Chronicle of state violence at G8 2007

This an approach of an incomplete reconstruction. Please help to verify the events due to place and time. We are happy for any feedback, comments or corrections! So, we cannot give any garanty for the correctness of the mentioned facts.

Sources: Camp AG, Streetmedics, Infopoints, Indymedia Ticker, lawyers, police, eye-witnesses, press, pressgroups, Linkspartei Bad Doberan, Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy, own reports etc.

Translation: Media G8way International Pressgroup

[Gipfelsoli Infogruppe]

Update: June 15th 2007

under permanent construction

Tuesday, 29th May

Afternoon: A convoy on its way to the Wichmannsdorf camp is stopped by the Police and searched. On the B105 near the town of Teschow a Police unit from Lower Saxony stops the group and announces that the personal details of all persons will be checked and the vehicles searched. In the first instance, the officers from Hannover try to proceed without providing a reason, only after insistent questioning do they state that the trailers the group has with them are carrying bikes assumed to be stolen. The group’s lawyer Soenke Hibrans from Berlin comments that, “to investigate suspected bicycle theft with road closures is anything but an appropriate Police measure. This was an unlawful harassment.”

Wednesday, 30th May

On Wednesday and Thursday mobilising rallies take place at a number of Rostock schools. On Wednesday morning and at midday a sound system vehicle visits various schools and flyers are distributed to the pupils to inform them about events during the protest week. At the second stop, two plain clothes Police officers inform a Police unit from Rhineland Palatinate, on standby in Schifferstadt, of the initiative. With five vans and 35 persons the Police stop the people in the sound system vehicle as well as one other car. Their personal details are checked, people and vehicles are filmed and the rally is effectively stopped. The organisers of the rally are held until after it was supposed to start. The rally is intentionally prevented without any reason given, even when explicitly asked for. On Thursday the school tour is continued, and between 7am and 8am, after the first stop at a Rostock grammar school, a totally different type of encounter happens. Whilst the mobilisation crew is on a break, the gentlemen for the Protection of the Constitution, probably Bavarian, are found tampering with the sound system vehicle. When one of them is asked what they are doing, he seems jumpy. He shouts out, ’don’t touch me!’ and after a short car chase disappears with his colleague in a BMW with a Wuerzburg number plate. The cliched appearance of these two figures is evident: moustache, checked shirt, aged between 40 and 50 and relatively inconspicuous.

Saturday, 2nd June

About 2am: Witness report: At Rostock central station people get off the train from Hamburg straight into a Police encirclement (as far as I know there were no incidents in the train, we were accompanied by Police officers and I think that only a few older people who don’t look like Summit critics are allowed to pass through the Police line at this point). In groups of 5 people are allowed to move out of the encirclement to the station where each person’s personal details are checked, with some individuals being searched (according to how they look, how much verbal resistance they display and how vehemently they demand a justification for Police actions). No justification for the action is ever provided as far as I know. After about an hour everyone who was stopped at the station is released, after the last train to the Rostock camp has left.

Around 3pm: Police provoke confrontation. The protest march from “Schutower Kreuz” reaches Rostock Harbour, participants listen to a speech about Police violence in Brazil. In the background riot Police from Thueringen prepare to attack the demonstration. In this visibly relaxed atmosphere two plain clothes Police officers position themselves next to two masked demonstrators. All of a sudden, the Police officers throw one of the masked individuals to the ground to arrest them. Other participants gather around to demand that the Police stop with this provocation. Immediately a standby Police unit arrives and pushes the witnesses who have gathered in solidarity, as well as other bystanders, to the side. The situation leads to hours of fighting with the Police.

After an accident on the motorway near Rostock, Police and hospital staff refuse to provide medical assistance. A car with French activists collides with another car. Police arriving on the scene of the accident do not help properly and are much more interested in people’s luggage. When the injured persons try to get help at Rostock hospital, staff there doubt they had a car accident and accuse them of having obtained their injuries during confrontations with the Police at Rostock Harbour.

Around 8pm, B105: A group of 30 cyclists are returning to Camp Reddelich from Rostock. Police vans drive alongside the convoy, open the doors and grab a cyclists, beating him with batons. Pepper spray is sprayed directly in cyclists’ faces. Some of the participants suffer severe shock, some have severe irritations.

Sunday, 3rd June

The Police spread false information that members of the Rebel Clown Army used “unknown chemical fluids” on Police officers. 8 Police officers are supposedly being treated in hospital. This accusation is taken up by the press and disseminated. Despite the fact this information is unfounded and absurd, it is at no point renounced.

