March 8th 2008 NATO -- Hokkaido -- Genoa

- France beats out Germany to host 2009 NATO summit
- Anti G8 football Cup in Japan
- Scared of terrorists, and the sun
- Police fear green groups will target G-8 summit
- G8 2001 Bolzaneto, the indictment by Morisani, state prosecutor
- March 2008 - Update on the Genoa Court Cases - Trailing lines

France beats out Germany to host 2009 NATO summit

France scored a major political coup by beating out neighboring Germany to host next year's NATO summit, marking the 60th anniversary of the western military alliance, the weekly Der Spiegel news magazine reported Saturday.

Even though the German government has denied plans for such a summit, it had reportedly started its preparations to host the festivities.

At least two sites, the Meseburg guest house of the government near Berlin and the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm, were in the running to host the 2009 meeting of NATO leaders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was even willing to accommodate French President by holding the summit in the Franco-German border region in the French city of Strasbbourg and the German town of Kehl.

According to Der Spiegel, Sarkozy prefers to host the summit in Paris where the French leader is to declare his country's return into NATO military structures.

France left NATO in 1966 following an order by then-president Charles de Gaulle.

Berlin and Paris have been openly vying for the European Union leadership in recent months.

Merkel has been at odds with Sarkozy on several issues including the president's plans for the creation of a Mediterranean Union as a counterpart to the European Union, France's controversial nuclear exports to Arab countries and differences over the degree of autonomy of the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank.

[Berlin, March 8, IRNA]

Anti G8 football Cup in Japan

Hey, all the comrades of anarchists, activists and ultras in Europe!!! Here is the Rage and Football Collective in Japan!

As you know, the 34th G8 Summit is to take place in Toyako(Hokkaido), Japan, from 7th to 9th of July 2008.

So we, ultras and anarchists around Japan, have also decided to unite, stand up and fight against G8 together with one philosohy, that is. Love football. Hate G8!!
We are going to organize football games as one of our protest activities at the same when they organize the G8. so we hope you guys to come and join us! Play football together and have a fun!!

We have a blog here (http://d.hatena.ne.jp/rage-football-08), so check this out, and follow the following information(detail of time, place etc.). We wanna see you, here in Japan!!! Rage and Football Collective mail: rage_football08@yahoo.co.jp

Scared of terrorists, and the sun

This coming July 7, Japan will host a three-day Summit of G8 nations at Lake Toya, within the scenic confines of Shikotsu-Toya National Park in southern Hokkaido. What better time, asks Shukan Taishu (Feb. 18), for al-Qaida terrorists to launch a strike against Japan? Of course terrorism won't be the sole security problem.

"The meeting's isolated venue will make it easier for police to keep watch, but extreme radical groups are constantly mobilizing, and I can foresee foreign agitators going on rampages," predicts Buntaro Kuroi, editor of the military affairs magazine World Intelligence. He points out that at the June 2008 G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, about 1,000 demonstrators were arrested.

To augment the 20,000 police, Shukan Taishu notes other measures are being mulled, including a Self Defense Forces battery of PAC3 ground-to-air missiles to guard against a 9/11-style air attack.

More worrisome than the safety of VIPs, however, is the possibility of terrorists' going after "soft" targets of opportunity.

"During the summit's coverage by the worldwide media, there's a possibility major cities like Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya or Osaka could be targeted," suggests Motoaki Kamiura, a military-affairs expert, who notes that during the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005, terrorists set off bombs in London, killing 52 people and injuring over 700.

A bomb using bottled propane gas, which could be set off in the subway, can be constructed using materials bought in local shops.

"Any chemist who knows his stuff can use ingredients available at drug stores to produce explosives that have 70 to 80 percent of the destructive power of military devices," Kamiura adds.

"Terrorists could just steal a gasoline tanker and crash it into a shopping mall, or hijack an oil supertanker and ram the U.S. Naval facility at Yokosuka," he continues. "If al-Qaida makes a serious effort, hundreds could be killed. At the very least we have to be on guard against these kinds of things."
Scary sunspots

Even if Japan makes it through 2008 unscathed, Mother Nature may still wreak havoc a few years from now, as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted the sun's cycle of intense activity will reach its peak toward the end of 2011.

