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26 September 2000: World Bank/IMF Meeting Prague.

Full article

Prague s26 against IMF and World Bank

26-09-2000 22:00

  Prague Legal Update 5 December

14000 Pounds bail demands for last S26 activist in Czech jail

The Dane Mads Traerup is the last of the known activists remaining in jail following demonstrations against economic globalization in Prague. Mads has been in jail since September 26th under allegations of assaulting a police officer. There is no evidence known to the public against him except for the testimony of 3 police officers. Numerous people have testified for his innocence. Judicial authorities have accepted a 14.000 Pounds bail for Mads. The Prague legal support team has paid 3500 Pounds of the bail, while Mads' parents have taken out a 11500 Pounds loan. As Mads was randomly targeted, we believe that everyone who is concerned should try to help come up with this large sum of money. You can donate money for legal support to the following account:
IPB Banka
Association 2000
account no. 167 555 569 / 5100

There are currently 16 activists charged for mainly police assault and property destruction following the demonstrations, as well as 3 demonstrators who are still under investigation.

Kamil Olejnik was released on the November 22, one day after Czech and Polish authorities transferred him to a jail in Poland. On October 24, however, a Czech judge sentenced Kamil to 1 year in prison for assault on a police officer, following an expedited court case in which the defence has no right to present witnesses or testimony. Kamil's lawyer appealed the decision. Polish judicial officials dropped the charges against Kamil the day after he was released for lack of evidence. This points out the political nature of Czech judicial actions against anti-economic globalization demonstrators. The Czech state has thus attempted to bypass criticisms made by a global movement of the capitalist system by focusing on and criminalizing a small group of individuals.

> > >   Czech jail conditions
> > >   Prague declaration from INPEG and other NGO's
> > >   Prague IMC summary on Tuesday's events
> > >   IMC-UK crew report on Tuesday's events
> > >   Call for reflections on S26

  Solidarity actions at the Czech embassy in London

Pickets outside London's Czech embassy

After pickets on Wednesday and Thursday, a third picket of the Czech Embassy in London took place on Friday 29th of September to demand the immediate release of all those arrested at the anti-IMF/WB protests in Prague. Activists blocked all four lanes of the road outside the embassy until police removed them. Also on Friday an activist met the Vice Consul of the Czech embassy to discuss reports of police brutality and torture of political activists in Czech prisons. Earlier on an IMC UK reporter had telephone contact with the British embassy in the Czech Republic.
  More news from Prague IMC

At least 859 arrested, many mistreated by police

The OPH legal team was reporting on Thursday that there were at least 859 prisoners being held as a result of S26 actions. Police reports suggest that of those 859 more than 600 are Czech citizens. The numbers OPH have received are inconsistent. However, it seems clear that hundreds of foreigners have been arrested, but they make up less than half of the total arrests. Only 20 of the detainees have been charged. 30 people inside the jails have been denied food, water and sleep. The OPH legal team have reports of people having limbs broken and teeth knocked out. A Spanish woman was thrown out of the window of a police station. Her spine was broken in the fall. The police are claiming that "she fell over". There is clear evidence of torture by the police. Only on Thursday afternoon another 80 more people were arrested.

If you want to put pressure on the Ministry of the Interior to release the prisoners, contact, telephone 0042 0261421115. For more information, see the legal information of Prague Indymedia.

Czech Newspaper Accuses Police of Using Provocateurs

Police were probably involved in looting in the center of Prague on Tuesday, where the destruction of Mc Donalds took place. The organization of Citizens' Legal Observers (OPH) filed a charge against alleged agents yesterday. Using men in disguise during demonstrations is a common police practice. Policemen masked as anarchists walk in front of almost every mass action. However, it is illegal to use agents-provocateurs. But according to photographers and eyewitnesses OPH has at their disposal, this is exactly what happened on Tuesday. For example, observers have filmed a man smashing a McDonald's window and then walking away through a police cordon without any hassle. More

  Undercurrents in full power: interviews, reports, videos

Undercurrents reports

> > >   Interview with Jessica Woodroffe
> > >   Undercurrents' report on S26
> > >   Undercurrents' Images

  History of updates from IMC Prague and Sherwood Radio

History of reports from IMC Prague and Sherwood

History of reports from IMC Prague and the Italian Sherwood Radio newswire on the situation at the Conference Centre. The timeline is in European Central Time (ECT).