Kavala announces that 1000 persons were injured on the 2nd June. According to Kavala, of this number 430 are Police officers, many of them severely. Hospitals report 2 Police officers with broken bones. No Police officer is kept in hospital. An overwhelming amount of injuries, both on the side of Police and demonstrators, is to be attributed to eye infections due to tear gas or substances that were added to the water in water cannons.

Police brutality of Bavarian Special Forces during arrests: “As I was pushed into the car, I was told that I should ‘shut up, otherwise there would be trouble’ and that they were ‘fed up with stone throwers like me’. On the way to the Police base, I was massively pressured to ‘admit everything’ because they were ‘going to get us all anyway’. I was kicked, beaten, shouted at and threatened: ‘when we get there we will take you off the list and drive with you into the woods, nobody will notice’. All in all the whole incident took 4 1/2 hours, until I was released without charge.”

11.15pm on the way to the Rostock Camp: Police vans suddenly stop next to people who had attended the concert and were returning to the camp. Officers jump out of the vans and start beating people up. One person is injured and has to be taken to hospital.

Monday, 4th June

Media witch hunt:
“Bild” newspaper headlines with the question, “Do you want deaths?” The article reports how the Police trade union wish to get permission to use of live ammunition on demonstrators.
Frank Jansen states in the “Tagesspiegel” that on June 2nd, demonstrators had thrown pieces of fruit with razor blades in it. The article refers to a “security expert” who is not mentioned by name.

11am, Opening rally of the migration demonstration at Rostock Lichtenhagen: Severe Police aggression. Repeatedly people are snatched out of the demo, there is permanent filming. There is no apparent escalation on the side of the demonstrators.

11.40 am, Rostock: A Cameroonian demonstrator is severely injured, his nose is presumably broken and he has to be taken to hospital.

At the migration-themed demonstration on June 4th, demonstrators are threatened by the Police. “We will take revenge for Saturday if you continue to demonstrate here”, “Do you want to die?”, “Go, or you won’t see the day out!” The demonstration was officially registered and proceeded without disturbances on the side of the demonstrators. Police units repeatedly try to provoke participants. Repeatedly pepper spray is used unannounced. That afternoon, “Kavala” makes false claims that stones and bottles were thrown. However, numerous journalists present at the demonstration report the opposite.

“In one case a Police unit stormed a tram as it stopped, Police beat up everyone dressed in black and then left the tram again immediately”, the legal investigation board writes on June 4th.

Report on escalations on behalf of the Police by the Committee for Basic Rights:
On Monday, June 4th when the registered demonstration with a few thousand participants arrives in the town centre from the refugee camp, they are met by an armada of Police in full riot gear, along with five water canons. For over an hour the protest march is not allowed to begin. Information or even reasons for the delay are virtually non-existent and when given, contradictory. None of the justifications would withstand verification – at one time 500 participants still need to be searched, at another time there is a supposed threat from outside the demo. Suddenly Police claim there are 1000 “violent Autonomen” inside the peaceful demonstration. Nevertheless, the demonstrators ensure that the situation remains relaxed by communicating information and providing entertainment. After over an hour of waiting the protest march is allowed to move forward at least some of the way. Due to the fact that the rest of the route towards the centre of town is prohibited by the Police, the demonstration has to be terminated by the organisers. The Police justify the route cancellation with the argument that the number of demonstrators is higher than had been registered. The supposed 10.000 participants – in this case an exaggeration on the side of the Police due to their interests at that moment – are too many to be allowed to enter the centre of town. To the press it is reiterated that there are a large number of “violent Autonomen” in the rally. These did not make themselves known and continued not to do so. Nonetheless, in spite of all the Police threats regarding searches and arrests, a spontaneous demonstration formed, which, without a single incident being reported, marched without further troubles to the planned closing rally at Rostock Harbour.

Tuesday, 5th June

12pm: The organisation “Jewish Voice” cancels its planned commemoration at the Fence because of the unacceptable conditions placed on the event. Already two months ago the organisation “Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Near East”, together with “Israelis against the G8”, had registered a commemoration at the Fence for the victims of the occupation of West Jordan and Gaza Strip that began 40 years ago. The Higher Administrative Court Greifswald had decided that 24 hours before the commemoration event, the names of the participants had to be made public. A maximum of 15 persons would be allowed to participate. “Such conditions are unacceptable”, one of the organisers states.

