Indymedia at the G8

anti-capitalism block As usual, it is very hectic during activist camps and big protest events. This hasn’t been helped much by a lack of internet connectivity and computer access. This Sunday morning we went up to the building at the end of the camp where some computer and the wireless network is located and as i was the first one there, people came up to me the whole day and asked for help. I was disappointed that some of the demands were just so unrealistic, some were not that politely formulated either, and some people did not show much regard for the work I was concerned with, like picture editing, following the news dispatch or writing a paper dispatch for all the people demanding information about thde outcome of yesterdays events. Particular discussions broke out every time a journalist approached the space, one from Spiegel Online wanted to interview me and ask some questions about Indymedia worked, I declined with the notion that I wasn’t really working nor involved in organising anything and would therefore not be a good source. The public television crew was here, too, and people did prefer not to be pictured, as they fear potential repression of police or maybe even employers.

Some of my reports and pictures can be seen here on Indymedia UK, as I initially forgot the password to my own blog:

By the way: I made a mistake; there actually is running water at the Rostock Camp; its just very hidden, behind the kitchen, close to the washing-up area. There are even showers, but it seems only with cold water apparently.

I wanted to get official press accreditation for the G8, for the first time, thanks to the Big Issue Scotland, but the problem is that the press centre is well out of the way at the coast and we were so wrapped up in doing computer support, that we missed the opening times. Shops and most facilities and services are still closed in Germany on Sunday, and the trade unions are quite strong in comparison to the British ones, though at the moment at least the Siemens corporation has been in the mainstream media news of financially supporting the start up of competing new trade union to break the power and undermine the strong domination of the IG Metall.

Anyways, now everything is well at the Rostock Camp Imc; there actually seem to be at least 3 camps and 2 convergence centres up and running at the moment, all with some form of internet access, it seems.

The biggest is in Frieda, located in an old school near the centre, where the radio live stream reporting is produced.
The main reporting website is Germany Indymedia, who report in several languages and it links to nearly everything. Belgium Indymedia seems to have quite a big group here for reporting, and so far we met volunteers from Indymedia Athens, Norway, Denmark,UK and of course Germany.

So far, it has been a brilliant experience for me. It is a little bit like coming home. The camp is very welcoming, and as the different left-wing groups refused to be split between each other into non-violent and a violent camp, all types of political groups, tactics and approaches get along with each other quite well.

Even yesterday, when the conflict with the police broke out, the organisers of the demonstration supported the autonomous street-fighter, blaming the police for continuously luring the autonomous protesters into street-fighting. I was really impressed with the organisers of the demo backing up the protesters.

Unfortunately I can not say anything about why and how the scuffles broke out, because as the road narrowed, the police closed one street lane for the protest and suddenly we lost the anticapitalist block in the huge jam of protesters wanting to keep up with the soundsystem. The numbers for the demonstrations were first expected to be a huge 100 000, but then police stated 30 000 people and the organisers 80 000.
The public tv channel ARD reports nearly a 1000 injured, 520 protesters and 430 policemen, amongst them about 30 more severe injured of the protesters and 40 of the policemen.

About 165 would have been arrested during the evening and the night, which also saw a street party happening on one of the main roads in Rostock at 2am! Most of them had been released already this morning, though 2 will have a speedy court case and seem to have to stay in prison till then, and 17 have had to appear in front of a judge for more negotiations for their possible release.

There are a lot of activities happening simultaneously and I constantly feel I am missing out on something important. There are gigs, discussion events, film screenings, protests and camps everywhere, and Indymedia Germany reports everything more in detail, including as a livestream on radio in several languages. G8 TV is doing a daily broadcast in the Indymedia entre and online.

Okay, there is so much to report and so little time. Food is ready and internet works like a dream now.

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