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Love and Destroy! G8 Protests In Evian, 2003

imc uk | 05.12.2003 14:27 | Evian G8

No G8 in Evian The protests against the G8 Summit in Evian were strong, clear and powerful. Conferences, actions, debates and blockades took place in the entire Lac Leman area, starting from May 28 and ending on June 3rd. People converged in several alternative protest villages and took the streets in many creative and determined ways. They illustrated concerns, dissent, anger and hope, whereas the states' displayed desperate efforts to silence them by massive police forces.

Check the Imc Uk Major Reports page - it includes a full feature for every day, complete with audio/txt/pic/video links from many imc and other alternative websites, as well as background information.


Love and Destroy! G8 Protests In Evian

Between June 1-3rd, the G8 ("Gang of 8") summit returned to Europe after the previous year's retreat to the mountains of Canada [1 | 2], following the 2001 mass protests in Genoa (IT) [1 | 2]. Evian (FR), the location of the summit, was sealed off. Nevertheless, activists called for actions, protests and blockades to accompany the summit in the Geneva/Lausanne (CH) area nearby, starting from May 30th. Protestors converged in several self-organised villages around lake Leman, and took the streets in many creative actions and determined blockades. Counter conferences and meetings took place throughout the week.

This round up starts with links, followed by articles for each day, each including a Imc Uk Full Feature complete with audio/txt/pics/video links.

Resources & Collections


On G8 [1 | 2] Pre-Event Roundup | Official G8 Evian Website | Amnesty on G8


Calls noborder call | AQUA Bloc | Fires on the Lake | CONTREX

Collections [1 | 2] | Nadir info | G8 Circus Info (en) | Situation There (12th May) | Globalise Resistance Info (en) | aarrg (fr) | deviant | NGO Summit for Another World | Video Reporting

Practical Information
Maps Lausanne | Geneva | Annemasse | Area
Media-activism | Legal instructions to witness or complain about the police
Villages VAAAG | Intergalactique | Oulala c'village | zaage

f2f media centers were set up @ a social center in Geneva, L'Usine, and in Lausanne. Several imcs participated in remote reporting. A video stream and radiostreams from Geneva and Lausanne webcasted live.
Overviews Imc Uk Major Report (en) with Full Features and Timelines for each day
Imc Global G8 | LaHaine (es) | Imc Belgium (ne) | Imc CH | Bellaciao (fr) | Links (multilingual) | Imc Links | Corporate Media | Google
Press Releases Legal Team 02.06 (fr) | 03.06, en | Collection from 26.05 to 04.06 (fr) | 04.06. (fr)]
Videos [imc it | v2v | KanalB | Bellaciao]
Pics Gallery

Statements and Evaluations
from peaceful protesters | Black Bloc (en), (ne)| Queers | Biozone | on violent direct action | for a permanent movement (it)

G8 - Convergence Has Started

On Wed May 28 and Thu May 29, protesters and locals are preparing for the next days. Geneva shops are boarded up [pics 1 | 2], while residents are taking pictures of their strangely changed town. Activists are streaming into the four protest camps near Lausanne (Switzerland) and Annemasse (France).

First demonstrations are held in both towns plus Geneva. The Schengen agreement has been temporarily lifted to control the borders while activists are on their way to the Anti-G8 protests.

Resources & Collections
Imc UK Full Feature | Summary | Impressions from Lausanne and Geneva
Annemasse Protest Camps Pics | Reports [1 | 2] Video | Personal Account
Lausanne, May 28, Pink & Silver [Report]
report & pics report
Demos Thu 29 Annemasse [Report]
Lausanne Pics [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6] Pic Reports [1 | 2 | 3] [Video]

For Free Movement and Free Communication

Friday May 30. "Free Movement and Free Information" was the slogan of the first major demo against the G8 summit in Evian. The noborder demo visited the offices of the IOM, the WTO (+) and the WIPO).
A bike caravan blocked the Nestle headquarters and joined 400 Critical Mass cyclists in the early evening.
An occupied train crossed the border between France and Switzerland uncontrolled. Radio- and video streams as well as permanently updated websites proved that the movement knows how to use the right to free information.

