what I read, and what I don’t… Mon, June 04: the G8 story continued
On Sunday, June 03 2007, I read that 30 cubic meters of trash had to be cleared the morning after the demonstrations, among which 10 cubic meters of tarmac, “used by riotists as brickbats.”
The precise figure of damages is still unclear, but as usual they are estimated in “six figure sums”. Compared to this, the number of casualties is given quite precisely as 433 policemen and 520 demonstrators. Injuries named are bone fractures, even open ones, whereas seemingly nobody has come to death.
On Monday, June 04 2007, I read that the FAZ comment that this would be clearly the price for the “strategy of deescalation”, adopted by the police. Allegedly the goal was to appear as little hard-handed, as possible. The commentator concludes, that the police “should not subject its officers to this strategy any second time.”
I read in Focus online, that Bavarian Home Secretary Beckstein called the demonstrators “gangsters” in an interview with Bayerischer Rundfunk (for Minister of Interior Schäuble they were “ciminals”) and that he demanded a harsher management:
Who is found with tear gas in his pockets has to be taken into custody until the end of the G8 Summit.
He called the riots particularly well prepared, and described the number of arrests as “extremely unsatisfying”.
I read in Financial Time Deutschland, that the police mentioned 125 arrests, the legal representation instead counted at least 165. The police emphasized a great number of foreigners participating in the riots. Among the arrested “Autonome” there would have been Bulgarians, Austrians, Japanese, Swedish, Spanish, French and Russians. Particularly conspicuous would have been the fact, I read, that the clearing would have brought to evidence a great number of empty tear gas cartriges with Cyrillic script. I read that overall 2000 violent “Autonome” would have arrived.
I read that Konrad Freiberg, Chief of the Gewerkschaft der Polizei expects the worst for future demonstrations: “It is a spiral of violence,” and that he claims a stronger attitude towards violators:
There have to be installed preventative controls. Who bears stones, knifes or bats has to be taken into custody.
While Wolfgang Speck, Chief of Deutsche Polizeigewerkschaft, is critisizing the deescalation strategy too, I read that Monty Schädel, coordinator Rostocker Anti-G8-Bündnis, denies having seen anything deserving that description.
The Police did not contribute to deescalation… The Police did react … amateurishly and unprofessionally. The Deescalation Teams praised in advance have not been seen anywhere.
I read that Police Psychologist Georg Sieber, protagonist of the “Münchner Linie“, based on deescalation and communication, calls the “raiding patrol” the main mistake in the operation. (see Polizeipsychologe Sieber spricht von “einsatztechnischer Dummheit”):
It is considered since the 70ies a stupid deployment, i.e. comparatively many young riot police officers proceeding not individually, but in a chain or as a raiding patrol… “In Rostock they did everything like in a manual about what not to do. Every officer learns in the Police Academy that this is the wrong approach. Sure, from the very beginning this operation was doomed to failure.
I read that for the following days there would be a political gesture needed, something like “taking down the fence and all the demonstrative symbols of suppression.”
But this seems impossible even for him, as I read further.
I read in Spiegel, that Karsten Schmidt, Greenpeace, sees a “double face” of the protests: “But there have been many with whom one just could not talk.
I read in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, that it has been instead a very mixed crowd marching: in front the Gerechtigkeit jetzt” (“Justice Now”) and at the end the communists from the DKP of which the author claims not have knowing they would still exist. Between those there would have been Turks, Scots, Portuguese, Italians, Koreans, the Göttinger Friedensblock, the adepts of smallholder farming, all being good humored and relaxed. Exception would have been the “Schwarze” (“black block”) – bearing pale faces under hoods and behind sun glasses, some of them waving black flags as a signal to others, all with an attitude foreboding of violence: “Fight G8 with all means!”
I read at Che’s Warlog
Now, a riot starting in a place, where the Police expects it the most, and kindled by guys from whom the Police expects it the most, has nothing subversive in itself anymore, but it degenerates into a ritual. The actors don’t keep the plot in their hands anymore, but become chess pieces, finishing their autonomy in heteronomy. A black block does yield exactly those pictures needed by the state machinery in order to justify its monstrous security means. Hence, “Autonome”, who act heteronomously, slip into their role in the spectacular economy and play their part in the cultural-industrial orchestra.
I don’t read dutch papers, but somebody else does:
am just reading in the Dutch newspaper about G8 riots…
It states that the protesters are peaceful, only a minority (the black block) is very violent.
It also states that the German newspapers exaggerate, and according to estimates of the dutch newspaper there were 20 (severely) wounded police offers, of which 18 have been sent home already.