We also decided to have a broader 'What next' type discussion at 4pm, Sunday 24th June – Ramparts main hall. This can turn into a bit of a social in the evening to relax and socialise. More information to come.
- amazing organisation at the Reddelich camp, especially given the numbers of people. Lovely showers, hot food always available etc.
- good to have dry nights before action – encouraging sensible pre-action behaviour
- was a shame there was no eco-feeling to the camp – but this would have involved a massive extra effort and is probably impossible for a camp that size.
- Reddelich camp was simply too big to be blocked by the cops.
- Rostock camp had a very different atmosphere – strange mix of communist groups, punks, parties, leftist groups, NGOs, music.
Information for actions
- flows of information to the protesters was very good – especially with info points on the roads/towns etc.
- information on the camps a bit more problematic – very good to have the ticker up on the board, but wrong information wasn't always corrected.
- really good!
- People used the information from dispatch to plan their actions, accessed sometimes by mobile phones, especially when on actions in Rostock.
- Was very helpful in gaining some perspective of what was going on elsewhere, often difficult in these situations. This also helped morale!
- There was other information available on the camps which wasn't reported on dispatch, perhaps because it wasn't easily verifiable. Was dispatch not hooked into these sources, or just unable to verify them and so couldn't use them?
- But disappointing that pretty much only “Indymedia friends and family” were ringing in with their reports. Indymedia being seen as a service-provider, not as dependent on everyone's contributions.
- media centre was very effectively blockaded
- lots of little blockades
- very strong mass walk-out on the Thursday morning (9am)– 2-3000 people - amazingly all kept together trekking for hours through fields and forests.
- Blockade on West gate – allowed to stay because there were other gates open, way for the cops to keep an eye on us, keep us from causing trouble elsewhere. Reinforcements were brought in when the mass moved along the fence. By then they had to use the ferry ports to get people in.
- At the other gate – the middle gate – those who went there were charged and tear-gassed.
- People were unable to get to the town Vorderborhagen at all.
- Very upsetting that there were some on the camp telling people not to get involved in the mass walk-out because it was 'just about killing cops'.
- in Berlin the biggest group was about 200 people but were outnumbered by the cops. Had a Reclaim the Street party – was fun apparently.
- difficult – perhaps impossible - to get the same people to do both rural blockades and urban actions – too tired, and logistics of transporting that many people from the fields to the city.
- City action could have been framed as another type of blockade – blockade of the circulation of capital and police forces. Could use local city issues.
- Could have done the two things simultaneously, but not involving the same people.
- lots of problems (didn't really go into in this meeting) – except to say 'they would block people who broke their guidelines before blocking the roads? wtf?'
- but were amazingly organised
- there was a split! One group left to go to the other gate.
- stupid young inexperienced people trying to fight the cops at the camp – vvv bad
Flash Radio/ other media
- worked well that they'd organised all their stuff before and so weren't relying on others. Where they were relying on others (e.g. for power supply) problems occurred.
- media bus had solar power so less power cut-out issues
- Indymedia tent at Reddelich not up to previous standards!
- Not enough people to use the IMC in Rostock near the harbour (not the Evershagen one)
- began 2 years ago
- but seemed to die down after a bit
- but didn't feel like internationals were involved in the organising
- felt like about 70% German, 30% internationals there – good work! And broad range of nationalities present.
even more anti-G8
there is a bit of confusion here about the blockades.
There were 3 main gates, known as the North, East and West.
The North and East gates were 'taken' by the block g8 groups, one leaving from Rostok (to the North gate), one from Reddilick (to the East gate). These were each about 4000-5000 people strong, using the 5-finger technique, to avoid the cops to get there. At these gates the blockade were reasonably unviolent, and held from weds 11 am to Fri 11 am, when they voluntarily disbanded, without traffic going in or out. It was the West gate, originally to be taken by the third camp, known as Camp 'W' (a beautiful very 'eco' camp, but far from everyone/evferything else). This was where all the 'trouble' was, 9 watercannons, tear gas etc., including significant injuries to protesters. There best explanation of police taktics to me was an attempt to keep this exit as a possible last option emergency EXIT from Heilingendam, because the other two gates were totally blockaded. Traffic was not going in by that gate either.
The main issue with the UK-based people seemed to be that they were totally dismissive of block-g8 (as this write-up suggests) - so missed out totally on the mosting interesting, and successful part of the summit. Without understanding block-g8 or the Interventionist Left then you can hardly understand why this past g8 was so successful compared to the Scotland g8.
1. Block G8 was a very hierarchical organisation. In the meetings I went to, all the details of the action were being organised by "action counsels" and seemed very unaccountable and inaccessible unless you were prepared to go along and be cannon fodder for a central organising committee.
2. A strict adherence to non violence guidelines put a lot of people off.
3. This became an even bigger diversion when the Block G8 people started putting out statements condeming the Black Bloc as fascists and stating they would ask the police to step in and arrest anyone who they thought were violent or Black Bloc. Any group displaying such lack of solidarity should be dismissed.