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EU Summit: Protestors Clash with Police

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://www.egroups.com/group/smygo Published Friday, Dec. 8, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News EUROPEAN UNION SUMMIT Violent
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2000
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      Published Friday, Dec. 8, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News


      Violent protests bracket EU economic meeting

      Chicago Tribune

      NICE, France -- Four thousand political extremists attacked
      banks, looted shops and wrecked cars Thursday in the center
      of this Riviera resort as European leaders opened their most
      important summit meeting in many years.

      Police retaliated with tear gas and clubs, and 20 officers
      were injured, at least one seriously, by the rock-throwing
      demonstrators, who were denounced by French President
      Jacques Chirac and other European leaders.

      The demonstrators, including anarchists as well as
      extremists from the left and right, appeared to have been
      inspired by anti-capitalist, anti-globalization street
      protests that disrupted world trade talks in Seattle last

      At a branch office of the Banque Nationale de Paris, a few
      blocks from the summit conference center, the demonstrators
      torched the facade with a Molotov cocktail, smashed windows
      and glass doors, hurled paint at the building, dragged bank
      computers into the street and smashed them, then set fires
      inside the bank.

      They spray-painted ``Death to money'' in French and ``Smash
      capital'' in Spanish on the front of the bank. At a nearby
      savings bank they smeared paint over an ATM and
      spray-painted on a wall, ``Police everywhere, justice
      nowhere.'' Several blocks away, they wrecked cars and
      smashed shop windows.

      The demonstrators, hiding their faces behind masks,
      identified themselves in graffiti as members of ETA, the
      Basque separatist movement in Spain; Direct Action, a French
      anarchist group; the National Front, a French right-wing,
      anti-immigrant party; and Italian young Communists.

      The early-morning violence coincided with the opening of a
      European Union summit whose main task is to adopt a treaty
      that will prepare the 15-nation European Union for expansion
      to 27 or more members, most from Eastern Europe. Expansion
      will require changes in voting among members, dropping
      national vetoes on some issues and other reforms.

      The summit is scheduled to end Saturday, but divisions among
      European leaders on many key issues run so deep that French
      officials say the meeting is likely to continue on Sunday
      and may even run into Monday. That would make it the longest
      summit in EU history.

      At a news conference, Chirac, the summit host, condemned the
      protesters and said they tried to stop fire trucks from
      reaching the scene of the bank fire they set.

      ``This sort of behavior is a disservice to democracy and
      inappropriate,'' he said. ``It shows that a small number of
      people prefer to have recourse to violence rather than
      demonstrating peacefully in full respect for others.''

      French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said the demonstrators
      had been ``quite scandalously engaging in violence. They
      would like to stop the summit, something that in France and
      Europe is beyond their powers.''

      Jospin said everyone wants globalization regulated, and the
      protesters ``dishonor the cause they seek to defend.'' He
      drew a contrast between their violence and a peaceful
      demonstration by 60,000 European trade unionists Wednesday
      evening in support of more employment protection and other
      social goals.

      European Commission President Romano Prodi said the violence
      was ``utterly intolerable.''

      In its main business of the day, the summit issued a
      proclamation titled ``A Charter of Fundamental Rights of the
      European Union.'' The charter covers many issues, ranging
      from condemnation of capital punishment to defense of the
      right of free expression.

      Inspired mainly by the French presidency of the European
      Union, the document is controversial because of various
      clauses dealing with workers' rights. The French and others
      wanted the charter to be part of the treaty adopted at the
      summit, but in the face of opposition agreed to issue it as
      a non-binding proclamation instead.

      Friday 8 December 2000

      Rioters, police clash at EU meeting
      Leftists, anarchists blame trade bloc for host of social

      Los Angeles Times

      Protesters ran amok in the chic, palm-lined streets of the
      Riviera's main resort city and police fought back with tear
      gas and stun grenades Thursday as the European Union opened
      its most important meeting in a decade.

