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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
The spirit of Seattle
From Melbourne to Genoa, almost every major monetary conference is now marked by the actions of impassioned demonstrators.

The scenes of violent protest that exploded on the streets of Seattle in November 1999 are often cited as the start of the anti-globalisation cause.

The so-called Battle of Seattle is viewed by many as a watershed for the anti-capitalist movement, and the spark for several fractious demonstrations that followed.

Now three years later, the violence may be anticipated but it is nonetheless shocking and disruptive.

The most shocking images of anti-capitalist rioting Europe had seen as G8 leaders barricaded themselves in the Italian city.

One demonstrator was shot dead by police who later admitted they had been heavy-handed in dealing with the crowds.

Genoa G8
The world was shocked by the scenes in Genoa

Dozens were injured and there were widespread allegations of police brutality during the summit.

Many protesters said they were beaten, strip-searched and denied access to lawyers.

In one incident police raided a school which was being used as a base by protesters. One threatened to sue Italian police after he was allegedly beaten senseless.

The police estimated 2,500 anarchists had travelled to Genoa from countries including the UK, Germany, Greece, Spain and the US specifically to cause trouble.

It was the worst rioting a European summit had experienced.

More than 90 people were hurt during the political meeting in the Swedish city, as police fought running battles with 25,000 anarchists, anti-globalists and other protesters. Damage was estimated at more than $4m.

Their anger was directed at the policies of US President George W Bush, who was at the summit, and globalisation.

At one point during the night, Swedish officers, apparently overwhelmed by the scale of the disturbances, opened fire with live ammunition, shooting three protesters.

A 33-year-old librarian from London was among those jailed for their part in the violence.

The summit was disrupted and some delegates had to switch hotels.

May Day itself passed off peacefully in Berlin but the carnival atmosphere turned nasty on the night of 2 May.

Berlin May Day
Police and demonstrators held running battles

The focus was in the Kreuzberg district, long a hotbed of Berlin's alternative scene and street troubles.

Molotov cocktails were thrown at police, cars set on fire and several of the 9,000 police officers on duty were injured, as hooded youths pelted the police with bottles and cobbled stones, wrecking the pavement. More than 150 protesters were arrested.

Authorities had banned the main anti-capitalist demonstration in hopes of breaking the cycle of violence they claimed draws "riot tourists."

The city centre came to a virtual standstill as roads were closed and shops and schools shut in anticipation of traditional rioting on May Day.

Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road were the focus of the protest where thousands of demonstrators congregated.

Oxford Street May Day 2001
A policeman tends a protester in Oxford Street

The police moved in and surrounded the main body, trapping 150 protesters at Oxford Circus for seven hours.

The police were later criticised by civil liberty groups for penning in the largely peaceful group for so long.

Businesses estimated damage caused by militant anarchists and loss of business at 20m but the trouble was less marked than the previous year.

Violence spilled onto the streets of the Canadian city as it hosted the Summit of Americas. Police used water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets in an effort to quell protests against the spread of free trade.

More than 400 people were arrested as some demonstrators started fires, broke shop windows and threw petrol bombs.

The annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF drew several thousand protesters and sparked two days of violence in the historic central European capital.

Police helicopters and balaclava-clad marksmen were drafted in on day one to bolster security but failed to prevent a series of clashes. Molotov cocktails were hurled at police and a group of demonstrators came close to storming a hotel where many delegates were staying.

The violence continued into a second day and both institutions agreed to end their conferences a day early because of the trouble. Earlier in the month, violence had marred a WEF meeting in Melbourne.

The spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which fell on consecutive days, drew some 10,000 protesters to the American capital.

Genoa G8
The world was shocked by the scenes in Genoa
Most were intent on causing disruption rather than destruction, and on that front, at least, they were successful. Although activists failed to shut down the two meetings, they caused great inconvenience and generated much publicity.

Placards abounded, with statements like "Imperial Monetary Fiend" and "IMF/World Bank: start shakin'; today's pig is tomorrow's bacon".

Police arrested 1,300, but most of the protesting was well mannered and good humoured. There was little violence and some pepper spray was used by police.

Two months after Seattle, anti-globalisation protesters descended on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.

A group of 500 protesters, disguised as skiers and some masked, defied a ban on demonstrations to vent their anger. Some carried banners with the slogans "Fight the WEF" and "WEF - meeting the murderers".

Police in the town, which is an old hand at hosting global monetary meetings, fired tear gas as some activists smashed car windows and shop fronts.

Trouble erupted after 100,000 demonstrators marched, mostly in carnival mood, on the opening ceremony of the World Trade Organisation's third ministerial meeting.

Seattle protesters
Seattle is seen as the genesis of the anti-globalisation cause
An eclectic array of protesters, including environmentalists, trade unionists and students had managed to block off the conference hall and delegates' main hotel, sparking a police crackdown.

While the vast majority of protesters were peaceful, gangs of masked protesters went on the rampage, overturning newspaper stands and smashing shop windows.

Officers dressed in riot gear, some on horseback and in armoured cars, attempted to disperse the crowds. Police, who were later accused of heavy-handed tactics, fired pepper gas, tear gas and plastic bullets and arrested 500 people, including some innocent workers, shoppers and residents.

A state of civil emergency was declared. Damage to buildings and business losses were valued at 12.5m.

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