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One dead, tens of thousands ready to respond!
Report and analysis by El Flaco 20th July 2001
Italian police had no idea why tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Genoa today, but that didn't stop them shooting two dead and sending fifty more to the hospital.
One man was shot twice in the head after throwing a fire extinguisher at a rocket proof armoured car. Riled by the insult, the cabinieri guards inside opened their little hatch and put one bullet in his head and another through his cheek.
This is how capitalism responds to criticism. If the murder was not enough, the armoured car (or other reports say another cabinieri vehicle - then reversed over the dead youth).
One woman is also in a critical condition after being beated by the police..
The incidents are the most serious fallout (so far) of a day of Prime Minister Berlusconi's greatest day since becoming premier. Harking back to the days of his mentor Mussollini, Sergio is reportedly saying, 'me boys done good'...
Protesters awoke to find that overnight the red zone leapt four blocks east. Despite 100,000 marching on Thursday, once the tear gas filled the streets tens of thousands of protesters had miraculously (or not) disappeared.
An anarchist block assembling in Piazza Paolo di Novi had barely started filling their bins with cobblestones when the state police volleyed in the first tear gas rounds. A street battle ensued pushing the anarchists eastwards.
Away from the target zone. A black flag waving samba band managed to regroup the four thousand strong unit, who then crossed the railway and headed to the northern limits of the red zone, stopping on the way to rearrange some banks and feed the masses thanks to a helpful supermarket on the return journey.
The shutters were still off and local residents were taking shopping trolleys full of free groceries home). However, it is true that the focus of the siege was lost for a while beneath the youthful excitement of trashing the banks.
It was unfortunate that the post office, bus stops and a few local traders got trashed, and several times the block stopped moving towards it's goal due to window breaking frenzy.
It may be inspiring that several thousands of young people are prepared to don crash helmets and gas mask masks to forward the anarchist cause.
But the more focussed elements of the block were saying, 'If we are here to bust the G8, let's bust the G8, if were here to fight the police, lets fight the police, but lets not fart around trashing people's communities coz it's black block style to hoof bricks at windows'.
Note for the diary, get Tony Negri to write something for the youngsters. Having said this, many of the block were highly focussed on why they were here, and pushed the police advances back.
Tear gas was met with rocks and bottles, and as the rockets flew in, a gloved hand would scoop them up and send them back. A car hire company generously gave up a couple of Alpha Romeo's for the kids to 'fire-up' and one particularly insidious mainstream TV cameraman got a little more footage than he bargained for, when one hefty Italian anarchist, took his camera off him and proceeded to smash it into several thousand pieces.
Anyway, back on the streets early afternoon, the Tute Bianchi were heading in to town down Corso Aldo Gastali from their Carlini stadium hideout.
Their numbers and excess padding meant that it was not until around three o'clock that the white overall free white overalls reached the Brignole Station drop zone.
A gas heavy police response slowed them down further and the inevitable confrontation didn't fail to meet expectations. The Red zone was breached by small unit, who were quickly snatched, and one cop car was torched.
But at the end of the day the protesters were not armed, and not life threatening to the old bill, who spent the day firing two foot tear gas rockets, plastic and real bullets at the kids from vans and helicopters both when they weren'tt getting their batons dirty painting the tarmac with claret...
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