Weekly Playboy (Feb. 18) reports that a pair of huge storms, measuring five to six times the diameter of the entire Earth, have been observed on the surface. Each solar flare, according to space maven Nobuo Nakatomi, emits energy equivalent to 100 nuclear reactors, bombarding the Earth with a blizzard of charged electrons that can affect everything from civil aviation to passenger cars and even cell phones.

If severe enough, this high-tech nation might very well go into a tailspin.

Interference with GPS (global positioning system) signals beamed from satellites can throw off the accuracy of auto-navigation units by tens of meters. Another serious concern is aviation safety, as solar flares have been known to affect communications between airport control towers and civil aviation.

Then there's those cell phones. The relay stations that transfer signals between cell-phone handsets are linked by cable, but the network is still highly vulnerable and if severe disruptions occur, cell-phone communications will be knocked out for the duration.

Terrorists may be scary, but the prospect of 100 million Japanese simultaneously denied use of their cell phones is truly horrifying to contemplate.



Police fear green groups will target G-8 summit

Captain Paul Watson Responds to the Yomiuri Shimbun

This article was published on February 21st in the Japanese language newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. Captain Paul Watson responds to the misinformation in the story.

Yomiuri Shimbun: The police are becoming increasingly concerned that environmental and anti-globalization groups from the United States and Europe may try to disrupt July’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Toyakocho, Hokkaido.

Captain Paul Watson: The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society does not organize street protests and Sea Shepherd has no plans to disrupt the Group of Eight Summit meeting in Japan to be held in July. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is simply concerned with opposing Japan’s illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean and Japan’s cruel and illegal slaughter of dolphins in Taiji and other locations in Japan.

Yomiuri Shimbun: The concern comes as green groups turn to increasingly radical tactics. On Jan. 15, two members of the U.S.-based environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society were seized by crew members after they boarded the whaling ship Yushin Maru No.2, part of Japan’s Antarctic whaling fleet, in an attempt to stop it operating by handing a letter of protest to the crew. Two days later, the activists, a 28-year-old Australian and a 35-year-old Briton, were handed over to the Australian government, which had acted as a mediator. However, the Sea Shepherd vessel continued to harass the Yushin Maru No.2, doing things such as throwing chemicals at it, and broadcast all such activities live via the Internet.

Captain Paul Watson: It is interesting that boarding an illegally operated whaling ship inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to notify the Captain of an Australian court order prohibiting whaling in the Sanctuary is described as an “increasingly radical tactic.” The reference to chemicals is misleading. What Sea Shepherd crew did was throw stink bombs composed of rancid butter onto the ship. The chemical name for rotten butter is Butyric Acid which allows the Japanese to put the misleading spin on it to suggest that “acid” was tossed on the ship suggesting of course the lethal types of acid like sulfuric acid.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Media in Australia and New Zealand, both known as anti-whaling countries, repeatedly featured the group’s protest activities, and many supporters of the group welcomed the protest ship when it made a port call in Melbourne.

Captain Paul Watson: Perhaps the Japanese media is suggesting that there is a conspiracy in Australia to oppose illegal Japanese whaling. They refer to both Australia and New Zealand as “known anti-whaling countries” as if suggesting that anti-whaling is a form of terrorist activity in itself. The story was also well covered in the Japanese media which is not anti-whaling.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Following the clashes over whaling, Sea Shepherd ship Capt. Paul Watson said in a telephone interview that the group would continue its activities. He described the boarding of the Yushin Maru as a great success.

Sea Shepherd started its attempts to disrupt whaling in the 1990s. In November 2003, two members of the group were arrested on suspicion of forcible disruption of business for destroying a net used for whaling in Taijicho, Wakayama Prefecture.

Captain Paul Watson: They were in fact arrested for releasing and saving the lives of 15 dolphins held behind the nets and set to be slaughtered that afternoon. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has no regrets or apologies for saving the lives of these 15 dolphins. The campaign in January 2008 was a great success, the whaling ships were stopped from killing whales for over three weeks.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Despite the arrests, Sea Shepherd has continued dangerous protest activities, such as using ropes to foul whaling ships’ propellers, saying Japan was committing a crime by violating international rules on whaling.

Captain Paul Watson: Accusing Japan of committing crimes by killing endangered whales in a Whale Sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on whaling is hardly a dangerous protest.

