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April 16th 2007, Heiligendamm

April 16th 2007, Heiligendamm

- On how to block just about everything

- Legal Update Heiligendamm April 11th

- "1. intergalaktischen CC-Rostock-Treffen" from 05/25/07 to 06/02/07 in Rostock

- UK InfoPoints

On how to block just about everything

The upcoming actions against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm will present considerable challenges for the creativity and stamina of activists. After all, the idea is to effectively block all the entry points. The problem is that an enormous army of security and public order forces will be present and try to prevent the same. But history has shown that everything can be blocked. Below you will find some useful stories about the practice of blockades. This text will be updated as new ideas pour in.

Original version of the article, with many illustrations, can be found here:

Also written by the affinity group Wilnis: 8 good reasons to block the G8 summit (

The roads to Heiligendamm come in all shapes and sizes. Except to the airport, there are no big motorways, which require their own expert approach to blocking. Most of the roads that will be used to transport people and goods to the G8 summit are dual carriageways, sometimes with a crash barrier inbetween the lanes, often with crash barriers (and cycle paths) along the sides of the road.

To begin an effective blockade is not that difficult, but the skill lies in keeping it going. Good preparation is half the work. You can start with preparing a few days before in the action camps, but it will be even easier if you have made plans before and have organised yourselves in a so-called affinity group. Then you can think beforehand about how you want to do actions, what you need for it, you can also practice already beforehand, etc. During the preparations, you can ask others for advice, learn certain techniques, etc. It is important to form a group of people who more or less agree on the manner in which they want to do actions, so that not too much time goes into discussions or disagreements. If you have not organised yourself in a group yet, or if you have questions, you can always try and find contact through activist meetings. Convergence centres, for example, are going to be set up in Berlin, Hamburg and Rostock, amongst others for this purpose. In the Netherlands, you can find fellow activists at the dissent meetings.

Moreover, during the preparations as well as the implementation of the actions you should expect that the blockade is going to be successful and that it will last long. The G8 summit goes on for 3 days, and the blockades will be implemented for that period of time. Make sure, therefore, that at least for the first hours you have enough to eat and drink and some form of entertainment. Boredom is often one of the biggest problems with successful blockades and occupations.

Inbetween blockades, you can hold sports competitions, lectures, teach-ins, etc. Or you can think about which new function Hotel Kempinski will have afterwards... Also, make sure (especially if you're in a big group) that you are accompanied by activist first aid and legal observers, activist media, etc. Make sure you have communication channels with other blockades and action camps so that you know what's going on. If the blockade perseveres, better communication and supply structures can be started later and you can communicate to others that the blockade has started and that other people can help to secure it.

It can be useful to have (in a side street nearby?) one or more cars so that people can get materials there and back.

Make sure you have nice decorations for the blockade, banners, flags and, for example, these things (link to demo units:, so that it is clear to the viewer what it's all about.

The most simple way to blockade is to just sit on the street with a few people. This is already enough to stop car traffic and if there's a lot of it, the resulting traffic jam will create even more problems for mobility in the surroundings. The more people take part in the blockade, the more difficult it will be to break it. However, past experiences have shown that if the police really want to, they can chase away the blockade fairly easily. There are methods to make the blockade somewhat stronger. For example, by linking arms or by practicing resistance methods against being dragged away. This will delay the eviction. But keep in mind that the police can apply forceful measures: water cannons, tear gas, horses and even dogs. Moreover, it often uses violence when dragging people away (twisting of arms, fingers in the nose, battering with the stick, etc.) Make sure cameras are directed towards the police, that might restrain them in their violence.

On a (hopefully unnecessary) side note: before you sit on the street, the traffic has to have stopped. You also have to make sure that newly arriving cars cannot drive into the blockade. There are many ways to stop traffic, you can also decide to choose a spot near traffic lights. Make sure you have a group of people warning the traffic some hundred metres before the blockade that they have to stop. If blockading roads at night, make sure there is sufficient lighting. Never block a road with traffic on it or if you are not sure that the traffic has been stopped, and never block a road just after a curve. Also, do not just throw things on the road and walk away, this can cause accidents. Once the road is out of use, by police or activist intervention, then throwing things on the roads is, of course, possible. In practice, however, a blockade that is defended by people is much more effective than just some objects left behind.

