Know your enemy!


  • PLACEMENT CUSTODY – not like lambs… Resist at mass detentions!

  • Together Booklet to form Affinity Groups (April 2007)

Anti Repression Leaflets for Videoactivists and Photographers

  • Dealing With Image Material Of Demos – And How To Act In The Case Of An Arrest english | francais



July 18th 2008 Genoa -- Hokkaido

- G8 Diaz brutality sentences sought

- G8 Genoa: Police receive low sentences

- 'I lost the best years of my life'

- The bloody battle of Genoa

- Ante la sentencia del Tribunal de Génova (Italia)

- International conference: "The continuum of violence. Europe, from G8-2001 until now"

- Japan: Three comrades who had been jailed since July 5th were released

G8 Diaz brutality sentences sought

Prosecutors seek 5- year prison terms for high- ranking police

(ANSA) – Genoa, July 17 – Prosecutors on Thursday asked a Genoa court for total sentences of over 100 years in a trial for police brutality at the G8 summit in 2001.

Charges against 28 police officers who took part in a violent raid at a school used as sleeping quarters by anti-globalisation protestors include grievous bodily harm, planting evidence and wrongful arrest.

Three people were left comatose and 63 had to be taken to hospital after being beaten by police, who burst into the Diaz school in riot gear and arrested 93 protesters, including British, French, German and other non-Italian nationals.

Prosecutors are seeking sentences starting from three months’ imprisonment, with longer terms for higher ranking officials.

The heaviest sentence – five years – is being sought for deputy superintendent Pietro Troiani, who is accused of planting two Molotov cocktails at the school.

For the two highest-ranking officers, Francesco Gratteri and Giovanni Luperi, magistrates asked for four years and six months for charges of falsification and illegal arrest.

At the time, Gratteri was the director of the Central Operations Service, while Luperi was deputy head of Special Operations.

’’They weren’t waiting behind their desks but took part in the operation alongside the troops with helmets and truncheons,’’ said public prosecutor Enrico Zucca.

Magistrates requested the same sentence for seven other high-ranking officials.

An acquittal was requested for the 29th man involved in the trial, police commissioner Alfredo Fabbrocini, who prosecutors said was innocent of charges.

The police maintain that protesters in the school were harbouring dangerous weapons and resisting arrest and that they were forced to defend themselves.

On Thursday, an English freelance journalist beaten by police in front of the school said he was ’’not happy’’ with the prosecutors’ requests.

Mark Covell was unconscious for 14 hours after the raid, which left him with a vein twisted around his spine, a perforated lung, broken fingers, ten smashed teeth and eight broken ribs.

’’The sentences requested would have been much heavier in England,’’ he commented.


More than 300,000 demonstrators converged on Genoa for the G8 summit in July 2001.

During two days of mayhem, one protestor was shot dead while attacking a Carabinieri policeman, shops and businesses were ransacked and hundreds of people injured in clashes between police and demonstrators.

The Diaz proceedings are one of three major trials to emerge from violence at the event.

Earlier this week a long-awaited verdict on brutality at the Bolzaneto detention centre drew protests from leftwing MPs and victims after 30 of 45 state officials were acquitted.

None of the 15 people convicted and sentenced to up to five years in prison will serve time because of the statute of limitations. In total, 252 demonstrators had said they were spat at, verbally and physically humiliated or threatened with rape while being held at the centre.

In December last year, another court convicted 24 Italian anti-global protestors for their involvement in rioting at the summit.

This was the only trial against demonstrators in connection with the event. Although police arrested dozens of people at the time, all other proceedings collapsed for lack of evidence of were dismissed by judges during preliminary hearings.


G8 Genoa: Police receive low sentences

[Media G8way | Gipfelsoli Infogroup]

Press release, July 15th 2008

* Lawyers criticize judges
* Week of action in Genoa

After nine hours the “Bolzaneto trial” against 45 members of police, jail staff and doctors ended yesterday evening in Genoa. The accused persons were under investigation for the misuse of authority, constraint, abuse, intimidation, and falsification of evidence. 300 demonstrators were arrested during the protests against the G8, most of whom were brought to police barracks that were being used as temporary jails.