S29: 16:25 (IMC Prague)
We are getting reports that 400-600 people are about to be released from a border prison back into the Czech Republiac. We do not have confirmed numbers or locations as of yet.
S29: 15:00 (IMC Prague)
Jail solidarity efforts have been extremely impressive. A group of detained Italians sang and fasted till their embassy representatives came to release them, at which point they refused to leave until all other nationalities were released. Solidarity is continuing.
S28: 20:23 (IMC Prague)
The OPH has given a statement that detained Israeli demonstrators have been released from jails with severe injuries. It is not clear whether they received beatings from police or from fascist inmates - regardless it is clear that sever violence is occurring inside Czech jails.
S28: 18:26 (IMC Prague)
Demonstrations are gathering in the Mustek area. The mood is festive.
S28: 16:45 (IMC Prague)
Huge celebratory demonstration happening in Old Town Square.
S28: 14:57 (IMC Prague)
The INPEG info-shop and offices have not been raided. Previous reports were false.
S28: 14:46 (IMC Prague)
We have unconfirmed reports that the 36 Legrova IMC space is being surrounded by police.
S28: 14:42 (IMC Prague)
Reports of more than 70 people were arrested outside the Ministry of the Interior today during the demonstrations against police brutality. People are reportedly being arrested outside the INPEG info-shop.
S28: 14:37 (IMC Prague)
The OPH legeal team has been completely surrounded by police at the police station where they are trying to get information of detained demonstrators.
S28: 14:07 (IMC Prague)
The OPH legal team is trying to meet with officals from the Ministry of the Interior.
S27: 20:31 (IMC Prague)
The are confirmed reports of extreme brutality inside the jails. People have gased inside the prisions, beaten, tied, and sexually harrased. People "looking" like protestors have been randomly targeted on the streets. The Ministry has cut relations off with OPH- the legal observers. At this moment there is a large party gathering in the Old Town Square.
S27: 20:01 (IMC Prague)
400 nonviolent protestors are occuping the Charles Bridge. Police are apperantly closing in from both sides. The demonstrators from Old Town Square have moved to the bridge.
S27: 19:38 (IMC Prague)
Police are surrounding 10 Polish activists at Namisti Republiky.
S27: 19:33 (IMC Prague)
Gatherings are happening at Old Town Square. About 200 people are demonstrating and hundreds of cops are in the area.
S27: 18:55 (IMC Prague)
Festive gatherings have been called for this evening at the Charles bridge- Karlov Most.
S27: 18:05 (IMC Prague)
We have a confirmed report that the IMF meetings for tomorrow have been cancelled. The word from the IMF is that they are closing early and that their meetings had finished anyway.
S27: 16:25 (IMC Prague)
We have had a report that President Havel was spotted in the Muzeum metro area and now headed toward the Namisti Miru area.
S27: 14:47 ECT (IMC Prague)
We have received a report from 7 people just released from jail that they had been tied up for more than twenty hours and beaten while in jail.
S27: 14:19 ECT (IMC Prague)
The march to the jail continues to be blockade by police. The march is reported to be 1000 people. Police are refusing to allow people to disperse without showing their papers. Demonstrators are meeting to decide how to handle the situation. They have initally refused to be identified.
S27: 14:19 ECT (IMC Prague)
Demonstrators on buses who are apparently being deported are reporting that the police have been beating them while they are trapped inside the busses.
S27: 14:01 ECT (IMC Prague)
500 people are marching north west of Namisti Miru. The are currently contained by the police. The aim of the march is to monitor the conditions of the prisoners denied access to lawyers and phones. The marchers are negotating to disperse on the conditions that they can send four observers into the jail and that they can leave without showing identification.
S27: 13:47 ECT (IMC Prague)
The convergence center is being given till 0:00 tomorrow to be cleaned out. There is a desperate rush to pack supplies up.
S27: 13:39 ECT (IMC Prague)
We have reports from a jail from a cell phone which was snuck in. Men and women have been seperated. The men are appreantly not being mistreated. The group of women are apparently being beaten and sexually harrassed.
S26: 23:49 ECT (Sherwood)
From reports that we have received the number of people arrested is estimated to be 5 hundred. Clashes are going on around the city. Raging police are beating up everyone in the streets including journalists and photographers. It is confirmed that at least 20 Italians travelling with the Global Action Express are still missing. The activists say that the train won't leave without them while the Czech authorities put a deadline: by midnight or never. The "white overalls" are now at the stadium where phone lines have been cut. Fears of police surrounding the stadium are increasing. The situation there is very tense.
S26: 21:35 ECT (IMC Prague)
At least four metro stops are now closed in Praha: Staromestska, Mustek, Muzeum, Namesti Miru. I.P. Pavlova and Vysehrad may also be closed.
S26: 21:15 ECT (IMC Prague)
After releasing massive amounts of tear gas in the Muzeum metro area, more than 1000 police are moving in. Three arrests have been reported.
S26: 20:55 ECT (IMC Prague)
Appeal for gathering at Soukalova Police station to document people arrested today. We have unconfirmed reports of arrestees with broken limbs.
S26: 20:55 ECT (IMC Prague)
Police are using tear gas on aproximately 300 demonstrators in the Muzeum metro stop.
S26: 20:32 ECT (Sherwood)
