Archive for June, 2007

Press Statement on G8 summit in Rostock

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Press Statement on G8 summit in Rostock

During the G8 summit, held in Heiligendamm from the 6th to the 8th of June 2007, a great number of German lawyers belonging to the RAV (Association of Republican Lawyers), the Strafverteidigervereinigung von Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (association of defence lawyers) as well as lawyers belonging to the EDL (European Democratic Lawyers) and to the Legal Team Europa have committed themselves to defend the fundamental rights of those who had come from all over Europe to express their dissent.

The number of demonstrators arrested during the protests is impressive: more than 1000. Only nine of them were tried and condemned during the summit. One man is still detained. Hundreds of expulsions were handed out. The great majority of the arrests were made without connection to illegal activities but for security reasons.

Apart from the international demonstration of the 2nd of June, none of the demonstrations experienced moments of high tension, and most of the protest actions were blockades around the gateways to the fenced zone of Heiligendamm where the summit was taking place. These blockades were encountered with an impressive police apparatus.

Nearly all the arrests were made on the sides of the protests and to small groups or isolated demonstrators. Arrested were people found in possession of pieces of clothing that the police retained to be used for the purpose of masking. At the time of the arrest these people were not masked but had with them scarves (for protection against the sun), bandanas or maybe even sun glasses.

The police arrested also those who they claimed to recognize as participants of previous events. Near the convergence centre or on the streets groups of policemen would arrest single persons who were “recognized” by a piece of clothing in particular, others were detained and photographed, the photos were passed by a software capable of facial recognition and the detainees thus arrested.

The evidence collected in this manner was absolutely inconsistent and as previously noted everybody detained was released after brief periods of time. In fact, it all amounts to an illegal system of mass-indexing and psychological terrorism. The police was aware that the judicial authority would not have confirmed these arrests but proceeded equally with a different objective. The aim was not to arrest presumed offenders but the indexing of a great number of demonstrators, the psychological intimidation of the protesters and the creation of false records to be used in other occasions.

A new element of police activity was the presence of “anti-conflict teams” formed by agents without helmets and with special jackets to identify them who acted as mediators with the demonstrators while on their side there were other agents filming the scene.

The EDL denounces these systems that appear “soft” but that show another face, maybe even tougher, of police repression. It is true that it is a positive outcome that only few people were gravely hurt, but hundreds of demonstrators were lightly injured. On the other hand more than 1000 demonstrators were arrested without a reasonable indication of their guilt and the conditions of detention were inhuman as has already been denounced by various associations and by the EDL itself.

The EDL denounces as well the attacks on the freedom of defence as evidenced by the intimidation of lawyers of the Legal Team from various nationalities that seriously obstructed the work of our colleagues and put in danger their physical integrity. Our solidarity goes to them.

Finally, the EDL denounces the serious obstacles the authority posed to access detention centres, which partly prevented lawyers from assisting the detainees. The Legal Team have demonstrated in protest against this illegal behaviour.

EDL – European Democratic Lawyers

British demonstrator nearly blinded by G8 police

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Tuesday 12th June
For Immediate Release

Anti Repression 2007
+44 7904452297 Jo Smith


British Demonstrator Nearly Blinded by G8 Police

A British demonstrator at the G8 summit was badly injured by German police water cannon on Thursday 7th June. Matt from Liverpool said he joined the mass protests against the G8 meeting in North Germany last week ‘to show my abhorrence to the G8 meetings which perpetuate exploitation, trade injustice and wars. I was one of over a thousand people at a blockade of the West gate of the police imposed exclusion zone surrounding the summit venue. The blockade was a peaceful attempt to hinder access by support staff and delegates to the meetings, using strictly non-violent means.’

However the festival atmosphere in the sun-drenched fields was shattered by unprovoked violent assaults by the police against the protesters. Police used pepper spray, baton charges and water cannons against peaceful demonstrators; eighteen water cannons were used to fire high pressure concentrated blasts of water from close range at targeted individuals faces. I was taken by surprise by a sudden massive blow to my left eye’ said Matt ‘it felt like my eye had been knocked out of the socket, the pain was intense. I was blinded for the rest of the day and my vision will probably be permanently impaired.’