Concerned activists documented beatings, affronts, fascist slogans and systematic humiliations during the trial. Due to the fact that the police pretended that most of the police officers on duty at the time could not be identified, only police officers in charge were put on trial. Yet, 30 of the accused were acquitted because of “lack of evidence”. The highest sentence was 5 years and 8 months for the chief of security of the jail, Antonio Biahio Gugliotta. The jail doctor Giacomo Toccafondi, criticized heavily for his brutality, received a sentence of only one year and two months.

The convicted have announced that they will appeal. This means that, according to Italian law, the sentences will be prescribed.

In the Bolzaneto trial 300 concerned persons appeared as joint plaintiffs, some of whom are relatives of abused protesters. Half of them are from foreign countries. The judge Renato Delucchi granted each of them an “immediate compensation” between 2,500 to 15,000 € .

Until last week it was unclear whether Berlusconi’s new “security law” may hinder the conclusion of the trial and the sentencing of those charged. Berlusconi is under investigation for suspected corruption. He is calling for the abandonment of all trials with an expected sentence of less than three years that concern events taking place before mid-2002. The new legislation will be ratified at the end of July by president Giorgio Napolitano. In order to speed up the process, the lawyers have decided to drop the joint plaintiffs’s case.

Lawyers and solidarity groups have criticized the sentences heavily. Although the judge recognized that crimes were committed, the sentences were far lower than what the state prosecutors demanded.

In autumn, another judgement against the police is expected. In the “Diaz trial”, police officers who beat up sleeping activists will be tried. 29 police officers in charge are amongst those accused of the falsification of evidence. One of the state prosecutors, Patricia Petruziello, declared that 4 of the 5 persons arrested in the Diaz-school experienced “inhuman and unworthy treatment” according to criteria of the European Court. Italy is not a signatory to the International Convention on Torture. Therefore, the charge only refer to abuse.

Whereas police officers have been exempt from punishment so far, activists have been given high sentences. Last year in November, 25 Italian protestors received draconic sentences of up to 11 years. Being arrested close to where skirmishes were happening was sufficient. This year in June, a French activist was sentenced to five months because she was the only one to climb oder the security fence in the city centre of Genoa.

“These sentences are an attack against social movements and the right to resist”, the Italian solidarity group SupportoLegale writes. “Genoa was a revolt of 300 000 people”, the Gipfelsoli Infogroup comments. “The resistance against the police attacks was absolutely justified.”

Next week, the seventh anniversary of the G8 protests in Genoa will be commemorated with several events to mark the occassion. On July 19th, Haidi Guliani, the mother of assassinated Carlo Giuliani, together with others, will invite people to participate in the preparations for the protests against the next G8 summit 2009 on the island of Sardinia. On July 20th, the annual memorial ceremony for Carlo will take place at the Piazza Alimonda. Solidarity groups from Genoa and from other countries have organized presentations and debates in Palazzo Ducale, the meeting place of the G8 in 2001.

A society in which state representatives have less responsibility than protestors is “an ugly society” declares the joint plaintiff lawyer Laura Tartarini. A detailed comment by the lawyers is expected for today.


* Declaration of SupportoLegale:
* Lawyer Laura Tartarini on Berlusconi’s “security law”:
* Programme of the week of action in Genoa:

'I lost the best years of my life'

Fifteen Italian officials have been convicted of mistreating protesters during the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. Mark Covell was one of five British anti-globalisation protesters who was injured and has been seeking justice ever since.

"This was not just giving a few hippies a slap around, this was systematic," Mr Covell said.
Pic: Mark Covell

A journalist with alternative media organisation Indymedia at the time, he was present when police raided a high school where protesters were camping during the summit.

He was left with eight broken ribs, a shredded lung, a broken hand, 16 missing teeth and was in a coma for two days.

While he was on a life-support machine in hospital, 81 others were arrested and taken to a temporary prison camp outside Genoa, at Bolzaneto. The police chief tried, and failed, to take him too.

'Mixed result'

Here they were threatened, beaten and insulted. The prosecution said they were tortured.

On Monday, after 11 hours of deliberations, judges convicted 15 people of charges ranging from assault to denial of basic human rights. Thirty others were cleared.

