FRENCH GOVERNMENT STAMPS OUT PROTEST
01 July 2001
UPDATE, 19.7.01: "The most famous train in the history of trains is BACK ON. After great pressure from all over the place, the french government backed down at 6:30 pm today" (Global Resistance). The train left at 6.15 am this morning.
"French Government ministries are blaming each other and the Italian government for the cancellation of a chartered train of protesters.
The train, carrying 450 protesters from the UK was due to travel to the French border to be met by a fleet of coaches taking the demonstrators on to Genoa for the actions against the G8 summit starting on Friday. A fax recieved by Globalise Resistance this morning (Tuesday) informed them of the decision to cancel. Globalise Resistance has been offered a refund, but expenses incurred in advertising and organising other parts of the journey will not be covered.
Guy Taylor for Globalise Resistance said "We are fighting this decision. Democracy without the right of protest means nothing. On our train are pensioners, trade unionists, children, socialists and envirnmentalists. We have already had a huge amount of support for our right to demonstrate. It shows the weakness of the authorities and their policies that they feel it necessary to stop people having a voice at all."
"Our members and supporters will be going to Genoa anyway. While fighting the decision we are booking other means of transport and encouraging everyone to make their own way there. We spent an enormous amount of money on transport and now we're denied the services we have bought - so much for the free market!"
Globalise Resistance members have a 100% clean record on violence. Since setting up in February, not one member has been arrested for a violent crime - although many have been arrested for non-violent protest.
Despina Mavrou, also from Globalise Resistance asked "What are they scared of? We only want to put the case for preserving the environment and cancelling third world debt. This whole thing is ridiculous"
For more information / interviews please phone:
Amy Jowett: 07947 433 445
Guy Taylor: 07956 681 328
Despina Mavrou: 07940 105 446
Defend the right to protest
SNCF the French railway company is threatening to cancel a train chartered by Globalise Resistance (UK) to take protesters to the demonstrations in Genoa against Third World Debt. Democracy is nothing without the right of protest.
The protesters on the train include pensioners, children, trade unionists, socialists and environmentalists. They pose no threat of violence, only a challenge to a world where profit comes before people.
We demand the train is allowed to run.
Tony Benn, former MP
George Monbiot, Activist and Columnist
Noreena Hertz, Writer
John Pilger, Film Maker
Louise Christian, Human Rights Lawyer
China Mieville, Novellist
Mark Steel, Journalist
Paul Foot, Journalist
Alex Callinicos, Professor
Alain Krivine, MEP France
Rosaline Vachetta, MEP France
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