globalisation: coming to a town near you.

. Katharine Ainger is editing an issue of the New Internationalist magazine
on global resistance.

M  U  L  T  I  T  U  D  E  S

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From: "geert lovink" <>
Subject: More on Genoa: The Magical Mystery Tour of the Fake Black Bloc 
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 08:23:54 +1000

from: Wu-ming Yi []
sent: Montag, 23. Juli 2001 08:11
subject: The Magical Mystery Tour of the Fake Black Bloc in Genoa

I was in Genoa, I came back worn out, angry, disappointed and feverish,
with the ligaments of my knees destroyed and completely out of voice, and I
say: do not go hunting anarchists, do not criminalize the international
Black Bloc. It is our duty to draw distinctions between the Black Bloc and
what happened in Genoa. It is our duty not to charge with being a
carabiniere in disguise anyone who took direct action in Genoa. Pogroms and
paranoid conspiracy theories do not belong to our culture.
Last friday in Genoa were some German anarchists of the Schwartze Block.
They hit such precise targets as banks and big corporate offices. They had
no intention to attack other demonstrators. On Saturday a Dutch journalist
of Vrij Neederland magazine met them while they were packing and maybe
going back to Germany. They told him they were pissed-off because of what
other "men in black" had done. In fact what went on saturday had very
little to do with the BB's modus operandi: the BB has a method. One may
disagree with them, and yet they have a method and go their own way without
interfering with other forms of action. On the contrary, in Genoa the
carabinieri escorted the trashers all day long, and never charged them, not
because they were too fast and informal, as someone commented. No, they had
all the time to go inside banks, trash them accurately and set them on
fire, an operation which requires more than a quarter of an hour. In the
meanwhile, the carabinieri hanged on in the street, _waiting for them_.
When the trashers went out, the magical mystery tour went on. The
carabinieri quietly accompanied the trashers to the places where many other
people (belonging to the GSF) were demonstrating in other ways, as if they
were walking their dogs. There are hundreds of testimonies. All along the
path the men in black attacked small shops, set fire to cars that certainly
didn't belong to millionaires, destroyed very little gas stations and so
on. Then they were  unchained in the square where hundreds of members of
the Lilliput network were doing a sit-in. The carabinieri followed them and
beat up women and children, boy scouts, peaceful demonstrators.
Then carabinieri and trashers left again and went to the convergence center
in Piazza Kennedy. The carabinieri assaulted the place, then the merry
party directed to Brignole station and bumped into the demonstration by the
civil disobedience bloc, which was still far from the Red Zone. The
carabinieri charged the demonstrators. In the meanwhile, some of those fake
Black Blocsters broke into the ranks of the white overalls and assaulted
some comrades. A very big comrade from Venice-based squat "Rivolta" was
knocked down by a guy that surely was a very well trained martial artist.
After that, the carabinieri kept attacking the demo for seven hours, while
people were trying to go back to Carlini Stadium. The last attack took
place less than 600 yards from the camping. The men in black had completely
This has nothing to do with the praxis of the Black Bloc. In fact many
people saw these fake black blocsters coming out of carabinieri vans,
putting on the balaklava and starting to raise hell, trashers discussing
plans with marshalls, carabinieri giving crowbars to fake black blocsters
The press is reporting these stories, and the national TV is showing
shocking footage.
On June 19th, after Gothenburg, the White Overalls of Bologna and the Wu
