Monday was flight and migration day of action at the G8 protests. Demonstrator Sasha Simic spoke to Socialist Worker about the events.
“Participants took part in a range of actions,” he explained.
“In the morning a demonstration tried to visit the memorial to the victims of the racist attack on an immigrant hostel in 1992, but it was disrupted by the police.”
The main focus was a march for migrant rights. Organisers had expected 2,000, but closer to 10,000 showed up.
Marchers were young and committed, with a large contingent from the new Die Linke party.
“It was cold and damp and we were confronted by an massive police presence.”
“The police were in full ‘robocop’ riot gear and had two water cannon lorries.
“I couldn’t believe how threatening the police have been. On Saturday's march I saw policemen beating up a guy in a wheelchair.
“We had four or five flatbed trucks spread through the crowd with sound systems and people standing on them relayed the police’s stranger and stranger announcements.
“First they said we couldn’t march as some people were wearing masks. They demanded that the crowd disperse.
“When that didn’t happen they agreed that it could proceed as long as there were, ‘no sticks, no bottles, no masks, no axes’. No axes!
“We marched for about 10 minutes, then the police announced that they couldn’t see everyone clearly from their helicopters and the march had to stop.
“Again we refused to disperse.
“After negotiations it was agreed we could continue if there were no scarves, no sunglasses and no hoodies.
“Finally they stopped the march for being too big!
“But, by now there was something of a carnival atmosphere, with rave music and the international clown army raising spirits.
“Demonstrators chanted, ‘No borders, no nations! Stop the deportations!’
“We finished with local black activists and other anti-racist speakers gave speeches form the back of the lorries in an impromptu rally.”