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Report of the Sunday - arrests and betrayal facilitated by official ESF

passionfruit | 18.10.2004 12:23 | European Social Forum | London

postevent the it seems like a set-up and betrayal of the official ESF organisers inviting somebody to speak and whilst speaking getting him arrested.

just found this report on global project website, which supports the suggestion.

Sunday October 17th, 2004 16:53 London - Preventitive arrests, police violence
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Constant updates from the activists’ social forum in London...

17:50 - An English activist, Alessio, that managed to denounce the shameful arrests and the police violence from the official stage, was encircled by the ESF security service and the police as soon as he came down from the stage that arrested him. There have been a total of 4 arrests now.

17:40 - Don Vitaliano Della Sala denounces the shameful behavior of the ESF organizers, that are using their security personal to protect the police, from infront of the stage. Meanwhile the beaurocratic London left continues to speak from the stage.

17:30 - The activists have arrived in Trafalgar square, just under the official Social Forum stage. The speeches are continuing despite the arrests of the Italians Andrea and Vittorio, along with Costantino, a young Greek activist. They have asked to come onto the stage to explain what happened earlier today in King Cross station, but they were stopped by the police who were sent by the ESF organizers.

16:10 - After having been stopped and beaten by the English Police, the activists are moving from the King Cross station, encircled by the police forces.

15:50 - Outside of the metro station the police are violently attacking the activists that are now reaching the entrance. While inside they are arresting two activists that spoke during the contestation of the official Social Forum assembly.

15:30 - The official ESF demonstration has started as if nothing had happened. This situation exemplifies the giagantic gap between the beaurocratic organizers and those that participate in grassroots social movements.

15:00 - While the European Social Forum demonstration is begining, about 50 activists, including English, Italians, and activists from Global Project and the Association Ya Basta! have been stopped by the English police that are now holding them. A truly preventative arrest. At this hour, other activists are trying to reach them at the metro station King Cross.

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and earlier...

18.10.2004 18:11

Myself and two others left the Beyond ESF space, being filmed by police cameramen, saw officers running around the surrounding streets (apparently chasing someone), saw police all the way to the train station, on the steps of the station. Asked if it was closed, were told 'no', more police on the platform, and squeezed into each carriage! Decided to take the bus... Later told that there had been violence on the train. Arrived at Kings Cross, came round the corner to see 10 police vans blocking the whole entrance. Approached to find some 20 activists surrounded by police. Many bystanders shocked at the blatant fascistic nature of the police action. People were around this mini-kettle, mostly Europeans, were dispersed by lines of reinforcements pushing all (including 'civilians') out of the way with chants of "Oi!" (international language?). Some in kettle then arrested, and entire group of us allowed to walk down to Trafalgar along deserted march route, accompanied by the officers detailed to harass Beyond ESF space and friends, and vans. At the square percieved 'organisers' (wombles) were followed at a distance of 0-2 inches (I jest not) by sergeants assigned to them. Group remined with these individuals in solidarity, trying to get between them and their 'bodyguard', eventually the 'organiser', officers, solidarity group farce started to move, and an impromptu conga line started up, snaking around the square singing and then chanting, a bloc of around 100 quickly assembled and made its way to the stage, to attempt to announce police harrassment. The officers stayed with and in the bloc until we got into the crowd in front of the stage, then realised they were surrounded and exited shapish, holding onto each others' jacket tails. The rest has been reported...


Cause and Effect...

21.10.2004 12:54

The Anarchist anti-ESF events failed to draw many people so, out of frustration, they assault the ESF. The desperate acts of a tiny minority of politically misguided fools.

They have no place in our Movement and have totally discredied themselves in everyones eyes.


Dear Molly

23.10.2004 15:06

You're way off target there.

The official esf had around 20,000 participants, the autonomous spaces drew at least 3-5000 people over the four days.

The official esf had 500 events, the autonomous spaces had around 200.

The autonomous social events in the evening drew big crowds with the larger events attracting 600 people for one and 1,500 for another.

The official esf had no public computer / internet access and just 25 or so computers in the official press centre - the IndyMedia centre had around 40 computers and peaked at around 60 with people using their laptops.

The official esf accomodated several thousand people in the dome and other places, the autonomous spaces gave free accomodation to well up to one thousand people, and helped out on sunday night when the official accomodation closed.

You cannot say the autonomous events were a failure, sorry, it's just not true.

Certainly they weren't as big as Alexandra Palace, but then they didn't have £480,000 worth of funding from the GLA and a total budget of one Million Pounds!