Skip to content or view screen version

German G8 Police: Lies, Propaganda and Provocation (report)

investigations continue | 13.06.2007 11:44 | G8 Germany 2007 | Globalisation | Indymedia | Repression | World

Below are a few examples of the lies and propaganda spun by the police during the G8 protests in Germany, as well as direct evidence that the police were at times using infiltrators to try and create conditions to justify further repression.

There are for sure many more examples of this during the last two weeks or so and civil liberties monitoring groups are investigating other incidents. It should also be said that while the media were able to report what appeared to be a tolerant attitude to the blockades at the East Gate, in other places sit down protestors were water cannoned, pepper sprayed and beaten. Also the police tried to provoke violence at various different protests and actions, arrested people for nothing more than having the wrong clothing on them, and failed to give medical assistance to injured people in a number of incidents. Police have also been criticised for using water canon at close quarters against peaceful blockaders resulting in several serious eye injuries, including a man from Liverpool who has lost the use of his eye after it was dislodged. Further criticism has come regarding the use of the military against protestors including the army on the A19 autobahn and the use of Panavia Tornado jets in low fly reconnaissance / intimidation runs over protest camp sites.

Other tactics used by the police included mass unrpovoked arrests, closure of transport systems to prevent people reaching legal assembly points and systematic feeding of misinformation to the media - details of which below:

*Police Lie About Number of Injured Officers

In the immediate aftermath of the clashes that occured at the end of the march on Saturday 2nd June at the Rostock harbour rally, the police press released figures that claimed that over 400 police officers had been injured during the fighting, with 30 of them severely injured.

These shocking figures were reprinted across the world's media along with the pictures of a burning car and protestors clashing with police. And yet it has now emerged that just 2 police officers required hospital treatment and that these two were not so badly injured that they had to be kept in overnight.

*Police Lie about Clowns Using Chemical Weapons Against Police

Following the confiscation of a water pistol from one of the clown army activists, the police told the press that several (eight I think) police officers had been treated for the effects of chemical weapons. They said the clowns had been spraying officers. The truth of the matter is that if officers had indeed been treated for the "effects of chemical weapons" it would have been from their own use of gas and pepper spray - it was observed by several people that some officers were also caught by gas and spray used by their colleages.

The accusations against the clowns were again picked up by the world's press and printed in newspapers and websites around the world. The police later admitted that no such chemical attack by the clowns had taken place.

*Police Admit to Using Undercover Officers
*Agent Provocateurs Unmasked at East Gate Blockade
*Police Lie to the Press About East Gate Protestors

The authorities have admitted they did indeed have undercover agents participating in the actions and blockades. This admission comes after their initial denial that such police tactics were being used.

At the peaceful sit down blockade at the East gate of the G8 security zone which lasted for two days, an undercover police officer was found dressed as 'black bloc' encouraging others at the blockade to prepare petrol bombs for use against the police. He was recognised by one person as a local officer and when challenged about his identity he failed to say anything. In the end he was thrown out of the demonstration area by blockade organisers along with others from the legal team. Some reports said this person was with three others who were dressed exactly the same.

It's significant that at the same time as he was operting at the peaceful blockade, the police were briefing the press that the blockaders at the east gate were now arming themselves against the police and that they feared officers would come under attack. This was all happening at the time when it appeared the police were readying to move in against the blockade. The police have since admitted that the earlier information they provided about the protestors arming themselves was incorrect.

It should also be noted that several people dressed as 'black bloc' demonstrators were observed at several places talking to police officers or water cannon operators and then being allowed through cordons or getting into police vehicles. It's also suspected, but not 100% confirmed, that at least one police officer was posing as an Indymedia activist at the blockades.

*Police Lie about Seizure of Media Bus

When police in Bad Doberan decided to confiscate the Dutch Media Bus which was working with independent journalists, media activists and indymedia they set about spinning a justification for this attack on alternative media. Arresting two of the people working with the bus the police first said the bus was going to be used as an illegal radio transmitter. As both the Dutch and German journalist unions were protesting at the confiscation and arrests, the police changed their story saying that the media bus was a co-ordination office of the 'black bloc'! Both stories were of course untrue.

*Police Attack Photographers and Video Teams
*Leftist Journalists Refused Accreditation

Several photographers have been singled out for a beating by police officers, some having their cameras smashed by officers. This particularly happened at the night time Reclaim The Streets party in Rostock which police dispersed and where they seemed determined to ensure there were no pictures of their actions. When questioned about attacks on other journalists with G8 media accreditation a senior officer said it would never happen, then failed to comment when shown video footage of a videographer being pepper sprayed directly in the face. Also during the run up the the start of the G8, a total of around 40 journalists had their applications for G8 media accreditation refused, many of them because of the political outlook of their work.


These are just some of the examples and many more will no doubt come to light over the next weeks and months. One of the main things to take from this is the importance of alternative and independent reporting of such events. Sources of information that do not swallow the spoon fed lies from the authorities without question, and that encourage mass participation in the telling of truths.

Big thanks to Indymedia germany and the other alt media crews and all the international media activists who set up a fantastic reporting infrastructure and helped tell the true story of the 2007 G8 resistance.

investigations continue