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G8 protests, Genoa, 2001

Dario Azzellini

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Southern Europe » Italy

Period 2000 - present

Key-Topics pacifism, police, riots

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405197953.2009.00607.x


The protests against the G8 (Group of Eight, most industrialized nations) summit in Genoa, Italy, from July 19–21, 2001, was a highpoint in the history of the “alter-globalization movement.” On July 21, after months of mobilizing across Europe, around 300,000 people took part in one of the largest “movement of movements” demonstrations in the world to date. At the same time, the police unleashed violence of a dimension unknown in Western Europe in the previous two decades, shooting dead the young Carlo Giuliani. The mobilization's success was primarily attributable to the coming together of a broad spectrum within the Genoa Social Forum (GSF), which organized the protests. It reached from grassroots Catholic organizations and left-wing neighborhood associations, over One World initiatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Rifondazione Comunista (Refounded Communist Party), the grassroots trade union Cobas and metal workers' union FIOM, to the Tute Bianche (TB) and squatted social centers. The coalition was enabled on the one hand through a rejection of offensive violence, and on the other through the acceptance of the “defensive-offensive” approach of the TB, which involved forms of self-defense against the police, including the building of barricades. In addition, the protests found themselves at a political conjuncture favorable for the extra-parliamentary left in ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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