Skip to content or view screen version

Martin Shaw leaves hospital after one month

Aubonne press collective | 03.07.2003 07:47 | Evian G8 | Repression

Anti-G8 activist Martin Shaw was released from Lausanne hospital this morning. He has spent a month recovering from near-fatal injuries sustained from an incident on the 1st of June in which the Swiss police cut the rope that he and his climbing partner were hanging from while attempting to stop delegates from attending the G8 summit in Evian.

In a press conference held this morning, new video evidence was revealed which clearly demonstrated the criminal negligence of the senior police officer at the scene of the incident.

An independent, international inquiry is to be launched into the Aubonne bridge incident, along with other accusations of police brutality against protestors during the G8 summit.

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, Martin expressed no regrets in having attempted to disrupt the summit. “The G8 is an institution which claims to address problems such as world poverty, but actually increases the unequal distribution of global wealth through its pursuit of neo-liberal policies,” he said. “Politicians take no notice of the massive popular opposition to such inhumane economic policies, so it is up to ordinary members of the public to take direct action against the root causes of structural global injustice like the G8 summit.”

Jean-Pierre Garbade, the lawyer defending the group who blocked the Aubonne bridge produced new video evidence that showed the responsibility of the officer in charge in allowing the lives of the protestors to be endangered. “We can see on the most recent video evidence that the Sergeant Major (the officer in charge) and Monsieur Deiss have an encounter just a few seconds before Deiss cut the rope, when Deiss had already shown his intentions by taking out his knife,” explained Jean Pierre. “We know from the recording of the police radio conversations that the Sergeant Major knew that people were hanging from the rope, but he still failed to stop Deiss from cutting ït.”

Gesine Wenzel had been hanging on the same rope as Martin but was rescued by the quick reactions of her support team when the police officer cut the line. She was keen to point out that this was only one instance of repression in a growing tide of state-sponsored violence against anti-capitalist activists. “This was not an isolated incident,” she said. “From Gothenburg, to Genoa, to Evian, supposedly democratic governments are giving the green light for their police forces to use lethal levels of violence against people daring to exercise their rights to denounce the economic injustice of institutions like the G8.”

Aubonne press collective
- e-mail: