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Eyewitness: Police violence prompts chaos

By Dan Anchorman | 21.07.2001 15:16

An eyewitness account from a young Uraguyuan woman who saw police seperate the cdemonstration and repeatedly charge and tear gas thousands of peaceful protesters.

An eyewitness account from a young Uraguyan woman who was caught up in escalating violence which currently raging between police and protesters at various locations throughout eastern Genova:

She was moving up the coastal road of Corso Italia which runs from east to central Genova in the middle of the march and saw that a massive amount of gas was being fired at the front of the demonstration which was about 200-300 metres ahead of her. Those many thousands of people ahead of her began to move north up Viale delle Brigate from the convergence centre which is located opposite the convergence centre on the coast at Piazza Kennedy.

She then was forced along with the rest of the march to turn right and go north along Via Torino in an attempt to re-group with the other thousands of demonstrators making their way up Via Delle Brigate. However, police charged the front of the second march group (numbering in excess of 100,000 people who were still passing up from Corso Italia) and effectively forced the march to a halt.

She decided to leave the demonstration along with many other people up a steep staircase which runs from Via Torino to a vantage point on Via Nizza. The police were firing vast amounts of tear gas at the crowd which included many old people, people with children and several people from NGOs who had been on the demonstration.

She began to take photos from the top of the hill and tried to move along Via Nizza but was stopped by members of the Finanza (the Italian financial police force). From her viewpoint she could see the action unfolding at Piazza Kennedy where the police were continuing to volley large amounts of tear gas into the convergence centre at Piazza Kennedy, located on the coast itself. The police were also beating people within the centre and forced everyone out.

She returned to the indymedia centre located at Diaz school on the hill. On her return she saw an ambulance and a man with very sever head injuries was taken out from it into the First Aid assistance centre where indymedia is also located. He told nurses who treated him that he had been found at Via Nizza where police had been violently beating him.

Because in excess of 100,000 people were left stranded on Corso Italia some of them began to walk over the hill towards Corso Torino in another attempt to reunite with the other part of the demonstration. As a result of this thousands of demonstrators are now passing through the back streets on which the indymedia centre is located.

By Dan Anchorman