Geert Lovink on Sat, 14 Jun 1997 22:32:08 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> reports on the euro summit protests

Protests against the Euro Summit
A Report from Amsterdam

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Latest news: today, probably 900 people got arrested. 
At least 55 are Italians who where arrested in the train.
The train was surrounded by 150 cops for the whole day,
they never reached the demonstration. Other arrests where
made in the Jordaan where some people did some proletarian
shopping. Later on a more exact update...


On Saturday afternoon a massive demonstration against European
unemployment *and* an integrated demonstration against wage
slavery dominated the innercity of Amsterdam. Never seen so many
communist factions and splinterparties of all kind on the same
square. The start of the demonstration was late, because everbody
wanted to await the arrival of the last train with Italians from
Milan. Yesterday night 3000 of them wanted to take a train meant
for 900 passengers only. A part of the people that had to stay
behind organized a buss transport. The second train made
available by the Railway Company took of too late and appaerently
had some problems at the border. So they were late.
 At half past three (instead of 1 o'clock) people started moving
in the direction of the Weteringscircuit. A group of Swedish
activists cheared up the otherwise kind of boring meeting, with
high yells, shouting and short standstills to join the others
running and shouting. They gathered other people in the same mood
around them. Once this bunch of people reached the
Weteringscircuit they wanted to turn left, to approach the
Nederlandse Bank, just a few blocks away, instead of turning
right as the official route asked.
Riot police blocked of the streets leading to the Bank, it was
pretty clear there was no way through. After a short interval of
discussion what to do, a minor incident inflamed the situation.
Something was thrown in the direction of the police, an apple
maybe, the police took somebody aside, the crowd thought the
first arrest was made, and that was it. People started throwing
more things, the police made a batton charge and panic broke out.
As if that wasn't enough the police drove their buses into the
crowd, at a very high speed. No accidents happened, but that was
sheer luck. The demonstration continued peacefully to the
Leidseplein, where a bank lost its windows. A few hunderd meters
later the demonstration passed the Police Headquarters. The
Police had left a bus out on the street, that was a bit of
The bus ended upside down, the police arrive too late. Some of
them were pretty agitated, they jumped out of the buses and
started hitting people. But as soon as people ran in the
direction of the Jordaan (Elandsgracht), it became clear that
they were too few. The line they formed got isolated, they locked
themselves in because the rest of the demonstration continued
behind their backs. Out of fear the started hitting people, out
of the blue, before they were ordered back into the vans. In
front of the parking garage on the Marnixstraat some arrests were
made. By the time the top of the demo arrived back at the Dam,
the tail just disappeared out of sight on the Vijzelstraat.
30.000 present was the guess.
In the mean time the riot police was busy with the people that
arrived late from Milan. They were kept in their train, maybe
because the train got damaged on the inside, they were taken
hostage in their own train. Another group was being fenced in on
the square in front of the station. The police wanted to either
arrest them, or remove them from the inner city with public
transport buses out of town.
Apart from isolated excesses the police kept a very low profile.
They kept out of sight whenever possible, but when it came to
confrontations they were extremely sensitive and easy to
provocate. Let's hope they learned their lesson today... 

The police announced they want to confiscate every Search &
Destroy poster they found, and arrest anybody who puts it on the
We have not been able to locate any of these posters yet, we had
to copy the Telegraaf-www-site in order to put it on ours.
Would this poster be an invention of the police?

Are we dealing with a provocation here?

"Please call us if you have any problems with German Punks"
With this message two plaincloths policemen have been visiting
squatted houses to offer their services.
Jolanda & Henk can be reached at 06 5390 1792, a voicemailsystem
of the criminal investigation department of the Amsterdam Police.
They have a special asignment to monitor the Punk Chaos days.
Squatters also got warnings not to shelter large groups of German
So don't hesitate to call them with your opinion about the
police during the Euro Summit!

