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Gipfelinfo: Aubonne -- Warschau

Gipfelinfo - Meldungen über globalisierte Solidarität
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- AUBONNE CASE - legal update (16th of December 2003).

AUBONNE CASE - legal update (16th of December 2003).

To be distributed widely...

1st of June 2003:
Aubonne bridge action to block the delegates on their way to the G8.
The police cut the rope, from which two climbers were hanging and caused the 20m
fall of Martin Shaw and severe mental trauma to Gesine Wenzel. The action
managed to deviate the convoy of some G8 delegates to the conference center.


The 2 climbers were both taken to hospital: Gesine with a shock, Martin with
fractures in two vertebras, the pelvis and a very badly broken foot that
probably is not going to fully recover. Both are charged with blocking the road.
Martin was interviewed the day after his operation whilst still in intensive
care and under morphine.

>From around the 20 activists, partaking in the action on the bridge:
6 people were taken to the police station, held for 10 hours and charged
3 people were taken to the police station, held for 10 hours and released
without charges.
Women were strip-searched, people were denied food water and warm clothes,
verbally abused and denied the chance to speak to a lawyer or legal support group
People were taken there as witnesses (handcuffed) but were later charged.
Others were identified but not taken into police detention.

Charges against the activists:
The charges for the 8 accused activists are for blocking traffic circulation
("entrave a la circulation publique", art.237 ch.1 CP). This article is quite a
major offence in Switzerland as it includes endangering other peoples' lives -
as opposed to obstruction of the traffic which would have been a more reasonable
charge considering the safety measurements we took.

The activists on the bridge:
Some have been found guilty in their absence and sentenced to 15 days prison
suspended for 2 years.

One of the Swiss people refused to be judged in absence. His court case has been
joined to the one of the two climbers and will take place sometime in March.
Furthermore he has filed a complaint against the police for opening the road to
traffic while people were in the middle of the motorway. The judge has not taken
any legal action in response to that yet.

The climbers:
Both were accused of blocking traffic and did not agree to be sentenced in
absence. Their court date will be held in March in Nyon, between Lausanne and
The exact date will be known at the end of January. The court is open to the
public, including the press (no cameras and microphones), but only about 20
people can physically get in. A demonstration outside the court and a press
conference are being planned.
A campaign leading up to that is starting, help is needed.

Investigation of the case:
The state is investigating the policeman who cut the rope to find out if there
was an offence of body harm with negligence (which is clearly not sufficient
considering two people were almost killed).
Thus the climbers have filed a complaint against the police for endangering
their lives, not assisting them in distress, and for inflicting severe bodily
harm on Martin.
While the climbers were accused 3,5 months after the action with quite serious
charges, neither the policeman who cut the rope nor the senior officer who was
responsible of the intervention have been charged- although their action nearly
cost 2 persons lives.
At the end of the investigation the instruction judge will decide if the police
will be sent to court or not.

The instruction judge has turned out to be quite biased.
A complaint to the tribunal and the general instruction judge has been written
questioning his impartiality. He is supposed to guide the investigation and
basically has not done anything challenging the effective impunity of the police.

We will ask the Canton de Vaud for compensation and the suspension of the
officer who cut the rope and the senior officer. If they don't agree, we will
have to bring them to court.

Follow up:
*A press conference was held the day after the action and second one a month
later when Martin left hospital showing new video evidence contradicting the
police version of the event. They had held a press conference 5 hours after the
incident pretending the policeman did not know about the existence of the
climbers because he came late.

*An international action day was held a week after the action with actions on
Swiss embassies in around 10 countries.
*The video of the action was shown to some Deputes (Members of the parliament of
Vaud). Subsequently the officials wrote a paper to the judge, asking him to
investigate of the role of the senior police officer. As his aggressive and
intolerant behavior were determining factors in this incident.
*A lot of benefit gigs, solidarity parties etc have been put on all over Europe
to raise money for medical, legal, administrative and travel costs.
Medical situation:
Martin has just started learning to walk without crutches. He needs several
hours of physiotherapy every day, causing him quite a lot of pain and
discomfort. It is still not sure if he will ever totally recover the full
mobility he enjoyed before the incident. Gesine is suffering from posttraumatic
stress disorder and is undergoing therapy.

Campaign for the court case:
We urgently need people who are willing to support us. We need people who can:

Organising benefit gigs (!!!) or info evenings in your country
Translate materials
Provide us with contacts for journalists, fundraising possibilities, MEP's,
potentially sympathetic groups etc.
Inform your local MP, local alternative and mainstream press
Help us around the court date
Come to Davos to protest and publicise the case
Skilled video editors - we need help to produce a good video
If you would like to be more involved in the campaign, contact us for more
Irregular updates > send blank mail to:

Financial help is urgently needed to cover campaign expenses such as legal fees,
travel, admin, etc.; bank contacts on the web page. Up for putting up a benefit gig?

We can provide a copy of the raw video footage of the action for a minimum of 5


Warsaw, Poland April 28-30, 2004


On the eve of accession to the European Union (significantly planned for May 1
to change the nature of that holiday), the European Economic Summit (which was
cancelled in Dublin due to planned protests) is coming to Warsaw.

On this occasion, we would like to great the Summit not only with protest but
with criticism and alternative visions. It is with this aim that we are calling
for participation in an Alternative Economic Forum.

The Forum will be open in nature and it is our intention to attract an audience
from the general public as well as the activist community. The Forum will
consist mainly of two sorts of events: lectures or presentations and
discussions/ workshops. Other events may be included but the main focus shall be
on advancing a critique of current economic trends and practices and proposing
radical alternatives to them. In particular, we would be interested in
addressing at least some of the issues to be discussed at the Summit.

The following topics have been announced for discussion at the European Economic
- Economic Outlook: Does Western Europe's downturn call for structural reform?
- Eurozone Economics: What are the political implications of a two-speed Europe?
- The Common Agricultural Policy: Can it be reformed enough to meet the demands
of enlargement
- The Future of the Stability Pact: Propping up a cornerstone of the EU
- Beyond Enlargement: What will be the timetable for the next round of accession
- Effects of an Expanded Union on Business
- The Regulatory Environment
- Attracting Investment
- Labour Markets
- Risks and Liabilities: How can foreign companies evaluate and manage the new
risk environment?
- Europe in the Geopolitical Context
- Transatlantic Relations: What difference does enlargement make?
- Banking and Financial Services
- Consumer Markets in Central Europe
- The Oil and Gas Industry in the New Europe
- Infrastructure: How much will be distributed through transfer funds?

We feel that the following topics should be addressed during the Alternative Forum:
a.. Labour Markets
b.. Structural Reform in Western Europe in Light of European
c.. The Stability Pact - What it Means
d.. Business and the Future of Capitalism in an Enlarged EU
e.. The Impact of New Investment in Accession States
f.. The Situation in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey
g.. Russian Economic and Geopolitical Strategy in Light of EU Enlargement
Proposals for additional topics are extremely welcome.

At this point we would like to invite organizations and individuals to support
this initiative by:
a.. passing on this information to other interested parties
b.. agreeing to organize a talk or other event
We invite abstracts or short summaries of proposed events. The languages of the
presentations are open to negotiation. Summaries should include the subject
matter, form of event, name of speaker(s) or organizers, time and space
expectations and language(s) of the main organizers.
Please send proposals or queries of interest by February 28 to:


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