PRESS STATEMENT 21.06.2001
Democratic Alternative condemns the actions of the police in Gothenburg.
"We cannot accept that the police shall be able to disrupt peaceful demonstrations" says Eirik Eiglad, the international secretary of Democratic Alternative.
What was planned to be large-scale demonstrations against the European Union and the power of the market ended up as a large-scale demonstration of the police's contempt for democracy. The planned protests in Gothenburg ended with random harassment of demonstrators and passers-by, brutal police violence and extensive mass-arrests - as well as three young citizens getting shot by the police!
Democratic Alternative is a radical organization with groups in several Nordic countries, and we had many activists engaged in the protests, counter-conferences and discussions that filled Gothenburg.
On the basis of our own experiences and others accounts we consider it obvious that the police in Gothenburg had carefully planned to carry out a non-compromising policy. "The police did not allow for dialogue or peaceful protests", Eiglad continues.
The peaceful demonstrations were disrupted by continual police provocations. Protesters were arrested and harassed for no reason. Many was even taken into custody because they were walking on the wrong street or sleeping at the wrong school. Eiglad says "the police showed a complete contempt for fundamental political rights".
Nonetheless it was obvious that when police kept away and let the protesters arrange their demonstrations in peace, song, dance and slogans filled the streets - not the chaos provoked by the police. Of this reason Democratic Alternative consider Gothenburg a victory. "The fact that so many thousands demonstrate against the market and the power elites despite the harsh reactions of the police is definitely an important victory".
In the months and years to come we will continue to highlight the unjust and undemocratic Europe designed by the elites. "But this victory must not lead us to forget those still imprisoned".
Therefore Democratic Alternative demands:
* Unconditional release of all arrested. We demand that all charges is immediately dropped.
* The establishment of an independent commission that can analyze the events in Gothenburg.
* Compensation for everyone that was taken into custody, deported or arrested.
* Official apology from the responsible powers. We also demand that all those responsible for the police actions the immediately must be removed from their posts.
Democratic Alternative will contribute in working for the release of all those who are still arrested, and the dropping of all charges. "Now all citizens must step forward to defend our democratic rights" Eiglad concludes.