Bush in Sweden
bstoller at SPAMutopia2000.org
Thu Jun 14 12:44:20 MDT 2001
Guardian; BBC; Washington Post; CNN; Radio Sweden. 14 June 2001.
Protests turn violent. Combined reports.
GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Armed police -- some on horseback -- clashed with
protesters as European Union leaders and U.S. President George W. Bush
Many of the 12,000 demonstrators hurled paving stones and bottles at
police who surrounded a school in Gothenburg where activists had
gathered for a planned day of anti-globalisation and anti-American
demonstrations. Mounted police responded by charging the protesters.
At one point two police cars were smashed, but violence subsided quickly
and officers eventually allowed the militants to leave the building
after searching them, witnesses said.
The trouble began after mounted riot police surrounded a school half a
mile from the summit venue where several anti-globalisation
organisations have made their headquarters.
After several hours, a group of protesters wearing black masks came out
and hurled bottles and cobblestones until the police dispersed them.
Approximately 400 people were inside, the police said.
Police dragged 40 activists from a protest camp near the site of the EU
About 1,500 police have been deployed to protect Mr Bush and EU leaders
meeting in the western port.
In one of the biggest police operations in Swedish history, crowds were
kept well away from the summit venue in the city centre.
Police sealed off a large perimeter around the centre with a
two-metre-high double fence and barricaded approach roads with freight
containers. Metal barricades and concrete blocks surround key venues,
and some central parts of the city are closed to the public, with police
helicopters hovering overhead.
Thousands of demonstrators are being corralled in tightly controlled
areas, patrolled by police with dogs.
In another part of town, protesters bared their backsides in an
exhibition of their opposition to Mr Bush's policies.
The protests were spearheaded by ATTAC, a French-based group that
champions a tax on speculative transactions to raise billions for poor
Some groups oppose specific U.S. policies, such as the death penalty and
Bush's rejection of the Kyoto agreement to limit greenhouse gas
Many protesters are concerned that global corporations have gained too
much control and exploit the poor and the environment.
Much of their anger is directed at the United States, home of many of
the world's largest multinational corporations.
The Swedish news agency TT reported that police had stepped up checks of
foreigners and had detained 10. They included four Germans stopped
Thursday morning on a bus outside Goteborg, TT said.
Earlier, Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson tried to reassure about
400 demonstrators that the EU would not threaten national sovereignty or
Persson and three of his ministers met environmentalist,
anti-globalisation and other activists Wednesday, ahead of the EU
summit. Despite [the phony and opportunistic] quoting [of] communist
revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Persson and three other ministers were met
with jeers and foot-stamping rather than any sense of comradeship.
The Swedish police have arrested five Danes in Gothenburg for allegedly
plotting serious violence at this weekend's EU summit in the city, where
demonstrators are expected to outnumber officers by 25-1.
They described as "complete nonsense" a press report that they had
seized an improvised grenade launcher and explosives during the raid on
a flat early on Tuesday morning, but admitted that some weapons were
One of the Danes arrested allegedly held a press card allowing access to
The Danish police raided a building in Copenhagen last weekend and
arrested activists for allegedly making pipe bombs and molotov
Some groups have published elaborate plans on the internet, including
riot tactics and maps of the summit venue.
Bush's first official tour of Europe has been met with protesters
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