4.15pm: Illegally and without witnesses, the Dutch “Media Bus” is searched on the way to a registered rally at the military airport Rostock Laage. A 100 troop strong Police unit from Goeppingen stops the mobile editorial office on a parking lot close to Ziesendorf near Schwaan and encircles the vehicle. The journalists have to get out of the bus one by one and have all of their luggage, as well as the shoes they are wearing, searched. Their personal details are recorded. For protection, the journalists film the incident, yet this documentation from outside of the Police encirclement which took place until 5.40pm, is banned. This measure is decided by the officers Hensel and Schobel, more information could only be obtained directly from Kavala. The Police press office could only state by telephone that if one had been affected by these measures then one could send an email to them to complain. A Police spokesperson at the rally in Laage later commented that these measures were “perfectly normal – of course basic rights and freedom of the press are restricted in this state of emergency”.

Afternoon, rally at the military airport Rostock Laage: People’s right to assemble is inhibited by delays at the Police office in Rostock and the fact that the Administrative Court had not processed the urgent appeal lodged against the prohibition of rally points. Road closures, check points and restricted parking inhibit access to the rally. The designation of a “prohibited zone” by Police forces is revoked by lead officer Schultz who declares it a mistake. Despite the decision by the Higher Administrative Court that the “visibility of the event must not be prevented through Police vehicles or other Police measures”, huge Police lorries are positioned on the Parkstrasse in the direction of the airport so as to intercept visibility from and to the airport. Despite the intervention of officer Schulz, this situation is not remedied until President Bush had arrived and left again by helicopter. The sound system vehicle that is supposed to lead a convoy back to Rostock safely was only permitted to use the roundabout (situated 100m from the airport) that leads to the road to Rostock hours after the event had finished. Furthermore, after the end of the assembly, it is announced that a bus full of people wanting to attend the rally had been stopped and led onto a motorway parking lot to be held there for a number of hours. After Police searches only find a gas mask and two walkie talkies, all people on the bus are photographed one by one and their ID cards collected.

Afternoon, A19: Police attempt to record the personal details of a child. During a stop and search incident, Police are not embarrassed to try and take the personal details of a one and a half year old child. The child was travelling with the Action Coalition against Militarisation, War and Torture in a shuttle bus towards Rostock Laage when the bus was stopped by about 20 Police vans on the A19. The officers recorded the personal details of everyone, including the child, and searched the bus for hours and took pictures. Due to the fact that they could not find anything, they confiscated some scarfs and two pairs of gloves. Following this all of the activists were taken into detention with the accusation that they had “masked themselves in the bus”. They were brought to the mass detention centre at Industriestrasse (Rostock). There they were held for a number of hours and their personal details recorded again. The mother of the one and half year old child was repeatedly asked to hold her child’s face into the camera. After they were unable to take the picture, the Police let mother and child go around midnight, as the first of the group to be released. Both received an injunction for Rostock and Bad Doberan until June 9th.

At the fifth Police check point on the way to the airport a demonstrator’s car is tampered with by the Police. All of a sudden the fuel injection pump is missing and the vehicle will no longer start as the group of demonstrators is encircled by grinning Police officers.

Afternoon, beach promenade Kuehlungsborn: A couple is stopped and searched by the Police. A full body search is undertaken. The man had to undress to his underwear in front of all the passers-by. This situation is embarrassing and undignified. Amidst this, he is forced to pull his vest over his head (to mask his face). The whole incident is filmed. Passers-by are shocked.

On Tuesday a registered rally is scheduled to take place in front of the press centre at Kuehlungsborn, but no demo is allowed to march there. For this reason people from the Wichmannsdorf camp make their way there in small groups. On the road leading to the camp a large number of Police are waiting for people, preventing groups from going any further. Thus a large group of people are forced to gather at this point, which then means they fulfill the definition of being am (unregistered) “demonstration”. After some back and forth, caused primarily by the fact that the officer in charge of the operation is completely uninformed, the officer in charge expresses his frustration in the following way (not verbatim): “We can’t be bothered anymore, we will retreat, the new shift arrives soon and they will already have their full gear on”. The only ‘provocation’ that comes from the crowd behind the Police barrier is the clowns who apparently scare some officers who claim that they were using acid in their toy water pistols…de-escalation is different, what is occurring are real threats on behalf of an overwhelmed, incompetent and uninformed operation control.

