By Ulrike Demmer, Gunther Latsch and Marcel Rosenbach
A decrepit school building from the old East German days stands right in the heart of this concrete sprawl, directly on the four-lane Bertolt-Brecht-Strasse. Numerous banners hang from the facade, the walls are spray-painted with slogans like "Resistance Rocks" and "Nazis Suck," and the red-and-black flag of anarchy flies on the roof. In the fenced-in schoolyard, a group of longhaired young people are trying to piece together some kind of means of transportation from a huge pile of scrap bicycle parts.
Locals still refer to the building, which is situated next to a shopping mall, as the Ehm Welk School. In actual fact, the structure should have been demolished a long time ago -- a company had already been hired to tear it down.
The old school building serves a number of functions. It's an organizational office, a communal kitchen, a party zone and massive crash pad all rolled into one. But first and foremost it's an alternative media center. During the summit, there are plans to transform it into a studio, with live Internet TV broadcasts every night at 9:00 pm.
The school in Evershagen can be seen as a microcosm of the anti-globalization movement. If the building had a doorbell with a nameplate, there would have to be room for hundreds of first names and dozens of cryptic abbreviations.
Groups range from the "Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army," with its colorful rubber noses, to relatively established anti-globalization movements like Attac, to radical far-left anarchists. In the building's 55 rooms, a myriad of different strategies for forms of action are debated. With so many divergent approaches under one roof, organizers have decided to call the school the "Convergence Center" -- a place to meet and find common ground.
Not surprisingly, the common slogan they have managed to agree on, and which is plastered across the building's walls, sounds decidedly vague: "Another World Is Possible." But how different do they want the world to be? These critics of globalization come from extremely diverse backgrounds and have very different agendas. Some want to spark a revolution and change the system, while others advocate reforming development policies or improving climate protection. Virtually every point of view is represented here.
The only problem is that -- with the exception of the revolution -- all of this has already made its way onto the agenda of the leaders of the eight industrialized nations meeting in Heiligendamm.
Clever summit planning has managed to rob many critics of their issues -- leaving them only with a sense of outrage. Many protestors are driven by a feeling of powerlessness and the conviction that they are on the right side, following in the tradition of Genoa, Seattle and Gleneagles. They are against the G-8 and everything that it stands for politically.
And they want to make this protest visible. In the battle for media coverage, the protestors intend to steal the summit show -- or at least part of it -- from Merkel, Bush and their cronies.
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---Quote (Originally by nevermind)--- As someone who has actively taken part in non violent direct actions all over Europe, especially in Twyford Down, Newbury ...... ---End Quote--- I understand. And actually I'm sick and [...] more...
---Quote (Originally by MaxfromNewYork)--- Violence is not justified but lack of answers in a world that more and more is splitting into richer countries versus poorer countries can trigger the exasperation. Many people don't [...] more...
but it's one way I suppose. Doesn't take any brains to get violent now does it. What does that say about violent protesters? more...
---Quote (Originally by allenk)--- Protest riots in Heiligendamm ahead of the the G-8 summit are being watched anxiously by the world. But is violence the only way to get world leaders' attention? ---End Quote--- Violence is [...] more...
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