Using lock-ons is another way to make your blockade stronger. You can get them in all shapes and sizes. (link: Most often they are metal pipes in which you can stick your arm in one side and another person in the other, this way you can make human chains. You can, for example, make a circle of people and link this to another circle, etc. By making barrels with concrete shortly before blockading you can link the lock-ons to heavy objects. Remember though that the police does not shy away from being heavy-handed against you in this situation either. Make sure that you can always free yourself and that there are other 'unlocked' people around you (who can also bring food, scratch your back, etc.)

The more material you have, the more stable the blockade. You can use materials you find in the area around you (wood, stones, containers, etc.) or by planning the blockade in areas where you have a lot of material at your disposal. You can also bring your own.

A famous example is the tripod. (picture)

The higher it is the more difficult it is for police to break it down. You can make it from tree trunks, metal pipes, etc. But tripods can cause accidents; you have to know what you're doing, first practice and ask advice from people who have used them before. Also keep in mind that sometimes the police is willing to let people fall, as was the case during the G8 summit protests in Lausanne.

It is easier to strengthen the blockade with different kinds of material. First make sure the blockade is erected, then you can make it stronger. Speed is essential, if the blockade has been secured well before the police arrives, it will be more difficult to push it to the side. Organise groups of people to get materials and make sure there are always enough people left over to form the blockade. Sometimes it is useful to have thought in advance about what you need to get the materials there: ropes, if objects have to be towed, or saws if you want to cut bits of woods loose. Depending on the situation, you can also fix cables inbetween the crash barriers or trees. Make sure, however, that you make them clearly visible with flags and keep in mind they can be a hindrance for you, too, if you need to get away.

Always try and stay friends with people living in the neighbourhood. Do not use their front garden fence for you barricade and explain to people what the blockade is about. Invite them to have a look at the action camps. Be prepared that not all of them will be friendly. The same applies to car drivers. It can be useful to decide beforehand who will act as a spokesperson (certainly for the media). It can also be useful to have one or more person(s) acting as a contact person to the police.

The response of the police will depend on the circumstances and the time they have at their disposal. If there are blockades everywhere, they will not able to tackle them all at the same time. In any case though, you have to expect an attack by the police at some point in time.

They can arrive with vehicles to push aside the blockades (armoured cars, picture), with water cannons to attack groups of people or with groups of police officers wearing protective gear to attack people with batons, etc.

It is important to have discussed in advanced about how you want to defend the blockade. In Seattle, it appeared that a big group of determined people can be much more effective than strong materials. Make sure the atmosphere on the blockade is good. Prevent people being surprised by fellow activists using methods that not everyone supports. But also prevent people from being intimidated and leave the blockade sooner than necessary. It often takes hours before police takes heavy handed action and most of the time you can predict their actions by watching their moves closely. For example, you only have to start worrying about tear gas when they put on their gas masks. Keep in mind that the police that is keeping you busy cannot be deployed elsewhere.

Another strategy to delay the breaking of a blockade is to sit down and link arms. But be prepared for police being heavy handed in hauling you away. The fact that you do not use violence is not a guarantee that they will not use it either (in fact, often the opposite seems to be the case). There are, of course, other and more militant ways to keep the police at bay. A sudden attack by clowns can also considerably disturb the plans of the public order troops. There is little you can do against armoured police vehicles (unless the barricade is very stable indeed) but they do, for example, hate paint on the windscreen. In fact this applies to all police vehicles. And it has been proven that even armoured cars and water cannons can get stuck in a ditch.

Setting a barricade on fire helps also during a 'manual' eviction by the police, that is without vehicles. Do consider that after a while the barricade will be gone. Also make sure the fire cannot spread to nearby objects or areas such as a forest. This would be the last effect you would want your 'protest' to have. If located near buildings, make sure they are not endangered. Do not leave bottles with inflammable fluids lying around, they can cause nasty accidents.

