For me, ecology and equality of all peoples are the same subject. If you have a factory and employ thousands of people under the lowest conditions or you are dumping chemicals it's the same--you have no respect for life. The economy is ruling the world.
There's a new movement for a wolrd without capitalism and money in the middle of everything, which is destroying the heart of the people and our earth. We have to grow another world inside this hard capitalism world. Capitalism is very aggressive--that's the reason they attack us so aggressively. They want to separate us into the peaceful and the militant. They keep the peaceful people afraid and arrest the militant. I was trying to get to Piazzale Kennedy--going down a side street. Five police cars drove directly at us--one policeman shot a canister of tear gas from eight meters away and it hit me directly in the helmet.
A Protester from Bhopal, India, 2001
"Joel Sternfeld A Protester from Bhopal, India, 2001 C-print 20 x 24 inches People are still dying in Bhopal. Over twenty thousand have died, and those born after the disaster have growth and menstrual problems. Over one hundred twenty thousand are still suffering from chronic diseases of the eye, the brain and reproductive and immune systems.
Five thousand metric tons of chemicals were dumped into the ground inside and outside the factory – it’s gone into the drinking water, the only source of drinking water for ten communities. Union Carbide evades justice, and now it has sold itself to Dow Chemical."
The most important reason for me to come to Genoa is to tell people on the radio what really happens here, because official media do not tell the truth.
Wives are becoming widows, children are becoming orphans, people's faces are ground into the dust by poverty. If you're poor in a rich country you're just poor--but if you're in a poor country you're facing death.
I came to photograph/document the protest. I was sitting on the wall in order to protect myself because the police were advancing. At that moment I was scared. I saw five or six poliemen kicking a little punk girl (of about twenty years old)--she was screaming for them to stop. I took a picture of this terrible moment. I stopped taking pictures when the girl screamed louder. A woman with me was protecting me from the police who were all around us. And I started to scream, "enough," to stop them from beating the girl. We were both screaming. We caught the attention of a policeman and he came directly to us and he started to beat us with a baton. In that moment he saw my camera and he hit my camera. Two or three policemen came and stopped him. And I went to find a place to hide.
The IMF, the WTO and the G8 are the representatives of the rich world's abuse of the poor world. Coming here and protesting makes the dialectics of politics work again.
(This picture was taken the next morning, after the attack on the Armando DIaz School. Depicted is a mark made by a police taser. Protester declined to revise his statement made the previous evening.)
I was on Via Giovanni Torti at 7:30 pm. Friday to film what was happening in the city. There was a barricade made by black blockers with street-sweeping bins, metal pipes and wooden planks. Nearby, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro was in flames. A carabinieri truck traveling about 35 mph suddenly appeared from a side street to the rear, firing tear gas; the club-carrying carabinieri in the truck emerged soon afterward. People started running away; I hid together with two journalists in a nearby doorway. The police arrived, and after asking me if I was a journalist, they thre me against the wall with a club to my throat, and ordered me to give them the videocassette. After taking it, they told me to go away; instead, after I had gone about 30 feet, they assaulted me from behind and started pounding me with clubs. After knocking me to the ground they stood around me in a circle, kicking and clubbing me until my head was cut and behan to bleed profusely. At that point they stopped beating me. One of them took the camera and the other took my cell phone. Then they went away! Today, Tuesday, I went to see a lawyer, who advised me not to report the carabinieri because, even if I have two witnesses, the police could either come to my home and beat me or say that they remember seeing me throw stones, setting fires or doing other things that could land me in jail. And this was said by my lawyer!
My ex-husband is from Senegal. It was from him that I learned about the traditions and customs of Africa and of the problems facing the immigrant community here in Italy. I think about poor countries, particualrly in Africa. Consumerism in Africa is creating a lot of problems but tradition is strong. Even if I had known I would be beaten I would have come here because demonstration is very important.
Rage. Three billion people feel rage.
A Storefront in Corso Torino, 19 July 2001
A door in the Armando Diaz School After a Police Raid, Genoa, 21 July 2001
Crucifixes held by protestors during police raid on the Genoa Social Forum, 22 July 2001
The fifth floor of the Armando Diaz School after a police raid, Genoa, 21 July 2001
A man kneeling at the spot where Carlo Giuliani lost his life, Piazza Alimonda, Genoa, 21 July 2001
Carlo Giuliani, Cimitero di Staglieno, Genoa, 25 July 2001
Water Thrown on Protestors, Genoa, 20 July 2001
You think that you've killed him but he lives on in us.