Polizei with water pistols
21 May 2007 - “The G8 summit sucks and
is undemocratic, and it should therefore be shut down”. Thus
the reason why the G8 Summit at the German Heiligendamm should be
blocked was briefly summarised. To ensure a successful action, some
practising took place yesterday during the ‘Summit from Below’
at the Weteringschans.
The blockade took place near the Summit from Below, held yesterday
by the Netherlands Social Forum (NSF) at de Balie and the Barlaeus
Gymnasium at the same Weteringschans. Under the motto ‘A different
world is possible’, various guests talked about or debated
the environment, poverty, peace, the upcoming G8 Summit and alterglobalisation.
However, this all took place in the absence of the press, for they
had to pay the regular entrance fee and that made most journalists
wait outside, where there were many organisations had their stands
and you hardly had signed one petition before the next came asking
for your signature.
The clubs that gave the blockade workshop on the street, including
XminY and Aseed, criticised the NSF because of the 250 participating
organisations only 2 (!) will actually travel to Heiligendamm in
June, where protests against the G8 conference of world leaders
will be held, including blockades of access roads.
The activists at the Weteringschans, including the autonomous Dissent
network, briefly explained bystanders what will be done from 6 to
8 June. There are four roads leading to the German village of Heiligendamm,
and there is one airport nearby. Both the access roads and the airport
will have to be blocked, making it difficult for the esteemed guests
to reach the conference location.
How such a blockade works was explained yesterday. For example,
it is best not to sit on the street alone, for riot police will
easily remove you. It is better for activists to link arms, making
it more difficult to drag you away.
Even better is for activists to connect to each other by use of
lock-ons. These are steel tubes with a pin inside, to which you
attach your arm. If someone else does the same from the other end
of the tube, it becomes quite difficult for the police to disentangle
you. Often this will take an angle grinder, which is a time-consuming
But in the end it is still easier to remove a human blockade than
one consisting of a heap of materials such as cut down trees, traffic
signs and crash barriers. Because such materials were not available
for yesterday’s drill, some removal boxes were used for that
In the end, an actual congestion was caused. A group of some 25
people set up a blockade at the Weteringschans and two trams nr.
7 were delayed. However, this did not last long, for Polizei agents
flown in from Germany broke up the blockade using water pistols
and home made batons. After about five minutes, the trams could
Incidentally, additional rules will have to be taken into account
in Germany. Whereas it is usual for activists in the Netherlands
to hide their identities behind balaclavas, this is forbidden in
Germany. There, phoney noses, moustaches and glasses will have to
be resorted to. Further, the authorities have an unusually strict
anti-demonstration policy in mind, making it doubtful whether effective
blockades will be possible at all.
This article was originally published at Ravage Digitaal. Photo:
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