Gothenburg - update

Barry Stoller bstoller at
Fri Jun 15 11:48:23 MDT 2001

Reuters; BBC; Guardian. 15 June 2001. Riots in Gothenburg. Various
reports, combined.

GOTHENBURG --Hundreds of anti-EU rioters, some wearing black hoods,
smashed car windows, hurled rocks and built flaming barricades as
violent demonstrations overtook the port city for the second day

Up to 25,000 anti-capitalist activists descended on Sweden's second
largest city, ahead of the EU summit which began on Thursday, far
outnumbering the estimated 1,000 police deployed to thwart them.

The clashes overwhelmed police, who were forced to cede control of
entire streets including the city's main thoroughfare, lined with shops
and restaurants, to protesters.

There were reports of police being knocked off their mounts and dragged
away by protesters and of riderless horses galloping down the paved
lanes of the port city.

A clutch of demonstrators scaled a section of double-steel fence outside
the conference building itself and sat down in protest as police watched
and helicopters buzzed overhead, Reuters reported.

On the fashionable Avenue, protesters lit a massive bonfore of rubbish
and debris, Reuters reported, sending a giant plume of smoke billowing
above the port.

The first of the clashes took place outside the city's theatre, in an
otherwise picturesque square. Police with dogs eventually charged and
forced the rioters back, leaving debris littering the streets.

Furniture from cafes and bars which had been thrown at the police lay
strewn across nearby roads, and hundreds of uprooted cobblestones also
littered the streets and pavements.

Bewildered local residents and shoppers stared at the wreckage in
astonishment after the second day of violent protests to hit the summit.

A group of masked protesters moved down the Avenue, methodically
breaking the windows of shops that had not boarded up their premises,
scattering goods in the street and smashing open a boarded-up McDonalds
restaurant. One of the city’s main theaters was also attacked.

Later police took about 150 protesters in buses from a city center park
where several thousand demonstrators had gathered.

The police then withdrew to cheers from the crowd.

One British demonstrator, John Shepherd, said: "Twenty police on horses
started to charge at me as I was peacefully holding a banner. We were
totally peaceful."

Mr Shepherd added: "I came to voice my opposition to global capitalism."

Local media, dubbing the conflict “The Battle of Gothenburg,” said 15
people were hurt in Thursday’s clashes. One demonstrator was
hospitalized after being bitten by a police dog.

The protests are one of a series planned for Europe this summer: future
demonstrations are likely in Barcelona, Spain, during the World Bank
summit from June 25-27 and in Salzburg, Austria, when the World Economic
Forum meets from July 1-3.

The G8 group meet in Genoa, Italy, from July 20-22, when larger protests
are expected. Onewebsite - - is calling for a rival summit
in the city to assert "equal rights for all men and all women ...
opposing the globalisation of rights to the globalisation of finance and

Nine policemen have been injured in two days of clashes, a spokesperson
told Reuters, adding there were no figures for casualties among the
protesters. Two police were hospitalized.

[N.B.] The protesters waved flags with images of revolutionary heroes
Marx, Lenin and Mao and banners with slogans such as “Smash global
capitalism” as their leaders made speeches through banks of


Barry Stoller

Proletarian news & Leninist debate

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