Ming collective put into circulation a document titled "Stop the
Encirclement of the Black Bloc". Here it is:
"The Black Bloc is no bullshit. It should not be trivially associated with
vandalism and irrational devastation. It is an informal network of affinity
groups, mostly - but not exclusively - anarchist ones, and it extends all
over North America and continental Europe. They've been active for years,
elaborate strategies and tactics and are willing to transform them in
relation to contexts, alliances and aims. It should be clear that so far
the Black Bloc hasn't manifested itself in Italy.
As the recent history of the movement proves, the Black Bloc are
not  static and can adopt different tactis and seek "cross-fertilization"
like they did in Quebec City during the anti-FTAA mobilisation. In those
days they acted in full respect of the town and its inhabitants, and
concentrated all efforts in tearing down the "Wall of Shame". They even
chose to use symbols and practices devised by the white overalls (pads,
shields, position holding etc.) and co-operated with other affinity groups
in the street.
In Gothenburg the Black Bloc talked with the white overalls and decided to
take action in a common frame including more peaceful protesters. Troubles
started when the vast majority of spokespersons and coordinators were
"preventively" arrested during the thursday night raid. The morning after,
the cops cut in half the demo and isolated a section of it, which was
labelled as "Black Bloc". These demonstrators could only defend themselves
by throwing stones, and a few shop windows were broken [...] The peak of
police violence was reached at an apparently peaceful moment: on friday
night, when the cops surrounded a park where hundreds of youth had
organized a rave party. They attacked the ravers, which tried to resist
unbecomingly [well, you can't always be stylish], then the police fired.
Certainly the rave was not organized by the Black Bloc.
Black Blocsters are political activists, we may disagree with their praxis
and theory, but we don't deem them as brainless Pavlov dogs foaming at the
sight of truncheons.
Moreover, they are more fanciful than people think: a few months ago Black
Blocsters split off a demo in Buffalo, entered a destitute neighborhood and
picked up garbage. When journalists asked what the fuck they were doing,
they answered: "You wrote that we would trash the town, we decided to pick
up the trash!".
We're witnessing a very serious attempt at criminalizing this section of
the movement. We refuse to save our ass to the detriment of the Black Bloc,
we regard them as a fully legitimate part of the movement and refuse any
distinction between "good protesters" and "bad protesters".
White Overalls of Bologna / Wu Ming"
My opinion is not even an opinion, for it is fully supported by testimonies
and video documentation: last friday six or seven infiltrated carabinieri
channeled and directed the (just, albeit blind) anger of hundreds of
anarchist kids who should have known better. The same thing may have taken
place saturday. Reluctantly, we decided to keep people with clubs or stones
out of our demo. We certainly rejected several real provocators who called
us "cops" and probably were cops themselves. Most likely we happened to
beat up the occasional wrong guy, who knows? If that happened we're very
sorry, but we had to defend our affinity group and prevent infiltrations
and aggressions. A Black Blocster told my fellow comrade Wu Ming 5: "You
like to give orders, uh? You communist!". Well, that hurts. I can assure
you that we DO NOT like to give orders.
Instead of starting a witch hunt, we should keep in mind that not all
anarchists are black blocsters and not all black blocsters are cops in
disguise. On the other hand, it is necessary to re-think a tactic that can
be infiltrated and deviated so easily. This is up to the people who adopt
that tactic, but it also concerns those who suffer the consequences of such

