July 2001: G8 Genoa.
On Wednesday, 17 January 2007, it emerged that important evidence against the police officers who raided the Diaz school has been 'mislaid' by the police. The evidence concerned is two 'Molotov cocktails' which were supposedly found during the raid back in 2001, and were then used by police to justify the raid. It later transpired that they had in fact been planted in the Diaz building by police. The two bottles should have been produced in court yesterday during the questioning of police officer Donnini, who was in charge of the unit that transported the bottles.
On Thursday the 19th, however, Judge Barroni said the trial will continue with other evidence as the search for the missing evidence progresses [See missing Molotovs update]. All other charges against the various high-ranking police officers still stand.
On 25th January the last out of eight British witnesses (and one from New Zealand) gave their testimonies about the bloody night time raid of the Genoa Social Forum and Diaz schools in Genoa during the 2001 G8 Protests. The trial of 29 police officers (including many senior ones) for various crimes of brutality and fabricating evidence has been running now since April 2005. The first witnesses gave evidence just over three months ago and it's expected that this phase of the trial will last until the early summer. In the raid on the Diaz school over 90 people were arrested. Over 60 people suffered injuries after police savagely beat people, some still in their sleeping bags - 31 people were taken to hospital, three of them in a critical state. Some are still receiving medical treatment. Running in parallel is also the trial of yet more police and others accused of beating protestors who were held at the Bolzanetto detention centre after the protests and the raid.
Reports of British Diaz Testimonies: [ one | two | three | four ]
Indymedia Global feature | BBC witness article | More4 News Video
Witness Video Interviews [ Sam Buchanan | Mark Covell | Hamish Campbell ]
Original Testimonies from Norman Blair, Sam Buchanan and Dan McQuillan
Supporto Legale (eng) | Indymedia Italy Genoa Pages
Meanwhile in Switzerland the trial of policemen accused of cutting the climbing rope of Martin Shaw during the Evian 2004 G8 protests will take place in Nyon on 13th-15th February, with several events focusing on G8 and repression taking place alongside (for more see www.aubonnebridge.net). February 4th saw an Activist Trauma Network Gathering in London. The network was formed as a positive response to repression, to provide support and advice.
Over 90% of the people arrested have since be found to have commited no crime. Police video 'evidence' presented in court by the prosecution was proved to have been doctored in at least one case. You can read the transcripts of the Democracy Now! interviews about this story that aired last week or check out the whole show as audio or video.
While the availability of cheap video technology has led to an increase in the amount of video being presented as powerful evidence in court. Police in this country are clearly targetting 'unsympathetic journalists' in an attempt to both stifle any publicity given to protests and avoid public scrutiny of their own actions. In a recent example, a freelance journalist was arrested just minutes after filming an arrest that occured during a protest outside a meeting of G8 environment ministers taking place in London. It was reported afterwards that the police kept the footage and the camera but typically, the charges have since been dropped.
29-07-2003 22:00Timeline and reports from Summer of Resistance actions in Genoa, July 2001
In the afternoon of May 5th a sense of indignation took over Genoa and the rest of Italy, as the Italian judge Elena Daloisio decided to close the enquire against Mario Placanica, the policeman of the paramilitary police force (Carabinieri) who shot Carlo Giuliani - the young protester at the G8 summit of Genoa 2001. The official reasons why this murder won't be prosecuted are because the policeman was allegedly defending himself, and also, under the article 53 of the Italian criminal code, this is a case of "legitimate use of weapons". This will possibly constitute a dangerous legal escape for any member of the security forces that in future similar situations may commit "legalised" murder because of "acting on duty". The closure of the case will not only put an end to the investigation around the murder of Giuliani but it will also mean that the responsibilities of those who were in charge of public order in Piazza Alimonda will be ignored. At the same time, it could also become a touchstone to the remaining open cases against those responsible for the repression, illegal detentions, beatings and torture that took place during and after the anti-G8 demonstrations of Genoa 2001.
After the Carabinieri's acquittal his lawyer happily stated that "Placanica will go on working as a good policeman", noting that "none of the officers of the police forces involved in this enquiry have been found guilty or condemned", even though they have been accused of lying in court or have repeatedly been trying to avoid giving testimony in front of a judge. Meanwhile Heidi Giuliani, Carlo's mother, stated that "It is difficult for us to comment upon this sentence right now. Although we have always expected something like this to happen it still hurts very much. I'd like to say that we are not scared of the truth, although others evidently are". The Genoa Social Forum has called for videos, photos and testimonies whilst stating that "Genoa will not stop here". Different social initiatives in Italy have declared themselves against this unacceptable legal decision, and an international day of protest against the ruling has been called on Saturday 10 May.
