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Genoa G8: Police brutality trials get under way in earnest

Supporto Legale | 24.11.2005 21:23 | Genoa | Globalisation | Repression | Social Struggles

One of the 93 people beaten by police during the July 21 raid on the Diaz-Pertini School during the Genoa G8 summit in 2001, testifies before Justice Gabrio Barone in the Genoa Criminal Tribunal.

Genoa, November 9

The witness, L.Z., gave a clear and precise account. The lengthy testimony, which lasted for almost four hours, left little room for the various defence objections.

L told how she arrived at the Diaz School, together with her boyfriend, who had been beaten by police during the day. The beating had been carried out in cold blood at the end of Saturday's march, and the two young people had had to go to the Emergency Room afterwards. Consequently, rather than leaving to travel back home that evening, they'd decided to spend the night in "a peaceful place".

But a few minutes later, the police arrived. L saw them arrive en masse from a window on the second floor. She and her boyfriend Niels, terrified, ran upstairs to the top floor of the building, where they hid in a closet. They remained there, arms raised, listening to the heavy steps of the police draw closer outside. They were discovered, dragged from their hiding place, and savagely beaten. L was beaten round the head and on her back with a baton. She fell to the ground, whereupon she was beaten again and felt her ribs break She was then lifted up and hurled against a wall.

After this, she was dragged on her stomach down the stairs, all the while being kicked and clubbed. She was then lifted by her hair, dragged down more stairs and kicked again on her back and legs. No longer able to stand, she was thrown on top of two other people, lying facedown on the ground. She lost consciousness. When she came round, as well as the piercing pain from her fractured ribs (which had punctured her lungs), she clearly remembers numerous police officers passing by and stopping to spit on her,

While lying there, for what seemed like an interminable period of time, she saw other people on the ground, bleeding. Finally the ambulances arrived. She was carried outside on a stretcher and taken to the San Martino Hospital Emergency Room. She remained in hospital for 11 days, during the first three of which she was under arrest. She was consequently kept under police surveillance for this period.

She has suffered serious, permanent injuries. Her lung capacity has been reduced by 30%, she has breathing difficulties and chronic pains in her back and other parts of her body.

During the cross-examination by Vincenzo Canterini's defence lawyer, Silvio Romanelli, L clearly identified the riot uniform worn by police. She particularly noted the dark belt worn by the 7th division of the Rome Flying Squad I, which was under Canterini's command.

L's dramatic and detailed testimony marks the first step in reconstructing the Diaz violence. The next hearing was set for Wednesday, November 16.

Summary (in Italian):

Transcript (in Italian) :
Licenza Creative Commons

(Translator: Karma Hickman)

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