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Internet Misrepresentation
Missing the point
june 18 1999

Press Reports

UK Media

Print Media Coverage

The following extracts are from articles which all appeared in the UK print media over the three days following J18:

THE EXPRESS - Saturday 19th June 1999

"It was timed to coincide with scores of similar protests in South America, Europe and the US, but the main target was the meeting of the G8 finance ministers in Cologne."

"They also set up a pirate radio station to broadcast music and news of the days event's. Radio Interference was relayed via the Internet to pirate radio stations around the world. The organisers also produced a spoof newspaper; Evading Standards, named after London's Evening Standard."

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH - Saturday 19th June 1999

"With the notable exception of Cazenove, the blue-blooded stockbrokers, staff had been told to 'dress down'. At Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, staff had been warned not to give themselves away by carrying a copy of the Financial Times. At Schroders Investment Management, the security made a wall in front of the entrance out of pot plants in reception."

"Little work was done as e-mail messages flashed between offices and phone lines were buzzing."

THE TIMES - Saturday 19th June 1999

"The protest, which included environmental, animal rights and anarchist group turned violent after a woman was run over by a police van at Liverpool Street."

THE SUN - Saturday 19th June 1999

"The peaceful protest first turned ugly near Liverpool Street Station, when two demonstrators were accidentally injured by police vans."

THE GUARDIAN - Saturday 19th June 1999

" But the party turned ugly after lunch when protestors walked down London Wall and were blocked by police. Three riot vans were surrounded, with demonstrators dancing on top of them. The police retreated at speed, running over one woman."

THE SUNDAY TIMES - Sunday 20th June 1999

"The trouble started after a woman was accidentally trapped and badly injured beneath a police van. A second protestor was unintentionally hit by another police van, further enraging the crowd."

THE SUNDAY TIMES - EDITORIAL - Sunday 20th June 1999

Closing paragraph: "The triumph of capitalism was proclaimed as the end of history ten years ago. Although Friday's violence was hardly epoch making, it should serve as a reminder that history moves on"

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 20th June 1999

"The idea was to flood the City with revellers and, peacefully, bring the area to a standstill."

" The protest went international with 40 countries making similar preparations."

" ' Anyone who thinks and cares about the environment for long enough realises it is about the system, not individuals. What is the point of recycling bottles while BP, Shell, and McDonald's rape the environment?' "

THE OBSERVER - COMMENT - Sunday 20th June 1999

"We can expect more protests like Friday's. We condemn the violence, but the wider truth stands. If you believe the earth is endangered by contemporary capitalism, then things are getting worse, not better. Friday was a salutary reminder of that fact."

THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - Sunday 20th June 1999

"More than 140 people, six of them police officers, were hurt when 5,000 took part in Friday's demo, which caused damage estimated at 2 million."

"The demo also saw for the first time on British streets the controversial American ASP baton, a telescopic weapon tipped with steel balls which extends from 7in to 21in at the flick of a wrist.

The Metropolitan Police is issuing the ASP to all of its 27,000 officers. "

(Note: several papers also reported on the high numbers of protestors treated for head injuries both in hospital and on the streets by paramedics)

THE EVENING STANDARD - Monday 21st June 1999

The waste of violence and the stink of money By A.N.Wilson

"What is surprising - given the effects of capitalism on a global scale - is that it attracts such comparatively small opposition. "

"I have often praised the City in this column. It is possible to argue the beneficent effects of its colossal wealth. But we all know how powerful capitalism is. Watch your local superstore wreck the livelihood of the local fishmonger, newsagent, butcher, baker and candlestick maker. That happens on a global scale all the time. "

"The row about GM crops is, or should be, a row not about the dangers of the crops when we eat them, but the enslavement of small agricultural communities to American manufacturers of seeds. "

"True, it wasn't my windows being broken, and it wasn't my shirt they were setting fire to, but I was rather grateful to the rioters for bringing chaos to the Square Mile for a day and reminding us that money stinks. "

INDEPENDENT - Monday 21st June 1999

The Carnival that became a riot chose the right target By Andreas Whittam Smith

I don't believe the main sponsors of the Carnival Against Capitalism, which erupted in the City of London on Friday, wanted the day to end in violence with 50 people taken to hospital and 15 arrests. All the same their protest was well timed.

Good tactics too was the decision by the lobby groups to use the most advanced products of the very global capitalism against which their protests are directed - the Internet and the mobile phone.

The campaign is also international. For this purpose, the Internet is ideal. It takes no sides. Nor is using it for arranging marches and demonstrations in any way sinister, as the police seem to believe. It just happens to be as good as creating international solidarity as it is for buying and selling shares, or purchasing cheap airline tickets.

Serious in intent as Friday's event may have been, there were many anarchic and even hilarious features. Two militant cycling groups were present - Reclaim the Streets and Critical Mass. It began with massed ranks of cyclists bringing the traffic to a halt. During the good humoured phase, it was like Glastonbury had come to the City. Lloyds Bank was invaded by protestors covered by 'blood', claiming to have been shot by arms dealers.

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