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French Police Teargas Anarchists in G8 Eve Clash

by Anti-G8 Sunday, Jun. 01, 2003 at 3:55 PM

The anarchists began setting up barricades but French riot police moved in, firing volleys of teargas to push them back to the campsite at Annemasse airfield, where earlier in the day protesters were instructed in passive resistance techniques.

French Police Teargas Anarchists in G8 Eve Clash

May 31, 2003

By Jon Boyle

ANNEMASSE, France (Reuters) - French police fired teargas on Saturday to disperse several hundred anarchists in the first major disturbance ahead of a summit of the "Group of Eight" leading industrialized countries.

Eyewitnesses said the incident came after the protesters marched from an anti-G8 campsite near the French town of Annemasse on the Swiss border to blockade a building where French Socialist Party activists were meeting.

It was the first clash in what both protest leaders and police had said would be a series of peaceful marches and sit-ins during the three-day summit in the nearby French spa town of Evian, which opens on Sunday.

Authorities on both sides of the border, fearful of a repetition of violence that rocked a G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, two years ago, have mounted a massive security operation involving some 25,000 police and security officials.

It was not immediately clear why the anarchists, carrying their traditional black-and-red flags, decided to march against the socialists -- although hard-left movements generally regard social democratic parties as "hirelings of capitalism."

Marchers said they threw stones at the building where the socialists were meeting to discuss the G8 summit after guards inside fired a spray at them. There was no immediate comment from the socialists.

The anarchists began setting up barricades but French riot police moved in, firing volleys of teargas to push them back to the campsite at Annemasse airfield, where earlier in the day protesters were instructed in passive resistance techniques.

Police barricades were going up on both sides of the French-Swiss border around Lake Geneva to halt protesters trying to move off permitted routes. Army helicopters circled overhead.

In Lausanne, across Lake Geneva from Evian, various groups denouncing the G8 leaders, who include President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were considering ways to try to block water traffic.

While most G8 leaders are staying around Evian, about a dozen prime ministers and presidents who are summit guests, including China's Hu Jintao, will stay in Lausanne and travel across Lake Geneva from the Swiss to the French side.

Protesters accuse the G8 chiefs of acting like "Masters of the Universe" and say the poorer nation leaders -- who include Brazil's new left-wing President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva -- will get nothing more than crumbs from them.

The G8 include Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

What We're Doing in Annemasse

by Poon 1:55pm

UK Indymedia

Sat May 31 '03

A trip from the Intergalactique camp to the local supermarket took an unexpected turn today when we found ourselves in the midst of several hundred people on their way to protest at a meeting of the French Socialist Party. Much like New Labour in Britain, the Socialist Party in France has more in common with the G8 leaders in Evian than with those of us who want to expose the effects of their policies. Given this, a group decided to pay a visit to a meeting of the "Socialists" in Annemasse and we went along for the ride :-)

For a tense 30 minutes or so outside the meeting, demonstraters banged on the windows and tried to get in to the hall. Eventually stones and other things to hand were thrown at, and then through, the windows. The police, who were nowhere to be seen before this point, soon arrived. They were very quick to use tear gas which sent the crowd slowly back towards the camp. Local people were cheering us on and throwing bottles of water from their windows and balconys for us to wash off the gas. One family were lowering a bucket from their balcony for our empty water bottles which they re-filled and passed back to us.

The police then spent several hours pushing the crowd back towards the camp, firing a lot of gas as they went. I think the action was useful in that it made clear to the French Socialist Party that their version of Socialism (i.e. neo-liberalism!) is not a part of our movement of movements for social change and globalisation from below! It was also good to see so much support from local people :-)

Photos at:

Geneva, May 30

http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/05/1615019.php

http://germany.indymedia.org/2003/05/52809.shtml

http://www.indymedia.ch/fr/2003/05/9823.shtml

http://www.indymedia.ch/fr/2003/05/9849.shtml

http://switzerland.indymedia.org/fr/2003/05/9783.shtml

http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/05/1615118.php

http://ch.indymedia.org/itmix/2003/05/9833.shtml

Lausanne, May 29

http://www.indymedia.ch/de/2003/05/9644.shtml

http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/05/1614861.php

Links at:

http://indymedia.org/g8/

http://switzerland.indymedia.org/en/

http://uk.indymedia.org/

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Annemasse

by Anti-G8 Sunday, Jun. 01, 2003 at 3:55 PM

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Annemasse

by Anti-G8 Sunday, Jun. 01, 2003 at 3:55 PM

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Lausanne

by Anti-G8 Sunday, Jun. 01, 2003 at 3:55 PM

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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continue to march. Sy$teMF@iLuRe Monday, Jun. 02, 2003 at 9:59 AM
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Reading from the above... Minuteman Monday, Jun. 02, 2003 at 5:01 PM
this place sucks Kobe chieftan Wednesday, Jun. 04, 2003 at 9:27 AM
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