Account of the riot in Geneva, May 31
IMC Dispatch, 01.06.2003 01:16
synthesis of telephone reports received between 11 pm, May 31 and 1 am, June 1, about a quiet riot in Geneva.
A demonstration of 100-200 people started an apparently spontaneous demonstration in Geneva at about 11:00 pm on Saturday, May 31.
At 11:12 there were no police yet. There was a fire at Place Neuve ( Place Neuve May 1998 ), a fire at the Opera House and the front door of the Grand Theatre. About 150 people heading toward Planpalais and Cirque, speaking mostly french and German.
around 11:15, people were attacking the financial building in Geneva. About 50 to 60 police were there. There was a massive gassing. Place de l'air, the financial hotel, a tax building was attacked. Police came from the Place des Volontaires. Police facing Usine. There was some window smashing at rue du Stand. People were heading toward Artemis.
11:37 demo at right side of the lake, and the police station. 4 police at Bel-Air. On Pont Sous-Terre there are about 15 police. There are a lot of police on motor-bikes. Some cars have been smashed and burned. The destruction appears to be mostly of symbolic targets. The Tribune du Geneve has been smashed and set on fire. Police came next to Place Neuve.
11:43 Usine. Police all around.
11:44 pm, police on Pont Sous-Terre. Police with a water cannon at Quai du Seujet. The demonstration went to Rue du Stand and headed toward Jonction and Artemis and Usine. Much of the Old Town has been set on fire. An HM has been smashed. A bus stop has been smashed. A Migros has been smashed.
11:47 someone called from the river to say that there were a lot of police. 11:51 someone called from Place des Volontaires in front of the Usine, saying 300-400 civilians were there and some riot police. Police were also in front of the entrance to the Forde space at the Usine. The demo appears to be dispersed somewhat.
11:50 Radio Geneva, more than 20 cops came from other border of the river, cops on one side of Usine toward River and civilians on square outside Usine. Civilians and cops are staring at each other. The people are sitting down in front of the cops.
The civilians appear to be attempting to deescalate the situation.
midnight, Sunday, June 1. La police est devant l'entree de l'usine.
Then the police and the water cannons appear to be leaving the Usine.
12:20 At Usine, the police have left and there are 200-300 people sitting, drinking, socializing quietly.
A little after 1 a.m. the police approached the Maison des Associations at 15, rue des Savoises.
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