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From: richard barbrook <>
Subject: GENOA: 'THESE THINGS HAPPEN' by John Barker
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 01:47:19 +0100 (BST)


John Barker: <>

	You would have to be deaf and blind not to have feared Death in
Genoa. In Gothenberg just a few weeks ago, a young man was shot and
critically injured with live bullets and, despite the initial shocked
disbelief of one or two mainstream media people, it was normalized from the
next day onwards. Regrettably these things happen, was the message. In
Genoa the death of Carlo Giulliani was for Tony Blair, "tragic but." This
'but' has normalized brutal repression one step further, was one of many
green lights shone out for Sunday morning's police attack on the
Independent Media Centre where young people 'shook with fear', and everyone
else beaten shitless, dragged to armoured hospitals and then hospitalized
jails with their injuries.

	These things happen. As if anyone who talks civil rights was just a
boring fanatic or just never reached adulthood. This is the tone for the
world set by the way Bush and the Texan Dictatorship seized power on
Florida. A fait accompli accomplished, and anyone who argued the point,
just the whinger. Dodgy polling machines, blacks not on the register? These
things happen.

	These things happen. You would have to have no knowledge of how the
Italian state operates under right wing governments not to have feared
Death in Genoa. These guys, the 'secret state' are experts at creating
situations in which the innocent get the blame, or end up dead. Fascist
bombings at crowded stations presented as the work of the left, handshakes
with the mafia, murders, lots of money and infiltration specialisation;
original training supplied by the USA.

	They are experts too, at making what happened become obscure,
complicated and dragged out. Scandals are buried in dust before they emerge
to be dismissed as something that happened a long time ago. Or as in the
case of the present Prime Minister Berlusconi, ones that the judiciary does
not have the power to pursue against him. His deputy is a self-proclaimed
fascist. Starhawk reports a young protester taken by the police into 'a
room covered with pictures of Mussolini and pornography, and alternately
slapped around and then stroked with affection."

	It is co-incidence that it should be Italy's turn to host the G8,
as it now is, so soon after the coming to power of Bush and Berlusconi, no
doubt the rota had been arranged a long time ago, but they were the guys
for the job. For the job? What is this conspiracy theory? What job?

	The job of scaring people, of saying, see how brutal we can be if
we want to. And this scaring of people is strategic, it aims to put off the
idealistic, creative young people who have lived largely safe lives in
relatively comfortable Europe, from protesting in any immediate way against
the monologue of the rich and powerful, of saying anything different. The
beatings at the Genoa Social Forum and of the independent media had this
aim. A one journalist there for the beatings but relatively unscarred said,
'the Italian state made us realize that all the rules of the game had been
thrown out the window', just as Bush has done at a global level from Kyoto
onwards. In relatively safe Britain (safe since the systematic beatings of
coal miners in 1984), present state tactics with the same aim have involved
an unprecedented media campaign to scare people from this year's MayDay
demonstration, and the discomfort obtained by surrounding protestors for
hours on end and humiliating them with their powerlesness. These tactics
will be easier to carry out since a clearer example was shown in Genoa.

	The job of creating situations, of agent provocateurs, of
infiltration. Bring on the Italian state, where fascist bombings become
left wing ones, and the leftist terrorist group of the 1970s, the Red
Brigades, was more infiltrated than perhaps any similar group anywhere.

	There is at present a body of anecdotal and photographic evidence
that many of the most stupid actions pinned on the Black bloc of anarchists
- the trashing of ordinary people's shops and cars, the attacks on other
demonstrators ostensibly in the name of super-militancy, were the work of
people either of, or in collusion with the police. A possible British Nazi
suipporter named Liam 'Doggy' Stevens is quoted as saying the Italian
'brothers' had invited him and that they had a free hand. There are
accounts of 'black blocers' coming out of carbinieri vans, of being given
crowbars by them, of attacks on real comrades in the Piazza Kennedy.

	The mainstream media in its various allotted roles say what they
might be expected to say. The New York Daily Post, a Murdoch paper, says
Carlo Giulianni deserved to die and only lily-livered European Social
Democrats have feebly expressed regret, a full-blooded These Things Happen.
In the UK, broadsheet newspapers do not report what happen and there is no
fearless investigative journalism into agents provocateurs but instead have
a string of commentators who, like St Augustine who wanted to stop sinning
but not yet, worry that they are giving the oxygen of publicity to violent
rioters, or well-known protesters deploring the violence of their own side.

	The Black blocers would appear not to be 'mindless' but selective
in targets for attack. On the other hand,  their essentially vanguardist
nature is bound to allow the space for provocations by the provocation
experts. It is the evidence on this matter which it now appears, the police
were so keen to destroy when the attacked the independent media centre,
alarmed by reports from one or two courageous mainstream reporters. As in
Gothenberg in the hours immediately after this attack Agence France Presse,
Starhawk and even the BBC were able to give accounts of that attack, one
that scared people so much because the violence used was 'beyond reason'.
For the state at that moment fear brings its own reward, but the fury of
the attack was aimed at the information on the whole gamut of police
violence held on computer disks and videos.

