Monday, June 04, 2007
REPORT FROM ROSTOCK
This will be a little different. You've probably all read about what is going on in Rostock, Germany at the G8 Summitt. Below I'm pringing the latest from IndyMedia (Germany) of what's up.
A police check point has been set up by the detention centre on Industrie Str and people's ID's are being checked when passing through there.
According to the Legal Teams, 53 people were arrested today, 17 of whom have been released already. Since Saturday, there have been at least 315 arrests, the greater part of which were for "violation of the laws of demonstration"/the "ban on disguises". There have been also 10 arrest warrants. Nine cases are supposed to be brought in front of a court this week in a fast-track trials. Most of these will take place on Wednesday.
German borders: Border controls into Germany are reportedly being tightened against anti-G8 activists. Cia.bzzz.net, a Polish activist website, reported earlier that a train carrying Polish anarchists was stopped by German border police at Gumience-Szczecin. They were told that they would be arrested immediately if they continued their journey. In response, the anarchists occupied the train and hung banners out of the windows. A while ago 5 German activists joined the occupation and it sounds like a party atmosphere. More police are also arriving. The train has been totally removed from the timetable and, since the activists have tickets valid for one day, it is expected that the occupation will go on till 3:30am.Earlier today, 18 activists on a bus from Poland were stopped and sent back home. Later on, another 3 people were stopped at a gas station just after passing the border from the Netherlands. Two of the three have been declared 'safe', but have not got their passports back yet. The third is still being investigated and might be sent back to the Netherlands.
Despite police provocations, thousands of protesters have arrived at the final rally point of the demo, the city harbour. Music is playing, the mood is high and participants apparently did not let the long stopping of the march bring their hopes down.
Rostock: About a thousand of the demonstrators spontaneously marched down to the harbour, accompanied by a sound system and lots of riot police. At the harbour, they are being joined by many more activists.
The organisers have called the demonstration off because it was simply not possible to go on. They found the change of route proposed by police unacceptable. Cops is standing very close all around the demo; at front and back there are water cannons. The organisers have also announced that they want to try and continue the closing rally at the city harbour as planned, but police have announced that it won't tolerate any spontaneous protests.
Rostock: The march has reached Park Str. and the police are now saying that it can't go through the inner city because the number of protesters has exceeded the "2000 limit". The police figure is 8,500, although people on the march say it's probably less. Riot police are arriving.
Rostock: After hard negotiations with the police, the demo has finally started to move towards the harbour, but 'escorted' by lines of police on either side. Some 50 meters later, however, it was stopped again. Approximately 5,000 are on the March. A small spontaneous demo, with some 200-300 participants, has also started and is marching down Wismarsche Str. towards the main march.
Rostock: Police have just announced that the rally and march can carry on as long as people don't cover their faces and carry 'weapons'. The mood is positive and colourful, with a Samba band and clowns dominating the picture.
Rostock: The organisers of the "Global Freedom of Movement and Equal Rights" demonstration have just announced over the sound system that police have declared the rally and march as illegal because there are some "500 potentially violent protesters" and that they will not allow it to continue. Organisers, however, are not accepting this and are trying to negotiate. Music is still playing.
The rally has just started, although the international speakers are still being 'processed' by police.
The Grey Bus from Theaterstraat (a bus carrying protesters from Amsterdam) was stopped-and-searched by cops for about 3 hours at Hamburgerstrasse earlier this morning. Eight people from several countries were arrested and taken to the detention centre in Industrie Str. Charges are probably related to carrying things like caps, gloves and lemons. A 15-minute solidarity protest was held outside of the detention centre. The bus is now on its way to the Migration rally.
Rostock: Between 2000 and 3000 people are waiting at the Fluchtelingslager. Police have just arrived and started checking everyone, including the speakers from Africa. The organisers are waiting for that to finish to start their rally.
A train from Reddelich only goes as far as Bad Doberan. Replacement buses are being used. In Sievershagen, buses are being stopped by police and people's bags are being searched. Buses then continue their way.
On their way back from the Sonnenblumen House demo, protesters were attacked by cops again. Police pushed people onto the train and then hit some of them while they were all inside.
Rostock: People coming from Reddelich going to the migration rally got off at the Thiefelder train station to find a lot of riot police waiting for them. They were put back on the train again to be sent back, then let go a while later and are now heading to the main Migration Rally.
Rostock: A bus carrying protesters was stop-and-searched at Holbeinplatz. Police said they are looking for "weapons". The Legal Team was hindered in its work and told to leave the square. So far three arrests have been been made.
