Eddie Yuen: The trains run on time once again in Genoa


Richard Moore

From: Brit Eckhart <•••@••.•••>
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: [Fwd: [BGAN-FTAA] The trains run on time once again in Genoa]
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 5:37:19 -0500

From: Weaver <•••@••.•••> 
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 01:37:12 -0400 
To: <•••@••.•••>, <•••@••.•••> 
Subject: [BGAN-FTAA] The trains run on time
once again in Genoa

This is from a friend, Eddie Yuen from the Bay Area. It is
both descriptive and analytical about the bloodbath going on
in Genoa, the state strategy behind it and opinions about
what needs to be done. The information in it really needs to
get out since nothing of this is appearing in the mainstream
media except for the murder of Giuliani and a few days
later, that's already faded.

- diana


I've finally escaped to what appears to be a safe place to
try to describe what I've seen in Genova. I say "appears"
because its not at all clear that the repression is over.
The police are hunting down activists all over the country,
picking up 30 "suspected" anarchists in a small town on
Monday, beating and arresting people in Parma yesterday
while yelling "this is the end of your communism", and
raiding the homes of people's families as far away as
Napoli. A van with a radical theater troop was stopped and
weapons and bombs "discovered" on Monday, internationals are
being detained while trying to leave the country and bomb
scares continue across Italy (obviously orchestrated by the
government and their neo-fascist allies). As the attached
report makes clear, this repression has not been seen in
"democratic" Europe since the 70s in Italy, and in fact it
reminds many people here of precisely that era.

Its very important that everybody wherever they are help to
put pressure on the Italian government to end the terror and
release the prisoners. One of the most disturbing things
going on is beatings and torture of prisoners. People being
released now are leaving the jails covered in blood, with
tales of being forced to stand for as long as 12 hours in
groups and being beaten if they attempted to sit. Police
spit in their face, threatened to kill them and told them
that they had called their parents and told them they were
dead. This has all been reported on Italian radio this
morning. There are approximately 200 people unaccounted for,
so it is very important for activists to find out if all of
their comrades are safe, since the police have been
committing their worst atrocities when they feel no one is
watching. Among the unaccounted for are several reported
fatalities and at least 2 women said to be in comas which
the media has stopped reporting. Some people think that the
government will only release the injured when they don't
look as brutalized and announce the dead when the situation
has "cooled off".

Right now the situation has not cooled off. More people
marched in the streets of cities around Italy than
participated in Genova. This is a good sign that the terror
and propaganda have not intimidated everybody. Nevertheless,
the only person who has had to resign his post so far is the
head of the Genova Social Forum (the protest umbrella group)
who was head of the Italian AIDS association, the police
commander and secretary of the interior are still in power
despite the demands of the left. It remains to be seen what
will happen, but it is clear that if the state and the G8
get away with this a terrifying threshold has been crossed.

The raid on the school on Saturday night has become more
controversial for the Berlusconi regime than the police
murder of Carlo Giulliani. Carlo has been vilified as an
anarchist-squatter "punka-bestia" (beast punk) by the
Italian press and a "ne'er do well who lived on the street
with his dog" by the Financial Times. Since he was attacking
the police when he was shot his killing is considered
"justified" and his life expendable. The state was hoping
that they could also get away with the terror at the school,
but it appears they may have gone too far. The Diaz school
was alleged by the police to be the headquarters of the
"international Black Bloc" and thus fair game for reprisals.
In fact, it was one of many spaces donated by the city at
the last minute to house the tens of thousands of protestors
in Genova. While it may be true that some real Black Bloc
were there (more on this later), it is important to remember
that anyone (myself and everyone I know included) could have
been there when the bloodbath began. I saw on TV one young
man with a Catholic anti-debt shirt being taken out, a 62
year old man who was inside on an errand was beaten, and a
reporter for a conservative Italian paper had both arms
broken. The government probably thought that after all their
propaganda about the Black Bloc that the public would accept
this treatment, but since the police violence was
indiscriminate as it always is it is more controversial.

The school assault was an attempt to critically injure and
perhaps even kill a group of dedicated activists who have
been relentlessly scapegoated as "violent anarchists". There
is no other way to explain the viciousness of the assault.
Police were allowed an entire hour to beat people while the
media and rescue workers were kept outside. Without
repeating the information from the other reports I have sent
I will mention just a few things which may not have been in
the media. As of this morning 30 people are still in
intensive care, at least 3 of whom are in serious and one in
critical condition. Some activists insist that one of the 2
body bags brought out for psychological warfare (as
described in the article) actually had a body in it, but
this is unconfirmed. It is very possible that the police
were seeking out certain people identified by the
intelligence forces of various countries (some German
undercover officers were recognized by German activists) who
were then singled out for crippling injuries. 42 of the 92
arrested were German, with the others from Spain, France,
and other countries (3 from the US). The alleged "leader" of
the British black block is surrounded by 4 police officers
around his hospital bed and three others outside the room.
Those seriously injured are being given tranquilizers
against their will under a law dating back from the
draconian Emergency anti-terrorist laws of the 70s. Police
tried to wash the blood off the walls, floors and radiators
but couldn't get all of it, and this has made for bad PR
with the media here. Everyone hospitalized (throughout the
city) is also under arrest and those in the school are being
charged with resisting arrest and belonging to an illegal
organization (another 70s law - I'm not sure the wording).
According to the London Times, 5 of the 7 British arrested
are facing 5 year prison sentences, so this should give some
idea of the legal nightmare to come. While most of the
Carabinieri (police) are very young and inexperienced (a
point which has been used to criticize the
"unprofessionalism" of the handling of the demonstrations)
the police sent to the school were veteran national police.
The report I sent earlier said that some of them were
undercovers from the "fake black bloc" (more later) and that
these were the most brutal. The entire operation was
conducted with military precision, from the staged
provocation to the ubiquitous helicopters over the school
and police checkpoints to round up the escapees.
Simultaneous raids took place at most of the other sites
associated with the Movement, with the result that thousands
of people (myself included) spent a night of terror roaming
the streets after having had all of our possessions
destroyed at the "safe" spaces.

