|Gerard Drosterij on Tue, 31 Jul 2001 23:39:37 +0200 (CEST)|
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|[Nettime-nl] Fwd: FC: Genoa protester tells of beatings, abuse, retinalscans by cops|
>X-Sieve: cmu-sieve 2.0 >X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org >X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.0.2 >Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 14:45:50 -0400 >To: email@example.com >From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Subject: FC: Genoa protester tells of beatings, abuse, retinal scans by cops >Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org >Sender: email@example.com >Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org >X-URL: Politech is at http://www.politechbot.com/ >X-Author: Declan McCullagh is at http://www.mccullagh.org/ >X-News-Site: Cluebot is at http://www.cluebot.com/ > >[Obviously we don't know if this is pure fabrication, but it does have the >ring of truth -- outrage over life-threatening beatings and then repeated >annoyance over being served ham sandwiches instead of a vegan meal. The >activists who have been trade summit-hopping aren't stupid, and through >the Independent Media Centers are reasonably well connected. They now know >that they can get beaten, tortured, robbed, and perhaps even killed by >cops. (Yes, there were persistent reports of police brutality at previous >protests, including the GOP convention, and I wrote about them at the >time. But they were mild compared to these charges.) So the Black Bloc and >even their less-extreme allies have some obvious options: (1) Stay home; >(2) Hope that other cops won't be as thuggish and sadistic as the Italians >allegedly are; (3) Buy hundreds of X10 cams and stream live footage from >activist HQ to a secure server in another jurisdiction; (4) Erect >defensive fortifications at activist HQ and arm themselves heavily for >when the cops arrive with the nightsticks out. --Declan] > >******** > >Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 12:33:58 -0400 >From: Bonnie <email@example.com> >To: firstname.lastname@example.org >Cc: Bonnie <email@example.com> >Subject: Italian police scan retinas of protestors > >Check this out. The rest is pretty bad, but note that they also >did retinal scans on the protestors. > >Bonnie > > >-----Forwarded message from Fitzhugh MacCrae <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- > >FYI- > > >STATEMENT OF >JONATHAN NORMAN BLAIR > >I declare that this is a true and honest statement >which I have written >on >Friday 27th July 2001. I permit it to be used by other >individuals and >agencies >who support me and all the other people arrested at >the Scolastico A. >Diaz >and surrounding area on the night of Saturday 21st >July 2001. I state >that I >wish to sue the Italian police for illegal arrest, >kidnapping and >torture and I ask >for support in doing this. Please contact me via >e-mail. > >I went to Genoa to participate in the mass >demonstrations against the >G8 and >its policies. I went because I believe in a free and >equal society with >people >living in harmony with each other and the ecological >system. I flew out >with my >friend Dan McQuillan on Tuesday 17th July (our return >flight was on >Monday >23rd July) on Ryan Air from Stansted to Genoa. >On Saturday night we were staying at the Scolastico A. >Diaz. The school >was >having renovation work done on it but as far as I was >aware, it was >legally >occupied and the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. >It was directly >opposite >the media centre and the Genoa Social Forum >administrative base. >It was a big building with several floors, old with >high ceilings. >Through the >front doors was a large hallway. On the left was a >ramp leading up to a >line of >computers. To the left of that were stairs leading to >the first floor >where >Dan and I were staying. >The room we stayed in had a window view onto the >courtyard at the front >of the >school and was directly opposite the media centre with >a narrow road >in-between. >I went to bed about 12 o'clock on Saturday night. >Staying in the room >was Dan >and a guy from New Zealand who I now know to be Sam >Buchanan. I was >dozing off >and then I suddenly heard a crashing, roaring sound >coming from >outside. I >quickly got out of my sleeping bag and looked out of >the window. I saw >a mass >of police made up of squads from various cities (I >know this from the >documents that the judge gave me when I was released) >filling the >street >outside. >One of my memories was of the police with shields >charging down the >street >followed by 2 police vans. There were people in the >street shouting and >screaming. It was a nightmare of sound. I presume that >this is the >point that >Mark Covell (another UK national) was critically >injured by the police >as he >was crossing the street. >I began rapidly putting my clothes on and looked out >of the window >again. I saw >the police van ram the school gates. We began to push >our bags into the >corner >of the room hoping that if they came along the >scaffolding that the >police >wouldn't see us. I heard people screaming in pain from >downstairs. It >took >about a few minutes before the police smashed down