The Sonnenblumen House protest seems to be over now. People are heading to the station, slightly pushed by police.
Sonnenblumenhaus: A protester from Cameron has been seriously injured by cops (probably broken nose). He apparently happened to be standing in the middle of the Black Bloc, so cops charged in and snatched him violently. An ambulance has just arrived and he's been taken to hospital.
Rostock: Violence seems to have died down a bit now. Three or four arrests were made, allegedly because people were covering their faces. A journalist was injured when his camera was pushed violently into his face. Medics and legal observers are on the site. Police CCTV vans have arrived. Police have blocked the road and are standing in groups some a few meters away from protesters. People are not penned in or kettled yet.
Rostock: Riot police started to charge into the protest at the Sonnenblumen House and snatch certain people after filming and observing them for a while. 3 Arrests have been reported so far but the legal observers were pushed away and not allowed to get their details. Police are reportedly being very aggressive for no apparent reason.
Rostock: About 1,500 have already gathered at the Sonnenblumen House in Lichtenhaben to remember the 1992 Nazis attack on the refugee 'reception centre' and a hostel for Vietnamese workers. More people are expected to arrive. Speeches started a while ago and the atmosphere seems to be relaxed.
Rostock: Some 2,000 had gathered at the Immigration Department in Werftstraße (where refugees and migrants are dealt with) since 8am. The atmosphere was nice, with a Samba band and street theatre, who performed, among other things, a show called “Germany looks for the super German”. The Department was closed, allegedly for a "sudden software breakdown". People are now heading to the Sonnenblumen House in Lichtenhaben, where a remembrance called “3 Days in August” of the 1992 neo-Nazis attack on the refugee 'reception centre' and a hostel for Vietnamese workers will be held.
Rostock: A fleet of 20 or so police cars, with their sirens and flash lights on, was seen passing by the Rostock Convergence Centre, probably heading towards the Sonnenblumen House, where a rally is supposed to take place from 10am.
Rostock: A group of 200-300 people coming from Camp Reddelich found over 100 cops in riot gear awaiting them at Rostcok's central station. They are now being searched one by one, some having their personal details taken. The hallway, where the process is going on, had been cleared from people so that there's no eye witnesses.
A group of concert goers were suddenly and, seemingly, groundlessly attacked by a police unit on their way back to Camp Rostock. One person received a hard blow to the head and remained laying on the ground for around 10 minutes without moving, but still conscious until an ambulance came. Meanwhile another person was taken into custody. A journalist was only let through after putting on a lot of pressure.
After being let free a while ago, three German clowns went back into McDonald's to translate for the foreign Clowns but they were arrested straight away. The legal observers don't know what the charges are yet.
The Clowns are being let free, having been held in a police pen for several hours following their action at a McDonal's. They all, of course, had their personal information taken and the rest of it.
Rostock: A new police unit has taken over from the old one, which had assured the protesters at Industrie Str that they can carry on as long as they don't block the road, and gave them 10 minutes to desperse or... The are between 20 and 30 cops and 10 to 15 protesters.
The Star Marsh coalition is tomorrow lodging a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court against the general ban on demonstrations around Heiligendamm.
Rostock: All those who had been kettled (surrounded by cops) at the detention centre on Industrie Str. have been freed now. One group was kept for about 2.5 hours and were not given any food or drinks. The reason, police said, was breaching of the law of carrying "disguise objects" (things you can cover your face with). Besides, they said that you breach this law if you carry a cap, a scarf and a hoodie at the same time, but if you have only one of these, then it's OK. Everyone was filmed while being made to wear their 'disguise cloths', and the footage was compared with older police footage.
Rostock: The "Move Against the G8" festival has started at the harbour. There are some 1,000 people. Some 50 cops are stop-and-searching people and taking their personal details if they had anything on them that "could be used as a weapon" (chains, spikes etc.).
Groß Lüsewitz: The Agriculture Day of Action rally has arrived at the biggest GMO test field, just before Groß-Lüsewitz. Most of the 300 or so participants had gone there by bicycles after the demo in Rostock ended. While some stayed behind in the field, others carried on for the rally in Groß-Lüsewitz. Police presence is very high, with dogs and horses. In the morning, a 1,000 square meter GMO field was "harvested".
Rostock: The spontaneous protest in front of the court in Werder Str. drew about 150 participants, who tried to block the court entrance by sitting down. Reports say the protest has ended.