It is clear that military planners at the highest level
orchestrated this event with the intent of breaking the
spirit of the movement . Classical "psy-ops" tactics were
used throughout. The whole thing is being justified with a
massive campaign of lies initiated well before this week
that the "violence" is initiated by the demonstrators (see
July 23 Newsweek for example). Tony Blair's remarks, before
the summit, that a more "robust" response to protest was
necessary, can be seen as a softening up of the public for
the planned repression. Finally, once the riots started, the
media is filled with images of property destruction and very
little of the violence wrought against human bodies by the
police. I am sure that the coverage in the US is much worse,
and is undoubtedly over now. In Italy, the country in the
overdeveloped world which has the civil society most
receptive to the Movement, Berlusconi's polls show that a
majority of people think the police were too tolerant.
Hopefully this will change once the truth of the police
provocation comes out.

The previous article I sent documents the use of the fake
black bloc provocateurs in Genova quite well. The
provocation has had the desired effect of causing many
demonstrators to vilify the actual Black bloc and anarchists
in general, while persuading large numbers of the public
that the movement consists solely of violent terrorists.
(Berlusconi's line is that the Genova Social Forum is a
front for violent anarchists, in sharp contrast to Clinton's
line in Seattle that we must separate the good protestors
from the bad). The movement must now deal with the question
of police provocateurs as a matter of high priority - and
this means opening up a dialogue with militant sectors of
the movement which are now woefully inarticulate and
dangerously isolated. The fact is that Carlo Giuliani and
many of those wounded and arrested are actual Black Bloc and
anarchists - what a disaster if the movement were to abandon
its solidarity with them because of a disagreement over
tactics. Contrary to the media and police lies, the black
bloc and anarchists do not engage in mindless violence or in
actions which will endanger other demonstrators. While most
activists may disagree with them, the BB consistently
targets police, chain stores, jails and banks not small
shops and the cars of ordinary civilians, as happened in
Genova. Since Seattle, the BB in north America has defended
other protestors with their bodies, not thrown rocks from
the back of a crowd in a way that would endanger them. Never
has a black bloc physically attacked other demonstrators, as
happened in Genova. In Genova, too, it must be made clear
that the overwhelming majority of street fighting and much
of the property destruction was not done by the Black Bloc
(real or fake) but by "ordinary" protestors who were acting
in outrage and self-defense. All of these points are being
lost in the simplistic narrative that the Black Bloc
(infiltrated or not) caused all the violence in Genova. The
truth is that the police initiated the violence in the time
and place of their choosing, sometimes using a fake black
bloc other times through unprovoked gassings and beatings.
But in Italy, which prior to Genova did not have a US style
"violencenon-violence" debate, many thousands did in fact
come prepared to confront the police and damage corporate

By not making their politics clear, militant anarchists have
made themselves vulnerable to police provocation, most
people in Italian or American society will believe ANYTHING
about them. The spate of fake "anarchist" bomb scares over
the last 2 weeks creates an even more frightening pretext
for a crackdown on radicals.

The crackdown on radicals is already here and it will
undoubtedly be global. For this reason, it is important not
to abandon "alleged anarchists" to the brutality of the
state even if we may disagree with their tactics. The blitz
on the school shows that the G8 and capital have now
unleashed Latin America or Indonesia style fascist
techniques against those who it has effectively
marginalized, and we must not allow this to happen. The G8
and capital are clearly counting on the movement splitting
over tactical lines, with mutual recriminations and distrust
between militants and the mainstream that will poison the
joyful and powerful atmosphere that has characterised the
last few years.

For militants, the lessons are different. The Black Bloc
strategy is obviously finished, as it is clear that the
state will continue to use provocateurs in the manner that
was so successful in Genova. It may be that de-escalation of
militancy would be a wise move, now that capital has shown
that it will sacrifice its figleaf of democracy in its
desire to (literally) kill the movement. Nothing could be
worse now than for militants to go underground, as happened
in the 70s - this is exactly what the state hopes for, what
the "strategy of tension" is all about. The hope for the
movement is that it has the discipline and courage to
continue to grow, make connections and sharpen its analysis,
as the G8 and capital have demonstrated that they have given
up trying to defend themselves intellectually and have
resorted to pure terror. I have seen here that, despite
everything, the spirit of the movement is not broken, but a
whole new phase is beginning.

Hasta sempre,