Genoa Reports from the ground

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Here are presented a number of reports from the ground on events leading up to and during the protests against the G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy. They have been largely gathering from alternative media sources. In contrast to the reporting in the mainstream media, which emphasise the violence of the protestors, these sources also report on violence and harassment by the police and plainclothes police units (like the Digo).

1. Report from indymedia , Italy:

20 July, 6.17 pm:

"Carlo Giuliani dies, killed by two shots in the middle of his face coming out of the gun of a policeman on a jeep. One of the 15,000 "controllers of the order" that were in the streets. The homicide was the conclusion of a day prepared for months. A day that had to see thousands of people demonstrating in lots of different ways. The demonstrations never started, police-forces charged even during the gatherings, even though no one had moved yet. This happened after different months of terrorist campaigns set up by authorities and media."

2. Report from the ground by Statewatch:

Italy - Searches against activists precede the G8 Summit in Genoa

In the lead up to the G8 meeting on 20-21 July in Genoa, law enforcement agencies have carried out extensive raids and searches against left-wing groups and social centres in Italy. Activists say that the tactics are designed to intimidate members of groups that are on the margins of the umbrella organisation 'Genova Social Forum' which has been negotiating with the authorities, and are therefore considered 'violent'. The government has been stressing the dichotomy between the treatment of 'non-violent' and 'violent' elements involved in opposition to the G-8, although the many raids and searches have failed to confirm the theory. The raids have often been conducted without a warrant under article 41 of Italy's anti-terrorist legislation, which allows searches without a warrant to be carried out in cases where weapons, explosives or ammunition are sought.

The situation was already tense in Italy following heavy-handed policing during demonstrations against the 'Global Forum' in Naples on 17 March, for which Amnesty International has called on the Italian government to establish an independent inquiry, the beating inflicted in May on an immigrants' demonstration in Rome on 17 May, and allegations of police violence against workers from the ILVA manufacturing plant protesting against its closure in Genoa in June.

On 4 July the homes of Luca Casarini, spokesman for the social centres of north-east Italy and Matteo Jade, two leading representatives of the 'Tute Bianche' (White Overalls) who adhering to the 'Genova Social Forum' were searched without a warrant on suspicion of possession of weapons and explosives.

On 10 July the Stalingrado, a squatted social centre in Crema (Lombardy) was evicted, and the house was subsequently destroyed on orders from its owner. Italian press agency Adnkronos also reported that Livia R., an activist from the 'Rete No Global' in Naples who helped to compile the self-defence manual for demonstrators at the 'Global Forum' demonstration held in Naples in March, had her house searched. This was only a few days after a police attack on 6 July on activists from the Officina 99 social centre in Naples who were protesting against the docking in Naples of the 'European Vision', a high-security cruiser ship which will host the leaders of the G8 countries, except for George Bush, during the summit. Bush will be staying on a US aircraft carrier.

On 12 July in Taranto, the houses of two activists were searched, and Fiorino Iantorno, a national representative for ATTAC, was visited by members of Digos (Italian police political section) and had his house searched without a warrant, as police claimed that they received an anonymous call claiming that he was in possession of bombs and weapons. Nothing was found during the search. An open le

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