Almost a thousand demonstrators are still gathered in Opera Square. We just heard that in Prague main square a McDonald "restaurant" has been attacked: it seems that it has been completely destroyed. We also got an unconfirmed report that 3 Italian citizens, who came to Prague with the Global Action Express, have been arrested.
S26: 20:07 ECT (IMC Prague)
The McDonalds at the Museum metro station has apparently had its windows destroyed. Police are moving in.
S26: 19:50 ECT (IMC Prague)
The Opera has been canceled due to "unforeseen circumstances." We've had unconfirmed reports about the Ya Basta group still holding the bridge to the convention centre. The latest report indicates they are no longer there.
S26: 19:42 ECT (IMC Prague)
Demonstrators have apparently left the convetion center along with delegates.
S26: 19:39 ECT (IMC Prague)
Delegates are going to the Opera Square where a big party is waiting for them but three thousands protesters are already in the square and many more are joining. Road blocks have been set up to stop the police entering the square.
S26: 18:43 ECT (IMC Prague)
Reports of mass arrests have begun.
S26: 18:43 ECT (IMC Prague)
The "blue" section is growing in number. They tried to block the underground railtrack - used by delegates to leave the Centre - but police managed to stop them. Meanwhile the white overalls are back in the square where the demo started this morning.
S26: 18:17 ECT (Sherwood)
Delegates are going to the Opera Square where a big party is waiting for them but three thousands protesters are already in the square and many more are joining and road blocks have been set up to stop the police entering the square. So the party is off.
S26: 18:17 ECT (IMC Prague)
Police heavily charged sections pink and blue that managed to enter the Congress Centre area nearly making contact with the IMF delegates. Police stood idly for a while when only a stairway separated protesters from delegates on a balcony. Then riot police, previously deployed on the bridge, charged the protesters. We don't know of any injured but people were beaten badly. Our reporter had to interrupt the phone call because attacked by police.
S26: 17:55 ECT (Sherwood)
In spite of their tiredness the "green" section (the white overalls) have decided to reach the Congress Centre and join the "blue" section. It will take quite a while because of the long distance to walk in order to avoid the infamous bridge. Protesters set up a road block in order to stop a police convoy on their way to the Centre.
S26: 17:52 ECT (IMC Prague)
News from the "pink" section [of the morning march] (mainly Germans, Spanish, French and Americans). They reached the Congress Centre from behind. It seems the Centre is surrounded. Meanwhile at one of the bridge entrance hundreds of Greek activists joined the Turkish bloc to confront the police. A miracle in Prague: Greeks and Turkish together.
S26: 17:30 ECT (IMC Prague)
People are being brutally clubbed outside the convention centre by police. Unconfirmed reports suggest protesters may have gotten inside both the convention centre and a nearby hotel.
S26: 17:17 ECT (Sherwood)
Police heavily charged sections pink and blue that managed to enter the Congress Centre area nearly making contact with the IMF delegates. Police stood idly for a while when only a stairway separated protesters from delegates on a balcony. Then riot police, previously deployed on the bridge, charged the protesters. We don't know of any injured but people were beaten badly. Our reporter had to interrupt the phone call because attacked by police.
S26: 17:14 ECT (IMC Prague)
Cars are being overturned and used as barricades. Cops retreating. Dogs have been released. The demonstrators are moving on the East side of the convention centre.
S26: 17:10 ECT (IMC Prague)
Demonstrators have broken through police lines around the convention center. More than 500 are directly outside the convention centre.
S26: 16:43 ECT (Sherwood)
The "blue" section is growing in number. They tried to block the underground railtrack - used by delegates to leave the Centre - but police managed to stop them. Meanwhile the white overalls are back in the square where the demo started this morning.
S26: 16:30 ECT (IMC Prague)
All metros have been closed in Praha.
S26: 16:16 ECT (Sherwood)
The "blue" section has nearly reached the Congress Centre and they can see the delegates - in collar and tie - afraid to walk down the stairs and reach their cars. More water cannons are arriving to protect them but the protesters have no intention of leaving their position in front of the Centre.
S26: 16:06 ECT (IMC Prague)
The valley on the North side is still very tense. Police a trying to force demonstrators back out of the valley.
S26: 15:38 ECT (Sherwood)
The "blue" section is attacked under the bridge by police with water cannons and tear gas. Protesters set up barricades with cars and retreated to a nearby park
S26: 15:27 ECT (IMC Prague)
News from South blockade: water cannons and tear gas have attempted to break the barricade. A tank also tried to breach the blockade. The blockade is still holding though has retreated 100m. Police have tried to force the blockade apart, but the situation seems to be cooling off. No injuries reported.
S26: 15:27 ECT (IMC Prague)
Reports that the North bridge blockade is splitting up are coming across the wire. One group is going North to the city, the other maybe trying to join the other marches.
S26: 15:26 ECT (Sherwood)
An assembly on the bridge decided to stop the action there because of the tiredness of the white overalls. The demo is now going back to the square where the demo started. The white overalls are cheered by the rest of the demo. Tonight they will have to cross the border on their way back so more problems....
S26: 15:20 ECT (Sherwood)
