ICC participates in Left Radical anti-EU demo in Cologne 3.5.99

The left radical movement in Cologne mobilised to a demonstration and a counter-Summit on the actual days of the EU Summit (June 3rd-4th). After difficult negociations the police and the demo organisation finally reached agreement on a route. However the police insisted that the two cars with loudspeakers had to be fully searched. The Police presence was higher than during the Euromarches demonstration on Saturday May 29th. Even though the police was permanently escorting the demonstrators, stilll some Police PR people were spreading leaflets saying :"Everyone has the right to come together and to express one's opinion, in peace and without weapons. It is a task of the police to guarantee this basic right. (...) Ihre Kölner Polizei."

Arriving at the meeting point in Ebertplatz, the ICC group was enthusiastically received by the crowd which reached 3500 participants. Some speeches through the loudspeakers were arranged for some ICC participants, for Gopal (Nepal), Popodu (Karnataka), Diana (Mexico) and the two women from Bangladesh. In Germany you can be charged for things that you say during a demonstration. This was one of the reasons why the car windows were covered to make it more difficult for the police to identify the people speaking. Some of the speeches of the ICC participants were so energetic that people often didn't even need translation to start applauding or whistling. The ICC expressed their solidarity with the large diversity of European struggles present at the demonstration and called for a global resistance against the current world economic order. One of the most powerful moments was when one of the women sang a song of resistance which has been prohibited in Bangladesh.

The demonstration gathered many people from all over Germany and other parts of Europe. The demonstration was mostly targeted against fortress Europe and the problem of immigrations. A very hot topic in Germany for the moment as the German police killed a Sudanese refugee a few days ago when forcing him into a plane back to his country. Three different Caravans were present at the demonstration: the ICC, the Money or Life Caravan and the Caravan for the rights of migrants and refugees, which have started a fast in protest against the death of the Sudanese refugee. The Dutch delegation had showed up with the by now famous "EU-Rot op !" banner. The demonstration was also characterised by opposition to the war, to the high police repression and the capitalist supranational project called EU.

The people from the ICC were very tired and went out of the demo a little before the end.
At the very end of the demonstration the police provoked the demonstrators by arresting one person. Everyone stopped in the middle of the street shouting for this person to be released. The situation seemed to be about to escalate as several hundred policemen surrounded the street in a matter of seconds. Eventually the police showed a bit of intelligence for a change and released the arrested person, allowing the people to finish the demonstration in peace, with music, and nice food. So contrary to many speculations the demo didn't turn into riots in a city filled with 12.000 policemen.