Volunteer medical staff spotted internal bleeding in the eyeball so Matt was rushed to the specialist eye unit at Rostock’s University hospital. Their clinical examination revealed a tear andother damage to the iris, suspected detached retina, early signs of cataract and probable glaucoma. The full extent of the damage cannot yet be determined due to the internal bleeding. This was no accident, six others suffered similar eye injuries from the water cannon blasts, including a German journalist covering the events. Another protester sustained a perforated ear drum. Matt and other protesters are
challenging the legality of the police’s actions.

Please contact:

+44 7904452297 Jo Smith
for more information
– Media G8way does not claim responsibility for the content of the statements it distributes on behalf of the groups or individuals who use its service. Media G8way is an international press service for individuals, groups, networks and (dis)organizations who understand themselves to be part of an independent radical left movement against the G8.
Contact: Alex Smith +49 16092437902 Jo Smith + 49 015774630348

Do It Yourself. A Handbook for Changing Our World
Edited by The Trapese Collective
Out May 2007 and will campaign for a stop to water cannons being fired at protesters’ heads.
For more information and to support Matt please contact us as

Small Sardinian island to host G8 summit in 2009

Friday, June 15th, 2007

ROME (Reuters) - Italy will hold the 2009 Group of Eight summit of rich nations at a small Sardinian island accessible only by boat, the government said on Thursday.

The 2009 summit will be held in Maddalena, home of a U.S. nuclear submarine base which is due to close in 2008.

Italy last hosted the G8 in 2001 in Genoa, which was one of the most violent in the history of the summits.

One demonstrator was shot and killed in a clash with police and dozens of others were injured in a separate incident when police stormed a high school housing protesters.

Earlier on Thursday, a senior Italian policeman said police had “butchered” protesters at the 2001 summit and called for a parliamentary inquiry.

Unspin the G8

Monday, June 11th, 2007

UNSPIN THE G8 is a temporary toolkit for the analysis of media reports concerning the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany (6-8 June 2007).

UNSPIN THE G8 focuses on the clashing discourses and media representations of the players: world leaders, issue celebrities, activists, social movements, security forces, industry leaders and lobby groups. What are all these actors telling us? And how do mass media cover the G8 Summit and the G8 protests?

Everyone can join! It’s simple: upload a piece of video, or audio, a newspaper clipping or a press statement and make your own analysis.

Go to to add an analysis or to view and comment on the items that are already on the site.

G8 Star March

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

[Gipfelsoli Infogruppe]

G8/ Star March

Press Release June 6th 2007

*Star March Judgement: Defeat for the Police and Constitutional Court.
*General Ban and Prohibition Order of Star March was Unconstitutional
*Total Ban However confirmed.

The German federal constitutional court has banned tomorrow’s star march, including the three substitute events outside both banned areas. The reason for the current ban are the events since the demonstration on June 2nd and the defamatory depiction of the police. The court however declared the general ban and the decision of the Higher Administrative Court of Griefswald to be unconstitutional.

The Kavala special police agency argued in their reasons for the ban that delegates could “feel unsettled” by the “emotional proximity” of protests. Good relations to other states would be endangered as a result.

A further argument brought in by the police was a ‘police state of emergency’. With 16,000 officers the police do not have enough power to properly accompany the march. It was alleged that the star march coalition had general intent to blockade.

Together with the organisers it was agreed that the political content of the globalisation critical movement would be made visible at the demonstration.

The court took a different view - neither “the mere threat to public order”, nor the “sensitivities of foreign politicans” could not justify an assembly ban.

The court described the police’s security concept as being explicitly “directed against the act of assembly” as from the start freedom to assemble had “no prospect of reasonable enactment”.

As a precaution in case of a complete ban the star march coalition had registered substitute protests outside the banned zones.

Due to security concerns even these protests were banned. This means that a virtual third banned area has been set up outside the fence and the so-called ’security zone’.

“That is an unparalleled and scandalous act against the articulation of political opinion”, the organisers who registered the protests criticised (In Germany all public assemblies must be registered in advance with the police).

