"Blockaders play cat and mouse with the police...

taken from SWING (autonomous info Rhein Main) :

...by their so called five finger strategy the G8 critics successfully paralysed the security measures of the police (Ostseezeitung, 7th of June 2007)

"Who´s the cat; who´s the mouse?" asked the headline of the last Swing two weeks before the G8. Who would have expected such a clear answer of the Ostseezeitung? And indeed the scenes being enacted in the forests and fields
around Heiligendamm at the 6th of June were incredible.

Thousands crawled out of their sleepingbags early that Wednesday morning to put into action the often practiced Block-G8-Concept: move, block, stay!
Like colourful hosts of a peasants´ revolution the demonstrators appeared on the hills and marched through the fields in endless rows. The superiour strength displayed so far by the police faded, their thug-squads "naturally"
(as the head of police said later) didn´t have a chance in the open country. They flew in reinforcements troops though in a gostly helicopter mission, but despite some water-cannons, gas-granades and beatings the
police lines were broken at many points much faster than expected. One rarely saw such desparate police, it was just too much for them. It was in the early afternoon of Wednesday already that Kavala, the police-mangement
in charge of operations, had to admit that all overland access routes to the summit venue in Heiligendamm are blocked. And they more or less remained closed, for two days and two nights, until Friday afternoon, until the summit ended. The western entrance alone was evicted several times, or got splashed open with water cannons. But people stayed there in masses and so
also this gate couldn´t be used very often. All in all an unbelievable success noone could have ever dreamed of.

"This is how winners look like - Sha-La-La-La-La..." - the chorus of the
soccer fans turned into a famous melody in the blockades and demonstrations.
Because the days before all demonstrations close to the fence had been banned by police disposition and court verdicts. Now the announced but forbidden "Starmarch from within" finally happened, as the participants of
two points of blockade united to a communal final demonstration and celebrated the "triumph of the G8 opponents" (Hamburger Morgenpost).

The mass blockades of the 6th of June surely were the climax of a week of action, that had begun with an impressive great demo at the 2nd of June and that ended with again spectacular boat and balloon actions of Greenpeace.

A more detailed assessment and debate of the week has yet to be done, especially to evaluate the riots of the 2nd of June in Rostock. Militancy at the wrong place at a wrong time, a counter productive pass for a "violence
campaign" prepared above and by the media? Or(at least in retrospect) a "smashing opener" to reach a maximum of media attention? (see Swing

But this for sure is only one of the questions that arose. The last issue of the Swing strongly advocated PAULA, a flexible and decentral concept relying not at least on material blockades around the wider region around
Heiligendamm. Because of the hyper-contingent of police and military it could not be expected that the mass blockades would last for long, if they could come close to the fence at all. It was no accident that from early on Plan B was the talk of the camps: To return to Hamburg or Berlin if police violence would grow overwhelming. What had been underestimated - obviously on all sides - was the continuation of the whole mobilization. It was hard
to imagine that 15.000 or more opponents of the summit would stay in the region longer than the weekend. Even harder to think that more than 10.000 would participate in joint direct action. Anyways, it was here that numbers transformed into quality, and combined with the clever preparation of the by now legendary five-finger- strategy people reached and blocked the targeted
points. While there were some material blockades occuring here and there during the day, they were few and only at the "battled" access in the West could they reach more than symbolic importance. It is an open question, whether there were more groups - and how many - prepared to do decentral blockades, if yes, whether they decided to drop the actions planned because
the roads were blocked already? But probably their potential would have been quite limited, the organizational implications (to prepare in small affinity groups!) seem to be too demanding given the split and individualized state
of the Left. In this situation the open concept of Block G8 obviously was the right and attractive supply, making it possible to join in last minute also with lose connections and participate in the action. And in the end to
vitaly contribute to the collective experience of success with the dynamics described.

But all legitimate euphoria must not lead us astray: In the whole choreography of protests there was an enormous gap between the preparation structure and the (masses of) participants - a gap that we will have to face
in the process of evaluation as well as perspectively. Very small groups and single persons shouldered an often lethargic preparation process, sometimes it was too much for them, in the end a whole many lot came. For example the actionday on migration at Monday, the 4th of June: Already at 8 o´clock (!)
in the morning around 2000 people gathered to lay a siege to the foreigners office, after that some hundereds went to protest in front of a Lidl-market, and 2-3000 people came to a memorial event in Rostock-Lichtenhagen (where in
1992 pogroms raged for days). The "Migration- Demo" in the afternoon was, according to officials and media, even attended by 10.000 participants, which makes it the no.2 in mobilization of the week of action, only topped
by the opening event at the 2nd of June. A quarter of this size, at best half of it had been expected, also because only few antiracist groups actively participated in the preparation.

And for Block G8 it´s the same. The preparation meetings were scarcly visited, and few days before the beginning of the blockade it was still open, whether enough activists would come together to block the two points (or one of them).

Anyways, it remains a puzzle - and this is true for all networks - how this great success in mobilization can be transmitted to a continuous perspective in theory and practice. And probably the "organizing Left" has to be content
with the fact, that at least a potential of mobilization realized itself at that level again, even if it doesn´t immidiatelly strengthen their structures and projects...

Even if they remain comparably weak, it should be tried to pick up certain threads of the mobilization. Already in the end of February there had been meeting on "Global Social Rights" in Frankfurt, in Rostock there was another
workshop being held and now there is the proposal (to be developed) to organize a tour of public events under that title: as a kind of bracket crossing the spectres, to deepen what we have in common as well as the contradictions within the "Movement of Movements", to enable discussions in a practical perspective. And this could also be a perspective regionaly in Rhein- Main, if we don´t want the G8 protests to congeal into a beautiful but long past memory...