"Genoa is mapped out like a battle field"

Sunday 15 July

“Genoa is mapped out like a battle field”

On one side there will be a “Red Zone” and a “Yellow Zone”. At least 15,000 well-armed police and military troops will be on hand for next week’s Group of Eight summit. On the other side will be thousands of demonstrators, including die-hards armed with rudimentary weapons, bent on disrupting what they see as a slap in the face for the world’s poor. World leaders and anti-globalisation activists. The Genoa Social Forum, a group of anti-globalisation activists, has been told that no demonstrations can take place within the so-called Red Zone. The Red Zone, about four square km (1.5 sq miles), includes the main September 20 Street leading to the Piazza de Ferrari and the 17th century Ducal Palace where the summit will take place. It also includes the entire port, where nearly all the leaders from the world’s seven top industrial nations and Russia will be housed on the European Vision ship. Police and anti-terrorist scuba divers will patrol the port. On the other side will be police in riot gear. They will be equipped with live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas launchers, armoured personnel carriers and water cannons. Demonstrators, most of whom will be camping out in the south side of the city, are expected to wear helmets, gas masks, goggles and rubber padding. Media reports have said there are some 2,000 demonstrators who are bent on invading the Red Zone. Hospitals in Genoa and neighbouring cities have been put on alert. Around the Red Zone is a much larger Yellow Zone, a kind of buffer area where some demonstrations will be permitted but which police can seal off quickly if necessary. The city’s airport, where most leaders will arrive, will be closed and air traffic limited. Strategic factories and plants will get special security protection. U.S.A. President George W. Bush is clearly the biggest nightmare for Italian security officials. They are not so much worried by the demonstrators as by the possibility of a terrorist attack aimed at the president. For this summit in Genoa has been spent about 250 billion lire ($110 million) on improving the city’s appearance and infrastructure and on organisation and security.


picture of genoa http://www.palazzoducale.genova.it/engmain.html