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Istanbul + UK post-g8 Infotour + Italy 2009



3. ITALY 2009 G8


Last week there was a presentation in Istanbul, Turkey, done by one from the Infotour group.

About 60 people came to the Asian side of Istanbul to see the 2.5 hour presentation, which was hosted by local activists, a good number of which had been to Germany for G8, and which had hosted the last infotour event here in spring 2007.

The presentation discussed how the protests were organised, including discussion of how various groups worked together across the political spectrum, and talked about where groups were easily able to work together and where conflicts arose.

There were a number of photographs and videos shown of protests, starting from EU meeting in Hamburg, through 2 June and to the end of the summit. Police repression and tactics were also presented and discussed. In discussion people talked about the effectiveness of protests on June 2, as well as the blockades, with particular attention given to the role of Block G8 vs. the concept of decentralised actions.

Turkish people were very, very interested, but it must be noted that Turkey has a completely different political environment. The weekend before there was a public human rights outdoor concert, which consisted of two pop bands, and no political speeches or controversial leaflets or information of any type.

Despite this, 5 riot buses of Turkish police armed with semi-automatic weapons were stationed nearby, and were very intimidating. It was mentioned that one editor of a small radical newletter was recently arrested at his house, taken by police and beaten to the point of needing serious hospital care, then he was released with no charges.

In Turkey another struggle for radicals is to deal with avoiding mandatory military service. Penalty for this can be time in prison equal to the time of mandatory service, and it was pointed out that Turkish prisons are not very nice.

Another person during this week mentioned that the police checked his ID and wanted to detain him, possible because he "looked a little bit gay." Police are notorious for beating up gays, and there are continuing problems with banning a gay pride parade/CSD in Istanbul.

Overall the visit was excellent, and there are a good number of comrades doing very inspiring work in Istanbul.

This tour went through 5 cities between Manchester and Notts in late June and early July, 2007. The goal was not only to discuss the German mobilisation, but to also discuss and analyse differences between the '05 UK mobilisation and the '07 one.

There were many comments that largely the German mobilisation was much better, quite possibly because the German radical left/autonomous scene is so much bigger, and also because it is more centrally located in Europe.

There was much discussion of Block G8. Many people mentioned that more decentralised actions had been anticipated, but due to the fact that Block G8 was so well organised and effective, many people spontaneously decided to join in. This was especially true with internationals that might have been uncertain of actions in a place where they were not familiar with local language and laws and police.

This should be noted for future mobilisations. People found it very easy to "plug-in" with Block G8, and appreciated their trainings. That said, others did speak of very effective small actions, many of which were never mentioned in the press or on indymedia.

There was further discussion of black block actions on 2 July. (mandatory disclaimer to follow): Of course, no one in attendence of the discussions was present with the black block or would ever do anything illegal.

Many people questioned the aims of such actions, which did not seem to be well targetted. Similar critique was made of the black block which left the Reddelich camp on the early morning of 7 June, and which resulted in poor relations with locals after people took garden furniture of local residents to build barricades.

3. ITALY 2009 G8
See http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Home/Maddalena_2009

It is interesting that the 2009 G8 will be on the island of Sardinia, on a former US nuclear submarine base. Also very interesting is the fact that most of the locals absolutely fucking hate the USA because of the fact that they had a "little" accident with one of their subs that spilled nuclear radiation around the area and the Americans tried to keep it secret until some Italian scientists detected radiation in the waters and the US military had to admit to a submarine crash that spilled radiation into the sea.

Also, rumours (can more people help with local research here?) say that the USA tested phosphouros and other military weapons on the island just before the Iraq war in 2003, and that animals on the island have been born with deformities, leading all islanders to despise the US military.

All of this leads to widespread dislike and distrust of the USA near the location of the G8 2009. What would happen if anti-G8 activists made an organised attempt to speak to them all soon and organise a local opposition to G8 2009?

ok, please forward to your friends and contacts, and lets put the final nail in the G8 coffin!

Source: email