Around the European Social Forum ESF there were 4 audiences of the Infotour Group (dissent!) in Athens and Patra. In Athens there had been 3: At Autonomous Playground, Autonomous Spaces and the Antiauthoritarian, Egalitarian, Anarchist and Libertarian Forum. The Greek left is very segmented, also anarchist and autonomous groups. By this there had been a total of 4 parallel Forums against the official ESF (the fourth was the Antiimperialist Forum, where we didn`t show up). The audiences were mediocre attended, like 25 on the average. But discussions were interesting, many people are enthusiastic and like to be involved in further mobilizations. The new Anticapitalist Network for example would like to do their own presentations on G8 2007 in Mazedonia and Hungary.
One of our purposes was to link the mobilization against G8 2007 together with former summit-mobilizations. For Greece the EU-summit in Thessaloniki 2003 is most important. There had been riots for a couple of hours, where police and banks had been massively attacked with molotovs and stones. There had been also a book-shop burning which was situated in a residential house. Many greek groups had been in Genoa 2001, others also in Gleneagles 2005.
The determined, radical performing e.g. anarchists groups is characteristic. This leads not so often to arrests like for example in Germany. The greek police strategy is a much less "preventive" one than the german ones. The German police have developed this more preventative strategy it in recent years (and they are organizing international trainings as well). Also not all the trials on throwing molotovs or stones are leading to a judgement in Greece. The greek anarchist scene fights hard for their prisoners. After thessaloniki 2003 there had been at the end 7 people arrested. The massive - international - pressure helped to get their release.
Another revolution is impossible...
Anarchist, antiauthoritarian groups are refusing any collaboration with institutions, parties or unions. At the ESF there had been the final general demonstration, from which anarchists attacked banks, the police headquarters (it happens sometimes that police stations are attacked with molotovs), the US-embassy, the Hilton Hotel, McDonalds and the parliaments building. The police reacted with teargas, like they always do. On the demonstration there had been struggles with anarchists and the italian union COBAS. The greek preparators of ESF dissociated themselves from militant actions and declared the anarchists to be criminals. This will raise the gaps between anarchist and reformist groups like for example social forums.
Heiligendamm 2007? Parakalo!
Because of this there had been many questions and discussions about german police, their equipment and possible counter-strategies on actions and demonstrations. It was obvious how important it is, not only informing foreign activists about legal advice, but also about differencies in police tactics: In Greece the police are using gas, in Germany it is never used these days. On the other hand water canons and special arrest-units are not unusual. Even camera-observation is odd in Greece (radical groups destroyed just in Athens 150 public observations cameras by burning their control boxes down). Further discussions there had been about working together with parties or unions or the german Linkspartei (left party, now in parliament, strong in eastern Germany); which is not acceptable within the greek context. But is was possible to explain the situation in Germany: The summit takes place in the real countryside, and there are no other left scenes or whatever (besides unions or this Linkspartei). On the other hand it is helpful that there is besides the dissent!-mobilization also a more broad left alliance, where also radical left/ autonomous groups are taking part.
There had been statements which criticized the dissent!-mobilization in 2005. It was mentioned positively to have a deep content (international) discussion on our topics for the summit. Many greek groups are interested in migration and anti-militarism. Also the geographic conditions were interesting for some people. The idea to make an international mobilizationcamp 2006 everybody was amazed. It becomes more and more visible that there is a big need to built up an english spoken website on g8 2007 for more radical groups.
Many contacts and ideas, the working progress is a big step further. The mobilization in Germany now has to make it easier to involve more and more international groups in debate and action.
Next international stations of Infotour G8 2007:
14. Mai: Bukarest, Romania
16. Mai: Craiova, Romania
18. Mai: Timisoara, Romania
19. Mai: Göteborg, Sweden
20. Mai: Prag, Utopia
20. Mai: Linköping, Sweden
21. Mai: Örebro, Sweden
22. Mai: Uppsala, Sweden
23. Mai: Stockholm, Sweden
25. Mai: Tabor, CZ; CESTA Theatre
26. Mai: Brno, CZ, ProtestFest
Find more on de.dissent.org.uk or www.gipfelsoli.org, write to infotour [at] gipfelsoli.org.