Geert Lovink on Mon, 18 Oct 1999 05:04:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Report from countersummit against Fortress-Europe - Tampere, Finland (fwd)


Press Release Sunday 17.10.1999

For pictures and more text:
About eight hundred conserned citizens protested yesterday against the
development of Euro-Fortress in Tampere, Finland. The event, coinciding
with the extra summit of the European Union, wanted to bring about a clear
message: "Against Euro-Fortress and for European solidarity and freedom of
movement". The demonstration was part of the international Counter-Summit
held in Tampere this weekend, which aimed at creating more co-operation
between non-governmental grassroot organisations in Europe. There were
participants from at least twelve countries, including representatives
from solidarity-, human rights-, and immigrant organisations.

During the Counter-Summit also other events were organised: On Friday
there was a "Rock Against Racism" -concert, Saturday started with
workshops about the aspects of militarisation, immigration and social
welfare in the European Union. On Sunday the workshops continued. 

The demonstration went well and was actually quite big in Finnish scale,
īcause here the political culture is not very encouraging for
demonstrating. The implemented plan was to march from the center of
Tampere to as close to the building of the EU-Summit as possible, which -
as could be foreseen - was not really close at all. The manifestation was
accompanied by a van with a sound system playing politically oriented
music and making shouting slogans in an organized way easier. The general
atmosphere at the place was also very encouraging. Both, the protestors
and the police acted well, and bigger conflicts were avoided. During the
demonstration one protestor was arrested. Police claimed he had kicked the
police car leading the march. Also in the end of the protest one
demonstrator was arrested for trying to improve one of the EU-flags that
can these days be seen all over Finland in almost all possible locations.
Sunday's newspapers told that police had also arrested two skinheads
looking for confrontation with the demonstrators.
In the manifestation the concept of Fortress-Europe was visualised with
chickenwire fence. In the end of the demonstration the fence was opened in
front of the mass of demonstrators and people broke free, some of them
burning fake passports and identity cards. This was meant to symbolize
counter-summits aim to "cut the Euro-fence" (in finnish language fence
means also net) by our counter-net.
With the Counter-Summit grassroot organizations expressed their concern
for creation of a world where the capital moves freely while immigration
and emmigration of people is more and more restricted. The politics made
by EU-memberstates in Tampere EU-Summit can be clearly seen as a step
toward a closed Fortress-Europe, into which immigrants and refugees from
non-union countries are not welcome. By fighting the "illegal immigration"
EU is actually making immigration more and more difficult for everyone.
The demonstrators wanted to show that they donīt accept deportations,
internation camps and other inhumane and discriminating measures directed
towards immigrants.

The demonstration was also against the increased control-systems within
European Union, which are heavily targeted against immigrants and radical
grassroot movements. Increased power and new measures quaranteed to police
form a serious threat to democrazy.
Tampere Counter-Summit

Multimedia material available

>From a separate media-section of the website you'll find up-to-date
reports, images and shortly some audio material and summary of the video
(mini-DV) footage shot from the events. All the material is available for
non-profit information distribution without a charge, as long as the
source is mentioned. Other outlets are expected to pay standard
freelancer rates of the medium conserned. Get in touch or check the
website for further details;
phone: +358-40-5677 188 

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