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British Demonstrator Nearly Blinded by G8 Police

PRESS RELEASE Tuesday 12th June

A British demonstrator at the G8 summit was badly injured
by German police water cannon on Thursday 7th June. Matt from Liverpool
said he joined the mass protests against the G8 meeting in North Germany
last week ‘to show my abhorrence to the G8 meetings which perpetuate
exploitation, trade injustice and wars. I was one of over a thousand
people at a blockade of the West gate of the police imposed exclusion
zone surrounding the summit venue. The blockade was a peaceful attempt
to hinder access by support staff and delegates to the meetings, using
strictly non-violent means.’

However the festival atmosphere in the sun-drenched fields
was shattered by unprovoked violent assaults by the police against the
protesters. Police used pepper spray, baton charges and water cannons
against peaceful demonstrators; eighteen water cannons were used to fire
high pressure concentrated blasts of water from close range at targeted
individuals faces. I was taken by surprise by a sudden massive blow to
my left eye’ said Matt ‘it felt like my eye had been knocked out of the
socket, the pain was intense. I was blinded for the rest of the day and
my vision will probably be permanently impaired.’

Volunteer medical staff spotted internal bleeding in the
eyeball so Matt was rushed to the specialist eye unit at Rostock’s
University hospital. Their clinical examination revealed a tear and
other damage to the iris, suspected detached retina, early signs of
cataract and probable glaucoma. The full extent of the damage cannot yet
be determined due to the internal bleeding. This was no accident, six
others suffered similar eye injuries from the water cannon blasts,
including a German journalist covering the events. Another protester
sustained a perforated ear drum. Matt and other protesters are
challenging the legality of the police’s actions.

Please contact:

+44 7904452297 Jo Smith
for more information