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Friday, Jul. 27, 2001 at 1:46 AM
Pretty incredible account by, yes, AP, of all organizations... on provocateurs
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[Here are two media-based reports indicating police
infiltration of and involvement with "Black Bloc"
violence in Genoa. Victor Grossman cites reports
appearing in the German and Italian press.
In the second account, an Associated Press reporter
says, "The police charged the crowd after a small
group of masked men and women who appeared to be
police agents staged a fight at the edge of the park
in full view of a line of riot police."
From: "Victor Grossman" Subject: Genoa violence
Was the "Black Bloc" of Genoa not so black after all?
("Black" in European parlance often indicates the
The left-wing press in Berlin (e.g. "Neues
Deutschland") notes that some eye-witnesses saw
"anarchists" from the "Black Bloc" getting out of
police cars and passing into the fenced-in "Red Zone"
with no difficulty. They say the men spoke German and
Spanish. The Italian Communist newspaper
"Liberazione" was quoted saying that police forces
from other countries may have been helping their
Italian colleagues - without uniform - by provoking
the politically desirable violence. A 40-year-old
woman from London, Rosy Kirwan, from the organization
"Globalise Resistance" was quoted directly: "On
Friday we were on the Piazza Manin for a peace rally
with prayers, jazz music and book stands, when
suddenly the anarchists of the 'Black Bloc' turned
up. The police were nearby but did nothing. When the
anarchists departed the police attacked our peaceful
demonstration with no holds barred, even attacking a
minister, who had fled to a side street and was on
According to the Swiss sociologist Riccardo Petrella
there were many indications that groups of the "Black
Bloc" were infiltrated by the police. This was
confirmed by the independent media network Indymedia
and the Italian film maker Dario de Ferrario, who
showed the film of a colleague showing government
agents who put on "No G8" T-shirts and mixed with the
demonstrators. The whole "Black Bloc" was not made up
of policemen, of course, Petrella said. "We agree
with the criticism and the analysis of capitalist
institutions but not with the methods employed
against them." In view of the ignorance of
organizations like the G8 the members of the "Black
Bloc" evidently saw "no possibility to achieve
anything without violence," the sociologist said. In
the last analysis the "Black Bloc" was a "useful
instrument for police strategy" (from "Neues
Deutschland," July 23 and 24, 2001).
Left-wingers in Berlin recalled that at one of the
annual May Day demonstrations which, as almost every
year, ended in violence, police radio calls were
intercepted directing some of the supposed "masked
anarchists" to the desired areas.
June 24, 2001
Globalization protest turns violent in Spain
Riot police made what appeared to be an unprovoked
attack Sunday on anti-globalization protesters
gathered in a city park following a midday march down
a main boulevard. At least 32 people were slightly
injured and 19 were arrested.
Thousands of screaming and shouting demonstrators,
some with small children, fled in panic as the police
pushed into the crowd behind shields, wielding
truncheons and firing blank gunshots.
''We raised our arms and shouted, 'Peace, Peace,' but
they just kept coming,'' said a woman who identified
herself as Yolanda.
The march along Passeig de Gracia and rally at the
Plaza de Cataluna - along with other weekend
activities - were organized to coincide with a World
Bank meeting originally scheduled for this week.
Officials canceled the meeting last week to avoid
violent protests that have marred meetings of global
and regional institutions in the past two years.
The march was largely peaceful, but some store
windows were broken along the route, among them a
Burger King restaurant and a Swatch store. Small
groups of men and women taunted riot police.
Thousands of other demonstrators joined the marchers
at the park following the march. They had been
peacefully listening to speakers and chanting slogans
when the police swept through the plaza.
The police charged the crowd after a small group of
masked men and women who appeared to be police agents
staged a fight at the edge of the park in full view
of a line of riot police standing in front of police
vans. A few dozen demonstrators were pulled into the
''Police provoked the fight. They were part of it,''
said Ada Colau, a spokeswoman for the Campaign
Against the World Bank, one of the protest
Reporters watched as the police appeared to use the
staged scuffle as bait to pull protesters into it and
then use it as a pretext to charge into the park. A
second charge emptied the park within minutes.
The masked assailants, some of them apparently
wearing earphones, had gathered in groups on the
fringes of the protest march as it arrived at the
park after passing down a dozen blocks of the
They were wearing knapsacks and carrying sticks, but
were able to walk freely past police, pull on their
masks and position themselves between the edge of the
crowd in the park and the police lines 25 yards away.
The fight began when one man grabbed another and
pulled him to the ground. Others from the same group
began kicking and slugging each other.
When demonstrators saw what was going on and joined
the fight, the police charged into the park. The men
and women involved in the scuffle walked through the
police line and boarded the vans.
A reporter asked one of them if they were police. He
at first said yes, and then said no, before walking
undeterred by police to the vans.
State television said 19 people were arrested, and
the news agency Efe quoted emergency medical services
as saying 32 were slightly injured with bumps and
Anti-globalization activists from a potpourri of
organizations have been showing up at summits of the
World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund
and the World Bank, institutions they claim widen the
gap between rich and poor.
Some protests resulted in violent clashes with the
police, most recently at the European Summit held in
Goteborg, Sweden, this month, when several people
were wounded by gunshots fired by the police.
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