	Perhaps the greatest provocation, and the most revealing was the
fence itself, the elite getting on with its serious work (and how they
suffer in the process as Tony Blair so eloquently puts it) for the good of
humanity,  not understood by peaceful protestors (stupid), or violent ones
(criminals). The flim-flam is immense, the results, in relation to all the
initiatives and treaties Bush will not sign, a mouse. And the fence
necessary precisely because people are not stupid. The fence and the
violence of the carbinieri necessary because people are not stupid, can see
that despite the immense social wealth created by technological and other
creativities, present global capitalism is more voracious than ever before,
must find profits in health care and education; must sell more armaments,
enclose more land. More voracious, it must be more violent. And well, these
things happen. Or are opposed.

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Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 21:39:45 -0400
From: DeeDee Halleck <>
Subject: Press release on the attack at IMC Genoa

------------ please distribute widely --------------

Independent Media Center
Ad hoc Genoa Solidarity Committee


23 JUNE 2001

Han Soete, IMC-belgium member
+ 32 476 533 188

Doug Morris, IMC-chicago member
(847) 657-0182

Sheri Herndon, IMC-seattle member


The Independent Media Center Network (IMC) (
demands that independent journalism and journalists be protected from state
repression. We also demand this incident of grave repression be given the
full investigation and scrutiny that it deserves. Reports indicate that
black clad provocateurs were working in conjunction with Italian Military
Police in a vicious attack on peaceful organizers.


On early Sunday morning, Italian Police stormed the IMC press office armed
with tear gas and batons. Italian military police and unknown provocateurs
simultaneously raided the school building across the street that has hosted
various groups participating in the Genoa Social Forum (GSF)

Persons in the IMC at the time of the raid were forced to stand against the
wall with their hands up while police searched equipment and personal
effects. Reports vary on the number of injuries sustained by IMC staff.
IMC-Italia reports that one IMC reporter from the UK is hospitalized with
serious injuries from the attacks. Materials reportedly seized during the
raid include audio mini disks, video tapes and computer hard drives. Other
reports allege that telecommunications equipment was damaged and/or
destroyed during the raid. In the same building, the police also raided the
Radio Gap radio station and forced it off the air for a short time.

The neighboring school building hosting GSF organizers was where the worst
violence occurred. Eyewitnesses claim that around 50 black clad
provocateurs  first entered the street in front of the school overturning
dumpsters and creating chaos. They then removed their black sweatshirts and
entered the school and began beating those inside indiscriminately; "most
of the most savage beatings were again not done by uniformed police but by
characters dressed in jeans and bandanas and helmets with 'police' written
on their T-shirts...." Hundreds of Italian police sealed off the street and
a helicopter flew low overhead as if on a military operation. Press in
attendance was kept back at a distance.

Many individuals were awoken from their sleep and  lined up along walls,
hands over heads.  The ensuing brutal assault lasted over 45 minutes.
Horrible screams from the building could be heard on the streets below.
Afterwards, the floors and walls were covered in blood.  Twenty wounded
were carried out, many on stretchers, and three were unconscious (according
to BBC reporter Bill Hayton who was present during the raid). The injured
were taken to ambulances that arrived with the police; reports today
indicate over 50 injured. Police claimed to have authority to enter and
search the building for weapons under Article 41 (an anti-terrorist act).
Later an Italian MP, Luisa Morgantini, arrived and told the police they had
no such authority since the schools resided on state-owned property, it was
at this point the Police and provocateurs left the building.

The Genoa Social Forum held a press conference Sunday morning concerning
the details of the raid. (see Volunteer lawyers
for activists report that computers were destroyed and that police stole
information during the raid that related to their organizational work,
including the transcripts of testimonies.  Materials were also confiscated
from the IMC offices that might have provided legal documentation of police
abuses in the preceding days. One lawyer stated, "The police blitz is
contrary to a state based upon rights and brings in a climate of terror."

Throughout the day Sunday , the IMC newswire contained reports of continued
police beatings of activists in Genoa, both in the streets and in the
jails. Reports indicate that many injured demonstrators are fearful to seek
treatment in hospitals since the police have been removing people with
unexplained wounds and taking them to jail. At present over 500 hundred
people are missing and unaccounted for.