Emergency Legal Team: Evermore globalisation critics are receiving injunctions since the beginning of the G8 Summit protests. On the 5th June alone, the legal team notes around 100 injunctions. Reasons for these are often spurious, for example when at stop and search exercises at stations or arbitrary roads people are found to have sun glasses, scarfs or handkerchiefs with them. Even lawyers accompanying demonstrators receive verbal injunctions. Some injunctions also include the area of Rostock Harbour, so that people cannot even attend the cultural events taking place there.

Legal Team on the mass detentions on Tuesday: 21 persons, of which 4 are internationals, are taken into detention on Tuesday. Overwhelmingly, the reason for this is that they are masked (with scarfs and sunglasses). Two minors are among those detained. In the area around the protests at the military airport at Rostock Laage 70 persons in two buses (one from Bremen and one from the Netherlands) are detained without any justification. A bus from Greece with 27 Greeks and 13 Italians are temporarily taken into detention. Later they are allowed to travel to Rostock with Police accompaniment. In Heiligendamm local people film events from their homes. Police clearly feel threatened and try to stop them. The intervention of a lawyer is required to revoke the prohibition on filming.

Wednesday, 6th June

2am to 4.30 am, Camp Rostock: Police searches and arrests Camp protection group. The security crew in Camp Rostock were checked and searched for a number of hours with two people being taken into preventative detention. Pretext for this was “imminent danger” and “drug control”. All nine persons were photographed whereby they were forced to mask their faces. The Police claimed that they were planning to commit criminal offences with the walkie talkies they had with them. The walkie talkies that were being used to protect the camp, were confiscated.

Witness report: Around 10.30 am at the motorway near Laage a number of cars are forced off the road onto a parking lot, at times at gun point. This is followed by ID checks and handcuffing (hands behind the back and tied up). After being processed the detainees (about 70 persons) are brought to the Police vans and have to stand in the sun tied up and pushed all together for an hour and a half. After this they are put on buses and taken to the mass detention centre in the Industriestrasse in Rostock. There they spend the rest of the day in cages and between 11pm and 2pm are released with an injunction for the area of Bad Doberan and Rostock (valid until 8th June 11.50pm).

11 am, Karlsruhe: Federal Court confirms total ban of the Starmarch. Whilst Police and administrative courts are accused of declaring a demonstration ban to “protect the sensibilities of state guests”, the prohibition is upheld with the justification that the events of the 2nd and 4th June show a large potential for violence on behalf of demonstrators.

12pm, near Admannshagen, Hohe Steinbeck: About 2000 people are attacked by Police with water canons and tear gas. The Police does not communicate with the organisers or with the lawyers.

Witness report: On the way to Rethwisch/Boergerende: On the way to the shore road which we subsequently blocked together with others at Boergerende, there are two incidents. Our affinity group, which is walking quite close to the front behind the dark blue flag, comes into direct contact with officers from Bavaria (They might have been from Bamberg, but in any case they are clad in black) at the Police line to the right of the road (to the left of where helicopters had previously landed to unload), which we are moving towards (all fingers behind one another) as a protest march. This is the rape seed field that is difficult to cross. Further to the right there are dozens of six packs in rows. Police are really threatening, officers swing their batons and scream at us; they are holding their pepper spray ready. Two from our group are sprayed in the face without warning as they walk into the road with their hands in the air, talking to the Police to appease them. I am behind one of the people who is attacked and get some of the pepper spray on my arm (where it reacts with sun cream leading to incredibly red skin and burning pains, like sun burn, for hours). The two others have to be treated with water for about 20 minutes and are in severe pain. At a junction we reach after walking through the next field, we at first encounter few Police. Two water canons retreat and stand ready at some distance. When we block the road with about 80 people, the Police take action. The part of the standing blockade that I am in is was massively hit by one of the water canons which is now moving towards the crowd. The other part of the blockade where people are sitting down is attacked by the other water canon (also moving forward). At the same time a black clad Police unit storm the sit-down blockade and try to disperse it violently. I can’t see what exactly happens there then but demonstrators try to protect themselves with their straw sacks; everyone is violently pushed into the bushes next to the road. In my opinion it’s lucky that people do not fall on top of each other and severely injure themselves and others. The Police obviously do not care about this. We cannot not hold the blockade under these circumstances.

3pm: Mass detention centre Industriestrasse (Rostock- Schmarl). Lawyers demonstrate against the untenable conditions in the mass detention centres with the slogan “for fair trials and free access to detainees”.