There are ways of making a road unusable for longer term, but that often takes a lot of time and/or specific hardware. During the anti-nuclear protests in Gorleben, for example, local inhabitants and activist dug tunnels underneath the roads so that trucks could no longer pass. If you want to stop regular cars, you will have to take off the top layer of asphalt or concrete as well, for which you need a jack-hammer, pickaxe and shovels. Naturally, if the road is not asphalted you can dig holes in it. Non-asphalted roads sometimes lead to bigger roads that you might want to block and they are often used by police as access road to the blockade. If you dig a hole, pile up the sand on 'your' side, if it lies on the side of the police they simply shovel it back in. During evictions in Amsterdam some people even managed to get a dragline excavation machine going which was parked in the neighbourhood...

Until now, we discussed the traditional road block/blockade. There are many more ways to intervene in road traffic. Keep in mind that the police also knows them and undergoes training programmes to deal with them, so be creative and invent new methods! Sit in a tree next to the road, that's difficult for police to evict and often they do not dare to continue let traffic go through, at least not their higher vehicles. Even better: choose two trees standing across the road from each other, tie a rope between them high above the street and hang in them, that's a so-called walkway. The idea is that police and other road users will not risk driving underneath the rope as they fear the people hanging in it will drop something or jump down onto the street. This methods requires a lot of experience. Make sure you have a good accompanying group with you and stop the traffic during the setting up. Do not start hanging in the ropes before the traffic has been stopped!

You can also park one or several cars on a crossing and lock yourself to them (picture Gleneagles). Again, take all the above-named precautionary methods. You can also secure the barricades with turned over cars (for example old cars you took with you).

Most action methods are criminalised and made illegal in order to make it difficult for activists and be able to dish out punishments afterwards. But it is, of course, not explicitly illegal to drive really slowly with your car. Or to have a break-down in the middle of the road somewhere...

The experience from Gleneagles has shown that a blockades that uses different methods in one is the most difficult to break. One road, 3 km from the summit, was chosen because it passed a small bridge. On both sides of the bridge people built barricades from materials they found in the forest (tree trunks, car tires, etc.). Inbetween, two groups used lock-ons and just after the bridge people had started tree-sitting. When the police rushed to the scene, five minutes after the start of the blockade at 6 am in the morning, we heard them discuss the situation and they estimated they needed "at least 80 men and a crane" to get rid off the blockade, which they simply did not have at their disposal. The road block lasted the whole day and people even left to secure another blockade a few streets further which had been broken off and was taken up again.(pictures here:

If the blockade is broken up by police, those that have not been arrested should swarm out (link: (look out for each other, try not to panic, try and make sure each group that swarms out has people who know the way or have a map, accompaniment by members of first aid and legal teams, etc...). You can swarm out to new places to continue blocking. Small groups of people can also be disruptive. It also helps to randomly block police cars, even if they use roads not used for the summit. You thereby stop them from breaking up blockades elsewhere or transporting arrestees.

There are, of course, other means of transport that will be used for the summit. These are mainly helicopters and ships. They are more difficult to block, but also for the authorities more difficult to use. Only a small number of people can be transported by helicopter. Helicopters can also be blocked; especially take-off and landing spots, but also in mid-air: in Gorleben, for example, people used sky rockets and some people flew around with hang gliders which forced helicopters to leave. You can also think about taking with you helium balloons on very long ropes so that helicopters do not dare come closer. The sea can also be blocked, even though you need boats, which are expensive when they get damaged or confiscated. But you can always block the entrances to the harbour, so that people cannot be transported to the ships to leave.

In short: we will win this battle, if everyone joins in!

(Affinity Group Wilnis, Dutch Polder)

Websites with more information on methods and techniques:


Delia Smiths basic blockading guide (pdf):

Everything about doing direct action:

On Affinity Groups:
(Noam Chomsky: "If you assume correctly that whatever group you are in is being penetrated by the FBI, when something serious is happening, you don't do it in a meeting. You do it with some people you know and trust, an affinity group and then it doesn't get penetrated. That's one of the reasons why the FBI has never been able to figure out what's going on in any of the popular movements.")

