During the G8 in Evian, Geneva, Lausanne and Annemasse there was widespread police repression against all forms of action. This repression is not uncommon in the history of social movements, but we shouldn't start to accept it as normal. Neither should we be unprepared for it in future years. Now more than ever we must react against police repression in all its forms.
We need to follow up on the general and specific cases from the G8 to ensure that the police (Swiss, French, German...) do not get away with their actions, and that their actions are seen as connected to wider global repression, by the press as well as the public.
Police repression in the G8 included:
* Cutting the rope across a motorway bridge upon which two activists were suspended, resulting in one person, Martin Shaw, falling over 20 metres into a shallow stream, sustaining severe injuries. The other, Gesine, was saved by activists on the bridge.
* Guy Smallman, a freelance photographer, was severely injured when a stunt grenade exploded directly on his leg. He has not yet fully recovered.
* Police attacked marchers with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets. Several people were hospitalised with burns, and injuries from bullets and grenades hitting them.
* Police groups disguised as black block ran through the city, beating and shooting rubber bullets at demonstrators and passersby. The Geneva legal collective has gathered over 50 witnesses to these events.
* Police illegally detained over 400 people without charges in Bourdonnette, the activist campground in Lausanne for several hours. People refused to identify themselves and were held in a police circle for several hours in the heat. Several people were arrested and all the tents and bags were searched.
* In Geneva the social center, l'Usine with the IMC office was raided by a police 'black block' group.
* Police shot stunt grenades directly at a pregnant woman. One grenade exploded under a child's stroller.
* Street medics were directly targeted and nearly all were arrested.
* Human rights observers also suffered violence and unjust treatment; one suffered a sprained elbow under a German policeman's baton, another was handcuffed and forced to go home. They shot another in the leg. Police tore off armbands and badges that identified human rights observers as such.
* Journalists were also targeted by police. They were stopped, and film confiscated or destroyed.
* Some arrests were very brutal with painholds, fingers in eyes, ears and noses, and rough handcuffing.
* Police refused during the whole time to give out lists of detainees, as agreed prior to the demos. They refused to give their badge numbers and denied phonecalls to detainees. Cells were overcrowded. In prison some people were illegally filed, insulted, in some cases women had to piss in front of male soldiers, several were kept handcuffed in policevans for hours, refused toilets and water.
This is just a summary of the actions by the police, and the fact thatno-one was killed this time is down to luck. Police repression in all its forms must be challenged, and the individuals and police forces themselves need to be held responsible. The wider repression of acitivists shows an alarming trend, with these incidents becoming commonplace. Recent targeted killings of demostrators and human shields from the occupied territories to Papua-Guniea or Argentina together with the killing of Carlo Guiliani in Genoa (for which the police have been prosecuted but found innocent) show that around the world the political enclosure and violent repression of the antineoliberal social movements continues to escalate realively to the level of police impunity.
Different groups are working on the legal follow up of the G8 summit:
- Legal support Lausanne
- Legal support Geneve
- Legal support France
- Aubonne group working on the ropecut
- Guy Smallman Support Group
Most of these groups are in contact and will share money wherever it is needed most.
- Legal support Geneve:
Over 70 cases of police violence have been reported, nearly 100 people were arrested and over 30 people are facing charges already, with possibly more to come. Most common charges are rioting, being present at riots (weird swiss
laws) and disobeying police orders. The legal group is preparing a publication of a report of the police abuses during the summit.
Contact:: firstname.lastname@example.org - 0041 (0) 794 631 789 (19-20h)
- Legal support Lausanne:
In the time between 22.5. to 3.6. the legal group were reported 348 arrests in Lausanne and the surrounding area, more than 20 people have been charged and several injured. Most common charges are: blockading traffic, disobeying police orders, rioting, being present at riots.
German: open from 19-21.pm local time: 0041 (0) 79 603 57 81
French (sometimes English): 0041 (0) 78 847 16 36
Both groups are advising people who face charges. In order to bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice, they are gathering signatures and advising victims who want to prosecute. They are calling for donations to pay the court costs, help people with their lawyer's fees and fines and cover the administrative costs.
Bank contact: Permanence Juridique G8
15, rue des Savoises
mention: appel antirep
- Legal support France:
By finishing this call we did not have an answer from France, but surely they need money as well. Get in Contact with the Vaaag people, they might be able to find a bank account.
Contact: email@example.com, 0033 (0) 698 927 865
- Aubonne group:
This group was formed after the bridge incident (where the climbers' rope was cut and Martin fell 25m) and will deal with all matters concerning this case, such as legal, medical, presswork, finances, communication etc. Eight peope have been charged with blocking the traffic, including the the climbers Martin and Gesine. The latter will prosecute the police for endangering their lives, not helping them in danger and for nearly killing them (legal term still to be worked out). More than a month in hospital (with broken pelvis, left ankle and foot, 2 broken lumber vertebras, still there at this very moment) and a long rehabilitation period to come for Martin. Money will be needed to cover the lawyers' fees, for medical costs (because the E111 does not cover all) and for administrative costs.
To avoid transfer fees we opened accounts in different countries, these are personal accounts only dedicated to Martin.
UK: DR J Bonnet, HSBC Bangor, 274 High Street, Bangor,
Gwynedd; LL571RU Sort code: 400903, Account number: 61666517
Germany: Jan Bargen, Postbank Dortmund, BLZ: 440 100 46, Kontonr.: 77582466
Spain: Esther Cerro, Banc de Sabadell, 0081-0055-44-0006151525
Switzerland: Association "Eau Bonne", Compte Postal 17-32 86 14-4,
USA: ank account is in the process of being set up, contact us for more details.
Foundation "EAU BONNE"
The bank acounts listed above fund the foundation Eau Bonne. At the moment we are diverting from the foundation to pay emergency legal and medical costs. When we win our case and receive compensation, we will pay the foundation back. We will maintain the foundation as a source of emergency loans to activists facing similar situations in the future. They will borrow funds to pay immediate legal and medical costs, with the intention of recovering this money through the legal process, and recycling it back into the foundation. In this way, all money donated will used transparantly and accountably, again and again to fight police abuses against activists.
Contact Aubonne group:
firstname.lastname@example.org, 0041 (0) 786 836 405
support emails for Martin in hospital: email@example.com
update list: send blankmail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Guy Smallman Support Group:
In the UK a campaign started around this attack on the free press. Money is needed to pay medical fees (same E111 problem as Martin), to cover legal costs and to help the campaign. Guy suffered serious muscle damage to his leg. He has undergone two hours of surgery and will need skin grafts. He and his lawyer are prosecuting the police. Donations are welcome, get in contact with captain scarlet. http://www.nuj.org.uk
Support emails for Guy: email@example.com
more info at:
links to solidarity actions in Barcelona:
Legal Support Groups