May 2003: Evian G8 Summit.
On the 13th, 14th, 15th of February 2006 a court case against two Swiss police officers took place in Nyon, Switzerland. Michael Deiss and Claude Poget were charged with causing bodily harm through negligence. They were in court after nearly killing climbers Martin Shaw and Gesine Wenzel during the protests against the G8 in Evian. On Friday 17 February the verdict of this private prosecution came through with an acquittal of the two policemen [Read verdict press release by Martin and Gesine]. Following this verdict, the activists announced that they will appeal against this whitewash of police violence.
In June 2003, an affinity group blockaded the Aubonne Bridge with a climbing action in order to stop a G8 delegation from reaching the summit in Evian. The police cut the climbing rope. As a result both activists were seriously injured, specially Martin Shaw who spent one month in hospital and sustained irreversible injuries. See video and a Photo strory of the event.
Other recent newswire reports: Report of day 3 of the trial | Statement by the Aubonne Support Group on the court proceedings | Activists walk out of court after verdict | Activists appeal against whitewash of police violence.
The judge investigating the Aubonne Bridge case has concluded that any mistakes made by the police on the bridge were "understandable" because of the stress of the G8 summit taking place nearby, and that the activists shouldn't have put themselves in such a dangerous situation. The report states that it was the activists' fault that the police cut the rope from which two climbers were suspended, whilst blockading a delegation on their way to the G8 summit in Evian in May 2003. Despite being warned by activists on the blockade that there were people hanging from it, a policeman took a knife and cut the rope causing a 20 meter fall of Martin Shaw. Fortunately he survived, but was left with very severe injuries to his back, pelvis and foot. Gesine Wenzel on the other end of the rope was saved at the last moment as activists grabbed the other end of the rope. The judge's declaration, which took 18 months to produce, seems to have been written to give "carte blanche to the police to do whatever they want without fear for any legal consequences", the activist's Swiss lawyer said. [Report]
In response to the judge's decission, the climbers of the Aubonne Bridge Action entered the Chateau in Lausanne on Friday 12th November - the seat of the government of Vaud (Switzerland) - with a banner saying "Your cops are your responsibility!". The two activists, together with supporters and the press, asked the Conseil d'Etat to accept responsibility for the actions of their police force. [Report and Pic]
Martin Shaw and Gesine Wenzel still maintain their demands:
* Charges to be brought against both the policeman who cut the rope and his senior officer.
* Compensation for injuries and loss of earnings
Martin Shaw is the activist who narrowly escaped death when the Swiss police cut the rope he was hanging from, in an attempt to blockade delegates attending the G8 summit in Evian, eight months ago. He will be in Leeds and talk at the next Leeds EF! monthly meeting, on February 4, 19:00 at the Adelphi Pub. A video will also be projected. All welcome!
The protests against the G8 Summit in Evian were strong, clear and powerful. Conferences, actions, debates and blockades took place in the entire Lac Leman area, starting from May 28 and ending on June 3rd. People converged in several alternative protest villages and took the streets in many creative and determined ways. They illustrated concerns, dissent, anger and hope, whereas the states' displayed desperate efforts to silence them by massive police forces.
Check the Imc Uk Major Reports page - it includes a full feature for every day, complete with audio/txt/pic/video links from many imc and other alternative websites, as well as background information.
15-07-2003 09:18Sheffield Indymedia Radio presented its second show on Tuesday 15th July between 7pm and 8pm BST.
In a press conference, new video material was presented, which demonstrated the neglicence of the police at the scene.
A Financial Call for people arrested and injured during the Evian G8 Protests was sent out.
The Uk supporters for people held in prison following the EU summit in Thessaloniki are sending regular updates [Update #2 | Update #3].
The anti G8 protests at Lac Leman are part of larger, world wide disagreement with governments' politics. In Peru, the "Rio-Group" (a Latin American equivalent of the G8) met last week. A wave of protests against the neoliberal politics of the Peruvian government has now developed into a mass insurrection. The President has declared a state of emergency. Reports: [Friday | update from Saturday | update from Sunday 1st of June