Mr Covell now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder

The stiffest sentence was handed to camp commander Antonio Gugliotta who was given five years, while the others received between five to 28 months.

Speaking from Italy, Mr Covell told the BBC News website: "It's a mixed result for us. Obviously we would have liked a larger amount of police officers to be convicted.

"But when we started people said we had a one million to one chance of reaching today."

The judge said there was "no doubt" a serious crime had taken place at Bolzaneto and there had clearly been mental and physical suffering inflicted without any justification.

"He said he wanted to impose much longer sentences of 10 years for some of the defendants and what they did. But there is no law on torture here," said Mr Covell.

'Condemned and disowned'

The victims will receive compensation, the judge ordered emergency payment of 10,000 euros to each victim and a total of 15m euros will be paid to victims in the long term.

Now 40, Mr Covell says that is small comfort.

"The money is good, but you can never recover from something like this. I have lost the best years of my life with what happened on 21 July," he said.

"We have spent seven years fighting these cases. I will die 10 years younger than I should because of the physical damage to me. All of us have huge issues with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"We have been forgotten about. We were condemned and disowned by our own governments around Europe."

The fight for justice continues. A second trial over the police raid at the Diaz school is ongoing.

They also plan to take the case to the European Court of human rights, where the defendants can be prosecuted under torture law.

"We want the Italian government to bring in new torture law, and a public inquiry. We want to cut the cancer of Fascism from the police, whether we achieve that, I don't know."

But he says he has no regrets about being in Genoa that day.

"I don't think anyone would have realised the Italians would react in such a horrific way. We can only hope something positive can come from it for us and the Italians, " he said.


The bloody battle of Genoa

When 200,000 anti-globalisation protesters converged on the Italian city hosting the G8 summit in 2001, all but a handful came to demonstrate peacefully. Instead, many were beaten to a pulp by seemingly out-of-control riot police. But was there something more sinister at play? And will the victims ever see proper justice? Nick Davies reports

It was just before midnight when the first police officer hit Mark Covell, swiping his truncheon down on his left shoulder. Covell did his best to yell out in Italian that he was a journalist but, within seconds, he was surrounded by riot-squad officers thrashing him with their sticks. For a while, he managed to stay on his feet but then a baton blow to the knee sent him crashing to the pavement.

Lying on his face in the dark, bruised and scared, he was aware of police all around him, massing to attack the Diaz Pertini school building where 93 young demonstrators were bedding down on the floor for the night. Covell's best hope was that they would break through the chain around the front gates without paying him any more attention. If that happened, he could get up and limp across the street to the safety of the Indymedia centre, where he had spent the past three days filing reports on the G8 summit and on its violent policing.

It was at that moment that a police officer sauntered over to him and kicked him in the chest with such force that the entire lefthand side of his rib cage caved in, breaking half-a-dozen ribs whose splintered ends then shredded the membrane of his left lung. Covell, who is 5ft 8in and weighs less than eight stone, was lifted off the pavement and sent flying into the street. He heard the policeman laugh. The thought formed in Covell's mind: "I'm not going to make it."

The riot squad were still struggling with the gate, so a group of officers occupied the time by strolling over to use Covell as a football. This bout of kicking broke his left hand and damaged his spine. From somewhere behind him, Covell heard an officer shout that this was enough - "Basta! Basta!" - and he felt his body being dragged back on to the pavement.

Now, an armoured police van broke through the school gates and 150 police officers, most wearing crash helmets and carrying truncheons and shields, poured into the defenceless building. Two officers stopped to deal with Covell: one cracked him round the head with his baton; the other kicked him several times in the mouth, knocking out a dozen teeth. Covell passed out.

There are several good reasons why we should not forget what happened to Covell, then aged 33, that night in Genoa. The first is that he was only the beginning. By midnight on July 21 2001, those police officers were swarming through all four floors of the Diaz Pertini building, dispensing their special kind of discipline to its occupants, reducing the makeshift dormitories to what one officer later described as "a Mexican butcher's shop". They and their colleagues then illegally incarcerated their victims in a detention centre, which became a place of dark terror.

