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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
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
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.
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
For the first time ever at a summit of international governmental
representatives the police shot demonstrators in Gothenburg 2001 with live
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
in Prague the sentences were suspended and noone was imprisioned, some were
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
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
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
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
Hand over a petition, make a sit-in or a demonstration in solidarity with
the Swedish and the international popular movements against the Swedish
Sweden 28 of April 2002
Tord Björk, Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner - Friends of the Earth Sweden,
Hannele Peltonen, SAC Syndikalisterna -Central Organization of Swedens
Gerd Pettersson, Demokratinätet - Democracy Net, email@example.com
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
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
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