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Friday, 20 July, 2001, 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK
Who are the Genoa protesters?
Anti-globalisation protestors
Protesters will say no to globalisation in Genoa
By BBC News Online's Lars Bevanger

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have descended on the Italian port city of Genoa for the G8 summit meeting.

They represent more than 700 groups, comprising trade unionists, anarchists, socialists, environmentalists and many more.

Police barriers outside a fast-food restaurant
Much of the city centre has been closed off

The Italian hosts have pulled out all the stops to try to prevent a repeat of the violence at the European Union summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, last month.

The airport, harbour and several roads are closed for the duration of the summit, which is being held in the Palazzo Ducale in the heart of the old city.

More than 15,000 riot police are patrolling Genoa's streets. Unlike the Swedish police, they are armed with tear gas and water cannons.

A "red zone" high security area has completely closed off the old port, the nerve centre of Genoa since ancient times.

A wider "yellow zone" is closed to protesters.

Main protests
Thursday 19 July
Migrants' international march, passed off peacefully
Friday 20 July
Day of action, some protesters will try to enter red zone
Saturday 21 July
International march, main demonstration expecting up to 100,000 people
Protest organisers called for a day of "direct actions and civil disobedience" on Friday with attempts to cross into the red zone to disrupt the summit proceedings.

Several organisations pledged strong resistance to any attempt by police to stop their advance anywhere in the city.

If we have to choose between fighting your occupying troops and passive acceptance, we will fight

Ya Basta! press release
The Italian radical group Ya Basta! has declared war on the G8 summit.

Many anti-globalist organisations are concerned that violence takes the focus away from what they see as their real agenda.

Some of the main groups protesting in Genoa are:

  • Genoa Social Forum
    Main organiser of Genoa protests and alternative forum
  • ATTAC!
    International pressure group for a more equal distribution of wealth
  • Drop the Debt
    London-based successor to Jubilee 2000, the international movement to cancel debts of the world's poorest countries
  • Ya Basta!
    Italian radical anti-globalisation group, declared war on the G8
  • Globalise Resistance
    British-based socialist organisation, opposed to "the global growth of corporate power"
  • Indymedia
    Independent media organisation, writing and webcasting events from large demonstrations, by-passing what it sees as the corporate media
  • Tute Bianchi (White Overalls)
    Italian-based direct action group, using home-made equipment as defence against what it sees as police violence

Seeking alternatives

In Genoa the protesters are forming an alternative summit to the G8.

They hope it will galvanise co-operation between hundreds of groups seeking alternatives to what they see as an undemocratic way of global rule represented by the G8.

Genoa old town street
Much of Genoa's old town will be closed during the summit
One of the larger organisations present in Genoa is ATTAC. It seeks alternatives to what it sees as financial globalisation increasing social inequality.

Its spokesman, Christophe Agiton, told BBC News Online: "Genoa is important, because the world government [the G8] is here, making decisions important to everyone.

"We are here to show them people have other ideas about where the world needs to go.

"Protest is important, we need to show we are able to be wherever they are. Our existence is very serious, and we are not a narrow group."

The BBC's Brian Barron
explains the security measures being taken in the historic city
See also:

15 Jun 01 | Europe
Gothenburgers count the cost
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