3000 at demonstration against IOM, WIPO and WTO

07.Jun.03 - about 3000 people participated at the demonstration against iom, wto and wipo in geneva last friday. the evening before a lifestreamed "talk-show" took place, where the relationship between migration-regime and intellectual property-regime, between freedom of movement and freedom of information have been discussed on various levels. this info-event should also serve for the mobilisation next day, but the estimations, how many people will come to the demo, still remained very pessimistic, hoping for at least a few hundred people.

but thanks to the efforts of some people in geneva, the announcments in the camps/villages and via internet finally more than 3000 people came to the manifestations. the police had been informed about the demo one day in advance, but a registration was not made. so it was not clear in the beginning, if they will block us soon after starting on the lakeside, before we can reach the first station, the wto-headquarter. but only very few policemen appeared close to and infront of the wto-building, when two speeches were made about the role of wto in general and about the trip-agreements (trade related intellectual property rights) in particular. in the same time some people climbed on the fence and - really incredible - that the big gate of the wto-entrance was locked only by a simple mechanism. after a few minutes some activists could break up and open this gate, some other people started to throw bottles and other things in direction of the building.

by megaphone we tried to convince the people not to escalate and to remember to the appointed character of the demonstration to avoid any confrontation with police two days before the massblockades.

finally we could continue the demonstration, a sambaband joined the march, and we reached as a second station to the iom-headquarter in rue des morillons. again only a small number of policemen tried firstly to stop the demonstrators to enter the yard (which has no fence). but poeple flooded around and the police went back. two speeches were made in front of the building: one more general about the role of iom and another more specific about iom`s involvement in the detention camps in australia (made by a no one is illegal-activist from australia!). the speeches have been interrupted, when police has thrown gas-granates to the street, probably, as we could learn later, because some windows on the backwall of the iom-building have been smashed.

but we could continue the demo again without big troubles to reach the last point of the route: the wipo-building. in another speech this institution and its role in the intellectual property regime have been critisized as another aspect of global control, exclusion and exploitation.(see the video at the end of this article)

later on the demo went back to the city center and no more police appeared, although at the end of the march some more commercial buildings lost their windows.