From the Front Lines of Resistance
It has been quite difficult to get any of the many organizations involved in demonstrations at the G8 summit in Germany to talk to me. This could be because they are so busy with the never ending media requests they get (wouldn’t that be nice!). It could also be that things are so tense on the front lines of these demonstrations that the last thing you worry about is answering a phone.
Meanwhile, my brave friends Kiwi and Fabian just returned from Rostock where the first days of protests were held and some big confrontations with police took place. Here is a excerpt from Kiwi’s email to me: (note to the grammar police, she’s Estonian and above the laws of grammar)
The weekend was full of impressions. We are still dealing with some of the things that happened. As you know some conflicts escalated on saturday. It started already as the first protesters had just reached the destination of the strike (Rostock harbor). Me and Fabian were pretty much at the front but we didn’t see what happened. People from the Black Block just started running around everywhere. It turned out later
that the police had parked an empty car/bus in the very middle of the protest area + a helicopter was flying right above the main stage making any speech/concert impossible. The organizers repeatedly asked the police to move the helicopter but no action was taken. This was interpreted as pure provocation and some (I would say the BB mostly but thats a guess) tore up the sidewalk an started to throw pavment stones
at the police.
So this was pretty much at the beginning. An hour or two later the situation began to get worse. More and more police gathered at the scene of the protest. Me and a friend had just sat down on the sidewalk and Fabian was away to get st to drink as people just started to run away suddenly.
2 minutes later as we felt an uncomfortable burn in our eyes it became clear that the police had used tear gas to force people to back off. We were only a 100 meters away and I still don’t understand why drastic measures like these were necessary. In our oppinion the crowd was peaceful.
As Fabian came back we wanted to make a plan in case things got worse
but it was obviously to late. A car was burning and 3 fire engines followed by armored cars with water cannons drove into the crowd. Soon the whole place was full with tear gas and water cannons were used to scatter the protesters. The program on stage was disrupted and organizers tried to calm people down. They spoke to the police publicly
and told them to stop the provocation. In the mean time police were everywhere and people were running in all directions. Me and Fabian were cut off from our friend. Since we couldn’t see properly anymore and the situation began to get dangerous we tried to run into town but the police were blocking some of the streets so we felt really trapped.
Well these are just some of the weird ways the police acted. The rumor was actually that they tried to get as much of the riot on tape as possible so they could argue against further protests, get more freedom to act cruel or whatever. I must say it fits to the profile.
Anyway, the sad part is the way our beloved media is pulling the whole protest into dirt and not even mentioning the motives of “peaceful” protesters. There are so many great discussions – the people are doing an amazing job. But it is not in the interest of the system to let them be heard.