(Monday, 6 August 2001)--The Summer of Resistance continued to flower today as 175 Portlanders gathered for a funeral for Italian activist Carlo Giuliani, who was killed by police in Genoa, Italy, during the G8 protests on 20 July. |
The crowd held a rally in Pioneer Courthouse Square with speeches and chanting. Afterward, they held a silent vigil and marched out onto the streets. At the front of the crowd was a large black coffin--for Carlo--with flowers on top.
First stop on the march was the Oregonian building, where the participants held a die-in. Everyone laid on the ground for a full five minutes. This action was taken to protest the innaccurate coverage and lack of coverage that corporate media outlets give to the message and significance of anti-corporate globalization activists. Most mass media is currently owned by the same corporations that are pushing for the so-called "free trade" policies that the G8 leaders were discussing in Genoa. It remains to be seen if the Oregonian will report this action on its doorstep or not.
From there, the marchers went to the World Trade Center--home of the Italian Consulate here in town--and left the coffin at the front door. The crowd held another five minute die-in.
The marchers then returned to Pioneer Square without incident. Police followed several activists as they left the square, and it looked like there might be trouble from them, but Indymedia activists with cameras followed along, and the officers quickly saw that it was not a moment to harrass anyone.
Photographs will be uploaded later today. Also, tune into KBOO tonight at 5:00 p.m. for an audio report.
The die-in in front of the Oregonian was a beautiful and effective statement. The silence of the prostrate bodies brought a poignancy to the moment that was quite moving. It was also an entirely unantagonizing action, and any move by police or Oregonian staff to disrupt it would have clearly been harrassment. With this die-in, the activists put the police, the media, and the state on the spot, and created a moment to reflect on the tragic deaths of Carlo Giuliani in Italy, and of other activists elsewhere around the world during the recent upsurge in anti-corporate globalization activism.
The marchers might have served their cause better by passing out more flyers along the way. Hundreds of people viewed the procession as it went by, but very few of them knew what it was about. One woman, who appeared to be an office professional, described the marchers as looking "scary". If she had received more information about it, perhaps she would have understood better. Perhaps she would not have taken information if it was offered to her, however.
This was the second G8 solidarity action in Portland in as many weeks. This Saturday, the 11th, will bring a third action, with the exact time and location yet to be announced. For more information on this action, call 503-287-7498.