The second is that, seven years later, Covell and his fellow victims are still waiting for justice. On Monday, 15 police, prison guards and prison medics finally were convicted for their part in the violence - although it emerged yesterday that none of them would actually serve prison terms. In Italy, defendants don't go to jail until they have exhausted the appeals process; and in this case, the convictions and sentences will be wiped out by a statute of limitations next year. Meanwhile, the politicians who were responsible for the police, prison guards and prison medics have never had to explain themselves. Fundamental questions about why this happened remain unanswered - and they hint at the third and most important reason for remembering Genoa. This is not simply the story of law officers running riot, but of something uglier and more worrying beneath the surface.

The fact that this story can be told at all is testament to seven years of hard work, led by a dedicated and courageous public prosecutor, Emilio Zucca. Helped by Covell as well as his own staff, Zucca has gathered hundreds of witness statements and analysed 5,000 hours of video as well as thousands of photographs. Pieced together, they tell an irrefutable tale, which began to unfold as Covell lay bleeding on the ground.

The police poured into the Diaz Pertini school. Some of them were shouting "Black Bloc! We're going to kill you," but if they genuinely believed they were confronting the notorious Black Bloc of anarchists who had caused violent mayhem in parts of the city during demonstrations earlier in the day, they were mistaken. The school had been provided by the Genoa city council as a base for demonstrators who had nothing to do with the anarchists: they had even posted guards to make sure that none of them came in.

One of the first to see the riot squad bursting in was Michael Gieser, a 35-year-old Belgian economist, who subsequently described how he had just changed into his pyjamas and was queuing for the bathroom with his toothbrush in his hand when the raid began. Gieser believes in the power of dialogue and, at first, he walked towards them saying, "We need to talk." He saw the padded jackets, the riot clubs, the helmets and the bandanas concealing the policemen's faces, changed his mind and ran up the stairs to escape.

Others were slower. They were still in their sleeping bags. A group of 10 Spanish friends in the middle of the hall woke up to find themselves being battered with truncheons. They raised their hands in surrender. More officers piled in to beat their heads, cutting and bruising and breaking limbs, including the arm of a 65-year-old woman. At the side of the room, several young people were sitting at computers, sending emails home. One of them was Melanie Jonasch, a 28-year-old archaeology student from Berlin, who had volunteered to help out in the building and had not even been on a demonstration.

She still cannot remember what happened. But numerous other witnesses have described how officers set upon her, beating her head so hard with their sticks that she rapidly lost consciousness. When she fell to the ground, officers circled her, beating and kicking her limp body, banging her head against a near-by cupboard, leaving her finally in a pool of blood. Katherina Ottoway, who saw this happen, recalled: "She was trembling all over. Her eyes were open but upturned. I thought she was dying, that she could not survive this."

None of those who stayed on the ground floor escaped injury. As Zucca later put it in his prosecution report: "In the space of a few minutes, all the occupants on the ground floor had been reduced to complete helplessness, the groans of the wounded mingling with the sound of calls for an ambulance." In their fear, some victims lost control of their bowels. Then the officers of the law moved up the stairs. In the first-floor corridor they found a small group, including Gieser, still clutching his toothbrush: "Someone suggested lying down, to show there was no resistance. So I did. The police arrived and began beating us, one by one. I protected my head with my hands. I thought, 'I must survive.' People were shouting, 'Please stop.' I said the same thing ... It made me think of a pork butchery. We were being treated like animals, like pigs."

Officers broke down doors to the rooms leading off the corridors. In one, they found Dan McQuillan and Norman Blair, who had flown in from Stansted to show their support for, as McQuillan put it, "a free and equal society with people living in harmony with each other". The two Englishmen and their friend from New Zealand, Sam Buchanan, had heard the police attack on the ground floor and had tried to hide their bags and themselves under some tables in the corner of the dark room. A dozen officers broke in, caught them in a spotlight and, even as McQuillan stood up with his hands raised saying, "Take it easy, take it easy," they battered them into submission, inflicting numerous cuts and bruises and breaking McQuillan's wrist. Norman Blair recalled: "I could feel the venom and hatred from them."