the >door to our >room. >They smashed our door down and had a large >searchlight, which they >shone into >the room. As soon as they saw us they were on us. >There was maybe about >a dozen >of them, it was complete chaos. Dan was completely >battered by them all >down >his left side, he had his wrist broken and he had >blows to the head. >Sam was >battered over the head three time when I met him in >the prison >afterwards, he >said that each time he was hit that it was like in a >cartoon book as he >saw >stars and sparkles from the force of the blows. I >received blows while >we were >on the floor and have bruises, but nothing in >comparison with the >others. I >don't know how long this lasted, maybe just a couple >of minutes, maybe >a bit >longer. I could feel the venom and hatred from them. >They eventually left the room and as we lay there in a >pool of blood >they threw >some of the window frames and other furniture on top >of us. It was as >if they >were the destroy squad and then a minute or so later >came the >'retrieval' >squad. They told us to get out of the room and as we >went down the >stairs the >police were lined up and were hitting us with their >batons. It was as >if they >had gone berserk and they were getting in each others >way trying to get >to >us. >We moved down the ramp into the main hall area. We >were told to get on >the >floor and had to lie kneeling on the floor, head down >and arms >stretched out in >front. At one point someone who I assume had been >badly beaten up >outside was >brought into the hall on a stretcher. This lasted >about maybe 15-20 >minutes (it >was difficult to tell the passage of time in this >situation) till the >medical >workers and ambulances arrived. Dan was bleeding >heavily. >The ambulance crew arrived and began ripping up >cardboard boxes to make >splints >as they did not have enough equipment to deal with the >number of broken >bones. >Of the 93 people arrested, over 60 went to hospital >and remember, this >was >not for minor injuries but for broken bones and head >trauma. One man >was >completely battered down his back and did not go to >hospital. >Dan was put on an ambulance trolley and I was holding >his hand and >helping >him. >I demanded to go with Dan to the ambulance because he >was in such a >state and >could not speak Italian. The police were reluctant to >let me leave but >the >paramedics insisted that I came. With them we made our >way to the >ambulance >outside. As we were leaving the building, the police >tried to rip a >money belt >off Dan. I unclipped it so they wouldn't hurt Dan >further. One cop >began >flicking through the money belt and we haven't seen it >since. It >contained >Dan's passport, at least one credit card and several >hundred pounds of >English >and Italian money. >We were taken to the Galliera (?) Hospital, in Genoa. >In the ambulance >the crew >were really friendly to us, in the hospital with >police around they >were not. >It felt like a police state with police in complete >command. I sat in >the >waiting room while Dan was being treated. I felt >terrified. I saw a pay >phone >and had a phone card on me. I rang my girlfriend Mel >and another friend >about >Saturday 1.10am British time. I left a message that we >had been >attacked and >that I was OK but Dan was in hospital badly injured. >When trying to >make a >third call I was stopped by a police officer. >The people taken to hospital had fairly serious >injuries and had to sit >on >chairs waiting. The police had taken over the >hospital. As I understand >it >people with such traumas (eg head injuries) should be >under medical >observation >for 24 hours. There was a group of about a dozen of us >in the hallway, >under >police guard. They then started moving us to a police >van. I had to sit >on the >floor for the journey. Dan was also in the van. We >were driven to a >holding >centre called Bolzenato (I was told later by other >prisoners I am not >sure if >this is the correct spelling or name). It did not >appear to be an >official >police station or prison. It was a place of a terror >and fear. >On getting out of the van the first thing we had to do >was to put our >hands up >and face the wall with legs apart (in a spread-eagled >position). The >police >were kicking our feet apart if they thought that our >feet were too >close >together. One police officer who kicked my legs looked >about 18 years >old (I >was old enough to be his father!). We were made to >face the wall in >this >position and there was a row of us. A police officer >came behind me and >speaking English in an Italian accent said 'who is >your government'. >The person >before me in the row had answered 'Polizei', so I said >the same. I was >afraid >of being beaten. I think at this point they took our >names and >addresses. >They then took us to a cell. The cell was quite large >with a high >ceiling, >heavily barred windows and high doors. We were told to >sit down with >our backs >against the wall. People in the cell, especially young >people were >crying a lot >of the time. They were traumatised. I tried to lock >inside myself, stay >calm >and strong. >At one point we had to stand with our hands against >the wall, arms up >for an >hour and 15 minutes with police