More Police Brutality at G-8 in Genoa
August 10, 2001
[I]n the early hours of
July 22, 92 young people were dragged from their beds by squads of Italian
anti-riot police officers who beat and jailed them.
students crouching as they were kicked, pummeled with clubs and thrown
down stairs, and emergency room doctors said a number of the injured would
have died without treatment. Television crews arriving on the scene later
filmed pools of blood and teeth knocked out during the raid.
At least two dozen
[students] were hospitalized.
New York Times, August 8, 2000]
When police brutality against
protesters occurs in the "heat of battle" -- during the actual
demonstration when emotions are high -- the police often use the excuse of
having been provoked.
That excuse is not available
in this Genoa raid.
Moreover, while it turns out
that these students were not -- as the police initially claimed -- of the
anarchist, violent type, but belonged to the majority of peaceful
demonstrators, even if these students had been anarchists, the police still
would have had no right to brutalize them.
This police atrocity brings
to mind the 1969 murder by the Chicago police of Black Panther leader Fred
Hampton while he slept in bed.
Thank goodness no one was
killed in the Genoa raid, even though as indicated in the excerpts above,
the police apparently inflicted wounds on a number of students that would
have been fatal if left untreated.
There has been some of the
usual official hand-wringing over the police action:
Spain's European Affairs
Secretary, Ramon de Miguel, called the scenes a replay of fascism.
Hans- Christian Ströbele, a European deputy from Germany, said the Genoa
police reminded him of "the military dictatorship in Argentina."
Perhaps not surprisingly, the
Bush administration has not joined in the outcry:
[One U.S. demonstrator's]
family has complained that the United States government has not done
nearly enough in speaking out against what went on.
"The U.S. is
conspicuous by its absence in the list of nations that have protested to
the Italian government over the imprisonment and the behavior of the
Italian police in their handling of the protests in Genoa," her
father... said in a message on the family's web site.
A spokesman for the
American Consulate in Milan said, "We're doing all we can."
I'm sure they're doing all
they can. All they can to refrain from gloating in public about the
brutality against the demonstrators.
If you challenge the powers
that be in a serious way, the message of the police action seems to be,
you're going to suffer dire consequences. One must expect that would
be the case most of all when you challenge the people who own and control the world.