Subj: Fw: [theseries] Prosperity by truncheon...
Date: 7/23/01 8:35:21 PM Pacific Daylight Time


No way will this be on "the news" tonight....

Genoa July 21 By Starhawk

Prediction: The protesters will be
better armed next time....

By Starhawk

I think I'm calm, that I'm not in shock, but my
fingers are trembling as I write this. We were up at
the school that serves as a center for media,
medical and trainings. We had just finished our
meeting and were talking, making phone calls, when
we heard shouts and sirens and  the roar of people
yelling, objects breaking. The cops had come and they
were raiding the center.

We couldn't get out of the building because there were
too many people at the entrance. Lisa grabbed my
hand and we went up, running up the five flights of
stairs, up to the very top. Jeffrey joined us, people
were scattering and looking for places to hide. We
weren't panicking but my heart was pounding and I
could hardly catch my breathe. We found an empty
room, a couple of tables, grabbed some sleeping bags
to cover our heads if we got beaten. And waited.

Helicopters were buzzing over the building, we
could hear doors being slammed and voices shouting
below, then quiet. Someone came in, walked around,
left. I couldn't seem to breath deep and I had an
almost uncontrollable cough-but I controlled it.

I lay there remembering we had lots and lots of people
sending us love and protection and I was finally able to
breathe. The light went on. Through a crack between
the tables, I could see a helmet, a face. A big Italian
cop with a huge paunch loomed over us. He told us to come
out. He didn't seem in beating mode, but we stayed
where we were, tried to talk to him in English
and Spanish and the few Italian words I know: "paura"
"fear" and "pacifisti." He took us down to the third floor,
where a whole lot of people were sitting, lined up against
the walls.

We waited. Someone came in, demanding to know whether
there was someone there from Irish Indy media. We waited.
Lawyers arrived: The police left. For some arcane reason
of Italian law, because it was a media place we had
some right to be there, although the school across the
street was also a media center and they went in there and
beat people up. We watched for a long time out the windows.

They began carrying people out on stretchers. One, Two, a
dozen or more. A crowd had gathered and were shouting
"Assessini! Assesini!" They brought out the walking wounded,
arrested them and took them away. We believe they brought
someone out in a body bag. The crowd below was challenging
the cops and the cops were challenging the crowd and suddenly
a huge circle of media gathered, bright camera lights.

Monica, who is hosting us and is with the Genoa Social
Forum, came up and found us. She'd been calling embassies
and media and may have saved us from getting hurt once
the cops finished with the first building. All the time
there were helicopters thrumming and shining bright
lights into the building. A few brave men were holding back
the angry crowd, who seemed ready to charge the line of riot
cops that was formed up in front of the school, shields up and
gas masks on. "Tranquilo, tranquilo," the men were saying,
holding up their hands and restraining the angry crowd from a
suicidal charge.

I was on the phone home, then back to the window, back
to the phone. Finally, the cops went away. We went down
to the first floor, outside, heard the story. They had come in
to the rooms where people were sleeping. Everyone had raised
up their hands, calling out "pacifisti! Pacifist!" And they beat the
shit out of every person there. There's no pretty way to say it.

We went into the other building: there was blood at every sleeping
spot, pools of it in some places, stuff thrown around, computers
and equipment trashed. We all wandered around in shock, not
wanting to think about what is happening to those they arrested,
to those they took to the hospital. We know that they have
arrested everyone they take to the hospital, taken people to jail and
tortured them. One of the young Frenchmen from our training,
Vincent, had his head badly beaten on Friday in the street. In jail,
they took him into a room, twisted his arms behind his back and
banged his head on the table.

Another man was taken into a room covered with pictures of Mussolini
and pornography, and alternately slapped around and then stroked
with affection in a weird psychological torture. Others were forced
to shout, "Viva El Duce!" ! ! Just in case it isn't clear that this is
fascism, Italian variety, but it is coming your way. It is the lengths they
will go to to defend their power.

It's a lie that globalization means democracy. I can tell you, right
now, tonight, this is not what democracy looks like.

I've got to stop now. We should be safe if we can make our way back
to where we're staying. Call the Italian Embassy! Go there, shame them!
We may not be able to mount another demonstration tomorrow here if the
situation stays this dangerous. Please, do something!

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