Read the Full Feature

Resources & Collections
Imc UK Full Feature | Timeline Imc UK | Summary [1 | 2] | Call | Reflection
Transport Bike Caravan [report | pics video], Critical Mass [Pics & Report], Pics [1 | 2], Occupied Train [Report | Dispatch], Failed Blockade [Dispatch]

Noborder Demo Timeline | Summary | Pics [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13], Pics & Reports [1] Videos [(de) | (en) | (en) | Speeches]

Fires On The Lake

Saturday 31 May. When someone overly panics, locals in the Lake Leman area calm him down by saying that 'the Lake will not be on fire', meaning that nothing can be so dramatic that it would set the lake on fire. On the evening of Saturday 31st, protesters symbolically set fire to the lake.
On Friday night, more than 5,000 inhabitants in the activist "villages" debated the best strategies to blockade the G8 summit until the early hours. In the morning, a protest at the Socialist Party Conference in Annemasse was teargassed. Some G8 delegates were trapped in the building. Streets were blocked in Lausanne. Many fires were lit at night in Geneva, mostly using symbolic targets. Police was everywhere, particularly at the media center at L'Usine. The city was quiet at 3.30 am, only a couple of hours before the first blockades started.

Resources & Collections
Imc Uk Timeline | Imc Uk Full Feature
Call [(e n) | (fr)] Fire Map
Maps of Lausanne | Geneva | Annemasse | Area
Manifestos on "violent direct action" | Queers Against the G8 | BioZone versus the G8.

No Roads Lead To Evian

Sunday June 1st. On the main G8 protest day, cheerful crowds delayed the G8 summit for two hours. As early as 5am, protesters blocked crossroads in Lausanne [pics] , bridges in Geneva and main access roads from Annemasse towards Evian. Later police moved in everywhere with increasing heavyness: mass arrests, heavy use of teargas, rubber bullets and concussion granades. All official demos during the afternoon were (unsuccessfully) prohibited. 2 men were seriously injured. Many locals took to the streets against german riot police who appeared out of control in Geneva, offered water to teargassed crowds in Lausanne and were generally very supportive.

Resources & Collections
Imc Uk Full Feature | Imc Uk Timeline | Summaries [1|2]
Maps Lausanne | Geneva | Annemasse | Area
Press Releases (Legal Team) 03.06, en | Collection from 26.05 to 04.06 (fr) | 04.06. (fr)]
Video Collections: [imc it | v2v] | KanalB]
Pics [1 | 2] | Gallery
Overviews: Dispatch | Global G8 Imc | Collection of imc txt/pics/video/audio | Multilingual collection | Imc Belgium Overview (ne).

Tear Gas, the Smell of Frightened Capitalists

Geneva water demo 02/06 Monday June 2
Monday's actions started peaceful. Activists creatively approached the red zone in Lausanne, and a pirate ship made of oil drums tried to reach Evian via the lake. In Geneva, a mixed crowd demonstrated against water privatisation. Another demo protested about Sunday's police repression. When both demos joined at Pont du Mont Blanc, where 300 had gathered for a sit down blockade, police escaleted the situation. The main Bridge of Geneva was blocked for 7 hours. The night was marked by teargas all over the old town of Geneva. The last protesters were gathered at 4am by a truck from the VAAG village.
Read the full Imc Uk Feature complete with links.

Resources & Collections
Summary | Imc Uk Feature | Imc Uk Timeline | Imc Belgium
Background on Water & Report]
Geneva Evening Dispatch< /a> | Photo Gallery | Videos [1 | 2 | 3]

Two Men Injured On Sunday Protests

Guy Smallman Injury In the desperate police attempts to control the situation on Sunday June 1, many people were injured. Two British men had to spend weeks in hospital.
Guy Smallman, an IndyMedia volunteer and photographer, needed a two hour operation after police fired a targeted stun grendade at his leg (report). After 2 weeks in a Geneva hospital, he returned to the UK. He will need months of physiotherapy before he'll be able to walk again.
Martin Shaw is still in a Lausanne hospital three weeks after the incident. He seriously injured his legs and back after police cut the rope he and another activist were hanging off a bridge from during a blockade (TV Video and pics). Activists managed to save the other climber on the other side of the bridge (pic).
A petition was sent to Swiss embassies in various countries, and many international support actions took place.

