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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.

Witnesses described 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.
[from The 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.

Genoa Brutality: Government Responses

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.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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