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July 21st...Genova...impressions of the riot aftermant

My eyes are tired. They-ve been stinging at many points in the day. To walk downtown, one immediately picks up the scent of tear gas. Nothing new I suppose.

Walking downtown after the battle had subsided was kind of sureal. Coming down the stairs onto Corso Italia, was a mass of litter, broken glass, overturned burned out cars, and two blocks of banks and travel agents totally smashed and burned out.

We came down on rumours that there was food being given out in the convergence space [after a day of not eating and all the shops closed], but were immediately distracted. Everyone seemed to be walking around in a daze and just taking it all in, most unaware that conflicts and marches were still happening in other areas.

Many of the locals were out on the streets and checking out the burned ruins. People were picking at a melted/smashed banking machine, curious to see what one looks like from the inside. Contents of bank files and drawers were scattered about with the ashes, photocopiers were melted, sleek cars were black and crushed with odd asorted flags and garbage protruding from them.

In a weird way, it seemed as if everyone was totally facinated and unable to speak. No one was really condeming it or shaking their heads. It was more like a bewliderment and curiosity. It's not often that one gets to see what lies behind the sleek machines and walls that run our lives. It was kinda like seeing something you've been taught to respect and fear, become nothing but flimsy garbage. Not even a security guard, cop, or fireman around to keep people away. Feels really artsy or sumthing saying it but it was kinda like a caged animal having their cage fall away, and not really understanding what to do next. Hard to describe I guess.

I saw a family walking down one of the streets picking things up and putting them in bags. The young girl was collecting gas shells. The boy had picked up several pieces of makshift armour and bits of a flag.

A few cars and motocycles were beginning to return to the streets, casually driving around dumpsters and car wrecks. Within a few more hours, fire engines and cleaning crews began showing up and returning the city to 'normal'.

Meanwhile, just on the other side of the fence in the convergence space, big parties were starting up. Bonfires in the parking lot, drum circles, and lots of people getting drunk at the GSF bars. I've returned to Indymedia now to find that there have been several incidents of arrests and harrasment by police showing up out of nowhere and targeting people on the street.

Occasionally a noise happens, someone runs, or silence falls in here and everything gets tense for a second. Paranoia is all around, but things have been so overwhelming at times that there's really not much room for constant paranoia, and the rest of the time, things are pretty mellow.

Some further thoughts on the day.........

...ok thats it for now...check out for all the latest

brian s

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