June 18 Reports
About 95 people have been arrested in Cologne during the Laugh Parade.Among them are several participants of the InterContinental Caravan andpeople who were staying at the camp, coming from different countries,including India, Brazil, UK, USA, Basque Country, Finland, Italy andSwitzerland.There were also reports of people being beaten by the police in front ofan art hall where the wives of the heads of state were looking at anexhibition.Earlier this morning, on June 18th, there was a protest outside thechemical transnational company Bayer in Leverkusen. About 500 people metthere.
Critic of the summit not aloud President of the Indian Inter-State Coordination Committee of Farmers‚ Organisations in German police-arrest 500 people from the south, who came to Cologne for the World Economic Summit and who wanted to laugh at the Gang of the Seven, were stopped by the police even before entering the subway to the city centre. They were surrounded and some of them even arrested. Among them also Vijay JAWANDHIA, president of the Inter-State Coordination Committee of Farmers' Organisations, and his wife. In this moment (Saturday, 19th June 1999, 1 a.m.) there are still at least 6 people in police-arrest. The Police was talking about 17 people, who where taken to the police office. Our number of people missing is much higher! At least 30 had been arrested. The InterContinental Caravan for Solidarity and Resistance has made a protest tour through Europe for one month now. Apart from India the participants also come from Brasilia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mexico, Columbia, Pakistan, Chile and the Ukraine. They have made non-violent actions in eleven countries of Europe. Now they wanted to laugh about the heads of the world of and this seemed to be too dangerous.
Among the people surrounded by the police there were six journalists. Although they were showing their press cards, they were not allowed to leave the police circle for nearly two hours. The police surrounded about 350 participants of the caravan at the subway-station Boltensternstrasse for more than three hours. According to records by participants the police used brute force to get hold on the people. People from the Caravan were beaten up and pushed on the ground. At least two demonstrators needed medical support. Besides some policemen made related to the foreign demonstrators racist remarks like „It stinks hereš. Nearby, on the Ebertplatz, 500 European demonstrators, who wanted to join the laugh-parade have also been surrounded by the police. In this case the police behaved more sensible and let them go.
The reason given by the police for this massive operation is not plausible. The police pretends, the Caravan was planning to occupy crossroads in the city centre of Cologne according to a leaflet, they say. This leaflet does definitely not exist. They planed and announced to laugh at the global leaders in a "Laugh Parade" on the central place in Cologne. In India this is a kind of action in ghandian tradition called "satzagraha". Even a spokesman of the police admitted that there had been no violence on the side of the Caravan, neither on this event nor during the action against the multinational Bayer the very same day.
KOLN UPDATE 9.20pm (GMT 1) - Report from Laugh Parade in Cologne
Hello everybody,the meeting point for the parade was at 5 p.m. today. Unfortunately,people were stopped by the police in a tram at a station three stops away fromthe meeting point at the tram station next to the camp where people arestaying overnight, especially participants from the InterContinental Caravan.
There were 250 people caught inside the trams and at the station and held therefor over two hours. We do not know what happened to them afterwards, we weretold that their identity would be checked and those without identificationwould be taken to police headquarters. The people were given a ban for thewhole area around the city centre of Cologne. No demonstrations were allowed.The people inside the tram did not lose their humour and had spontaneouslaughing fits.The people who met at the actual starting point were surrounded by animmense quantity of policemen and could not move anywhere. before beingcompletely encircled, they decided to leave the meeting point in smaller groups anddispersed.We will send more information later tonight, it is now 8.56 p.m.--
Contact: Berlin J-18 group
Contact: Regional Action Group:
Planned events: At 17:00 in Cologne City: J.18 Laugh Parade,together with the Intercontinental Caravan (ICC), following anIndian manner of manifestation.
Contact: German Anti-MAI and Globalization campaignEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Related events in Köln around June 18:
Location: Slabystr. Muelheimer Brudge (U 13/15/16)
Contact: Play Fair Europe!
Contact: Maria Mies (Komitee Widerstand gegen das MAI, Koeln)
Contact: NRO Frauenforum, c/o Autorinnen Buero Coeln, Friesenstr. 73-75, 50670 Koeln