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International protest against sentences from Swedish Courts

by MY NAME IS GEORGE Friday, May. 10, 2002 at 4:48 AM

Join the international action day June 5th against the swedish model of repressing summit protesters and criminalising them.

The Call now includes roughly 2500 signatures from 30 different countries.

The homepage for the Call is www.manifest.se/upprop

1. The Call made a major achievement when the Swedish Supreme Court on April

29th finally decided on a case after the Gothenburg riots. The verdict is a

strong criticism against the lower courts:

a) The sentence for rioting was in this case reduced from 20 months in

prison to 4 months imprison.

b) The claim that this particular riot (which is the most common one in the

courts so far) was directed against the top summit is rejected. On the

contrary, the Supreme court stresses the responsibility of the police for

this riot.

c) The Supreme Court rejects the much used ruling that the riots in

Gothenburg are parts of one whole organized Super-riot.

However, the Supreme court claimed that its slow reaction (32 people already

being sentenced to prison when this ruling came) is a result of neglect from

the defendants - that they haven't appealed against the length of sentences.

But the documents show that no less than 10 defendants have appealad

against that prior to the case that was finally tried in the Supreme Court.

In my view this implicates that it was the pressure from public opinion that

forced the Supreme Court to change its mind and finally pick up a case from

Gothenburg. Your support to this call is part of that pressure!

And only continuing call for justice wil make it possible to reduce the

sentences also for the earlier and coming defendants.

What remains is also that the question of responsibility of the defendants

is raised on the highest level and, of course, that the responsibility of

the police (and politicians) are tried in court. There are innocent people

in prison right now. And there are too many responsible policemen that are

not being tried at all.

2. ACTION-ALARM

Call of social movements - Solidarity with the Gothenburg 41!

Join the international action day June 5th

- against the swedish model of repressing summit protesters and

criminalising them.

For the first time ever at a summit of international governmental

representatives the police shot demonstrators in Gothenburg 2001 with live

ammunition.

They almost killed one person and wounded two, one of them a bystander.

Sweden has set a record during its EU-presidency in spring 2001 in

oppressing summit protests by preventive police strategies, politicians and

media accusing protesters of being terrorists and the worst ever sentences

for summit protests.

238 times longer prison terms in total

The result is that the sentences after the summit protests in Sweden in

total are 238 times harder than in Nice, Prague or Seattle!

In Seattle people were sentenced to a few days of imprisonment -maximum 9

days,

in Prague the sentences were suspended and noone was imprisioned, some were

deported though,

and in Nice two persons were given one month imprisonment each.

In Sweden so far 41 persons have been sentenced to 12 months average

imprisonment being charged with violent rioting. At least 8 more people are

waiting to be put on trial. The maximum length of these sentences in Sweden

is two and a half year -which is 30 times more than the maximum sentence of

any of the previous summits.

In total there are 476 months of imprisonment in Sweden since Gbg 2001.

Record of arresting people at summits or taking them into custody:

Sweden also set a record in terms of preventive actions against

demonstrators at summits in the Western world, both considered as a part of

the total amount of demonstrators at the summit or the total number of

people who have been taken into custody by the police.

Already at the meeting of the EU finance ministers in Malm Sweden, on the

21 of April 2001, the Swedish police used a preventive strategy taking 266

demonstrators into custody out of a legal, broadly organised demonstration

of 2000 people. This is 13,3 % of the demonstrators which is a higher

percentage than at any other broad demonstration at a summit in the Western

world since protest demonstrations at summits started in 1968.

In Gothenburg the Swedish police continued their preventive strategy by

surrounding 500 people inside a school with hundreds of containers at the

counterconference before any actions in the streets had taken place at all.

The police finally stormed the school in search of weapons -but they did not

find any.

The following day another preventive police action took place in Gothenburg

against a demonstration where people started rioting and throwing stones at

the police and policemen throw stones back at the demonstrators. At the end

of the day the police attacked a street party which resulted in

confrontations and policemen shooting people in the streets.

929 people were arrested or taken into custody by the police during the

Gothenburg EU-Summit, the majority in connection with thepolice storming the

schoool.

This amount of people being denied their freedom by the police at a summit

has not been seen at any previous meeting - except in Prague 2000 where

there were similar figures.

This new Swedish model of shooting live bullets at summit demonstrators and

storming schools where demonstrators have their lodgings, meetings and

information facilities was after Gothenburg 2001 applied to at the G-8

Summit in Genua with even more brutal methods. The outcome of the court

rulings from the repressive actions of the Italian government has not yet

been finished but it is to be remembered that the Swedish government set the

standards that the others now can follow.

5th of June

The 5th of June is worldwide commemorating of the UN Conference on

environment hosted by the then Swedish prime minister Olof Palme 1972. This

was the first time ever that popular movements held counter conferences,

demonstrations and a dialogue with the official delegations at a summit.

Year 2001 the Swedish government instead introduced making the summits more

undemocratic by unprecedented repression and criminalising.

We call upon using this date, the week before the anniversary of the EU

Summit 15-16th of June, in order to make the Swedish and international

public aware of these unacceptable repressive actions made by of the Swedish

government!

We hope you will spread these protests as soon as possible so it can be

known all over the world what people think of criminalising summit protests.

In Gothenburg a demonstration and a meeting will be held on the 15th of June

and we now ask for international solidarity:

Organization Friends of the Earth Sweden

Trade union Central Organization of Swedens Workers (SAC)

Recently established Democracy Net

call for peaceful protests at all Swedish embassies, consulates or similar

places in support of the imprisioned persons and in order to stop the

criminalisation and repression of summit protests or of the globalisation

critical movement!

Hand over a petition, make a sit-in or a demonstration in solidarity with

the Swedish and the international popular movements against the Swedish

government!

Sweden 28 of April 2002

Tord Björk, Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner - Friends of the Earth Sweden,

tord.bjork@mjv.se

Hannele Peltonen, SAC Syndikalisterna -Central Organization of Swedens

Workers, sekretariatet@sac.se

Gerd Pettersson, Demokratinätet - Democracy Net, d.p@gerd.pp.se

Enclosed

About the trials after Gbg 2001

The maximum sentence after the Gothenburg EU-Summit has been two and a half

years of imprisonment.

People have been sentenced to maximum punishment in trials without

individual proof, sentenced for just sending mobile text messages telling

others to show solidarity with the 500 people locked up inside a school

behind containers by the police.

A trade unionist from Norway has been sentenced to longer terms of

imprisonment in spite of the fact that there has been no proof at all that

he has hit any policeman, while other persons stating no political interests

at all have got away with shorter terms of imprisonment though they actually

have hit policemen with stones.

During the trials it has been proved that the police force has manipulated

video materials and several films showing police violence.

Both the film taken by a bystander wounded by the police and films taken by

people who later were imprisioned have been lost by the police, so that

these persons cannot use their own material to defend themselves.

In total three times more demonstrators than policemen had to go to hospital

after the confrontations in Gbg 2001.

Up to this date no one policeman has been charged with anything concerning

the riots.

No investigations at all have been made of police conduct, not even of the

policemen who fired the shots and wounded three people -one of them almost

killed.



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WHERE,S THE LA PROTEST? NICK Friday, May. 10, 2002 at 4:51 AM
WHERE,S THE LA PROTEST? NICK Friday, May. 10, 2002 at 4:51 AM

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