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Genoa 2001
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Genoa report
by Adam Porter, 21st July 2001

When the plane lands you see the Patriot missiles aimed towards the sky. Khahki hulks of steel, waiting to shoot down an anti-free marketeer bombing raid.

Maybe Osama Bin Laden will be flying in on his microlite, a modern day Dick Dastardly, twiddling his moustache with Mutley clutching his homemade dynamite by his side.

Maybe radical underground anarchists have hired an old Heinkel bomber from the war and are going to carpet bomb the civilian areas of Genoa. You know, it's not bullshit fantasy designed to allow the authorities to wildly over react, it could happen, honest. Because the G8 are here and they mean business.


Rather than go and hang with the democracy movement, camped in the nearby Stadio Carlini, including celebrity dissenters like Manu Chao and Jovanotti, (yes he of the awful Italo-pop-rap hits of the late eighties, he’s seen the light obviously), myself and a fellow reporter from are camped in the far more air conditioned business leader hotels. We won’t tell you which one, just in case.

This morning at breakfast a variety of Americans and Canadians were discussing the situation. Mildly upset that this "manifestation" has got in the way of their heavy duty tans and Euro-treks.

"But it’s ok here", said one glittering lady of leisure "because the hotel is full of police, they are staying here to look after the place." The place? I don’t think that’s what they are looking after. The G8 are here and they mean business.

On the luxury cruise liner European Vision the resplendent elite swan around wined and dined and entertained with their own concert and fireworks display. It is the boat where seven of the `eight` will be staying, apart from GW Bush.


Their party is a wonderful colourful festival. But only if you have a pass into the `red zone`. The red zone is the area of Genoa cordoned off for the powerful and the residential. The red zone is of course inside the yellow zone, another layer of cordons and twenty foot high steel fences. This is a festival for the elite elite.

Just like the summit are business discussions for the elite elite.The residents, of course, can watch from the shore. Just like they can watch the decisions being made in their name powerless in both canape-grabbing and decision making.. After all, they probably wouldn’t want to come anyway, would they ?

The voice of the residents is of course obscured under the tidal wave of free market propaganda. But it breaks through occasionally. "They (the authorities) are turning this place into a war zone" said one old lady on Rai Uno. "It will only make things worse." She looked scared. Because the G8 are here and they mean business.


The fact that the G8 only `represent` 13% of the world’s population is neither here nor there. The fact that the `representatives` of the the 13% of the world’s population are not in fact their representatives at all (for example only 2.18 people out of ten voted for Tony Blair in the UK) is neither here nor there either.

Yet amazingly the G8 know no shame. They have launched a 24 hour a day TV channel especially for the business hotels called G8TV. As the shut down occurs the journalists are following every street closure, every autoroute blockade, every deployment of riot police. With unquestioning glee. They even show us the pictures of the European Vision party you can see here. Nothing can be left to chance.

The media, the streets, the law. Everything is here to serve the G8. Maybe, just maybe, if they took down the cordons, removed the illegal police shakedowns on the border, removed the illegal police shakedowns on the edge of town, maybe then they would allow us near the Piazza Matteotti where the summit will be taking place.

On our knees.

Because the G8 are here and they are business. And business is your master. Whether you like it or not.

What's your opinion on the protest?
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