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first hand report from sweden

by tristan Thursday, Jun. 21, 2001 at 7:48 PM

the view from the street: Gothenburg

Gothenburg anti-EU protest


Tue, 19 Jun 2001 18:43:58 -0000

Dear everyone,

Its been crazy here. I spent 4 days rushing here from

Oakland and arrived on Thursday morning. The school Hvitfeldtska had just been surrounded by

riot police. It was a planning area for Ya Basta and

the black block. Police surrounded it with container freight containers as a wall. Ya Basta etc tried to break out but were beaten and driven backby police on

horseback. Eventually 240 were arrested but the

school held out. At 3:00 I went to the Bush Mooning to welcome him, across the canal from his hotel.

Very festive. At 5:30 we had a huge 15,000 people

Bush not Welcome protest.

As we marched toward the main square we passed a

park that was next to Hvitfeldtska. The Black Block and others thought we should march to the school and free our comrades. I was almost always with the Black

Block. Monitors tried to stop us but several hundred of us

went over there. I was at the back, when I got over the hill the horse police charged and people dug up the cobblestones and the battle began. It lasted about 10

minutes, many rocks vs riot police, dog police who got creamed and we were eventually driven off by horses. We escaped down a cliff and built barricades and

more stones. We were pushed back block after block, we

pushed the police back some times too but were eventually pushed to the square. I heard the last two speeches then the main event was over. Several hundred people

want up to the containers surrounding Hvitfeldtska at a

different place and as I arrived a bunch of Black Block (BB) members were running across the tops of the containers and jumping into the crowd. The police attacked but we

sat down and stopped them. For the next few hours we used

every tactic from throwing things to singing and did so well vs the police and more people escaped. There were performances and speeches and abonfire and I went

home to sleep.

Friday-the main direct action protest. We gathered at

the square for speeches in English and Swedish. The march started,only 3,000 had come. The socialists led then other contingents then a huge BB then some more people. Two blocks and the way was barred by riot police. The socialists

tried to push through but failed. Suddenly 20 police

with dogs cut through the crowd in front of the BB biting several people.We tried to Push through linking arms but with batons and dogs we were broken apart. The

police and dogs had the middle of the street. I was on the sidewalk standing next to a young woman trying to defend

ourselves behind a banner. A policeman walked up and smacked her in the face with a metal baton,

she was soon covered with blood. Riot police and mounted

police attacked and we retreated to the square. I waved my flag and ran against the mounted police but they charged by and the riot police attacked. The BB dug up tons

of cobblestones which began to fly at the police. They

slowly began to push us down the avenue while the nonviolent, scared etc protestors fled. The police would beat their shields then charge. The BB would gather rocks

then charge forcing the police to retreat.

The police blocked most rocks with

their shields and few were injured. They did slowly

push us back and we built tons of massive barricades. People began to break windows, especially 2 Mc Donald's and a Burger King, a bank was destroyed and all the furniture used for barricades including fake plants! I was hit in the leg by a rock a digger was tossing into the street then as I took a

picture of the first Mc Donald
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