Resources & Collections
Details on Financial Support | Imc Uk Full Feature

Martin Shaw Links [imc uk | imc norway] | Statements [1 | 2] | The Incident report & pics 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
For more info and to arrange comment or interviews from Martin Shaw, call 00 41 (0) 787413116, or email

Guy Smallmann letter | PR -Stunt | The Incident [report | pics]
For more info and comment from independent journalist Guy Smallman, contact 0044 (0) 2077357055

Repression Unites Protesters

 Geneva Arrest 03/06 Tuesday 3 June 2003
The Camp de Bourdonette in Lausanne was evicted [video]. A demo in Lausanne [pic] ended peacefully. In Geneva, all demos were prohibited and residents were adviced to stay home [TSR Report]. Nevertheless, a peaceful demo assembled in the evening [pics], demanding that the Geneva minister of justice and police, Madame Spoerri, resign. Police attacked the demo, and spent the rest of the evening creating an atmosphere of chaos and fear for everybody in the streets of Geneva [pics].
In a first evaluation, peaceful demonstrators stated their solidarity with the blockades of Bl ack Bloc activists, while first solidarity actions took place in Ba rcelona and Berlin.
Read the Full Feature with links to reports, pics and video.

Resources & Collections
Imc Uk Full Feature | Imc Uk Timeline | Imc Belgium Overview
Police Brutality Background | Legal Instructions for complaints and witnesses
Statements from peaceful protesters and Black Bloc


Post-G8 - Injured Getting Better!

Barcelona Solidarity Action Guy Smallman, the photographer who was shot in the leg by a concussion grenade during the G8-Protests in Geneva has returned to the UK. He posted a letter asking for people to support Martin Shaw. A press conference was held on Friday 13 at the NUJ headquarters. On June 7, Swiss security minister Spoerri failed in an attempted PR stunt at Guys hospital bedside [Report]
More Info
Video interview in different formats
Pics of Guy's injuries and police brutality [1 | 2 ]
Report & pics by Guy | witness reports & pics.

Martin Shaw, who fell from a motorway bridge during an action when the police cut the rope he was hanging from is still in hospital in Switzerland. He has found a reliable lawyer. Read a statement from Martin (06.06).

Updates [11.06 | 06.06]
Links on [imc uk | imc norway] Eyewitness report on Aubonne Bridge

Post-G8 International Solidarity Actions

Barcelona Solidarity Action Since Wednesday June 3th, solidarity actions for those injured during the determined anti-G8 protests, and in outrage against police repression in Geneva and Lausanne during the G8 protests took place.
On June 13, the Swiss embassy in Barcelona has been occupied, particularly in support of Martin Shaw. The action enforces demands to the Swiss government, a petition includes a list of Swiss embassies.
Another Call to Action" for Saturday June 14th was sent from Barcelona. Two activists have been hanging from Swiss consulate n Barcelona for more than 80 hours. [pics 1 | 2]

The first solidarity actions were held on Tuesday 3 June in Barcelona and Berlin.
More followed on Friday, June 6: In Manchester, the Swiss Consulate was occupied [call | letter of Swiss Embassy]. In London, a demonstration took place at the Swiss embassy [ report/audio/pic], where placards were held up showing the injured leg of Guy Smallmann, who was hit by a targeted concussion grenade on Sunday June 1 [call].
A solidarity group for Martin Shaw has been set up in Berlin, where an abseiling action highlighted the outrage against the Swiss police's decision to cut the rope he was hanging from during an action on Sunday June 1st.
Oslo had a solidarity action on Monday 9th.

Post-G8 Statements: Disobbedienti communication from Evian | Press releases of Legal Team and L'Usine | Witness forms for complaints against police.
>> Collection of articles in english from the multilingual G8 Indymedia site.

imc uk