Monday report from the G8 protests

demo for freedom of movement
Today we moved on from the Rostock inner-city campsite to the one nearest Heiligendam, the location of the G8 summit. There were several reasons for this: we met friends from imc uk at the gig yesterday, who told us they would relocate here, as most of the British protesters would be located at the Zapatista barrio and fed by the Anarchist Teapot food collective from Brighton.

The vegan, animal-product free and therefore animal-friendly food was great, with soy pieces I haven’t had in years and good veggie stuff with salad and curry potatoes in a variety of sauces, and the team there is working round the clock to provide food and finally proper Black Tea with Milk and coffee round the clock.

There are even solar-powered showers but in contrast to the camps in the UK no environmentally friendly eco-toilets, only portaloos. Fortunately, these are cleaned every day, even Sunday, because there is a whole load of shit going down.

On the way to the camp, we met Colin from Schnews, who was on the way to the refugee and migration support demo in Rostock. Today is the 15th anniversary of the pogrom on asylum seekers in Rostock-Lichtenhagen, in 1992, neonazis and the general public attacked a building in which refugees were housed, and famously set fire to it, whilst police was watching and not intervening. There is a famous documentary film about this, called The truth lies in Rostock.

Several actions were called around the topic, but it seemed that the main demonstration was pretty heavily policed and the routes partly changed and the demo stopped early.

I took a shower yesterday, but the water was cold, so today I had a strong headache and a cold, so we did not go out to any actions but just recovered a little bit.

What is impressive as well, is the huge infrastructure provided and the high level of self-organisation and autonomous decision-making.

This is actually something we sadly have to relearn again because in our whole work and school and university life we are discouraged from changing things we are annoyed with on the spot, we usually have to first negotiate with authorities, and sort out competition and laws and rules before any change for the better actually happens.

We discussed a little bit yesterday the issue amongst ourselves, whereas disappointment was expressed from one Edinburgh friend, that the atmosphere in Rostock City Camp would be too consumerist, another fellow long-term IMC UK volunteer replied that it is actually so well organised that it would just be natural then to behave more in a consumerist manner than as a participant. In the next days, Rostock will be the location of the counter-summit, so most people there are German-speaking groups, and several are youth organisations of political parties or also people who might be more interested in the parties and the gigs provided than the politics. An indicator is the amount of toilet paper, milk, sugar and soap available: in an autonomous camp people make the decisions to go off and organise all the necessities needed themselves if they come across a lack of it.

Like if you notice a lack of toilet paper and so you just get to the next shop and buy as much as you can carry for the whole camp and not just a roll for yourself, you would then distribute it yourself and either donate the costs or ask the people with the donation box at the entrance to reimburse you. The whole camp runs on that principle, that everybody should contribute a little bit – what they can afford financially and/or time- and/or effort- and/or skillwise or a mix of everything.

Like I met another girl from the Forest Cafe in Edinburgh, she is actually camping in the Christian barrio (tent neighbourhood), and she said she hasn’t gone out to any action yet, because she looks after the kids and babies in the kids’ space when the parents need a rest or a change of scene.

There are people who donate several hours a day chopping vegetables or doing the washing up, others organise workshops such as First Aid, others translate, play music, organise gigs, run a radio stream, give legal advice or coordinate parking or meetings.

At the Rostock City Camp and at many of the activist spaces there is often a no-picture and no media policy, but I will try to do some more pictures early in the morning when hopefully everybody is sleeping and nobody there to be coincidently in pictures if they don’t want to.




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