The "blue" section managed to get close to the Congress Centre passing under the bridge. The police charged them but the protesters made barricades with whatever they found.
S26: 15:13 ECT (Sherwood)
At the two sides of the bridge protesters are preparing to charge the police. At the cry of "1,2,3" they are launching an attack. Police reply with tear gas. The tension is high but the protesters show their determination in spite of their tiredness. The situation that seemed to degenerate into another police charge is now "quite". The white overalls are now deciding how to carry on the action.
S26: 14:52 ECT (Sherwood)
News from the "pink" section (mainly Germans, Spanish, French and Americans). They reached the Congress Centre from behind. It seems the Centre is surrounded. Meanwhile at one of the bridge entrance hundreds of Greek activists joined the Turkish bloc to confront the police. A miracle in Prague: Greeks and Turkish together.
S26: 14:41 ECT (IMC Prague)
Reports of large clashes with police continue from around the city.
S26: 14:32 ECT (Sherwood)
It seems the police are starting a new charge. The head of the demo is waiting for other groups to organise themselves to confront the police on other bridges. Police reinforcements are arriving. The white overalls are moving forward and police reply with more tear gas. Czech activists reach the police line.
S26: 14:19 ECT (Sherwood)
There are rumours that other sections of the demo are trying to get to other bridges that lead to the Congress Centre. Police gave a 5 minutes deadline to clear the area.
S26: 14:03 ECT (Sherwood)
The "blue" section of the demo, formed mainly by Czech activists, is moving towards the bridge to reinforce the Italian white overalls. The aim is to cross the bridge and reach the Congress Center.
S26: 13:58 ECT (Sherwood)
Police adopted a more flexible strategy: short baton charges, few tear gas and some injured between the protesters. Actually the situation is stalling and the demo is turning into a sit-in. There's tension only at the beginning of the brige. Activists of a Turkish Union joined the white overalls to front the police. Behind them, along the crowded road that leads to the bridge, the atmospere is quite cheerful with people singing and shouting slogans in a variety of languages. Thera are also some indios mapuche from Chile doing a sit-in. Anarchists from Poland, Belarus, a few from Prague. Once in a while the police speakers order to disperse but nobody bother it.
S26: 13:54 ECT (Sherwood)
Police announced a new charge. Until now every time they made a similar announcement it didn't happen
S26: 13:49 ECT (Sherwood)
The mass of protesters are pushing the "white overalls", now witout protection, against the police. Another shield looted.
S26: 13:46 ECT (Sherwood)
New police charge, missiles are thrown to the police. A police shield and a few batons have been taken from the police. Meanwhile more police are approaching the end of the demo...
S26: 13:42 ECT (Sherwood)
The white overalls keep pushing against the police line with no intentions to retreat. On the other side of the bridge where the journalists are assembled, other protesters are blocking a street.
S26: 13:34 ECT (Sherwood)
New police charge that gain a few metres. The first lines now wear helmets and defend themselves with the barriers taken before. They resist.
S26: 13:20 ECT (Sherwood)
The "white overalls" armed with balloons advance toward the tanks. police try to push them back using cps spray.
S26: 13:20 ECT (Sherwood)
Tear gas is falling on the demo after the "white overalls" clashed with police that used batons and knifes to cut the inner tubes. Police ordered the demo to disperse because it's illegal for Czech law. There was a stampede and many journalists that joined the head of the demo fell on the tarmac. Hundreds of "white overalls" are now sitting, their hands up. A water cannon is coming closer. Rumours of police using toxic colored liquid.
S26: 13:24 ECT (Sherwood)
Some protesters sick beacuse of the gas. The first lines are reassembling with the few inner tubes left to resist to the next police charge.
S26: 13:12 ECT (Sherwood)
The "white overalls" wearing gas masks managed to move forward and occupy the first part of the bridge. Barriers have been removed once again.
S26: 13:11 ECT (Sherwood)
The "white overalls" are still trying to force the police line. A difficult task as in front of them are deployed 4/5 hundreds policemen in riot gear (they look like the Sattle "robocops") supported by 6 tanks. Barriers have been put again between the demo and the police line. Czech citizens see tanks in the streets of Prague for the first time since 1968. Many of them shout "democracy, democracy".
S26: 13:08 ECT (Sherwood)
The "white overalls" are reassembling. Police began to use tear gas and pepper gas. The bridge is covered by a cloud of gas that make breathing very difficult.
S26: 13:05 ECT (Sherwood)
The whole demo is pushing forward so the "white overalls" are pressed against the police lines. They are resisting police charges and managed to clear away the barriers. One of the innertubes crashed under the batons charge.
S26: 12:59 ECT (Sherwood)
The "white overalls" are now pushing against the riot police shouting: "democracy, democracy". They are trying to break through the police line to win a few metres of democracy. Police are charging with batons hitting the inner tubes used by the "white overalls" to defend themselves.
S26: 12:54 ECT (Sherwood)
The "white overalls" are marching together with all the people who decided to join this action of civil disobedience. They are deployed in a "U" so to protect the head and the sides of the demo. There are now only a few metres between the police and the "white overalls". Legal observers are reaching the head of the demo.

