300,000 defy police violence in Genoa protest
August 3, 2001 | Page 1
THEY CAME to protest a world of grotesque inequality and poverty. But the leaders of the eight most powerful countries on Earth had a different concern. They wanted to show who's boss.
So their Group of Eight (G8) summit meeting in Genoa, Italy, met behind huge lines of police, armed with tear gas and live ammunition. And late in the afternoon on July 20, one of their cops killed 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani--with two bullets to the head.
The demonstrators refused to be intimidated. The next day--in a mobilization ignored by the U.S. media--more than 300,000 took to the streets to voice their demand for global justice.
But the "G8 assassini" weren't finished. After the protest ended, police raided the headquarters of the Genoa Social Forum--the umbrella group of some 700 organizations that planned the demonstrations--and the Independent Media Center. They beat people for hours, landing dozens in the hospital. The walls and floors of the building were literally covered with blood.
But the corporate media in this country couldn't have cared less. They tried to justify the repression--including the murder of Carlo Giuliani. "You reap what you sow," Time magazine declared. "Excuse me if I don't mourn for the young man who was shot dead by police during the economic summit," sneered Houston Chronicle columnist Cragg Hines. "It was tragic, but he was asking for it, and he got it."
This cruel nonsense was rejected by Carlo's father. "Carlo was the exact opposite of what people have written about him," Giuliano Giuliani said in a statement. "He was a boy of great generosity who was opposed to injustice. He read, he studied, he discussed, and he protested for his ideas...Carlo didn't accept the notion that eight leaders of the world should decide the life and death of hundreds of thousands of people."
Anger at such a world is what led Carlo and so many others to protest for global justice--at demonstrations from Seattle to Washington, D.C., to Quebec City and now to Genoa.
The G8 tried to intimidate this growing movement with brutal repression. But their tactics have only deepened the resolve of activists--and convinced hundreds of thousands more to take a stand themselves. In the days following the Genoa protests, hundreds of thousands of people protested across Italy, Europe and the U.S. against the murder of Carlo Giuliani and the savage repression on the streets of Genoa.
The huge outpouring in Genoa will deepen the commitment of the movement for global justice as it moves on to new challenges. Another world is possible--and it's worth fighting for.