The neoliberal policies of the G8 have faced popular protest ever since US President Clinton instigated its formation in 1997. This year's summit on Sea Island, Georgia, was accompanied by state-imposed martial law, including a federal takeover of security throughout coastal Georgia. These orders are probably the reason protests were so small, but still activists came together in Brunswick, Savannah, and St. Simon's Island.|
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On the other coast, in San Francisco, there was a massive display of multi-agency overtime, city, state and federal police forces effectively shutdown the West Coast anti-G8 message and reasserted their hold on SF's main thoroughfares, at least for today. SF Reclaim the Streets had called for a mutant-themed anti-G8 RTS action in San Francisco. The sound system and costumed mutants gathered at UN Plaza, threw a stationary street party and then took to Market Street. Within a few blocks, however, a sizeable portion of the mass was encircled by SF Police, California Highway Patrol and Federal Protective Services. Officers reportedly offered the corralled demonstrators a chance to be either "cited and released" or arrested -- although when a Freak Radio Santa Cruz correspondent attempted to leave the encirclement, he was beaten by police. Police ended up making around 165 arrests at 5th and Market Streets. Meanwhile, police attacked and beat with sticks a number of protesters, bystanders and a homeless man outside the encirclement. Several protesters were grabbed off the sidewalk and arrested for no reason at all, including several who had been photographing police violence.
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