Daytime, Camp Rostock: “As ‘Rabbit’ (Name of the Camp Rostock protection group) I was an eye witness to the following event on June 6th: About 60m from the main entrance of the Rostock Camp (Schlachthofstrasse) a blue Mercedes van stops. 6 men aged between 35 and 45 years are sat inside. They are all wearing inconspicuous clothes, jeans, t-shirts, denim jackets. The men make their way to the main entrance, hiding their cameras. Suspicious, I walk towards the men who hesitate for a moment and then quickly return to their van. In the meantime other demonstrators notice the exposed plain clothes police officers who drive away very quickly, hiding their faces”.

Afternoon: Berlin doctor is arrested: “Plain clothes police officers claim I led demonstrators through police barriers. Even if I had done this, it would not be a criminal offence. But the officers state that this is a severe breach of the peace and order uniformed colleagues to arrest me. This is unbelievable. I was on duty and was providing medical support to people. At the time I was arrested I was on my way to a place near Bad Doberan to help a journalist who was having trouble breathing, presumably an asthma attack. I was not able to reach this person”.

Rostock mass detention centres (Ulmen and Industriestrasse): The lawyers’ use of a room (“lawyers room”) is revoked. A “Stern” magazine reporter is taken into detention with the accusation of being a ringleader.

6pm East Gate: Two groups of plain clothes police officers incite demonstrators to violent acts against the police. One group consists of 3 men and one woman, the other consists of 4 men. All are wearing clothes in the alleged “Autonomen style” (black hoodies and trowsers, baseball hats, sun glasses etc.). Already at this point they are recognized as police officers by other demonstrators. After this, the two groups split. The four men remain near the Gate and the other group with the woman move away from the Fence. With exclamations such as, “Let’s go, attack the Police!” they tried to animate others to join them. Their calls are accompanied by someone throwing a stone at the police lines.

6.20 pm Boergerende: Police beat up demonstrators sat in the first rows.

6.35, Hinter Bollhagen: Police beat people sitting in the road. One water canon is deployed.

7pm, Hinter Bollhagen: A doctor notices that demonstrators are at risk of hypothermia and orders blankets with the disaster control services. Police prevents the provision of blankets.

7.15 pm, Hinter Bollhagen: Police use batons and pepper spray.

7.25pm, Boergerende: Police use batons.

7.30pm, Bad Doberan Camp Infopoint: A one-hundred troop strong Police unit arrives. One of the organizers is punched in the face. He falls to his knees and is searched as he holds his hands up. The inexplicable and brutal event is documented with photographs. Numerous journalist from the hotel across the road are able to prevent further violence with their presence.

7.30pm Bad Doberan: A massive contingent of Police in riot gear encircles the “Amsterdamer Media Bus” of the Initiative Dissent Netherlands. The bus serves as a mobile editorial office for media activists, as well as being a deposit space for camera equipment. At the time of the encirclement there are 7 laptops on the desks. In a skirmish, bystanders are pushed away from the bus by Police whilst the bus is searched by 6 police officers. One journalist who is present (Hans C. from the Centre des Medias Alternatives in Brussels) is arrested: “I had the impression that the officers were very tense. I was really scared that I would be beaten up if I made the smallest of movements”. The driver of the media bus is forced by the Police to drive the bus to the mass detention centre at the Industriestrasse in Rostock. The reason given by the Police officer in charge is that the media bus may be running a pirate radio station. Furthermore the Police claimed not to recognize the Dutch MOT license, thus confiscating the bus. Later on, Police told the lawyer assigned to the incident that the media bus was being accused of coordinating the “black bloc”. According to information in the local Bad Doberan newspaper “Stadtanzeiger am Samstag”, the Police press office of the “BAO Kavala” is not been in a position to even provide an incident in Bad Doberan for the time of day associated with the accusation, which is why the press office would not comment. The driver and the arrested journalist are kept in detention over night and are only released the next morning. After an intervention by the Dutch Journalist Association (NJV) and the German Journalist Association (DJV) the media bus is released on the afternoon of June 7th.

Police declare that they will cut off supplies at the blockades. Water and food provisions will no longer be allowed through. Also, the request made to disaster control services to provide blankets to people to prevent hypothermia would not be allowed. Disaster control services also refuse to assist blockaders. A Police officer at the Blockade in Rethwisch comments: “It does not fit into my understanding of democracy that criminal offenders should be provided with food and water”.

