Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001
From: snafu
Subject: Hundreds of thousands march against repression -- Where are the missing people?

Rome, 25 / 07/ 01

100,000 in Milan, 50,000 in Rome, 30.000 in Naples, 20,000 in Bologna, 15,000 in Turin, 7,000 in Brescia, 6,000 in Trieste, 5,000 in Genova, 5,000 in Palermo, 3,000 in Ancona.

Hundreds of cities and villages of Italy, including the most remote ones, saw people marching yesterday, to protest against the police repression during the G8. Strong, determined, full of rage and of an endless will to dance, the demonstrations have been the most important answer to the black wind blowing on the country. It was 24 years that a demonstrator wasn't deadly shot in Italy. 41, since a Government sustained by a right wing coalition (Democratic Christian Party plus M.S.I) was ruling Italy for two months, killing demonstrators in Reggio Emilia, Palermo and Catania. At that time, the deaths were people referring to historical organization of the working class, such as the Communist and Socialist Party, or the Unions.

Nowadays, these organizations, with few exception, have lost any capability to drive the movement or to have a positive dialogue with it. While in the 80s the big demonstrations were still organized by parties and unions and saw autonomous groups confined in the back - controlled both by the police and the security services of the demonstrators - today the relationship seems to reverse. These massive demonstrations have been leaded by self-organized unions, social centers and different kinds of networks, and only followed by the flags of the parties. A clear evidence of the fact that the organizing form against the global capital takes the shape of a network (the Genoa Social Forum or the Global Social Forum) who has the advantage of respecting diversity, and not being organized around the "democratic centrality" of the old Communist Party.

The disadvantage though, is that the respect of the differences doesn't allow, in condition of extreme pressure, as the Genova ones, to control the situation. Under this point of view, it is true that the "declaration of war to the G8", and the repetitive calls by the White Overalls to the violation of the Red Zone, have had their media resonance. But it's also true that this group has not been able to control the situation, and, in the end, to practice any civil disobedience. This is due to a precise war strategy, which was symbolically evoked by the White Overalls, but then materially practiced by the State and small groups. In the 60s Black Panthers were marching wearing military jackets and holding gunfires. They were depicted as terrorists and heavily repressed, even if their message was only symbolic. The EZLN strategy of "words as war" has been much more effective, but only for the capacity of Marcos to communicate and bridge so many different levels. I wonder if this movement, at least on its Italian side, has someone who is able to speak like Marcos. A friend of mine always says that there's no revolution without poetry and vice-versa.

- 100 desaparecidos?

Stepping back to the chronicle, the most worrying news come on the front of the missing people. The Genova Social Forum speaks of 50-100 "desaparecidos". Others sources raise the number up to 350. The alarm is fired by the fact that the police refuses to give a complete list of the arrested, and that many parents don't have any news about their children. The most serious concern are for foreigners, in particular Germans and Austrians, generally accused to be part of the "Black Bloc". As regard the last wave of arrests, the 17 people of the publixTheatreCaravane should be accused, as any other, of "criminal association aimed to devastation and sack".

The denounces of tortures in barracks, police stations and in prisons are, unluckily, too many. The following is one of the reports, published yesterday on Indymedia:
On monday, july 23rd, a group of media activists were allowed to visit some of the Imprisoned in the jails and prisons in Genova. They Could talk about five minutes to some of the imprisoned. Report from the jail "Vercelli"

The media activists could speak to three women, five minutes each. The women declared that they all have been beaten, when they were arrested and/or in jail/at the police station. The wounds at their heads and in the faces emphazised the reports. The situation of the men seems to be much more serious. The three women told that they could hear the men beeing tortured and "punished" throughout the whole night.

Report from another Police station in Genova:
Except for one women all others were sorted in nationalities and put into 2-3 cells. Although it seems that they were treated better than the people in "Vercelli", they have been beaten and kicked when they went to the toilet. The police shouted at them and used bad words. But they (the imprisoned) all told, that it could have been worse. Some were allowed to make phone calls.

Report from other women arrested on saturday (in jail "Vercelli":
Some of the women told that they were not beaten, but there were other terrible things happening in there. The police were obviously organized fascist, e.g. they called the imprisoned "fucking jewish gipsys" or they were shouting "hasta la victoria siempre" while showing the Hitler Greeting. There were Mussolini Pictures on the walls. Tear gas was thrown into the cells, so that somebody who stood next to the prisoners was vomiting blood. Some of the women were forced to stand 19 hours with their arms lifted, without getting nothing to drink for the same time. there only was one police officer, that was obviously shocked by himself and brought about 200ml. of water for about nineteen people. One's person's leg was broken and couldn't stand up anymore. she/he was beaten until she managed to stand up somehow leaning to the wall. The people in jail reported that the police women were much worse than the men. They pulled people by their hair and the imprisoned had the. impression they were "total psychopaths"!

Distribute this information, organize solidarity actions worldwide and do whatever.... but do something!!!

- end of quote -

The other important thing to make circulate is the address of the Genoa Social Forum, which is collecting eye-witness reports, pictures, movies, anything that might be relevant for a dossier:
Genoa Social Forum
via San Luca 15/9 - 16124 Genova
tel: 010 2461749
fax: 010 2461413