Saturday, June 2: G8 leaders won’t arrive for several days, but the demonstrations in Germany have already begun. I’m just back from today’s march, which started in a few different locations throughout city of Rostock, Gemany, and then converged at the fair grounds near the city’s harbor. The Police have apparently claimed that there were about 25,000 people here today, but even a casual observer could have seen that there were far more (the organizers argue that about 80,000 people turned out).
It was an extremely diverse group of protesters, all sharing a common concern that the world is moving in the wrong direction and that G8 leaders aren’t doing enough about it. Judging by the banners and signs, the issues of climate change, war, corporate greed, global poverty and external debt brought most people to Rostock today. Oil Change International is here because in one way or another oil plays a big role in all of these problems.
The march itself was overwhelmingly peaceful. Unfortunately, after people had converged on the fair grounds for the post-march rally and concert, a clash between a small group of protesters and the police erupted. It is hard to know exactly how it started. On the one hand, the police had agreed to stay out of the fair grounds and at some stage they swarmed in in riot gear and started attacking protesters. On the other hand, a small group of people may have been throwing things at the police from the fair grounds thereby triggering the riot squad’s invasion. The whole skirmish with police was only taking up about 20 percent of the area and the overwhelming majority of the people were on the other side of the field carrying on peacefully and uninterrupted. Nevertheless, the violence has over-shadowed the reasons why most people turned up here today. Lets hope we can turn that around in the coming days.
Re: Police Violence. According to:
“At the city harbor a large concert was scheduled with acts from around the world. For months the German police have been saying they will be using all forces available to squash what they think to be violent protesters. Shortly after the block arrived at the harbor the police tried to split the march and isolate the anarchists. The police began shoving protesters and running into the crowd. Rocks and bottles were thrown at the police as the crowd quickly backed away. The whole rear half of the march was held up for over an hour as the police continued to advance on the crowd trying to break up the block. Several times protesters, with hands raised in the air as if to say “we are not armed” ran at police chanting “go away!”. Each time the police had to retreat the crowd would beak into applause.”
Ever notice how there are always a “small group of protestors who clash with police” at every peaceful march or rally. My take on the issue is that this small group that always seems to appear may be paid CIA “disrupters” designed to discredit any protest as a “group of violent anarchists”.
Blow the whistle on oil aid!
“….a diverse group of peaceful marchers passed through an overcast Rostock, blowing whistles and waving banners…”
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