8.30 pm, Camp Rostock: Police attempt to search the camp with 500 Police troops. There is no search warrant, only a request which states that Nazis are assumed to be in the Camp. Lawyers and members of the Rostock town administration are able to prevent the unlawful search. Thousands of people in the camp panic, in fear of Police violence.

10.30pm, Blockade Rostock Laage: 2 lawyers who are present are not let through and receive injunctions, as well as being threatened with arrest.

10.55pm, Blockade Boergerende: Police try to intimidate people through filming and an aggressive presence.

Witness report: Our affinity group (“Palm”) is part of the protest block with the light blue flag on its way to the blockade in Boergerende. Whilst moving through Police lines at the connecting road Neu Rethwisch-Nienhagen 3 of us are attacked with pepper spray even though many of us are approaching the Police lines non-violently with raised arms.

Witness report: Connecting road Neu Rethwisch-Nienhagen: I observe how Police officers are not able to stop demonstrators crossing the road yet trip them up or kick them without attempting to actually prevent them from going onto the road.

Thursday, 7th of June

6.40 am: 2 journalists are detained after the Police stamp their press cards “not valid”.

Around 1pm, Rostock: Two “fingers” of the blockaders that started from the camp in Rostock are attacked by the Police while crossing a street. Several protestors are injured due to the use of water canons filled with a mix of water and tear gas, as well as the use of pepper spray and truncheons.

1pm, Hinter Bollhagen: Police start to beat up 2 500 protestors and uses pepper spray and water canons. Protestors try to protect themselves with umbrellas and banners. During the water canon attack 5 protestors are injured heavily and have to be brought to hospital, amongst whom is a photographer of dpa. 1 person suffers a severe eye injury, another person suffers a tear in their eardrum. Cause in both situation: direct hit by the sharp jet of the water canon. The police acts extremely brutally.

Media witch hunt: The local news channel MVregio claims the Police has indications that violent protestors are armed with potatoes prepared with spikes.

2pm: Police again attack clearly designated lawyers of the Legal Team. Half a dozen Police officers surround a protestor who holds onto a lamp pole and cries out for help. The lawyer of the Legal Team asks the man if he needs the help of a lawyer, which he confirms. When the lawyer asks for his name, a Police officer holds the protestor’s mouth closed, while at least 6 policemen grab him, throw him onto the floor and tie him. At the same time, the lawyer is separated from his client, grabbed from behind and taken away by at least 2 policemen. The Police officer is repeatedly asked for his number, he gives the evidently false response “4711”.

Afternoon: A boat of the Maritime Police force hits and runs over two dingy boots of the environmental organization Greenpeace. Greenpeace complains about unusual levels of Police brutality and lack of competence. “We have offered the police a dingy boat training – how to push aside a boat without endangering people’s lives”, says Smid. The protest is not negligent and could not have been confused with a terrorist attack, since the Maritime Police were informed in advance.

5.45 pm, West Gate: The press is requested by Police to “leave the site for their own safety”. They have “exactly one opportunity to leave the Police cordon and cross the street, after which they will not have another chance to exit”. This request is repeated, but one of the photographers who stays with the protestors is later injured by water canons. The excessive use of water canons – nine of which are deployed in total – leads to several injured activists who have to be carried away by the emergency services.

After 5.45pm: Witness report: Police deny (Red Cross?) emergency services access to the place where people have assembled despite persistent appeals of the street medics who are dealing with an eye injury. Instead, injured people are to be handed over at the Police lines, which has to happen because there is no other option. There are cynical comments from the bald headed guy in the water canon vehicle (“We’re only trying to make some room for ourselves”). There are numerous targeted attacks on completely arbitrarily chosen people without any previous incident to justify it. In particular there are lots of head and stomach or kidney injuries. Otherwise, I am told that Police are spraying pepper spray or tear gas from a rear tank behind the water canon.

Water canons are repeatedly deployed at the blockades with no warning by the Police. Some demonstrators are knocked off their feet from behind by still moving water canon vehicles. On June 7th the operation at the “West Gate” near Hinter Bollhagen leads to a number of injuries, including a burst ear drum of one demonstrator. Two activists suffer severe eye injuries and one of them is still in hospital. Recordings show how the Police unit carrying out the operation laugh as this happens. Eye witnesses report that the Police do not adhere to giving the 3 warnings they are supposed to before deploying water canons. Merely journalists who are standing around are informed beforehand. Despite repeated requests, Police do not let medics tend to the injured.

A “nude demonstration” is also attacked with pepper spray. The gas spreads over their whole bodies and lead to severe skin irritations.