• Read entire feature from IMC-Global.
• New photographic evidence of Carlo's murder from Sherwood Comunicazione.
• Read eyewitness account of Giuliani's murder from the Wombles website.
More info: Indymedia-Italy
As the investigations of the brutal raid at the Diaz school and the beatings of Via Tolemaide are about to draw to a close the case has shown how video images have been crucial. Footage of the events that took place during and after the police burst into the Diaz and Pasquali schools badly injuring 61 people and arresting 93, the opposite Media Center could turn out to be fundamental in order to demonstrate what really happened on the night of July 21st 2001.
We are still looking for victims and witnesses who could provide decisive testimony. We are particularly looking for video footage because no testimony is stronger than that of the image. Many of the beatings in the streets of the city will be dismissed if it is not possible to identify those responsible and the arbitrary character of many of the arrests can only be proven using footage. In addition to the work of the lawyers, it is thus necessary that we activate every communications network so this material can be tracked down and made available so as to prevent the shelving of this Genoa in such a manner that there could be another Genoa.
Please make a copy of your footage and send it to:
Daniele Jenni (Lawyer), Speichergasse 31, 3011 Berne, Switzerland;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: Genoa legal forum 00 39 010 24 61 413
Genoa Legal Forum with the support of IMC Italy
Update 4 Dec: On the morning of December 4th 9 people have been arrested and a total of 23 are under investigation with several accusations relating to the protests against the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. Report
Update 3 Dec: All the people arrested on Nov 15 have now been released.
Update 24 Nov: Mobilisations are still taking place in Italy following the arrests of 42 'No Global" activists two weeks ago. 13 people still remain locked up in maximum security prisons in southern Italy, whilst another six are still under 'house arrest'. In a turn-out exceeding all expectations, 60,000 people demonstrated for the freedom of the NoGlobal prisoners in Cosenza on November 23rd. Participants included many people who had travelled far to the southern tip of the country, but also many local people including the mayor. Local citizens welcomed the demonstrators enthusiastically, with people applauding from the balconies all along the demo route. IMC Cosenza notes: "The whole city is embracing and kissing the movement!". Pictures: 1 | 2 | 3
Update 21st Nov: A loose network of internet activists from different countries has called for a virtual protest on the Italian Justice department's website on November 23, starting UK time 10.00am. This will coincide with a day of mass protests and demonstrations agaisnt repression due to take place in several Italian cities. Netactivists call to action | Arrests update.
During the night to Friday, 15 November, 20 alleged members of the Italian social movement No Global have been arrested under article 270 of Italian Penal Code, with another 22 people not allowed to leave their homes. The judge's arrests order declared NoGlobal as "a subversive association" and its members "to conspire against the Italian State". There have been house raids in many parts of Italy. The wave of repression against alleged "leaders of the anti-globalisation movement" comes just days after 40,000 people took part in the successful European Social Forum in Florence, and 1 Million people marched against the war peacefully. The massive violence by demonstrators, which had been announced previously by the Berlusconi government and the police did not materialise, which had put the alarmist scare-mongering by government and media prior to the Social Forum in a different light. In an attempt to keep up the tension, repression was started against the no global members. The latter are being charged not of actual criminal acts but of "political conspiration" and "subversive propaganda". Read Radio Sherwood and Disobedienti press release.
Protests and demonstrations have been called for this weekend against political repression and to show solidarity with those arrested. Thousands of people have taken the streets of many Italian cities with reports of 30.000 people in Rome,10.000 in Napoli and several thousand in Firenze, Genova and Milano. At the same time a netstrike has been proposed for Monday 18 by ECN - Isole nella Rete network.
18-02-2002 23:00G8 PROTESTS AFTERMATH Feb 18 2002
Finally, responsibilities seem to be coming out to light in the actions of the police during the G8 protests in Genoa, Italy, last summer. Italy's interior minister revealed that he ordered police to shoot any protesters who breached police security lines and made it inside the "Red Zone". He is now under pressure to resign.
Report 1 | Report 2
20,000 DEMONSTRATE IN GENOA Jan 20 2002
Sunday the 20th of Jan, was a sombre but inspiring day of rememberance in the city of Genoa. On the city streets more than 20,000 people remembered Carlo Giuliani in a touching and passionate, yet peaceful demonstration.
The global movement still awaits for truth and justice about the events in Genoa that resonate from the dead to touch the lives of the living.