Genoa and (Persistent) Resistance in the Balkans



Genoa: The G8


What follows is a short

report on the situation in Genoa as of July 8, 2001.

The coordinator of the

protest movement against the G8 Summit at Genoa is the Italian organization

Genoa Social Forum (GSF).

The GSF succeeded to

force the (crypto-fascist) Berlusconi government to agree to the following: – 1

The Italian frontiers will stay open from July 14 to July 22, when the G8 Summit


– 2 The city of Genoa

will be an open city during the same period of time, that is people can enter

the city (through trains, highways and the port) freely and move freely in it.

Only the Genoa airport will be closed for the duration of the meeting. Also, the

area of the port around the Ducale Palace, the site of the meeting, designated

as the "Red Zone", and the area adjacent to it on the west side, designated as

the "Yellow Zone", will be out of bounds for the demonstrators.

– 3 The Genoa Police

issued a permit for the holding of 3 big demonstrations: one on the 19th of July

for the rights of the immigrants, one on the 20th of July to protest the G8

Summit, and one on the 21st of July as a final march with the participation of

the labor unions (with an expected crowd of above 150,000 protesters). Also the

police rejected the petition of the GSF to disarm the police. But, the Chief of

the Genoa Police, assured the GSF that he personally assumes the responsibility

that the police will not fire at the demonstrators.

On their side the

demonstrators (the GSF and the people from other countries) agreed among

themselves: – 1 To set limits to the level of violence: a) The demonstrators

should avoid any physical damage to the city, its monuments, and its

neighbourhoods, and b) the demonstrators in no case will attack the police. They

will not throw even a single rock against the police.

– 2 The participants

should enter the city through highways or through trains.

– 3 The participants

will stay in the spaces (athletic fields, schools, and parks) designated by the

municipal authorities.

The events will start

on July 14 with a series of public discussions at the GSF site of assembly.

On July 19, at 6:00 pm,

the first massive demonstration will take place to demand the free entrance and

movement of economic or political immigrants in the European Union. (At least

30,000 demonstrators are expected to participate, only from Italy.)

On July 20, from early

in the morning, the demonstrators will assemble in 8 squares around the "Red

Zone" and will try to prevent the G8 leaders to reach the Ducale Palace. If the

G8 leaders manage to reach the Palace, by sea through the port, then the

demonstrators will try to invade the "Red Zone" and cancel the meeting.

On Saturday, July 21,

at 2:00 pm, the demonstrators will start an (as expected) huge march (possibly

in the hundreds of thousands) to protest the brutality of globalization.

Let us hope that the

peoples of the world will make life for W.Bush and his (servile) co-summiteers

difficult in Genoa. Also, let us hope that this will be accomplished without any

violence; the mere ridicule of the "leaders" will be quite effective in raising

the consciousness of the ordinary people about globalization. The fact that

Berlusconi did not have the time to replace the leadership of the police,

appointed by the former leftist government, with right wingers might help avoid

violence by the police and let the demonstrators be more effective.

(Note: Most of the

information of the above report are due to Vangelis Karageorgos, the in situ

correspondent of the Greek paper ELEFTHEROTYPIA in Genoa, issue of July 8, 2001)



Resistance in the Balkans

" ‘ We all thought, the

(US) Marines are coming, we will be saved,’ the Liberian reporter remarked, ‘

but they left. How could they leave?’ Poor guy, his country has no Marines to

rescue him. I’ll bet he wouldn’t mind paying some taxes for a few good men."

That is the world according to Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times and "one

of America’s leading interpreters of world affairs." (Thomas L. Friedman, "The

Lexus and the Olive Tree," Harper Collins, 2000, p.435)

Going to the real world

we find that a few weeks ago a detachment of US Marines (or some other kind of

"missionaries") were disgorged from landing crafts to Litohoro, a beautiful

beach a few dozen miles south of Salonica, on a training mission. They fixed

their cute little tents on the sandy beach and were ready to bivouac. And then,

the Greeks came and started a vigil shouting all night long the slogan

"Murderers go home". Next morning the US soldiers had to pull up their tents and

cancel the mission which would have prepared them probably to enter Macedonia

about sixty miles north of Salonica. It would have been interesting to have the

"interpretation" by Friedman of the expressions on the faces of the young US

soldiers as they watched the demonstrating Greeks. (My interpretation-on the

basis of the TV footage in the news: The US mercenaries’ faces had a mixture of

surprise and hate. Definitely, they understood that this is not a Friedman


The atrocities

perpetrated by NATO (i.e. the US) in Kosovo about two years ago are almost

forgotten by most people. Yet, in Greece there is a persistent resistance to the

US (NATO) "humanitarian" missions in the Balkans.

A few days ago, on July

7, 20001, eight warships of NATO entered the port of Salonica on a "friendly"

visit.(Actually to offer the services of "comfort ladies" to the crews; not of

the Korean type, but this time of the professional kind.)

Starting from the

evening of July 7, a Saturday, 6,000 Greeks (mostly of the Left) blocked the

main gate of the fence of the port by building a symbolic barricade out of bales

of hay and old tires and started a vigil with song and dance all night long,

shouting slogans, mainly the well-known "murderers" one, through loudspeakers,

to the crews across the sea.

Next day, a Sunday, the

NATO brass and the local Greek (toadying) elite had programed a banquet on the

NATO flagship. The banquet was canceled! A not so minor victory for the


Again, what could be

the feelings of the multinational crews of the NATO force? Of the eight ships

one was Greek. It is certain that most of the (drafted) Greek sailors agreed

with the demonstrators.

Seattle, Genoa,

resistance in Salonica; an era of optimism.


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