Legal Team:
500 detentions on June 7th, reasons: “G8 protestors” carrying sun glasses and scarfs. Massive attacks by Police. A journalist whose accreditation was taken away 10 days previously (and who got it back through a legal procedure) is so severely attacked that he ends up in hospital with breathing problems. There are many reports of threats by Police forces.

Bavarian Police officers threaten people in a car. Police say things like, “We can also do other things, do you want to die?” Water canon deployments that take place at Hinter Bollhagen, where people are directly targeted by the canons, are unlawful because there is no prior warning to disperse the assembly. Many are injured.

Severe criticism of G8 “prison cages”. Lights are kept on day and night. There is only very little to eat and drink. According to lawyers the conditions in the detention centres are ’scandalous". Lawyer Gisela Dapprich from Duesseldorf working for the Republican Association of Lawyers (RAV) assists numerous protestors. In each of the 25 m2 cages around 20 G8 opponents are held. A camera films them constantly. Overwhelmingly, the detainees are innocent. A pair of sunglasses, a cap or hooded clothing was enough to lead to detention. There are also “severe delays” in the processing of detainees. As one G8 critic drives past the mass detention centre and takes a photograph, he is immediately grabbed by Police and taken into detention (dpa).

Afternoon: After the human rights abuse of holding people in cages at the mass detention centres is made public, lawyers attempt to get Members of Parliament involved. In the afternoon of Thursday, June 7th, the Member of the European Parliament Tobias Pflueger, who has visited many prisons in the past, is told by the Rostock Court, who is responsible for deciding on demonstrators’ detentions, that he cannot view the cages in the mass detention centres as the decision does not fall within the Court’s remit. After waiting outside the detention centre for some time, a representative of Kavala explains that he cannot give permission either. Mr Pflueger should enquire elsewhere. The telephone number that Mr Pflueger and the assigned lawyer are given is that of the Kavala press office, who also state that they have no power to take the decision to allow them to view the detention centre. After further interventions, the head officer of Kavala, Mr Laum, telephones Mr Pflueger to let him know that he is not allowed to view the detention centre because he has no legal right to do so and no lawful interest on behalf of Mr Pflueger to undertake this visit can be established. Mr Schultz, the assigned lawyer, manages to arrange a visit in the end. However, this visit has to take place in the visitors’ room and not directly at the cages where detainees are being held.

Friday, 8th June

About 9am: Witness report: At the central station there is a Police control. As part of this, anyone who looks slightly alternative coming from Reddelich is received by a one-hundred troop strong unit of Police (I don’t know whether they were BFE [Police officers who secure evidence and make arrests] or not). As part of this ‘preventative control’, some people are virtually strip searched and their details recorded. Police photograph everyone and keep people for up to an hour. What shocks me most is that people are taken into detention for having walkie talkies on them. Everyone who does not have anything like a walkie talkie or materials that can be used as masks are abandoned outside the station.

Afternoon, Kuehlungsborn: A group of bathers swims to the beach of the press centre. There they are held up by security. Others are dragged out of the water by security forces. All are taken into detention by the Police.

From the report of the Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy: Police – together with the Federal Office for the Prevention of Crime and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – are increasingly conducting their own politics which is alarming with respect to the Constitution, guaranteed basic rights and democracy. Through misinformation and unlawful activities they are manipulating a situation in which they can act within their self-created “state of emergency” according to their own unchecked criteria – for example allowing some sit down blockades or dispersing assemblies with violent water canons without previous communication. The control over the executive use of violence on behalf of the Police risks derailing in such exceptional circumstances. Precondition for this is a public relations campaign headed by Police and secret services in which claims are made without the provision of necessary evidence. Furthermore, after the confrontations on Saturday, June 2nd 2007, there was first talk of 10 severely injured Police officers, which after consultation of Federal Law, had to be renounced, given that according to official criteria, only two officers were severely injured, both of whom were treated in hospital as outpatients.
This type of publicity creates a certain mood within the Police force which leads to heightened willingness to violence, as observed in many conversations with Police officers. Moreover, it is actually the public who are misled, when for example claims are made that in the “Flight and Migration” demonstration there supposedly were “violent Autonomen”. Also, the claim that the Clown Army used acid in their water pistols had to be rejected through research. In actual fact, what happened was that rather than a large amount of Police officers, merely 2 Police officers had suffered an allergic reaction from the soapy water in the pistols, used to make bubbles. This misinformation given to the public shows a non-communication with demonstrators who were for the most part not informed of the demands and of Police measures. Instead, demonstrators were met with wordless acts of violence of which they never knew when and how these would be deployed. Whoever asks blockaders to clear the streets in order to let the Police vans stuck in the blockade out (Thursday, June 7th 2007, on a road leading from the West Gate to Steffenshagen) – with the words, “stay calm, we are not planning any measures against you in this moment” – only to then use the cooperative response of the protesters to clear the roads with armoured vehicles, should not be surprised if young people learn never to trust Police.