The local authorities decided to remove all of the remaining
European Union flags on Tuesday. Approximately three-quarters of
the flags disappeared after several squaters cafes promised free
beers for every flag captured and brought home. In cafe Vrankrijk
in the Spuistraat the trophys are put on the wall in battle
New flags will be hung out not before the guests will arive.
The next competition calls for collecting the plastic strips
that seal of public drain holes. Cafe Vrankrijk offers two bears,
the Molli in the Pijp overtrumps with three.

Riding a carrier tricycle ('bakfiets' in Dutch) is considered a
possibly dangerous activity a week before the Summit in
Amsterdam. Even if it's empty.
A cycle like that, very popular amongst squaters, activists and
other riffraff got a private escort of a police car during a long
drive from the East part of the city to the south just below the
Nederlandsche Bank.

No risks are being taken with the catering of the European
leaders. Since Wednesday morning a continuous stream of small
trucks, with food, wine or water are heading for the
Frederiksplein, guarded by two motorized policemice each.
Salmonella gets no chance!

A squatter in the Schinkelbuurt discovered to policemen peeping
through his mailbox. He opened the door and asked them what they
wanted. To talk about the coming demonstrations they answered, to
find the door smashed in their faces.
This didn't put them off, they just continued their sneaky
fishing operation to copy the texts on the posters announcing
actionist activities.
Rumour has it squatters got an official warning from the police
peacekeeping team not to provide sleeping places for
demonstrators from abroad. No confirmation was found for this

Mayor Patijn of Amsterdam very much wanted an informal talk with
the Autonoom Centrum, organizers of the cycle demonstration to
the Grenshospitium, jail for asylumseekers and almost the only
organisation that refused to talk to the police so far.
 After a debate held on local television last Tuesday, the mayor
expressed his concern about the assumed presence of German Punks
visiting our beautiful Amsterdam for the Chaos Days. But what
about the 4000 angry olive farmers from Spain, the Automous
Centre replied, they demolished the centre of Madrid last month,
don't you think that they are a bigger treath to the Amsterdam
The mayors face turned white as he rudely broke of the very
pleasant conversation and hastyly hurried to the people in charge
of security. It was very clear that the first man of Amsterdam
was not informed about the Marches of Workers coming to the city,
and the nature of these demonstration.
Too much fixation on the fake-pamflet about the Chaos Days can
be very dangerous...

Informed sources are worried about what's going to happen on the
Nieuwmarkt on Saturday afternoon. 
The Chaos Punks are supposed to have their first meeting on this
small square, but the police did nothing to inform shopowners and
market people. Our advice: aim at the banks and leaders, and
leave the small businesspeople in peace.
Be aware of provocations, the police might need an excuse to
make a mass-arrest on this first day of protest, just before the
European leaders arrive. Sources at Small World claim they have
confirmations about the Nieuwmarkt Square being closed of to
prevent any gathering of protesters to take place.
(Pubs in the neighbourhood will take over as a meetingplace). 
It seems that the coordination of strategies at the police
headquarters still needs some adjustment.

First report of the *submarine*, mentioned earlier on this page.
A reporter of the Eurostop Daily saw an egg-shaped white plastic
cupola surfacing on the Amstel in front of the Carre Theatre.
This was on Tuesday afternoon near the buildingsite of the large
stage on the water.
Appearently no bombs were found yet.

A serious Dutch radio-journalist told us about an initiative of
Amsterdam'citizens. They plan to bust the security zones by
parking their cars in the streets they live. 
They claim they have the right to do this while they hold a
parking permit they have paid for.

British streetravers got themselves a huge militairy tank,
painted pink with flowers, to prevent their sound systems to be
confiscated by the police. At the last streetrave on Trafalgare
Square this tank drove right through the police cordons. 
Several sources confirm the story about the tank being
transported across the Channel to join the Streetrave on Sunday
at the Central Station in Amsterdam.
They might need to pass the border authorities by zeppelin...

Heard on a public hearing organized by the local gouvernment of
Amsterdam to inform the public about the Eurotop:
The police is not only bringing 5000 policemen, dogs & horses to
keep the peace in Amsterdam. They will also equipe a *submarine*
to check the canals for bombs and other unidentified objects.
Frogmen were seen practising in front of the Carre Theatre on
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