Gieser was out in the corridor: "The scene around me was covered in blood, everywhere. A policeman shouted 'Basta!'. This word was like a window of hope. I understood it meant 'enough'. And yet they didn't stop. They continued with pleasure. In the end, they did stop, but it was like taking a toy away from a child, against their will."

By now, there were police officers on all four floors of the building, kicking and battering. Several victims describe a sort of system to the violence, with each officer beating each person he came across, then moving on to the next victim while his colleague moved up to continue beating the first. It seemed important that everybody must be hurt. Nicola Doherty, 26, a care worker from London, later described how her partner, Richard Moth, lay across her to protect her: "I could just hear blow after blow on his body. The police were also leaning over Rich so they could hit the parts of my body which were exposed." She tried to cover her head with her arm: they broke her wrist.

In one corridor, they ordered a group of young men and women to kneel, the easier to batter them around the head and shoulders. This was where Daniel Albrecht, a 21-year-old cello student from Berlin, had his head beaten so badly that he needed surgery to stop bleeding in his brain. Around the building, officers flipped their batons around, gripping the far end and using the right-angled handle as a hammer.

And in among this relentless violence, there were moments when the police preferred humiliation: the officer who stood spread-legged in front of a kneeling and injured woman, grabbed his groin and thrust it into her face before turning to do the same to Daniel Albrecht kneeling beside her; the officer who paused amid the beatings and took a knife to cut off hair from his victims, including Nicola Doherty; the constant shouting of insults; the officer who asked a group if they were OK and who reacted to the one who said "No" by handing out an extra beating.

A few escaped, at least for a while. Karl Boro made it up on to the roof but then made the mistake of coming back into the building, where he was treated to heavy bruising to his arms and legs, a fractured skull, and bleeding in his chest cavity. Jaraslaw Engel, from Poland, managed to use builders' scaffolding to get out of the school, but he was caught in the street by some police drivers who smashed him over the head, laid him on the ground and stood over him smoking while his blood ran out across the Tarmac.

Two of the last to be caught were a pair of German students, Lena Zuhlke, 24, and her partner Niels Martensen. They had hidden in a cleaners' cupboard on the top floor. They heard the police approaching, drumming their batons against the walls of the stairs. The cupboard door came open, Martensen was dragged out and beaten by a dozen officers standing in a semicircle around him. Zuhlke ran across the corridor and hid in the loo. Police officers saw her and followed her and dragged her out by her dreadlocks.

In the corridor, they set about her like dogs on a rabbit. She was beaten around the head then kicked from all sides on the floor, where she felt her rib cage collapsing. She was hauled up against the wall where one officer kneed her in the groin while others carried on lashing her with their batons. She slid down the wall and they hit her more on the ground: "They seemed to be enjoying themselves and, when I cried out in pain, it seemed to give them even more pleasure."

Police officers found a fire extinguisher and squirted its foam into Martensen's wounds. His partner was dragged by her hair and tossed down the stairs head-first. Eventually, they dragged Zuhlke into the ground-floor hall, where they had gathered dozens of prisoners from all over the building in a mess of blood and excrement. They threw her on top of two other people. They were not moving, and Zuhlke drowsily asked them if they were alive. They did not reply, and she lay there on her back, unable to move her right arm, unable to stop her left arm and her legs twitching, blood seeping out of her head wounds. A group of police officers walked by, and each one lifted the bandana which concealed his identity, leaned down and spat on her face.

Why would law officers behave with such contempt for the law? The simple answer may be the one which was soon being chanted outside the school building by sympathetic demonstrators who chose a word which they knew the police would understand: "Bastardi! Bastardi!" But something else was happening here - something that emerged more clearly over the next few days.

Covell and dozens of other victims of the raid were taken to the San Martino hospital, where police officers walked up and down the corridors, slapping their clubs into the palms of their hands, ordering the injured not to move around or look out of the window, keeping handcuffs on many of them and then, often with injuries still untended, shipping them across the city to join scores of others, from the Diaz school and from the street demonstrations, detained at the detention centre in the city's Bolzaneto district.

The signs of something uglier here were apparent first in superficial ways. Some officers had traditional fascist songs as ringtones on their mobile phones and talked enthusiastically about Mussolini and Pinochet. Repeatedly, they ordered prisoners to say "Viva il duce." Sometimes, they used threats to force them to sing fascist songs: "Un, due, tre. Viva Pinochet!"

