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An Open Letter to the Press

Rostock, G8 2007: There is Something Terribly Wrong Here

Here in Germany, as major protests begin against the G8, the world press
is not looking beyond the story of the battle – a partial story at best
– and asking how or why it is happening

Summit after summit, we have seen the same pattern in the media. The
images of black clad protestors hurling rocks at police, the stories of
senseless hooligans — those whom the government says should be punished
and locked away.

These stories and images of street fighting do nothing but spread fear,
criminalize protests, divide social movements, and distract the public
from the story of the G8 and their unaccountable polices that are
spreading militarism, poverty, violence, environmental destruction and
climate change.

It is easy to condemn those who throw a rock or burn a car, but most of
what we are seeing in Rostock is police blatantly provoking violence,
using that same violence to justify ever more heavy-handed repression.
Each day we are experiencing constant harassment, searches and
humiliation imposed on us in the streets and on bikes, trains and
borders, with no evidence of crime.

According to an official statement 13,000 police were present in Rostock
on Saturday – all were well-armed and wearing lots of protective gear.
There were small bands of police running into crowds, pushing, shoving
and encircling protestors in a legally permitted rally. We saw
nonviolent protestors who were trying to de-escalate the situation
bludgeoned with batons and pepper sprayed. We saw huge water cannons
infused with toxic chemicals spraying indiscriminately. Why is the press
not reporting these acts of violence by the police? If violence makes
such good headlines, why does the violence of poverty created by G8
policy go un-condemned?

Perhaps we might begin to understand if we look deeper. We may see that
such violent confrontations have become a symptom of social and economic
systems that values property over life, prisons over education, sprawl
over sustainability, borders over migration, war over peace. We might
see that it is in the interest of the police and the G8 to have such
street fights, to justify the 90 million euros spent on security (in
Germany alone). We might understand that repression and the violence of
police is designed to thwart democracy and silence dissent.

But we who oppose the G8 will not be silent and we not be stopped. We
understand that things are terribly wrong and that without such protests
our voices will not be heard at all.

For ongoing independent coverage of events near Rostock: de.indymedia.org

Bild: Cop


  • Lisa Fithian, Austin,TX / +49 17629799874 / fithianl@igc.org /
  • Logan Price, Seattle, Wa / +49 16092437902/ logan@riseup.net
  • Nick Simmons, Vashon,WA / technocrat.nick@gmail.com
  • Causten Wollerman, Denver, CO / 303.748 0922 / causten.wollerman@gmail.com
  • Eric Freeman,Minneapolis, MN / erriiik@riseup.net (speaks German)
  • Ian Markson, San Francisco, CA / IanEMarkson@yahoo.com,
  • Val Alzarga, Denver, CO / 31610647398
  • Michal Asterweil, Chapel Hill, NC / 0049015774630929
  • David Zlutnick, CA, davidzlutnick@gmail.com
  • Brandon Letsinger, Seattle, WA, cascadianow@gmail.com
  • Luke Rodeheffer, Rodchester, MN, unspunmedia@gawab.com (speaks German)