Yomiuri Shimbun: In the same telephone interview, Watson said the response to the latest incident helped the international community recognize Japan’s whaling as a problem.

Captain Paul Watson: This is very true.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Meanwhile, an official at the Fisheries Agency said: “They won’t hesitate to do anything to achieve their goals. In that sense, I think they are the same as terrorists.”

Captain Paul Watson: Japanese whaling ships have rammed our ships. Japanese whalers held two of my crew hostage for three days and issued demands in return for their release. This is a blatant terrorist tactic. Yet the spokesperson for the whalers states that we will do “anything” to achieve our goals. Of course this is not true.

Sea Shepherd has a primary policy of not causing physical injury to any persons we oppose and we have never caused a single injury in the three decade history of our operations.

Yomiuri Shimbun: The Japanese police have become increasingly concerned by the behavior of such groups.

Captain Paul Watson: International environmental organizations are becoming increasingly concerned about the increasing ecological crimes carried out by Japanese corporations and condoned by the Japanese government.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Before the G-8 summit meeting at Toyakocho, Hokkaido, many important international conferences and meetings will be held in this country. Recently, some environmental groups based in the United States or Europe have started to work together with anti-globalization groups, which oppose the economic system led by the major developed countries, and have been taking increasingly radical measures at venues for summits and other meetings, sometimes resulting in clashes with police.

Captain Paul Watson: The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s mission is to intervene against illegal activity, not to clash with police. In fact the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society works in partnership with policing agencies on a regular basis to oppose poaching operations.

Yomiuri Shimbun: If the Japanese police allow such groups to obstruct meetings, it might give the international community the impression that they are unable or unwilling to prevent trouble.

Captain Paul Watson: I think the international community is very much aware that Japan willfully violates international conservation law by unlawfully whaling and engaging in fish poaching operations worldwide.

Yomiuri Shimbun: For this reason, the Public Safety Bureau of the Metropolitan Police Department has begun investigating charges that Sea Shepherd activists in February 2007 attacked the Japanese whaler Nisshin Maru by throwing a bottle containing chemicals at it and other means. The attack reportedly resulted in two crewmen of the 8,030-ton ship suffering minor injuries, and the police are trying to build a case for a charge of assault or forcible disruption of business.

Captain Paul Watson: Two crewmembers were not injured. This was a spin put on the story by the Japanese P.R. firms a day after Sea Shepherd crewmembers tossed rotten butter stink bombs onboard the Nisshin Maru. Rotten butter smells horrible but it does not cause injuries. The Japanese police have not been in contact with myself, or anyone with Sea Shepherd, over this incident.

The Australian government is collecting evidence to be used in establishing a court case against Japan for illegal whaling operations.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Following a request from the owners of the Nisshin Maru, investigators have been looking into the incident and have inspected the ship for damage.

Captain Paul Watson: It will be difficult to find damage caused by rotten butter but I’m sure they will do their best to try. The Japanese whalers refused to cooperate with the investigation by the Australian Federal Police concerning the ramming of the Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter by the Japanese whaling ship Kaiko Maru in February 2007.

(Feb. 21, 2008) http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20080221TDY04303.htm


G8 2001 Bolzaneto, the indictment by Morisani, state prosecutor

The Bolzaneto trial has entered its final phase process for the violence into the infamous G8 Police barracks & detention centre.

Last Thursday Genova Prosecutor Mario Morisani stood to begin his final arguments in the Bolzaneto G8 torture case, the sister case to Diaz. He spoke of the G8 in Genoa which “had been a wave of insanity. Everyone lost control on one side and the other”.

“at least four of the five interrogation techniques that, according to the European Court on Human Rights called upon to rule on the suppression of the riots in Ireland in the seventies, constitute” inhuman and degrading treatment”.
“Victims arrested were forced to stand for hours, in inconvenient locations, beaten, taken around, deprived of food and water. The Prosecutor cited the UN convention banning torture and the inhumane, cruel or degrading treatment. The provision against torture, said the magistrate, Italy ratified had in 1989 but has not yet translated into a criminal law.”