15:45: On the B105 road, near Alt-Sievershagen, about 10km before Bad Doberan, some 30 clowns were dancing in McDonald's. A big police unit, with about 30 vehicles and riot gear, are surrounding the clowns and their cars and preventing them from moving.
Rostock, 15:30: The Agriculture Day of Action day has finished now with closing speeches, with speakers from Brazil, Mali and Nicaragua among others. The demo had grown to about 5,000 participants. Police has been mostly calm, although they have been checking rucksacks. Cops kept running but because people reacted sensibly they didn't give them any excesses for escalation. Some participants are now driving to Groß-Lüsewitz, where a rally is supposed to take place.
Groß Lüsewitz: A protest against Groß Lüsewitz-based AgroBio-Technikum, a centre for agro-biotechnological research opened in 2004, and its controversial GMO research and field trials is taking place. Beside the locals, about 50 activists are present. The rally from Rostock not arrived yet.
Rostock: Police are carrying out stop-and-searches in different places throughout the city on people who look 'suspecious'.
Some 20 'normal' people who were just arriving their to join the protest were stopped by the police and kettled. Negotiations ongoing.
Police got into their cars again and started chasing people in their cars.
Some 15 people are doing a sit-down in front of the court on Neue-Werder Str, where the arrestees from yesterday are supposed to appear before a judge. More protesters are expected to arrive.
Some 10 police cars with lots of cops, all in riots gear, just arrived and started to chase the 'people in black' down the streets.
A group of 20-25 people from Camp Rostock have just joined the solidarity protest in Industrie Str. The cops immediately started to put their riot gear on as most of the new arrivers are wearing black. Protesters, who now number about 60, are standing on the pavement in front of the detention centre.
Rostock: People are starting to leave the solidarity protest outside the detention centre in Industrie Str., some just wandering about. There is still 40-45 people. Cops said as long as they are not blocking the road, the protest will be allowed to continue peacefully.
Rostock: Following a rally at the Faculty for Agricultural and Environmental Science, approximately 3,000 people started marching around the city centre as part of the Agriculture Day of Action. Many big puppets and one huge puppet monster can be seen, and many international banners. A small rally at a Lidl supermarket was held on the way. There is a large police presence but the situation is still quiet.
Protesters have been moved away onto the pavement.
Rostock: The bigger group of protesters joined the smaller one outside the prison's door. More cops with dogs.
Rostock: There are 3 police cars and some 15 cops. A small group of protesters, who arrived before the cops, are standing immediately outside the prison's door, while the rest, who arrived after, are not allowed to go nearer.
Rostock: Some 60-70 people have gathered outside the detention centre in Industrie Str. in a solidarity protests with the people who were arrested yesterday and are still held there. There is some police presence but the situation is still calm.
The Legal Team said 164 people were arrested yesterday, 17 of whom will be charged. Two of cases are said to be fast-tracked.
Rostock: After being kettled for a short while, people have been released and are heading back home.
Rostock: Cops are chasing people down the streets. They have also broken into the place where the music was coming from, Anker. They are trying to shove people to Doberaner Platz at the end of the road.
Rostock: A Reclaim The Streets party in Doberaner Str., which was so far going nicely, is being violently repressed by police at the moment. 5 police units in riot gear arrived and stopped the party very violently for no apparent reason, beating the 500 or so party goers with batons.
Camp Rostock: Police are said to be retreating now.
Camp Rostock: About 30-40 cops, 4 or 5 water cannons and one sweeping tank outside the camp, but no violent confrontations at the moment.
Camp Rostock: About 200 people from Camp Rostock wanted to go and hold a solidarity protest at the prison where the people who were arrested earlier today are held. However, they were confronted with police and water cannons a few hundred meters outside the camp.
Rostock: According to the Legal Teams, at least 100 were detained on the Rostock demo today.
Schwerin: According to the Legal Teams, as of 6:00pm over100 nicked at the Schwerin central train station were still detained without being charged. More recent reports, however, say most of them have been released now.
The concert organisers want to continue with the concert anyway. The situation is calm now.
Irie Révoltés are playing now. People are dancing the police out of the place.
The concert is interrupted again.
The concert resumes. A lot of arrests and water cannons in action.
A cloud of tear gas could still be seen in the harbour area. Two water cannons are still there but not in action. Snatch squads are trying single out people from the crowd or leaving groups to arrest them. Accesses and exits from the harbour area are only from the front and back, but not the lanes to the city centre any more.
The situation calms down somewhat. There are bigger groups of people in front of the stage and towards the Speicher. In between, police and water cannons. All roads to the city centre are closed in both directions. Polices forces from several federal states as well as the federal police