Next Five Minutes: the Post-Movement; Or, How Little North Americans Know About Genoa

[Next Five Minutes: the Post-Movement; Or, How Little North Americans Know About Genoa]

Amsterdam, Of Course: I had plans tonight to see a Yes Men film, catch a lecture or two and distribute some flyers for Sunday's tri.phonic ME. But something detained me. After meeting Marc Covell, the British journalist who was beaten within an inch of his life at Genoa during the IndyMedia Centre raid by the police and carabinieri, my mind was unsettled. Here was a person, I felt, someone who had a gravity pulling his handshake to a life-affirming grip. I was haunted by this during the [Locative] workshop, and went upstairs, afterwards, to write. Marc found me there-- we had made a date for 9pm, to grab a possible interview. We did.

Marc told me, over half an hour or so, of his experience in Genoa in 2001. Of the violence, and torture. At points both he, and I, were close to--well, tears. Now, two years later, Marc has already booked a flight--to return, to the "gates of hell," to Italy, to Rome. To return because 73 police officers, including high-ranking officials in charge of Genoa security, have been charged--charged with everything from attempted manslaughter, torture, assault, perversion and obstruction of justice, to planting of evidence.

I remember following Genoa--I caught the last indymedia transmission from the Centre saying it had been raided. It would be a few hours, and then, a few days and then weeks until the extent of the violence--organised, police violence, what is, technically fascism--would be revealed. (See Andrew Nelson's excellent account in the Toronto NOW). When the stretchers came pouring out, when the body bags were arranged.. the comas, broken bones, scars, split skulls: these came to light. A lot of this was forgotten one year later, especially in North America, after Nine Eleven. North Americans stopped following the story. But Europe--thankfully--did not. Inquiries were launched; the EU got involved. And here we are today--with the breaking of the charges. Finally. And I think that Marc can begin, now: for it is only the beginning. But also the beginning of the end.

Time to head over to the Melkweg .. -- which is what I wrote an hour ago, as I just became sucked into a delightful conversation with performance hip-hop poet SuzyQ. No Melkweg then: time to head back. Sleep. It's 1am...

posted. Sun - September 14, 2003 @ 10:48 AM           |