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Italy March Remembers Anti-Globalization Martyr

GENOA, Italy - Tens of thousands took to the streets of Genoa on Saturday to remember the martyr of the anti-globalization movement, a protester shot dead by police during last year's meeting of the Group of Eight leaders.
Giuliano Giuliani stands July 20, 2002, in front of a memorial set up to commemorate the killing of his son Carlo, who has become a martyr for the anti-globalization movement. Thousands took to the streets of Genoa on Saturday to remember the 'martyr' of the anti-globalization movement, a protester shot dead by police during last year's meeting of the Group of Eight leaders. Photo by Claudio Papi/Reuters


Italy March Remembers Anti-Globalization Martyr
by Antonio Denti
Reuters

GENOA, Italy - Tens of thousands took to the streets of Genoa on Saturday to remember the martyr of the anti-globalization movement, a protester shot dead by police during last year's meeting of the Group of Eight leaders.

Carlo Giuliani, 23, was killed during violent clashes between police and demonstrators that left another 300 injured and prompted widespread accusations of police brutality.

On the first anniversary of the Genoa G8 summit, police said about 60,000 activists and well-wishers converged on the northern Italian city to honor the memory of Giuliani and to inject fresh energy into the anti-globalization movement.

At 5:27 p.m., the time that Giuliani was shot by a young policeman as he tried to throw a fire extinguisher into a paramilitary police jeep, the crowds broke into a prolonged cheer and released hundreds of colored balloons into the sky.

"This is not a funeral. We wanted to have a celebration of life, of the right to live and of so many rights that are denied in the world and in Italy," Giuliani's father said in the piazza where his son was shot.

All day, demonstrators streamed through the square, leaving flowers and messages at a makeshift altar to their martyr. In the early evening, thousands marched peacefully through the city waving red flags

Organizers said up to 100,000 people had turned out for a main march and other demonstrations, but police put the figure closer to 60,000 -- still twice as big as expected.

- HAUNTING IMAGES

For many, the Genoa G8, which drew some 250,000 protesters, marked a high point in the grassroots movement that started at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999.

But it was the violence and the images of Giuliani's blood-stained body lying in the square where he was killed that grabbed most headlines.

During the summit, rioters caused widespread damage to the city, torching cars, smashing shop windows and raining bottles and petrol bombs onto ill-prepared police lines.

According to witness statements gathered by Amnesty International, police reacted with extreme violence, beating and kicking protesters and depriving those arrested of prompt medical treatment.

Human rights groups have slammed the government for failing to address the police brutality, but the clashes and the anti-globalization movement itself have been partly forgotten since the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Still, Genoa's mayhem prompted world leaders to shift later summits to remote, well-protected locations.

A year after Genoa, activists said Saturday's huge turnout showed the anti-globalization movement was alive and well.

The mood was cheerful as balloons and jugglers filled the piazzas and the day ended with concerts, dancing and drinking.

There were a few tense moments between protesters and some of the 3,000 police on hand, but no violence was reported.

"Carlo (Giuliani) is alive and fighting alongside us. Our ideas won't die," said Vittorio Agnoletto, Italy's leading anti-globalization activist.
 
 

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