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Genoa? She's like a sister to me
Report and analysis by El Flaco 19th July 2001
The sun ain't shining, but 100,000 well-tooled lunatics are gearing up for some heated exchanges on the streets of Genoa.
The shakers and breakers of the G8 nations may have hand picked the Ligurian capital for its winding streets and and old-skool trading port, but Bush, Blair and Berlusconi hadn't counted on 100,000 uninvited guests (literally) gate crashing their party.
Today, July 19, kicked off proceedings with a 70,000 strong march through the town in solidarity with the millions of asylum seekers getting universally-stiffed across fortress Europe.
An international soup of banner waving, wall tagging, trumpet blaring, cop taunting anti-imperialistas meandered through the streets, giving Genoa's multi-faceted police response the chance to air their newly painted firepower.
Meanwhile, as the Japanese PM touched down at Genoa airport, all was quiet inside the forbidden Zona Rossa. Dark-windowed motorcades monopolised the roadways save only for cop cars and camera crews. Every entrance point is stalked by a sneering lynch-mob of gun toting cops in Gucci shades and goatees.
A four meter high steel fence - set in concrete and nailed to the tarmac (listen up Mr Eavis) - blocks all access points to the sacred square mile where the world's most powerful justice-dodgers plan to trough on marinari and the misery of millions.
Spooks stop and search those sneaky enough to blag security passes like it's Derby day in Glasgow. No one walks ten meters without getting a spin. Armoured cars, bulldozers and scores of horses line the the Via 20th Septembre, the main artery heading straight for the Ducalo Palace (the conference centre).
This is the spot where every fucker in town knows the cardboard-covered army of the Tute Bianche intend to make their entrance.
Unlike the Czechs faced with the World Bank meeting in Prague in September, the Italian resistance is more than ready for the G8. But, outside the pages of the British mainstream press, don't expect to get your head easily around the breakdown of the blockade.
The Genoa Social Forum, who sparked off the mobilisation for this meeting, is a loose coalition of surprisingly varied forces.
At one end of the scale is the Jubilee, Drop the Debt reformist lobby and at the other end is the militant Tute Bianche and Corbas (themselves a coalition of street-fighting anracho-syndaclist and marxist trade unions).
Despite all parties signing up (crossed fingers behind backs stylee) to the GSF 'No sticks, no stones, no fire,' manifesto - it's well accepted that once the old bill start cracking heads - anything goes. Needless to say the organised anarchist groups massing in Genoa have more self respect than to get involved with dubious liberal coalitions and have stayed well clear of the GSF.
Having said that, unlike previous incarnations of similar coalitions, the GSF are not dissing anyone else's tactical or ideological approach and everyone on the streets seem happy enough to co-exist (so long as no one's attack infringes on anyone else's - TAKE HEED UK WHINERS).
Of Course, the SWP - here in force to paint their name all over proceedings - are tolerated by nobody except their French and Italian opposite numbers in the comically titled Globalise Resistance...
The White Overalls (remember Milan's Muppetmen Ya Basta) who include well-padded crews from all over Italy have decided not to wear the white overalls after all, because they've linked up with Social Center activists from Naples and the Corbus militants to form a single attacking block.
Having said that, other Corbas contingents are linking with the anarchist black blocks tomorrow (who have fallen out with the Tute Bianche because of their hierarchical make-up and insistence in adherence to the leadership's plans).
They, the anarchists, are in turn joining the not provactively-violent-but-willing-to-defend-themselves-pink-block (no relation to their Prague coluor campeneros) for another fence breach elsewhere. Confused? Well, lets hope the fucking beasts are too.
As it happens though, the old bill's break down is equally mashed. The local (municipal) police - answerable to the local left wing government - are on the streets dressed identical to the state police - answerable to the national fascist government.
They are joined by the paramilitary style Carabinieri, who's numbers include national servicemen (no need to explain what kind of asshole becomes a cop for a year to aid their country's well being).
The Carabineri are cruising round town in armoured cars completely sealed, but for little holes to shoot people out of - the normal police have got Brinks Matt style caged vans, and they've all got helicopters and guns galore.
Alongside them are the soldiers, the navy personnel, the Financial police, the Forest (?) police and the secret servicemen - who, incidentally, spent the last week posting letter bombs around the town in order to pump up the air of tension.
Milling in the crowd are heavily disguised undercover policemen carrying (get th is) police issue crash helmets...doh!
However, despite the forces lined up against them, and the daunting task of busting down the barricades - beyond which undoubtedly lie the worlds most sophisticated personnel protection systems - the liberators gathered in Genoa are in positive spirits.
Not everyone's getting in though: 150-200 Greek anarchists have been fighting with police in the port of Ancona - they were refused entry to italy and told to get back on the ship that brought them - they refused and a riot ensued - other ships were held outside the port as the shit went down - latest is they're back on the ship and wont be joining the Genovese party
Despite the cynics questioning their support, the 70,000 who marched tonight are being continually joined by trainload after trainload of equally dedicated comrades. The Italian authorities chose not to shut the borders after all.
A decision they may well live to regret. There is a storm coming and this time it ain't heading for bankers or bureaucrats, this time it's the shot-callers on the slab. No more fucking around. Leaders, it is time to meet your world
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