The 222 people who were held at Bolzaneto were treated to a regime later described by public prosecutors as torture. On arrival, they were marked with felt-tip crosses on each cheek, and many were forced to walk between two parallel lines of officers who kicked and beat them. Most were herded into large cells, holding up to 30 people. Here, they were forced to stand for long periods, facing the wall with their hands up high and their legs spread. Those who failed to hold the position were shouted at, slapped and beaten. Mohammed Tabach has an artificial leg and, unable to hold the stress position, collapsed and was rewarded with two bursts of pepper spray in his face and, later, a particularly savage beating. Norman Blair later recalled standing like this and a guard asking him "Who is your government?" "The person before me had answered 'Polizei', so I said the same. I was afraid of being beaten."

Stefan Bauer dared to answer back: when a German-speaking guard asked where he was from, he said he was from the European Union and he had the right to go where he wanted. He was hauled out, beaten, given a face full of pepper spray, stripped naked and put under a cold shower. His clothes were taken away and he was returned to the freezing cell wearing only a flimsy hospital gown.

Shivering on the cold marble floors of the cells, the detainees were given few or no blankets, kept awake by guards, given little or no food and denied their statutory right to make phone calls and see a lawyer. They could hear crying and screaming from other cells.

Men and women with dreadlocks had their hair roughly cut off to the scalp. Marco Bistacchia was taken to an office, stripped naked, made to get down on all fours and told to bark like a dog and to shout "Viva la polizia Italiana!" He was sobbing too much to obey. An unnamed officer told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that he had seen brother officers urinating on prisoners and beating them for refusing to sing Faccetta Nera, a Mussolini-era fascist song.

Ester Percivati, a young Turkish woman, recalled guards calling her a whore as she was marched to the toilet, where a woman officer forced her head down into the bowl and a male jeered "Nice arse! Would you like a truncheon up it?" Several women reported threats of rape, anal and vaginal.

Even the infirmary was dangerous. Richard Moth, covered in cuts and bruises after lying on top of his partner, was given stitches in his head and legs without anaesthetic - "an extremely painful and disturbing experience. I had to be held down." Prison medical staff were among those convicted of abuse on Monday.

All agree that this was not an attempt to get the detainees to talk, simply an exercise in creating fear. And it worked. In statements, prisoners later described their feeling of helplessness, of being cut off from the rest of the world in a place where there was no law and no rules. Indeed, the police forced their captives to sign statements, waiving all their legal rights. One man, David Larroquelle, testified that he refused and had three of his ribs broken. Percivati also refused and her face was slammed into the office wall, breaking her glasses and making her nose bleed.

The outside world was treated to some severely distorted accounts of all this. Lying in San Martino hospital the day after his beating, Covell came round to find his shoulder being shaken by a woman who, he understood, was from the British embassy. It was only when the man with her started taking photographs that he realised she was a reporter, from the Daily Mail. Its front page the next day ran an entirely false report describing him as having helped mastermind the riots. (Four long years later, the Mail eventually apologised and paid Covell damages for invasion of privacy.)

While his citizens were being beaten and tormented in illegal detention, spokesmen for the then prime minister, Tony Blair, declared: "The Italian police had a difficult job to do. The prime minister believes that they did that job."

The Italian police themselves fed the media with a rich diet of falsehood. Even as the bloody bodies were being carried out of the Diaz Pertini building on stretchers, police were telling reporters that the ambulances lined up in the street were nothing to do with the raid, and/or that the very obviously fresh injuries were old, and that the building had been full of violent extremists who had attacked officers.

The next day, senior officers held a press conference at which they announced that everybody in the building would be charged with aggressive resistance to arrest and conspiracy to cause destruction. In the event, the Italian courts dismissed every single attempted charge against every single person. That included Covell. Police attempts to charge him with a string of very serious offences were described by the public prosecutor, Enrico Zucca, as "grotesque".

