Protest against the G20 in Venice: police charge on demonstrators

10 July 2021

By the Editorial Staff

Demonstrators against the G20 in Venice: about a thousand people gathered in the area of Zattere, for the demonstration organized against the G20 Economic Summit underway at Arsenale. There were many banners being shown by those who had joined in the protest, such as “Oms, how many deaths could be avoided” and “General Strike against the Draghi government”. Law enforcement presence was particularly robust, to limit the movements of the demonstrators and prevent any group from trying to reach the Arsenale area. Two vessels of the Guardia di Finanza and four Police motor boats were stationed at the heights of the Chiesa del Redentore with the goal of halting boat transit in the canale della Giudecca. The controls were aimed at making sure that nobody, in spite of the prohibitions, attempted to pass in front of Zattere and launch a protest from the water too.

Suddenly, with a cry of “Venezia libera” and “Anticapitalista, anticapitalista” the protest march against the G20 summit being held in the lagoon city began to move away from the Zattere, the place designated for the gathering of demonstrators. Their objective was to reach the Ponte dell’Accademia, but first they found themselves blocked by law enforcement in riot gear. Restaurants and bars quickly closed their shutters at the passing of the demonstrators, who also lit flares. According to some representatives of the protest, a dozen sympathizers of the Extinction Rebellion movement would still try to get past the gates at Arsenale at different point, where the summit is underway. Immediately afterwards, unfortunately, clashes with police took place. After some glass bottles were thrown, the first charges by police forces against the demonstrators began. The activists were trying to get past the block imposed by the Police before the Ponte dell’Accademia. Some of the demonstrators who were hooded were stopped by officers.

Almost at the same instant, activists from Extinction Rebellion covered the ponte di Calatrava at Piazzale Roma in fake blood, as another form of protest against the G20 Economic Summit taking place in Venice. Yesterday, during the day, twenty activists chose to sit on the ground in various parts of the city center, always covered in fake blood and holding up signs, with the goal of bringing to public spaces their fears about the catastrophes that humanity will have to confront because of the climate crisis and the collapse of ecosystems. Today, instead, members of Animal Rebellion, an international movement only recently arrived in Italy, held an action where they displayed informational panels about the effects of animal exploitation on the climate and ecological crisis and the risks brought about by the destruction of the oceans.

“There was a stop or an arrest among one of our people, they are deciding whether to proceed with identification or arrest. We’re a little banged up, but I don’t think that there were serious injuries – then again, the plexiglas shields and helmets are meant to keep things from degenerating”. So said Tommaso Cacciari, leader of this afternoon’s protest at Zattere against the G20, summarizing what happened at the end of the demonstration, which ended after demonstrators were charged by Police twice in response to the bottle throwing and the attempt to break through the police cordon. “Our people held up a long and heavy charge – explains Cacciari – the Police were not faking, but the march held back nicely. I saw the great selflessness of these young people, and as we saw, we hoped to make it a few meters more, but the goal of this mobilization has been achieved”.

Source: La Voce di Venezia

Venezia Today has a summary video of today’s event’s here.

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