A full investigation is called for, concerning the use of violent
provocateurs by police. Reports all weekend in Genoa have asserted that
much of the property destruction and violent provocations were carried out
by individuals apparently working in conjunction with police and dressed
like black clad anarchists.  Similar reports have surfaced in past
demonstrations in Prague, Quebec and elsewhere.  This disturbing claim and
the subsequent violence and closing of the GSF and IMC demand full

-------- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION -----------


The IMCs, or Indymedia, are a network of independent media organizations
and hundreds of individual journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate 

Indymedia is a democratic media outlet with the mission to create radical,
accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.  The first IMC was initiated in
Seattle, in the fall of 1999, during the demonstrations against the World
Trade Organization. The center was created to ensure that diverse voices
could be heard with a clarity and focus beyond the usual chatter of the
commercial media soundbite.

The Indymedia website is an unusual phenomenon in cyberspace: visited by
literally millions, the network has led to the creation of over fifty
collaborative sites in cities all over the world.

For people in dozens of countries, is news: news that they
can rely on, news that does not have the bias of information/entertainment
corporations who have a stake in maintaining the status quo.  The open
publishing software of the web site enables anyone with a basic computer
and modem to post immediately on the news wire, without an intervening
editor. Indymedia has created a model for collaborative work that makes a
real difference.  The IMC organizes collaborations between various types of
media (print, photo, video, radio and internet) and between diverse
organizations and individuals.  The IMCs are non-hierarchical in nature.
The decisionmaking is by consensus and all participants, including those
who can freely post on the newswire from home, are themselves empowered.

The growing global justice movement, which is against corporate control of
globalization and for a more democratic and inclusive process of setting
the world's priorities and allocation of resources, has depended on, and
benefitted from, the IMCs to provide breaking and unfiltered coverage of
diverse views, conferences, and demonstrations.


The recent raid on the Indymedia Center in Genoa is the latest in a series
of intimidations and threats to this movement of independent media centers.

As the Indymedia movement has grown, it has been subject to increasing
repression. From the first days in Seattle, when the IMC received a tear
gas attack, there have been indications that authorities identified the IMC
movement as a target to intimidate and silence.

At the IMC in LA during the August 2000 Democratic National Convention, a
police raid closed down the satellite van that was scheduled to uplink live
IMC television to a national grassroots community television network.  In
Prague, the Czech police raided the IMC offices, harassing and intimidating
journalists and others.  During the days preceding the Bush inauguration,
DC police sent spy/provocateur agents to IMC-DC meetings.

More recently, during the FTAA protests, the FBI visited the Seattle IMC
with a request for all computer logs and a gag-order injunction demanding
that no news of the request be made public on the net.  The IMC in Quebec
also suffered police harassment and an attack in which tear gas was fired
into the center. Less than a month later, shortly after the Cincinnati
uprising over police brutality last spring, police served an order on a
coordinator at the Ohio Valley IMC, also requesting records and tape logs
and to appear before a Grand Jury.

The IMC gained a victory for the independent press community when these
injunctions were withdrawn by the FBI after The Electronic Frontier
Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Electronic
Privacy Information Center intervened to support the IMCs.

The IMC global network will continue to fight hard to protect the rights of
independent journalists around the world and to ensure that the voices of
our many diverse communities are accurately and respectfully covered and
made available to the rest of the world.  As stated in Article 19 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to the
freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold
opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information
and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."


For ongoing coverage of the Genoa protests, stay tuned to IMC-Italia, and global IMC,

Eyewitness accounts of the IMC and GSF raids.

An IMC NEWS BLAST will be released Tuesday for summary, news and updates
on the protests in Genoa.  Here's the link to the first one:

Also see:
Indymedia radio broadcasts:
Indymedia print summaries (in distributable newsletter/flier format):
IMC sites are providing detailed coverage include (see global website
Left column for links): France, UK, Belgium,
Barcelona, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, IMC-Sweden, Brasil, Argentina,
Chicago, and New York City.

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