screaming abuse at us. >For all I knew >there was >a police officer behind me with a truncheon ready to >beat me across the >back. >There were different voices screaming abuse, I was >lucky I didn't >understand >Italian. My hands and arms went dead, I felt strange >sensations in my >palms. It >was helpful to me to meditate, to focus my mind. It >was physically hard >to >keep that position for even a short length of time. >Dan with a broken >wrist and >head injuries also had to do this. >The cell itself was freezing, the floor had ceramic >tiles and it was >cold even >in the daytime. I had on a cotton shirt and jeans >only. Dan was wearing >shorts >and a thin shirt, he did manage to get a sleeping bag, >I can't remember >where >from, but we all shared it. At one point the police >took Dan out of the >cell. >We didn't know what was going to happen to him. Later >on I heard this >woman >shouting 'please help me, please help me' over and >over. This was >torture, it >was psychological and physical warfare. The torture >consisted of: >· Physical abuse (blows etc) >· Sleep deprivation >· Having to endure cold temperatures with no >protection >· Food and water deprivation >· Refusal to have any access to outside world >· Forced into spreadeagled position >· Verbal abuse >· Extreme intimidation (eg people disappearing and >then screams start) >Anyone in there who looked punk or scruffy was getting >a really hard >time. >There was an American guy in there in his 30's, I saw >his back on >Tuesday and >he was completely battered, all over his back. He'd >said that when the >school >was raided he was beaten on his back. Every time they >beat him they cut >some >more of his dreadlocks off till they'd cut all his >locks off. A woman >said >that >when she was attacked by the police (at the school), >they cut off a >lump of >her >hair (and her appearance was very straight). It felt >like they were >taking >trophies. >A man said that he was beaten on the back when he had >his arms up. I >was hit >in the face when the police were strip searching me, >it was an >open-handed >blow. Dan said it was important to scream when the >police hit you in >order to >deflect them from beating you further. >The most threatening police officers there we called >the 'grey >monsters'. They >were enormous, similar to bouncers. They had grey >uniforms, body >armour, and >big boots. >Whenever you had to go to the toilet, a police officer >(sometimes a >'grey >monster', sometimes another type of officer) would >'escort' you by >holding the >flesh at the back of the neck and walking you so you >were bent over, >sometimes >almost bent over double. You were unable to see >anything or know who >else was >there. With at least two of the cells, they hung >sheets over the doors >so you >could not see inside at all. I remember seeing one >cell through the >corner of >my eye with I think two people inside with their arms >up the walls. It >was >scary. >I was held in these conditions from about 5 am Sunday >morning till 6 am >Monday >morning, about 24 hours. Later I found that other >people were held for >longer. >During this time we suffered sleep deprivation. Groups >of police were >standing >at the door and at the window, shouting across the >room, yelling and >laughing. >I saw Dan and another prisoner being spat on by police >officers. >The floor was freezing cold with no blankets. For the >first six hour we >had no >food or water. About midday they brought us two very >small biscuits >each. >Later >on in the afternoon they gave us about dozen ham rolls >which we shared >between >the fourteen of us. I would have thought that they >knew many of us were >vegetarian. >We had to stand with our arms up facing the wall 3 or >4 times but there >was no >attempt to question us (although as far as I know, >some prisoners might >have >been interrogated I just did not hear of this >happening). They also >kept >counting us and asking our names frequently, which >often seemed to be >nothing >more than a deliberate disruption. >I had now been without sleep since Saturday morning (I >had only just >gone to >bed when the police raided), by Monday night I was >hallucinating and >became >very paranoid. Many people had similar experiences. >One man did not >know that >he was even in Genoa, he was in such a state. >Depriving people of sleep >was a >completely deliberate policy by the police. Every half >an hour to an >hour they >would begin shouting and yelling. At no point were we >allowed access to >a >lawyer. >The police began processing people about 3am (?) on >Monday morning. I >was >photographed directly onto a laptop, and they also >used an eye camera, >presumably to take a retina scan and I was >fingerprinted. I was asked >to strip >and squat. >Eventually I was put into a cell on a bus and cuffed >tightly to another >prisoner. It was around 6 am when we in this bus (I >believe that it was >the >first bus, the prisoners whose surname started early >in the alphabet >like >mine) >were taken to Pavia prison. As we were taken up the >stairs into the >prison I >received a blow to my back by a prison officer in a >dark section of the >stairwell. It was around maybe 9 am Monday morning >that I was taken to >a cell >on my own. There