Article on the history of direct action:
Affinity Group Wilnis


[Gipfelsoli Infogruppe] Legal Update Heiligendamm April 11th

Brandenburg police prepares for Condoleezza Rice's visit to Potsdam: even manholes are being welded shut. Berlin's black bloc, however, has not yet responded to the planned visit, but the police is worried about the 'militant group', which has been active in Brandenburg.

Camp working group controlled by police, cars searched: when activists from the camp working group came to inspect a potential camp site, they were expected and inspected themselves by the police. Their details were recorded, and their cars searched. This is an attempt at intimidation. Lutz Schiefelbein from the camp working group suggested that the next time, there would be a less accommodating response from the activists.

Illegal raids in Muenchen: a court decided that raids on 11 radical projects and living space, carried out by 157 cops and two prosecutors before the Security Conference (Siko) in Munich, and during which 9 people were temporarily detained, and at least 12 computers were impounded, were (at least partly) illegal.

Extra practice for Heiligendamm: a riot, a street fight. On one side, uniformed riot police, moving in unison in response the orders barked by their superiors. Dogs, Water Cannons, shields and batons. On the other, black hoodies, sweat pants. The two lines move towards each other. Fighting break out, the green uniforms are victorious. A battle in a civil war? No, only the final practice run for Heiligendamm, organised by the Schwerin police force.

"Terrorism-experts" join the fray: media reports about the upcoming G8 summit increasingly give space to so-called 'terrorism experts' with conservative politics, and links to private security firms as well as numerous security services - such as Rolf Tophoven. These then speculate about highly unspecific 'terror groups', and 'sort targets'. Such vague scenarios are then frequently used to justify increased surveillance.

Federal Police: G8 summit most likely target of militant antiglobalists, warning of a substantial 'terrorist threat' in connection with the summit.

US-warships to guard Heiligendamm during the summit. According to German security sources, the US president's Protection Teams have insisted on a sea-based anti-air defense.

Anti-EU-demo: police refuse a large part of the route. A demonstration against an EU summit called to celebrate the signing, 50 years ago, of the treaties of Rome, has been refused permission to march to the Pariser Platz, in order to keep them as far away as possible from the festivities.

Police practicing for possible G8-mission. Yesterday, 106 officers practiced for the real thing on an airfield. The point of the exercise was to familiarise officers with large public order situations, such as demonstrations, football matches, or other large events.

Single cells for G8 protesters: around 50 places in cells are currently being opened up to allow to hold prisoners on remand during and after the protests.

Police: largest police deployment ever in Germany. German security services fear attacks by Islamists on the upcoming G8 summit, basing this on "up-to-date threats from the dangerous scene, according to a spokesperson for the services. The meeting will be protected by military aircraft, US and German warships, special forces, anti-terror units, as well as 12000 police officers, making this the largest police deployment ever in German history.

Islamists in Heiligendamm? Contrary to all previous statements, German security services just noticed that "Islamists" were planning for attacks during the summit - in order to justify greater surveillance. The police mission will be the largest ever in Germany. In case of emergency, jets could be scrambled, and Navy Seals deployed.

Police escalation at the G8-fence: when groups from Hamburg, together with activists from Rostock, tried to conduct an inspection of the fences around Heiligendamm, they were stopped and kettled after 200 metres by 30 police officers. The activists had to identify themselves, and some were searched, during which several officers acted aggressively and insulted activists. Subsequently, and until now unusually, protesters were then banned from returning to the area for a week. After two hours in illegal custody, the activists were allowed to leave.

Total surveillance for the G8 summit: warships in the Baltic Sea, surveillance from the air, via cameras, phone tapping - this is what awaits the towns of Heiligendamm, Kuehlungsborn, Bad Doberan, and Rostock during the summit. Military experts say: no mouse will leave its hole without being under surveillance.

Times are getting harder - and resistance (hopefully) stronger. After militant actions against cars of 'defence' executives last january and december, federal prosecutors are now coordinating with the federal police, who have set up a special commission to investigate the events. Such a security constellation has not been seen in Hamburg for a number of years.

data protection experts warn of G8-checks. As for the 30th of May, the residents oh Heiligendamm will be living in a high security zone, everyone who enters or leaves will need a special permit, which only those who consent to giving up all security-relevant data can acquire - even those who work or maybe have a garden there.

