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Provocateurs in Genoa: News media accounts

by Pnews Friday, Jul. 27, 2001 at 1:46 AM

Pretty incredible account by, yes, AP, of all organizations... on provocateurs


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From: portsideMod

[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."

-- psMod]

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

the ground."

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.


Associated Press

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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