In the whole of Rostock, particularly at the train station, people were taken
into detention for having pen knives, scarfs or even G8 critical literature on

Police forces behaved incredibly brutally when people were taken into detention. People who were injured were refused medical attention and brought directly to the mass detention centres.

In one case, Police stormed a tram standing at a station. They beat up everyone inside wearing black clothing and then left the tram again immediately.

Activists participating in actions were threatened. For example at the demonstration on June 4th, demonstrators were told, “We will take revenge for Saturday if you continue to demonstrate here”, “Do you want to die?” The 23rd Unit of the Bavarian Police were noticed for being particularly aggressive.

Participants of the Wichmannsdorf Camp complained that many of them received injunctions from the Police. This meant that they could not go shopping in Kuehlungsborn at all or only at specific times. In the first days, everyone entering the camp was filmed and their personal details recorded. Police also carried machine guns.

Injunctions: Many people who received injunctions had their letters marked with “abstained from appeal” or “lawful hearing accorded”. No such
instructions were given in any of these cases.

A number of persons were arrested because they were carrying a banner with the slogan, “Free All Prisoners!” as they passed by a prison on their way to a demonstration. The Police judged this as incitement to actively help people break out of prison.

Two people were taken into detention at Kuehlungsborn beach as they played about in the sand near the Fence. Police accused demonstrators of trying to dig a tunnel.

According to lawyers there was an overwhelming use of violence during arrests, particularly on behalf of the Berlin Police. Lawyers were also pushed around and insulted. One colleague who had questioned a Police officer very harshly in a previous court case was threatened during a demonstration. She was told that they knew her name and that she lived in Potsdam.

During police transportation there were further abuses, as one victim describes.
“The police took off the handcuffs cutting into my hands so that they could take
off my rucksack, threatening to beat me if I moved. To underline their point,
one of the police officers rammed my head against the cell wall. After the
police finally left me and other detainees in the cell, we were told not to
speak or else he would ensure that we “would never be able to speak again”.
“In one case a police unit stormed a tram as it stopped, police beat up everyone
dressed in black and then left the tram again immediately”, the legal
investigation board wrote on June 4th.

During one police check one woman was grabbed in the crotch whilst
officers made leery noises. Also near Wichmannsdorf camp demonstrators were
sexually harassed. On a parking lot near the camp on June 5th, a group of women
had to undress in front of all the police officers present.

Balance of the Street Medics:

Balance of the ‘Security Forces’:

Ministry for Home Affairs: At the borders of countries which are part of the Schengen agreement around 850 000 people were checked. 155 of these were not allowed to enter Germany and 57 with outstanding arrest warrants were arrested. During more intensive checks at the external borders of the Schengen area, 401 people were not allowed to enter Germany

National Police, Section Rostock: 67 persons were prohibited from entering the Rostock area, “as officers state, these were Danes, Swedes, Finns, British, Icelanders, people from Norway and Poland. Supposedly, they were potentially ‘violent’” (dpa).

Ministry of Justice: 8 persons have been sentenced to between 6 and 10 months in prison in fast track processes. Charges are attempted and actual assault with severe breach of the peace. 2 of these persons have been released on parole. These two convictions are already final. 2 persons are remanded in custody awaiting trial. In 120 cases judges ordered long term detention on the basis of people being considered ‘dangerous’. These persons were all released at the end of the G8 Summit. In the period from June 2nd 2007 and June 10th 2007 in connection with the G8 Summit a total of 103 persons (90 men and 13 women) were taken into correctional facilities, of these, 92 persons received security and order rulings and 11 arrest warrants. The youngest person was 16, the oldest 41. Amongst these there were 41 foreigners, 40% of the total. Nationalities were the following: Belgian 2, British 8, Estonian 2, French 2, Irish 4, Italian 1, Canadian 1, Dutch 1, Polish 1, Russian 1, Swedish 14, Swiss 1, Spanish 2, US American 1, German 62.