At the same press conference, police displayed an array of what they described as weaponry. This included crowbars, hammers and nails which they themselves had taken from a builder's store next to the school; aluminium rucksack frames, which they presented as offensive weapons; 17 cameras; 13 pairs of swimming goggles; 10 pen-knives; and a bottle of sun-tan lotion. They also displayed two Molotov cocktails which, Zucca later concluded, had been found by police earlier in the day in another part of the city and planted in the Diaz Pertini building as the raid ended.

This public dishonesty was part of a wider effort to cover up what had happened. On the night of the raid, a force of 59 police entered the building opposite the Diaz Pertini, where Covell and others had been running their Indymedia centre and where, crucially, a group of lawyers had been based, gathering evidence about police attacks on the earlier demonstrations. Officers went into the lawyers' room, threatened the occupants, smashed their computers and seized hard drives. They also removed anything containing photographs or video tape.

With the courts refusing to charge the detainees, the police secured an order to deport all of them from the country, banning them from returning for five years. Thus, the witnesses were removed from the scene. Like the attempted charges, all the deportation orders were subsequently dismissed as illegal by the courts.

Zucca then fought his way through years of denial and obfuscation. In his formal report, he recorded that all the senior officers involved were denying playing any part: "Not a single official has confessed to holding a substantial command role in any aspects of the operation." One senior officer who was videoed at the scene explained that he was off duty and had just turned up to make sure his men were not being injured. Police statements were themselves changeable and contradictory, and were overwhelmingly contradicted by the evidence of victims and numerous videos: "Not a single one of the 150 officers reportedly present has provided precise information regarding an individual episode."

Without Zucca, without the robust stance of the Italian courts, without Covell's intensive work assembling video records of the Diaz raid, the police might well have evaded responsibility and secured false charges and prison sentences against scores of their victims. Apart from the Bolzaneto trial which finished on Monday, 28 other officers, some very senior, are on trial for their part in the Diaz raid. And yet, justice has been compromised.

No Italian politician has been brought to book, in spite of the strong suggestion that the police acted as though somebody had promised them impunity. One minister visited Bolzaneto while the detainees were being mistreated and apparently saw nothing or, at least, saw nothing he thought he should stop. Another, Gianfranco Fini, former national secretary of the neo-fascist MSI party and the then deputy prime minister, was - according to media reports at the time - in police headquarters. He has never been required to explain what orders he gave.

Most of the several hundred law officers involved in Diaz and Bolzaneto have escaped without any discipline or criminal charge. None has been suspended; some have been promoted. None of the officers who were tried over Bolzaneto has been charged with torture - Italian law does not recognise the offence. Some senior officers who were originally going to be charged over the Diaz raid escaped trial because Zucca was simply unable to prove that a chain of command existed. Even now, the trial of the 28 officers who have been charged is in jeopardy because the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is pushing through legislation to delay all trials dealing with events that occurred before June 2002. Nobody has been charged with the violence inflicted on Covell. And as one of the victims' lawyers, Massimo Pastore, put it: "Nobody wants to listen to what this story has to say."

That is about fascism. There are plenty of rumours that the police and carabinieri and prison staff belonged to fascist groups, but no evidence to support that. Pastore argues that that misses the bigger point: "It is not just a matter of a few drunken fascists. This is mass behaviour by the police. No one said 'No.' This is a culture of fascism." At its heart, this involved what Zucca described in his report as "a situation in which every rule of law appears to have been suspended."

Fifty-two days after the attack on the Diaz school, 19 men used planes full of passengers as flying bombs and shifted the bedrock of assumptions on which western democracies had based their business. Since then, politicians who would never describe themselves as fascists have allowed the mass tapping of telephones and monitoring of emails, detention without trial, systematic torture, the calibrated drowning of detainees, unlimited house arrest and the targeted killing of suspects, while the procedure of extradition has been replaced by "extraordinary rendition". This isn't fascism with jack-booted dictators with foam on their lips. It's the pragmatism of nicely turned-out politicians. But the result looks very similar. Genoa tells us that when the state feels threatened, the rule of law can be suspended. Anywhere.


