manifestation de 30th of may
Dev'lish May, 02.06.2003 12:17

Written report of article concerning manifesation on the 30th of may against the IOM.

The Demonstration against the IOM ( the international organisation of migration) began in the centre of the city alongside lake Geneva.

Initially it was a small group of protesters swamped by clusters of red flags, and a sound system stacked onto a tractor.

More people amassed until around a thousand people had gathered, the sound system became a mobile stage which sedately trolled off with the crowd. Speakers from the tractor discussed the politics of migration and freedom of movement.

The route of the demonstration travelled the edge of the lake away from the city centre, just happening to bypass the WTO building....

Someone climbed the gates of the WTO building and smashed the lock. The gates were flung open and people reclaimed the space.

Riot police ran in formation from behind the building, some missiles were thrown by protesters, mainly small stones. The police let off a few stun grenades, some smoke and CS canisters were fired.

Journalists rushed into the WTO grounds and the firing ceased, the police shouted for the journalists to leave, whom expecting action were reluctant to obey, however the protesters left of their own volition after ten minutes.

Other targets such as the Russian Embassy and the Meteorology building (constructed entirely of toughened glass), received a volley of rocks.

In the midst of the rock hurling contest which seemed to have sprung up at the weather centre, the samba & pink and silver block marched through the police lines with shot put practice occurring around them.

The manifestation moved back in the direction of the centre and came to a halt outside the IOM building. Some crazy people built a fire of waste papers under a bus shelter then sat on top of the shelter.

People crowded at the building to make their protest, mild tear gas was fired which caused minor irritation to the throat.

Some police in riot gear had not been warned of the gas firing and ran for the back of the building as they were without masks.

At this point the protest had increased to almost 4000 and led past the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation)

Ben from Mute magazine, took to the stage, (or the tractor); he compared the patenting of intellectual property with the commons' land clearances of the 16th century. The land was taken from the people by greedy land owners and our use of intellectual property is limited similarly by greedy corporations"

The march led into the centre of town past an Audi show room and Shell garage, which are now in need of Dr Glazier. Also due for reconstructive surgery was the Centre du Commerce International, after a protester broke all the windows with a sign borrowed from the Audi showrooms.

The demonstration split and dispersed in various directions around the city as protesters sought respite from the heat and relaxation after so much symbolic targeting.

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