was a mattress and blanket and >thankfully it was >warmer. It >sounds odd but I was relieved to be in prison. At a >later point I was >taken to >another cell. I was given pasta with meat in, even >though I had told >the >prison >officer that I was vegetarian. >Between coming into the prison on about 7 am Monday >and leaving it at >about >6pm >Wednesday I had no exercise even though I requested it >on many >occasions. >Dan managed to see a lawyer sometime on Tuesday. He >bought back news of >a >30,000 strong demonstration it Milan against the >shooting and the >beatings by >the Italian police and the fact that there was massive >opposition to >this >brutal repression. It was very encouraging for me, >sometimes I believed >that >maybe we might have been forgotten about even though I >knew that was >not true. > He also managed to send out a telegram. I requested >a lawyer and >consulate >access and to be able to send a telegram, I completed >the relevant >forms but >was not granted any of my requests. It wasn't until >later on Tuesday >about >6 pm >that I received a telegram from my girlfriend Mel. >On Wednesday morning Dan was taken off to the judge, >as were many other >prisoners. I started getting worried and I expected >the worse, maybe >that I >would have serious charges brought against me and that >I would be >framed by >the >police. >But later on Wednesday afternoon I was taken in front >of the judge, who >had >arrived at the prison. There was a lawyer present from >the Genoa Social >Forum. >I had to explain to the judge about the nature of the >arrest, and >whether I >had >any connections to the black block. This interview >took about 10 >minutes. I >was >then taken back to my cell and then brought in front >of the judge again >after >15 minutes. The judge said the arrest was illegal and >that there would >be no >charges made against me, and that I was free to go. I >was released at >about 6 >pm on Wednesday evening into police detention. >There were about 60-100 people protesting outside the >police station >gates, >they stayed there till at least 4.45 am the next >morning to clap and >cheer as >people were being released. That was fantastic and I >know all the >prisoners >really appreciated that active solidarity. >I was met by lawyers from the Genoa Social Forum and a >lawyer called >Marie >Louisa (?). The Germans who were detained were >deported to the German >border. >The Germans had a large escort of police to take them >to the border. >One >Lithuanian guy had no money, passport or documents and >the Lithuanian >consulate >were not contactable. I gave him some money and asked >the lawyers to >look >after >him. Local people brought us food and clothes. The >consulate staff were >also >there to meet us at the prison and they stayed with us >all the time in >the >police station for which I am grateful. >We were all released without charge, yet we have been >banned from >entering >Italy for 5 years. But this is from an illegal arrest. >The reason given >was >that I am 'a danger to public order and security'. The >lawyers made >many >protests against the imposed deportation order and we >collectively >protested >against the it, however we were taken to a Milan >airport and basically >left >there with no passports or money, all we had was a >letter from the >police. We >had to pay for our own flights for our own >deportation. >Despite the fact that we were being deported by the >italisan state, we >had to >each buy our own tickets costing £230 each we arrived >at Heathrow on >Thursday >morning. > >In conclusion, it felt like the beginning of a police >state, like how, >for >example, Pinochet seized power in Chile. There was no >rule of law or >any >regard >for constitutional rights. The police were genuinely >the government. >But I do >not blame Italian people for this, many Italian people >gave me much >solidarity >and support I blame the Italian police and the >Italian state for what >happened >and I call upon them to be bought to account for their >completely >unacceptable >actions. >I would like to end by saying that I am not >intimidated or frightened >by this >police brutality. I am determined that the police and >their political >masters >will not get away with this. There have been hundreds >of thousands of >people >all around the world supporting us and opposing the >G8. There is a huge >push >for change and I am proud to be part of it. > >Signed Jonathan Norman Blair >Friday 27th July 2001 > > > > > >------------------------------------------------------------------------- >POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list >You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice. >To subscribe, visit http://www.politechbot.com/info/subscribe.html >This message is archived at http://www.politechbot.com/ >------------------------------------------------------------------------- ______________________________________________________ * Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet * toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een * open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek. * Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities: * http://www.nettime.org/. * Contact: Menno Grootveld (email@example.com).