      For the rioters, a motley collection of leftist
      revolutionaries, anarchists and separatists, the 15-nation
      EU is a cog in the process of globalization that they blame
      for many of the world's ills.

      As the trade bloc's leaders gathered in the morning at a
      squat downtown conference centre aptly nicknamed "The
      Bunker" by Nice residents, an estimated 4,000 demonstrators
      set upon the site and got within 100 yards.

      Young men, many of whom wore cowls or kerchiefs to hide
      their faces, hurled rocks, set fire to a bank branch, tossed
      fire extinguishers through shop windows and painted slogans
      such as "Death to Money" on storefronts.

      French officials, hosts for the Nice summit, had vowed that
      there would be none of the embarrassing mayhem here that
      disturbed last year's World Trade Organization meeting in
      Seattle or the International Monetary Fund's gathering in
      September in Prague, Czech Republic.

      Choking clouds of smoke wafted in the direction of the
      convention centre, making French President Jacques Chirac
      sneeze as he stood outside to greet foreign leaders. Some
      dignitaries, including leaders of other countries that want
      to join the EU, coughed and mopped their eyes.

      "These acts are radically contrary to the democratic
      traditions of all European countries," Chirac later said in
      disgust. Authorities said 20 police officers were hurt in
      the fracas on Nice's rain-slicked streets, one seriously.
      Forty-five protesters were arrested.

      The Nice summit is considered the EU's most crucial since
      the 1991 Maastricht Treaty, which laid the basis for a
      common European currency, the euro, and serious
      consideration of common policies in fields including
      defence, citizenship and protection of the environment.

      The agenda here calls for the EU to reform its inner
      mechanisms so it can function after absorbing new members,
      chiefly ex-communist countries in Eastern and Central
      Europe. Twelve nations are negotiating to join, including
      the three former Baltic republics of the Soviet Union.

      Protesters riot as EU leaders hold meeting to urge unity

      Friday, December 08, 2000

      By PAUL AMES

      NICE, France - Hundreds of stone-throwing protesters rushed
      barricades around a conference center where European leaders
      met yesterday for a milestone summit on unity. French riot
      police drove them back with tear gas and stun grenades, and
      45 were detained.

      The clashes, which recalled similar demonstrations that have
      marred other high-profile international gatherings in recent
      months, created scenes of chaos in this resort Riviera city.

      Some banks and businesses were covered in graffiti - with
      slogans ranging from "Long live ETA," referring to the
      violent Basque separatist group, to "Death to Money."
      Streets were littered with stones, pieces of wood, broken
      signs and used tear gas canisters.

      Tear gas wafted across the entrance to the mammoth, concrete
      building during the morning confrontation, causing French
      President Jacques Chirac to sneeze and Prime Minister Lionel
      Jospin to step away from photographers so he could blow his

      Chirac later harshly criticized the violence. "We solemnly
      condemn these acts. They are radically opposed to the
      democratic traditions of all our countries," he told a news

      At least 20 police officers were slightly injured in the
      clashes, and 45 protesters were detained.

      Although the violence was reminiscent of the chaos wrought
      by protesters on the Seattle meeting of the World Trade
      Organization last year, the thousands of demonstrators in
      Nice seemed to have no central command and to lack
      organization. Most were southern European students rather
      than full-time activists for their cause.

      A ragtag group of several hundred Spanish anarchists,
      radical trade unionists, and Basque and Corsican separatists
      fought pitched battles with the police as they sought to
      break through the ring of steel encircling the Acropolis
      convention center.

      The demonstrators made their way to within about 300 feet of
      the center’s main entrance, where the leaders of the 15
      European Union nations arrived one by one along with the
      heads of 13 countries due to join the bloc in the coming
      years ahead. But police then pushed the rioters back.

      Undeterred by the violence, the EU leaders opened the
      three-day summit knowing that failure to surmount deep
      disagreements over how to share power could plunge the bloc
      into crisis and delay hopes of ending the continent’s Cold
      War divisions.

      Dan Clore

      The Website of Lord Weÿrdgliffe:
      The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:

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