buon lavoro!!

From: "George Monbiot" <>
1) Raising the Temperature - It's time we started pulling down corporate
By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 24th July 2001

Asking the G8 leaders to decide what to do about third world debt is like
asking the inmates of Wormwood Scrubs to decide what to do about crime.
Debt is the direct result of the banking structure which has enriched the
G8 nations. Our leaders are the last people on earth who should be charged
with tackling it.

The same goes for poverty in Africa. For 150 years, a few rich nations have
decided how Africa should be "helped". The G8's new "Marshall Plan" for the
continent is no more enlightened than the schemes some of its members were
devising in 1860. The problem is not the decisions the G8 makes. The
problem is that it's the G8 making the decisions.

I had imagined that this was so obvious it scarcely needed stating, but
some of the big development charities criticising the G8's new plans are
now arguing not that these constitute a new form of colonialism, but that
this colonialism is insufficiently funded. Reading the responses of some of
the organisations I have long admired, I can't help wondering whose side
they are on.

My bewilderment has been compounded by a recognition, painful and reluctant
as it is, that the G8 leaders, the press and the millions of people for
whom these issues were meaningless just a year or two ago are now
discussing them only because of the fighting in the streets. Having
campaigned against violence towards people for years, I find this
perception terrifying. It is simply not true to say that Carlo Giuliani
died in vain. By contrast to the hundreds of thousands of people who, like
me, have spent their working lives making polite representations, he was
acknowledged by the eight men closeted in the ducal palace. They were
forced, as never before, to defend themselves against the charge of

This discovery is hardly new. I have simply stumbled once more upon the
fundamental political reality which all those of us who lead moderately
comfortable lives tend occasionally to forget: that confrontation is an
essential prerequisite for change.

The problem with the fighting at Genoa is not only that the confrontation
was of the kind which hurts people, but also that it was not always clear
what they were being hurt for. The great Islamic activist Hamza Yusuf
Hanson distinguishes between two forms of political action. He defines the
Arabic word "hamas" as enthusiastic but intelligent anger and "hamoq" as
uncontrolled, stupid anger. The Malays could not pronounce the Arabic 'h',
and the British acquired the word from them. On Friday and Saturday, while
the white overalls movement practised hamas, seeking to rip down the fences
around Genoa's Red Zone but refusing to return the blows of the police, the
black block ran amok.

The important thing about hamas is that, whether or not it is popular, it
is comprehensible. People can see immediately what you are doing and why
you are doing it. Hamoq, by contrast, leaves its spectators dumbfounded.
Hamas may have demolished the McDonald's in Whitehall on May Day 2000, but
it would have left the Portuguese restaurant and the souvenir shop beside
it intact. Hamas explains itself. It is a demonstration in both senses of
the word: a protest and an exposition of the reasons for that protest.
Hamoq, by contrast, seeks no public dialogue. Hamas is radical. Hamoq is

If, like some of the black block warriors I have spoken to, you cannot
accept this distinction, then look at how the police responded to these two
very different species of anger. On Friday, though they were armed to the
teeth and greatly outnumbered the looters, the police stood by and watched
as the black block rampaged around Brignole station, smashing every
shopfront and overturning the residents' cars.

Then on Saturday night, on the pretext of looking for the people who had
caused the violence, the police raided the schools in which members of the
non-violent Genoa Social Forum were sleeping, and started beating them to a
pulp before they could get out of their sleeping bags. The police, like
almost everyone else in Genoa, knew perfectly well that the black block
were, at the time, camped in a car park miles away.

It is not hard to see which faction Italy's borderline-fascist state feels
threatened by, and which faction it can accept and even encourage. If Carlo
Giuliani did not die in vain, it was because the Genoa Social Forum had so
clearly articulated the case he may have been seeking to make. His hamoq
forced a response because other people were practising hamas.

Hamas instructs us to choose our enemies carefully. And if there is one
thing upon which all the diverse factions whose members gathered at Genoa
can agree, it is the identity of some of our enemies. There are some
corporations, for example, which activists and non-activists everywhere
regard as a menace to society.

Almost everyone agrees that the world would be a better place without the
companies which are lobbying against action on climate change, building
Bush's missile defence system, producing fragmentation grenades, demanding
control over health and education services, privatising water in third
world cities then selling it back to their people at inflated prices,
ripping up virgin forests, designing plants with sterile seeds. The state
was once empowered to destroy such menaces: in the 18th century, for
example, the British government could dismantle any commercial enterprise
"tending to the common grievance, prejudice and inconvenience of His
Majesty's subjects". Now the state has renounced this power and refuses,
whatever its people may say, to demolish the dens from which the thieves of
the public realm raid our lives. Hamas insists that we pull them down

Those who will be most horrified by this suggestion were doubtless also
delighted to see the public demolition of the Berlin Wall. It is surely
obvious that the excesses of corporate power are no more likely to be
reversed voluntarily by the states which it has captured than that the
Berlin Wall would have been pulled down by the governments which built it.
And I suspect that, in private, most British people would be as happy to
see the headquarters of, say, Balfour Beatty or Monsanto dismantled by
non-violent direct action as they were to see Lord Archer go to prison.

These things can be done, as peaceful protesters have demonstrated in
fields of GM maize, nuclear laboratories and military aircraft hangars all
over the country, without hurting anyone. Indeed, when actions are clearly
focussed, then violence towards human beings is far less likely to take
place, as it's harder to forget what we are seeking to achieve. While it
would cause some of our liberal supporters to shudder, it would also
generate the massive public debate without which no political change can
take place.

Ours is, in numerical terms, the biggest protest movement in the history
of the world. We have, perhaps, a better opportunity for generating
progressive, democratic change than at any time in the past 50 years. But,
though I am scared to say it, it's now clear to me that we cannot win
without raising the temperature. The disorienting, profoundly disturbing
lesson from Genoa is also the oldest lesson in politics: words alone are
not enough.


From: "" <>

3) Newzeland, Wellington journalist arrested at Genoa

Foreign Affairs have confirmed that the New Zealander arrested
at the G8 summit protests in Genoa is Wellington journalist,
Sam Buchanan.  Mr Buchanan, who has worked for a number of
community papers including City Voice, was one of over 90
arrested late on Saturday night in a police raid of a school
building rented as a sleeping place for anti-globalisation
All of the protestors have been simultaneously charged with
four charges including unlawful association, possession of a
weapon, obstructing police and attempted murder. It is believed
that the attempted murder charge is in relation to the death of
protester Carlo Giuliana. It is expected however that these
charges will be watered down.
  Wellington anti-globalisation activist and friend of Mr
Buchanan's, Ross Gardiner says, "As media reports say that
those inside the school were so severely beaten up by police
they could not walk, we are naturally very concerned about
Sam's well being.30 ambulances were needed to take the
injured people away. Many of those beaten were asleep at the
time the ploice raided as it was after midnight. We are also
concerned about the charges laid against all the protesters as it
appears obvious that the police arrested any protestor or
independent media person on very dubious grounds. There is
clear photographic evidence that shows police shooting and then
running over Carlo Giuliana, the attempted murder charge is
just bizarre."
   At the same time as the raid on the school building, police also
raided the Independant Media Centre. After smashing their way
in and firing tear gas, they smashed computers and took