The globalisation debate - Observer special
Special report: globalisation
Paul Harris, Nick Paton Walsh, Martin Bright and Rory Carroll in Rome
Sunday July 29, 2001
The police were tidying up. As cafe owners opened up and street cleaners swept away the rubble from the day's rioting, the officers deployed to deal with the riots at the G8 summit last week set to work.
A squad jogged down Cesari Battisti Street, battering anyone in their path. They then headed for a school where Norman Blair, a 38-year-old Londoner, and other anti-capitalist demonstrators were staying. It was just after midnight. The police did not knock. It was payback time.
They rammed the gates to the school with an armoured car. The first in the line of fire was Mark Covell, 33, a journalist covering the summit. He was outside the building when he saw the police coming. He tried to run, but he did not stand a chance.
'I heard my ribs break, like snapping matchsticks. I thought, my God, this is it, I'm going to die,' he said. Splinters of rib punctured his left lung; 10 teeth fell from his mouth. Blood obscured Covell's view as the police charged past him and he collapsed. 'The last thing I heard was a lot of screaming. Then I lost consciousness.'
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