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Gothenburg - How The Shooting Occurred

Gothenburg - How The Shooting Occurred

Eyewitness reports from

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Reclaim the City street party ends in shootings- here's the eyewitness account of the chain of events that led up to the shooting.

It started with a Reclaim the City street party around eight o'clock friday evening after a day of street battles and rioting. This is what happened according to eyewitness accounts.

The mood was reportedly festive on Vasagatan as people listened to music and danced. It is, however, not legal to dance in the streets and the police chose to go in with riot gear and dogs.

After a period of fighting between police and the Reclaimers a small group of between 5 to 8 police in riot gear enter the area where the Reclaimers were. This, in itself, is not only contrary to normal procedure, it is quite dangerous as they soon found out.

The larger group of 50 or so riot police had moved onward without the smaller group knowing about it and when one of the police in the smaller group picked up a stone and threw it at the demonstrators, the crowd became outraged and threw themselves upon the police beating them and then chasing them.

The police ran away but found themselves cornered. As the demonstrators entrapped them, the police started shooting. According to several eyewitness reports there were about 15 shots.

The end result -so far- is that two demonstrators have been shot- one in the stomach, one in the leg- and there are reports coming in now that a policeman has also been shot. Whether he was shot by 'friendly fire' or not is at this point not known.


Yesterday police encircled the convergence center for the major protests planned against the visit of George W. Bush and the EU summit in Göthenburg, Sweden. Just before Bush was driven through Gothenburg, police encircled a big school, Hvitfeldska gymnasiet, which was being used as both accommodation and the convergence center for the Gothenburg Action, a coalition of 80 Scandinavian organisations.

About 400 police officers, with horses and dogs, closed in on the school, where Ya Basta! and White Overall supporters were preparing for today´s attempt to participate in the EU summit as a voice of the exploited masses in the world.

Carl was one of around 400 people who were detained in the school.

"I looked out and saw the police parking big trucks around the school and putting up wire fences.

"I talked to the police chief in charge, who claimed that they only wanted to have a look and that everybody should keep calm. But she could not explain why we were not being allowed to leave the place.

"After a while police started to unload metal transport containers and put them in a wall right around the school. The school consists of several buildings in its own grounds. All of them were encircled.

"The police tried to break in, but the anarchists drove them away with a rain of cobblestones, Carl explains. After that there was a standoff for several hours. At that time there were about 250 people left inside the school.

"About 4 p.m. the police announced that we had ten minutes in to vacate the area with our luggage and go to the anti-Bush demonstration. But the police insisted that first they must search us and look for weapons.

"After debating the issue, a majority told the police that all those detained must be released without search. The police then said that no one would be allowed to leave. By that time about 30 of those detained had in fact managed to escape thanks to the thousands of people protesting against the police action.outside the fencing

"At that time we tried to break out, Carl says. We formed into a march with Ya Basta! in the front and moved forward towards the fences. We stopped 15 meters from the fence.

"At that moment the police gave the order that we should be dispersed. But we the order made no sense, since we were already detained. Attempts to negotiate with the police failed.. They responded that everyone present inside the fencing should be arrested for violent disorder.

"Ya Basta! led four attempts to break, all of which failed. One activist from Ya Basta! was hit in the head and concussed.

"Under these circumstances we withdrew into the school building and barricaded its entrances, Carl continues. The police then withdrew the wire fences and attacked us with police dogs followed by the rest of the police force.

"When that happened, I was standing on a wall and taking photos. I was thrown down from it and when I threw up my hands to protect myself, two police officers started beating me hard with their sticks. They also urged on their dog to attack me. The dog bit me several times.

"After that I was seized and dragged off to a bus. When and the bus was full up it was driven to police headquarters. We had to wait there for three hours.

"I was sitting next to a girl who told me that another girl she knew had been bitten in the face by one of the dogs, when she was lying on the floor. When the girl who spoke to me tried to shield her friend from the police dog with, a police officer kicked her violently in the arm.

"On the bus there was also a girl who said that she´d got diabetes, but the police refused to believe her. Only when she collapsed, did they take her away.

"Finally I was taken into police headquarters, where they took my picture and searched me before being thrown into a cell to await interrogation. We were five in the cell.

"After the interrogation, Carl was not released until six a.m.

"Outside the gates people were waiting with coffee, in order that we shouldn´t feel abandoned, Carl concludes. Despite being bitten by a police dog and despite the lack of sleep, he´s in a good heart and ready to participate in further protests.


This morning, at 9 a.m, a protest meeting took place at Götaplatsen, a large square in central Gothenburg. It was organised by the coalition Gothenburg Action, consisting of 80 different Scandinavian organisations. The coalition´s convergence center has been occupied by police since yesterday, and many of those taking part were eager to protest at police brutality and the arrest of hundreds of our comrades. Most of the demonstrators marched only a few blocks away from the rally before being stopped by lines of heavily armoured riot police lines, wire fences and rows of freight containers.

The march, 2000 to 3000 strong, tried to push through the police lines in order to protest against arrests outside the police headquarters. But they were attacked by a police squads with horses and dogs. The demonstrators were gradually driven down Kungsportsavenyn, the wide main shopping street in central Gothenburg. At that time, small groups of anarchists, understandably frustrated and angry, started to smash shop and bank windows an ultimately meaningless action

People were arrested and this started a still ongoing low intensity struggle between protesters and the police across central Gothenburg. It is only with difficulty you can move around the city. Above our heads police helicopters have been circling for several days. The police seems to be determined to protect the leader of U.S. imperialism, Bush, and the government leaders of the European Union from any sight or sign of protest, from popular forces of many persuasions and orientations wanting to have a say in the future of the world.

The police are not specifically targetting so-called violent groups, they are also attacking the structures of the perfectly legal protest organised in the Gothenburg Action. For weeks the police in Gothenburg were talking about the Gothenburg Model, which was supposed to mean that the police chiefs would have a dialogue with the protesters. Despite promises that theywould be informed by the police before the use of horses and dogs, the leaders of the Gothenburg Action saw its convergence center closed down by heavy police forces without any ´consultation´ whatsoever.

The Gothenburg Action was totally taken by surprise when the forces of ´law and order´ showed what they mean by ´consultation´. The center will be closed for the rest of the EU summit.

Arbetarmakt, the Swedish section of the LRCI, and other comrades from the League, are participating in the protests and planning for the big demonstration tomorrow. Despite several arrests, dogbiyes and beatings our comrades are in good spirit. We have printed several leaflets to give political orientation to all those protesting in Gothenburg. We have – so far, suceessfully – argued for a united front against police repression.

The struggle continues!


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