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IMC UK Reporter seriously injured in Geneva

ronya | 02.06.2003 10:23 | Evian G8 | London | World

Photographer and IMC UK volunteer, Guy Smallman, seriously injured in Geneva on Sunday 1st of June.

A group of peaceful demonstrators, consisting of a variety of non-governmental organisations, children, elderly and disabled people were attacked by German riot police yesterday, Sunday 1st of June at approx 16.00, as they returned from an anti-G8 demonstration in Geneva.

One photographer accompanying the demonstrators was seriously injured and a number of others received minor injuries from concussion grenades fired at close range.

The demonstrators were marching on a main road out of Geneva, returning from a large peaceful demonstration against the G8 summit, when German police, part of a 1,000-strong contingent 'loaned' to Switzerland for the duration of the G8 summit, arrived on the scene screaming aggressively into their megaphones and blocking off all the streets, trapping the returning demonstrators and passers-by in one place.

The police, seemingly out of control, armed and in full riot gear, began insulting, provoking, shouting and shooting teargas and concussion grenades at people for no apparent reason.

As the situation escalated and a group of ten Black Bloc and Turkish Communist party members began throwing stones at the police from further down the street, three Swiss representatives from an anti-G8 organisation tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with the police.

Officers proceeded to charge in the direction of the stone-throwers, swarming in from the side streets and forcing the returning demonstrators, passers-by and others including the IMC UK reporter to run for cover. As they tried to get out of the firing-line police fired a volley of 20-30 concussion grenades in their direction.

Guy Smallman, a photographer from Brixton and volunteer with Indymedia UK, was hit in the back of the leg by a grenade fired at close range, which tore off the back of his left leg beneath the knee.

German police continued to violently attack peaceful demonstrators who were trying to calm them down saying "stop we have people seriously injured here" and asking to negotiate with the officer in command.

It took a good hour for an ambulance to arrive, during which police kept shouting abusive remarks and insults at the injured IMC reporter, who was being tended to by demonstrators.

Corporate press, including reporters for Reuters and Agence France Presse who were are the scene were unable to explain why police had attacked the demonstrators.

Medics at Geneva's main hospital confirmed that a large number of people had been seriously injured by concussion grenades over the past days.

Current condition of injured reporter:
After a two-hour operation in Geneva on Sunday, in which a medical team tried to reconstruct the calf muscle on his left leg, Guy Smallman is now in a stable condition but is expected to require a series of operations in order to graft nerves, muscle and skin back onto his leg.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Guardian article, 2 June:,3604,968618,00.html (falsely gives Guy's name as 'Dan')



Display the following 15 comments

  1. Call for translation en->ge — LinksRhein
  2. Speedy recovery — Tony70
  3. Speedy recovery for Guy — tony
  4. get well soon, mate — captain wardrobe
  5. GUY SMALLMAN — Denise and Clay
  6. kenny is dumb — jonas
  7. Team coverage — hfx_ben
  8. Time to fire — Peter
  9. It was not the German police - it was Swiss — Lutz
  10. A Real War Hero — Avery
  11. Background pics and reports — imcista
  12. avery — mr invisible
  13. Police didn't know Martin was there! — Russell
  14. picture of Guy's leg — Taz
  15. get well soon — Bea