“The broad international protest against the G8 clearly shows that a substantial part of the population reject the politics of the G8″ stated Suzanne Spemberg of the Star March Coalition… “it is political motives that want to keep the protest invisible - or indeed to criminalise them. The police implement the decisions, and not unusually in the most brutal fashion”, continued Spemberg.

The Star March coalition have decided not to register any further assemblies or demonstrations.
“We don’t see ourselves anymore as having any reponsibility for the outcome of actions and demonstrations. The democratic route has been closed to us”, Pemberg concluded.

Tomorrow alongside the ‘Block G8′ coalition blockades, many far-reaching decentralised actions against the G8 have been announced.

Assessment of Lawyers Ulrike Donat and Carsten Gericke:

“Even though we deeply regret the outcome as the chance to have a peaceful protest has been taken from the organisers, the decision is in form and content - due to the reasons given - a complete success for freedom of assembly and a slap in the face for the authoritarian agenda of the Kavala police agency and the Greifswald Higher Administrative Court.
In any case reality has already outdated law - freedom of assembly will,as it always has in history, occur on the streets and will not be quelled by courts.The rigid security concept of the police agency ‘Kavala’ which culpably neglected cooperation with the organisers has completely failed”.

Lawyer: Carsten Gericke: 040/ 4313 5110
Star March Coalition: 0151/ 5312 5032

An open letter to the Press

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

An Open Letter to the Press Rostock, G8 2007:
There is Something Terribly Wrong Here

Here in Germany, as major protests begin against the G8, the world press is not looking beyond the story of the battle – a partial story at best – and asking how or why it is happening.

Summit after summit, we have seen the same pattern in the media. The images of black clad protestors hurling rocks at police, the stories of senseless hooligans—those whom the government says should be punished and locked away.

These stories and images of street fighting do nothing but spread fear, criminalize protests, divide social movements, and distract the public from the story of the G8 and their unaccountable polices that are spreading militarism, poverty, violence, environmental destruction and climate change.

It is easy to condemn those who throw a rock or burn a car, but most of what we are seeing in Rostock is police blatantly provoking violence, using that same violence to justify ever more heavy-handed repression. Each day we are experiencing constant harassment, searches and humiliation imposed on us in the streets and on bikes, trains and borders, with no evidence of crime.

According to an official statement 13,000 police were present in Rostock on Saturday – all were well-armed and wearing lots of protective gear. There were small bands of police running into crowds, pushing, shoving and encircling protestors in a legally permitted rally. We saw nonviolent protestors who were trying to de-escalate the situation bludgeoned with batons and pepper sprayed. We saw huge water cannons infused with toxic chemicals spraying indiscriminately. Why is the press not reporting these acts of violence by the police? If violence makes such good headlines, why does the violence of poverty created by G8 policy go un-condemned?

Perhaps we might begin to understand if we look deeper. We may see that such violent confrontations have become a symptom of social and economic systems that values property over life, prisons over education, sprawl over sustainability, borders over migration, war over peace. We might see that it is in the interest of the police and the G8 to have such street fights, to justify the 90 million euros spent on security (in Germany alone). We might understand that repression and the violence of police is designed to thwart democracy and silence dissent.

But we who oppose the G8 will not be silent and we not be stopped. We understand that things are terribly wrong and that without such protests our voices will not be heard at all.

For ongoing independent coverage of events near Rostock:


* Lisa Fithian, Austin,TX / +49 17629799874 / fithianl(at) /
* Logan Price, Seattle, Wa / +49 16092437902/ logan(at)
* Nick Simmons, Vashon,WA / technocrat.nick(at)
* Causten Wollerman, Denver, CO / 303.748 0922 / causten.wollerman(at)
* Eric Freeman,Minneapolis, MN / erriiik(at) (speaks German)
* Ian Markson, San Francisco, CA / IanEMarkson(at),
* Val Alzarga, Denver, CO / 31610647398
* Michal Asterweil, Chapel Hill, NC / 0049015774630929
* David Zlutnick, CA, davidzlutnick(at)
* Brandon Letsinger, Seattle, WA, cascadianow(at)
* Luke Rodeheffer, Rodchester, MN, unspunmedia(at) (speaks German)

» dissent-archive