International conference: "The continuum of violence. Europe, from G8-2001 until now"

Tuesday 22 july 2008 | 5.30 Pm | Munizioniere di Palazzo Ducale, Genoa


* Salvatore Palidda, sociologist, University of Genoa, Title: “Violence of Neo-con Powers”, Language: Italian

* Jean-Pierre Masse, sociologist and hacktivist, SciencesPo – Paris, Title: “Les multiples visages de la repression dans la France contemporaine” [The many faces of repression in France today], Language: French with translation into Italian

* Matthias Monroy, militant and activist, Gipfelsoli Infogruppe, Title: “Preventive Repression – Strategies of police collaboration in Europe”, Language: English with translation into Italian

Organized by:


For more info: lorenzo [at] socialautopsy [dot] org

Here you can find the post in agenda and the flyer (in Italian):

Ante la sentencia del Tribunal de Génova (Italia)

Ante la sentencia hecha pública en la madrugada de hoy por el Tribunal de Génova (Italia) condenando a un total de 24 años de cárcel a 15 imputados, entre policías (“antiterrorista”, penitenciaria y nacional), carabineros, médicos y enfermeros acusados de maltratar a 207 personas detenidas en el siniestro cuartel de Bolzaneto, durante la cumbre del G8 celebrada en esa ciudad en julio de 2001.

Comunicado de varios activistas que sufrieron represión policial en Génova

Los y las activistas anticapitalistas del estado español personadas como acusación civil en dicho proceso (trece personas de Zaragoza fuimos detenidas en aquellos días; nueve de ellas pasamos por ese cuartel y fuimos maltratadas) durante los últimos siete años, con el apoyo de la Secretaría Legal de Génova, tras haber sido objeto de “la brutalidad policial” y de un “trato inhumano y degradante” deseamos comunicar que:

Es un motivo de satisfacción que haya quedado demostrado legalmente (moralmente ya lo era) que en el cuartel de Bolzaneto hubo palizas y todo tipo de vejaciones a los detenidos, y que estos malos tratos no fueron hechos aislados, sino una estrategia de terror planificada para frenar la creciente movilización anticapitalista por otro mundo. Si no se ha condenado a todos los policías imputados es porque no se ha podido demostrar su implicación individual, pero ha quedado claro que los hechos existieron.

Esta sentencia representa un paso adelante en el reconocimiento público de la brutalidad policial contra el legítimo derecho a la protesta de la sociedad civil mundial. Sin embargo el hecho de que los funcionarios del estado italiano culpables no lleguen a cumplir las penas de cárcel impuestas debido a los indultos concedidos por el gobierno de Berlusconi y por la prescripción de los delitos que lo hacen posible, gracias a innumerables estrategias jurídicas de dilación que hemos padecido durante casi una década de largo proceso, así como la absolución de otros 30 imputados protagonistas de la misma violencia, nos hace sentir que la autoridades italianas se están riendo de nuestro sufrimiento y del de todas las personas por quienes nos movilizamos en aquellos difíciles días de Génova en contra del G-8.

Una vez más la llamada “Justicia” demuestra no ser otra cosa que la voz de su amo, en este caso del gobierno neofascista de Berlusconi. No esperamos nada de la justicia oficial, que forma parte del mismo aparato del estado que nos apaleó hace siete años. Así lo confirma el que los ejecutores continuarán prolongando el proceso como han hecho hasta ahora, esperando que prescriba, y los mandos responsables últimos saldrán impunes.

Nuestra mente y nuestro corazón están ahora mismo con el equipo legal que ha peleado durante 7 años para que se reconozca lo que sucedió en aquellos días de plomo pero también de júbilo de julio de 2001. Con ellos y con los movimientos sociales de la ciudad de Génova, que en todo este largo proceso nos han mostrado la mejor cara de la solidaridad. No somos víctimas, somos Movimiento y como tal seguimos y seguiremos luchando juntos por la dignidad y la justicia social en todo el planeta.


Japan: Three comrades who had been jailed since July 5th were released

Three comrades who had been jailed since July 5th were released at 9:30 this morning!

Their jail time was shorter than 23 days, the common length in the police state Japan. We believe that it was thanks to your attention and solidarity from the world over.

From now on, we will demand compensation for the destroyed track and continue to protest against the unlawful crackdowns before and after the G8. Please keep an eye on coming events.

Source: email