  Newswire reports summaries S22-S25

Monday 25

At 12pm police arrived at the IMC on Legerova Street in Prague, checking and recording indymedia journalists passport numbers and ID's as they enter and leave the IMC. It doesn't appear that they are attempting to enter the center. Police are also performing spot checks in the city, increasing the tension ahead of tomorrows main protests. The Czech legal observer team Obhanske Pravnm Hlmdky (OPH) are negotiating with police to stop these unlawful idendity checks.

Sunday 24

With IMF and World Bank delegates arriving and the talks on further economic globalisation starting, more and more activists were crossing the border. The Ya Basta train finally arrived in Prague at around 2am on Sunday after it was stopped at the Czech/Austrian border as 4 people on the train had been refused entry by Czech police. The train had started to make it's way to Prague after the 4 detainees were declared to be under the responsibility of diplomats of the Prague Italian embassy. The events probably were sped up by the fact that at 12 noon about 250 people had marched from the train station to the Interior Ministry where they had started a sit-down protest in solidarity with the protesters on the Ya Basta train. Read the details

Saturday 23

On Saturday a strong antifascist demonstration and an international trade union march showed two parts of the multi-faceted protest movement present in Prague. Meanwhile, at the counter summit people from all over the world were sharing their experiences with World Bank policies, and at the Convergence Center activists were preparing the blockade of the IMF/World Bank conference.

Friday 22

IndymediaUK members reporting from the events were stopped by police and sent in a first overview of the situation in Prague.

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