ESF closes with mass protest


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

ESF closes with mass protest

Matthew Tempest at the European Social Forum in London
Monday October 18, 2004

Demonstrators from all over Europe descended on Trafalgar Square yesterday to denounce the Iraq war at the end of three days of talks and direct action at the European Social Forum 2004.
Following a scuffle near the stage at Sunday's rally, police arrested nine people, including Alessio Lunghi, spokesman for the anarchist action group, the Wombles.
Two people have been released without charge, whilst one has been charged with assaulting a police officer. Mr Lunghi has been charged under section four of the Public Order Act.
Although the theme of the demonstration - numbers for which ranged from Stop the War's claim of 100,000 and the police's 20,000 - was an anti-war "Bush Out, Troops Out" slogan, the three days of seminars, workshops, art and cinema focused on climate change, privatisation and the IMF, as well as Palestinian rights, the EU constitution and immigration.
The third annual meeting of Europe's non-governmental organisations, environmentalists, peace campaigners and every shade of red faction follows gatherings in Florence and Paris, and plans to reconvene in Greece in spring 2006.
After a two-hour march from Russell Square to Trafalgar Square via two bridges over the Thames, Bruce Kent, the former head of CND, said he would like to see the prime minister "sat next to Slobodan Milosevic in the war crimes tribunal in the Hague".
George Galloway, the former Labour MP who now heads the anti-war Respect coalition, made reference to US military operations in Iraq, telling the crowd: "There is one word in our hearts and our prayers - Falluja. This [town] is going to be a new Stalingrad over the next few weeks."
Referring to the pan-European nature of the ESF, he said: "We walked past Bush House, the headquarters of the BBC World Service. It says 'Nation shall speak unto Nation'. That is what we have been doing in our Tower of Babel in Alexandra Palace" - the main venue for this weekend's events.
Up to 5,000 delegates slept in the Millennium Dome courtesy of the mayor, Ken Livingstone, while small direct actions and counter-conferences took place at squats and "autonomous spaces" across the city.
Mr Livingstone was the target of a planned ambush of Alexandra Palace by up to 200 anarchists from across Europe on Saturday, who took to the stage for half an hour to denounce the organisation of the ESF.
The mayor had been due to be the keynote speaker at the three-hour session on uniting against the fascist right across Europe, but his aides later insisted he had decided to withdraw from the event "mid-week" - although no notice had been given.
There was also a protest statement by the volunteer translators' group of 500 linguists providing their services for the event, claiming that several of their Turkish and Kurdish speakers had been refused entry into Britain to work for the event.
The independent news activist group Indymedia alleged that their internet servers in London had been taken down on FBI orders, and criticised the Guardian, a media partner of the ESF, for not investigating the claims.
Speakers attacked the event for not living up to its ideals, claiming that the venue's security was "outsourced" by being bussed down from Glasgow - which was confirmed to the Guardian by several ushers. Meanwhile, the catering was standard British bacon rolls and sausages - for a largely organic and vegetarian conference. Last year in Paris the hospitality was provided by the guru of organic "slow food", French farmer José Bové.
In an earlier debate on the war attended by a packed audience of over 1,000, Labour MP Diane Abbott denounced her government over the war, and called for Tony Blair to resign.
She said: "It's deeply embarrassing to be a member of the Labour party. I'm proud to stand here and for Troops Out of Iraq. I'm not calling for Tony Blair to apologise, I'm calling for Tony Blair to consider his position and resign."
Ms Abbott was widely cheered - although heckled by one activist for her decision to send her son to private school.
On Sunday morning the comedian Mark Steel gave an "alternative sermon" on radical and revolutionary Tom Paine, while Saturday saw a three-hour "spinbusting" guided tour around Soho and Covent Garden - pointing out "some of the key PR and lobbying offices in London".
A Critical Mass bike ride on Friday left Waterloo for the National Portrait Gallery to protest against the sponsorship by BP of the gallery's Portrait Award and to highlight climate change - by cycling in wetsuits and flippers to indicate raising tide levels.
The demonstration which closed the event was largely addressed by UK speakers, including Kate Hudson of CND; Jeremy Corbyn MP; the head of the lecturers' union Natfhe, Paul Mackney; the assistant general secretary of the T&G general union, Barry Camfield; Andrew Murray of Stop the War; the Muslim Association of Britain; and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, as well as the relatives of Gordon Gentle, a 19-year-old Glaswegian soldier killed in Iraq.
The speeches were criticised by some in the crowd for concentrating on an anti-war message, while the thrust of the conference had been a pan-European action in favour of public services, open borders and action on climate change.

aide- asystent, doradca
allege- insynouwać, przypuszczać
ambush - zasadzka; wciągnąć w zasadzkę
assault- atak
bus- przyjeżdżać autobusem
claim - żądanie
denounce- demaskować, potępiać, oskarżać
descend- napływać, nadchodzić
faction- frakcja, odłam
focus on - koncentrować się na
headquarters- siedziba
heckle- przerywać pytaniami, przeszkadzać
IMF- International Monetary Fund; Międzynarodowy Fundusz Walutowy
investigate - dochodzić, dociekać
keynote - myśl przewodnia
make reference to- nawiązywać do
outsource- zatrudniać osoby spoza firmy
reconvene- wznawiać obrady
refer to- nawiązywać do
release- zwolnić
scuffle - bijatyka, starcie
slow food- przeciwiństwo fast food’u, posiłek przygotowany tradycyjnie
spokesman- rzecznik, przedstawiciel
thrust - dążenie
usher- bileter
venue- miejsce (wydarzenia)
withdraw- wycofywać się
workshop- warsztat

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