"Surfing intensely". So far, no journalist has been allowed to visit the small headquarters of "Kavala" in Waldeck. So what are the more than 100 coppers working on? The police trade union visited the place and was impressed with what people there were working on: "surfing intensely". Beyond that: 130 officers are currently planning the mission, while 55 are working on feeding and housing the force during the action. Kavala will soon be joined by another 120 colleagues from other forces.

"To make fun of the police and their measures, and thus provoke police officers" - the first edition of the "KAVALA REPORT", published by the police's public relations office, informs other police forces about the preparations for Heiligendamm. Most importanly: the specialpolice unit "Kavala" will double in size, to 367 members, drawn from all over the country. The point of the report (which contains all manner of irrelevant information) is to bring the police forces on message. The message being: all those who will not stop their critique of capitalism at 'technical barriers'. Officers are informed that they will face the 'anti-globalisation movement', which already had to be shot at in Gothenburg and Genoa, due to their "looting, bombing, and rioting". Distinctions are made between 'peaceful' and 'not peaceful' forms of protest. The clowns get the best rap. Their actions are seen as aiming "to make fun of the police and their measures, and thus provoke police officers".

Security concept Heiligendamm: capitalism threatened from all sides! The European police congress, at which businesspeople and politicians meet with security forces to discuss the optimisation of surveillance and control, last february also saw the presentation of the security concept for Heiligendamm. Heads of state are seen as threatened by "different terrorist groupings", against which no total protection is possible. "Police experts stress over and over that the central location of Heiligendamm in Europe favours a significant intensification of the mobilising efforts of German and international alterglobalists." In turn, international cooperation amongst police forces is called for and celebrated.

Police creates photo-bank of all residents of Heiligendamm, including those who will only have business in the town that day. There seems to be no resistance at all to this procedure, although data-protection experts voiced concerns.

US Navy threatens endangered porpoise: German conservationist NGOs have appealed to the US to refrain from employing sonar on the ships that will be protecting the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, as these have been known to cause mass beachings of porpoises.

Interior ministers to meet in Heiligendamm. The interior ministers of the Northern German coastal states met on the 12th of April in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, to discuss internal security, in particular preparations for the G8 summit, and football hooliganism.

Police begins to formally ban activists from inspecting the fence in Heiligendamm: over the last few weeks, activists who have been inspecting the G8-fence (a 'technical barrier' in police jargon), activists have increasingly become the target of harassment and repression, with an increasing number being 'banned' from visiting the fence. Usefully for the police, the ban is unspecific both with respect to how long it lasts, and which area it actually covers.

G8 umzingeln und versenken! - "1. intergalaktischen CC-Rostock-Treffen" from 05/25/07 to 06/02/07 in Rostock

This project needs to be well prepared, a Convergence Center could be the right place for that. People can meet and network here long time before the summit, Seminaries and practical workshops will take place and can be offered by different groups, actual informations can be found at the infopoint, something to eat at 'vokü' (people's action food), places to sleep, pc's with internet connection, etc.
One of these CC's should be organised from 05/25/07 to 06/02/07 in Rostock close to the places of action, it needs many people who want to play a part in preparing this!
So we invite all of you to the "first intergalactical CC-Rostock meeting" in Rostock from 10th to 11th of march.
The exact location will be provided peronally, places to sleep will be organised.
We would be very interested in exchange of international experiences in organsing convergence centers or spaces or...
* Please spread this invitation to other local groups!
* Support and solidarity is colorfull!!
* Requests and informations at: cc-rostock(at)
Proposals for the agenda:
* 1) publicity: What kind of public appearance/accessibility? Concepts for
press, opening event, etc.
* 2) Cooperation with whom?
* 3) How to integrate the international expectations and experiences?
* 4) Infrastructure: pc's, telephone, water, electricity, etc.
* 5) workshops (like first aid, repression and antirepression, etc.)
* 6) Coordination with infopoints and convergence centers in berlin and
* 7) Materials
* 8) Transport
* 9) Places
* ...

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