Twenty years ago, in July 2001, about 300,000 protesters gathered in the streets of Genoa to demonstrate against the G8 summit, neoliberal globalisation, the deregulation of the financial markets, and against capitalism. The summit went down in history for the enormous scale of police brutality, exerted not solely in the streets and in Piazza Alimonda, where 23-year-old protester Carlo Giuliani was shot dead by a policeman. Protesters sleeping in the Armando Diaz School fell victim along with those tortured at the Bolzaneto detention facility. Amnesty International later described it as ‘[t]he most serious suspension of democratic rights in a Western country since the Second World War’. Nevertheless, protests, international exchange, and the global mobilisation of social movements continued, the World Social Forums continued, and the European Social Forum was established. Even though the social-forum process has since dwindled, its impact is significant – and often underestimated.
On this occasion transform! europe provides analyses focused on questions such as: How was it possible to mobilise such an immense number of protesters from all across Europe and beyond? What was the impact of the social forum process on the further development of the European left? How can a global connection of social movements be rebuilt?
We wish you stimulating reading!
Michael Hollogschwandtner, web editor, for transform! europe