Wednesday, June 06, 2007

G8 Summit: $2,000000 fence was built for expected 100,000 demonstrators

Berlin bashed for G8 security

May 29 07:22 PM US/Eastern

BERLIN, May 29 (UPI) -- Germany has come under fire for what the opposition and anti-globalization groups believe are inappropriate security measures ahead of next week's Group of Eight summit in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.

Last week German police had taken scent samples from five far-left activists arrested in a series of massive raids Berlin staged earlier this month in six German states. The scent samples are passed to police equipped with sniffing dogs who can pick the individuals out amid a large crowd or compare the samples with traces left at the scene of a crime.

The method is controversial in Germany because it was also used against dissidents by communist East Germany's secret police, the Stasi. Several opposition politicians but also some lawmakers of the government Social Democrats hailing from Eastern Germany have criticized the measure.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has defended the scent tracking, as has Chief Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms, in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel.

"We are dealing with very conspirative groups," Harms told the magazine, which hit the newsstands Monday. "We have to use all legal investigation measures available ... Because a method was used by the Stasi in a totally different context doesn't mean that it is therefore taboo for us."

Berlin has also come under fire for agreeing to have letters in Hamburg opened in connection with investigations against groups and individuals believed to be behind a series of anti-G8 arson attacks in the northern German city. The attacks targeted trade groups, large companies, the house of a Hamburg finance politician and the car of the editor of Bild, Germany's mass-selling daily and the journalistic arch-enemy of the far left.

"We are not dealing with people from the political opposition like (the Stasi did) in former East Germany, but with criminals who send off confession letters," Harms said in defense of the measure.

Preparations for the G8 summit are increasingly turning hysteric, after last month's police raids managed to round up more support for the anti-G8 movement.

In Berlin, bus companies have had to order more vehicles to be able to meet the increasing demand for tickets to Rostock, where some 100,000 anti-globalization activists are expected to stage a series of demonstrations and events in an "alternative" summit.

Numerous attacks in Berlin and violent protests at this past weekend's meeting of European and Asian foreign ministers in Hamburg, where more than 100 people were arrested, have fueled fears that the far left is planning for a major clash with authorities at the June 6-8 summit.

The German government in turn has built a $20 million security fence around the summit venue to keep protesters out and said it will deploy more than 16,000 police to the area.

While the police are gearing up for their biggest post-war deployment, the other side is getting ready as well.

In a park in Berlin's mostly left-wing Kreuzberg district, far-left groups have offered "blockade training" for people willing to march against the G8 summit. The training includes lessons on how to behave when the police approach (stay in groups, use sign language to get help from other activists) and how to calm down police who are turning gruff.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen on keeping violence down before, during and after the summit, defending the comprehensive security measures. Yet she has also made clear that demonstrations will be permitted as long as they remain peaceful.

Germany: Police use massive force against G8 demonstrators in Rostock

Germany: Police use massive force against G8 demonstrators in Rostock

By Stefan Steinberg
4 June 2007

A peaceful mass demonstration of an estimated 80,000 participants turned into a grim battle between thousands of heavily armed police and demonstrators—including provocative members of the “black bloc” of anarchists—on late Saturday afternoon in the northern German port city of Rostock.

More G8 Protests in Rostock Turn Violent, Lead to Arrests

Opposition: 04.06.2007

Protestors visited the Sunflower House for asylum-seekers, which was burned in 1992
Just two days after a mass anti-G8 demonstration in Rostock on Saturday turned violent, protestors skirmished with police again, this time in a part of town known for neo-Nazi attacks in the early 1990s.

Nearly 1,000 people staged a sit-down protest Monday morning in front of the immigration office in Baltic Sea port city of Rostock to protest the asylum policies of the world's major industrialized countries.

The rally started peacefully, but turned violent when some protestors began throwing bottles at police officers, said a police spokesperson. A photo journalist was injured.

1 comment:

  1. Those folks are doing a great job of bringing attention to the problem! hehe