SWO’s Joe Carolan Writes From The Genoa Barricades
The following is mail from a Kiwi representative at upcoming protetss in Genoa, circulating by email among NZ activist groups...
Joe Carolan here from the Socialist Workers Organisation - arrived in Genoa three days ago.
The police are full on, thousands of Carbineri everywhere. Am with Globalise Resistance Ireland, we are organising direct actions down the 20th of September street. Arbitary arrest and humiliation from police all the time ...two bomb scares already.
Most of the Irish busses have made it through but GR UK had their train cancelled by the SNCF. So about 250 comrades at our meeting From Anti Capitalism to Revolution today.
Our Italian group Comunista Del Basso (Communism from below) are eager, lively and exhilarated- hundreds of international comrades are signing up members for them all the time.
Europe is a joke- the restrictions on our freedom to move and to express our political opinions are being violently attacked- and the storm-troopers of the Carbineri and the bootboys of the Italian Police are really gearing up for some serious violence.
Last night, an American member of GR IRL, Liz, was released from prison after spending 7 and a half hours naked in a cell after being strip searched. She was photographed, finger printed and retina scanned, and given a three year suspended COURT CASE for having a Swiss Army knife in her bag. She was made to piss in a bucket in front of a squad of paramilitary cops- we are outraged. People are being arrested and detained every hour because of their hairstyles, political slogans on their t shirts, or carrying anti capitalist literature. An ugly mood hangs over Genoa- to me, it feels like Belfast with sunshine.
The Irish GR zone of our campsite is alive with debates, singsongs, meetings and direct action training. Greens, Black Bloc, Socialists and Pacifists are all formed into affinity groups, and three lines of involvement in the direct action- frontline, middle, pacifist.
COBAS and CUB, two radical grassroots rank and file networks, have called a General Strike for Friday. They are not very strong, but at least 5000 Genoese workers will join the direct action on Friday. There is the potential for more if the oppression meted out by Berlusconi's bootboys is bloody.
We are all living on the edge, fear of arrest or attack all the time, no one travels alone but that won’t deter arbitary arrest. More people, comrades are arriving every hour. The Berlusconi media is going balistic, hyping up to fever pitch the fear of terrorist action.
Will report soon comrades
Please forward to friends organisations etc:
If you would like a report for your org, union, media etc please email me at
Love and Solidarity
Carolan and Heather Lyall
Socialist Workers Organisation of Aotearoa NZ