According to the Genova’s prosecutor’s office, what happened at Bolzaneto was an inhuman and degrading torture but there is no law in Italy that covers the description of the evidence at Bolzaneto. The prosecutors could only apply article 323- abuse of office and breach of the EU Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedom from ‘fundamental abuse of authority’ against persons arrested or detained, threatened, insulted or injured.

Prosecutor Petruzziello said that for the offence of torture and the inhumane and degrading treatment he would be expecting sentences from 4 to 10 years. Sentences being handed down in 2009.

The prosecutor cited several judgments of the European Court on Human Rights. One of them, and ‘the judgement of January 18, 1978, known to have touched on the so-called five technical harassment in the method of interrogation, issued following the appeal presented by the Government of the Republic of Ireland against the Government of the United Kingdom. The case concerned ill-treatment had been the subject of people arrested during riots occurred between’71 and’72. “It emerged – explained the prosecutor – that those arrested were forced to stand against a wall in a ‘position of power’; were hooded, subjected to continuous noise while being interrogated, deprived of sleep, food and beverages. “Of the five treatments examined by the Court and considered inhuman – says the prosecutor – four were certainly inflicted on Bolzaneto.

On the sidelines of the process GLF lawyer Dario Rossi representing some of the victims said: “There may be extreme reason to bring the matter before the European Court in Strasbourg because our law, as recognized by the same prosecutors, does not provide adequate legal justice for the torture inflicted upon all those who were transited to the Bolzaneto Police Barracks.”

Supported by fellow prosecutors Patrizia Petruzziello and Vittorio Ranieri Miniati, the state’s case against 47 prison police and five doctors would last over six more court sessions before closing. The defendants are accused of abuse Office, private violence, abuse of authority against detained or arrested, Forgery, breach of the penitentiary regulations and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Morisani stated it has been a massive challenge for the prosecutor’s office and the Italian legal system in bringing indictments to so many police. The process had started on October 12 2005 and has had 157 court days which have heard 392 witnesses and 12 defendants.

The judge expects to rule in June on the final verdict of the Bolzaneto episode.

The process resumes on March 3.


March 2008 - Update on the Genoa Court Cases - Trailing lines

So we are finally almost there: one of the four court cases around the events of july 2001 in Genoa has seen its first grade sentence, while other three are drawing to a close within the summer. The court case against 25 people has seen people convicted to something like 110 years of jail, ranging from mere 6 months to 11 years per person. Nobody in in sane mind would have expected otherwise, Genoa could not be left without someone to pay for it. But still people hoped for something different, for someone to speak up about the absurd decision of the court, or for people to take to the street again and defend their comrades. This has not happened.

As for the other court case against activists, the so called Cosenza court case, concerning 13 people accused of being part of a terrorist organization aimed at organizing demo and consequently riots, it is going to see its sentence on April 24th. The prosecutor asked for a total of 50 years of conviction basing the accusation on evidence that is simply ridiculous, or malicious someone would say, considering Carabinieri went around all of Italy before finding a prosecutor actually willing to give credit to their speculations.

Diaz court cases follows on, with the witnesses called to court by the police lawyers which should last until the end of March or so. After that, during the summer prosecutors and lawyers should spell out their statements and the judge should rule within autumn (or even august someone says). The feeling is that the court is perfectly conscious of the political weigth of the court case and that has already decided what will be its best conclusions. Unfortunately, as you may suppose, they are not what the historical truth of that night would demand. Probably the end will be a conviction for the riot cops hold responsible for the violence of their underlings, while all of the Big Heads will be saved hiding behind something like "lack of enough evidence". So the fact is acknowledge, but responsibilities forsaken. That's how it goes in the real world!
Bolzaneto court case is being discussed by the prosecutors right now, and they will spell out their requests for the accused people next monday or tuesday (March 10th or 11th): the sentence is to be expected for mid may, after the lawyers of cops and people tortured will have spoken. In this case the court seems to have acknowledged what happened in the Bolzaneto barracks, and the feeling is that they will confirm what the prosecutor will demand, considering also that Ranieri-Miniati and Petruzziello kept a relatively low profile and decided not to ask for conviction for the crimes they were not 100% sure of having complete evidence about. A safe-guard decision to be sure their requests will not be ignored.

If you recall what we already updated you about in our previous memo, in october 2007, you now have a full picture of the situation.
Keep following supportolegale.org for more info, or write to info@supportolegale.org