Arrestati 100 ciclisti/e ANTI-G8 a Utrecht

Arrestati e tenuti in cella per due giorni, per non aver usato la pista ciclabile…

Nederlands, G8 summit/Utrecht(NL): last bicycle caravanist* finally

After a surprising and completely unwarrented arrest of around 100 bicycle activists and members of the “Gr8chaoskaravaan” western european anti G8 bike caravan on Saturday the last arrestee was finally release last night.

Bike Caravan Anti-G8Arrestees report of police violence and ill arrest conditions. Legal consequences for both activists and police. — Last night the last of the 100 anti G8 bicycle activists who were arrested in Utrecht (Netherlands) on Saturday was finally released after 48 hours in jail. In what was obviously a prepared police operation, participants of the bicycle caravan and supporters were arrested on Saturday while trying to leave the city.

The cylists where surprised when without prior warning a special unit and horseback (beritten) police suddenly charged the bicycle ride with battons drawn, one police van even driving right into the riders and hitting one bicycle. The police then proceeded to arrest all members on the pretext of not using the bicycle path. Bicycles were confiscated and removed with many being damaged and locks broken. Demonstrators later reported that police used disproportional violence during the arrests.

Ill treatment continued during the arrest. For several hours the demonstrators were detained in overcrowded cells – 25 people in a 4×4 m cell – where they suffered from anoxia caused by lacking ventilation and were deprived of food. While the first demonstrators were released during the night, a growing number of reports about police intimidation came in. “They told us that what they had done today was tolerant
compared to what they would do if we continued to carry out the actions we had planned” says Antje, a caravan participant.

The arrests were as surprising for the international members of the caravan as they were for the dutch activists. “It was a very unusual police action for dutch circumstances” said Antje, dutch activist and caravan member. “I have been doing bicycle actions for years and can’t remember something like this happening.” Andree Narres from the info office of the bicycle caravans is outraged: “I can’t find any other plausible explanation than politics and police doing what they can to prevent, harass and criminalise all protests even ahead of the G8 summit.” According to him the action may have been planned to make the bicycle caravans entry into Germany harder. “The police didn’t charge the cyclists with the mere regulatory offence of not using the bicycle path but of not obeying police orders, an offense that leads to a court hearing.”

Bike Caravan Anti-G8“We won’t let them intimidate us”, said Antje. Indeed several released members of the caravan participated in the actions that had been planned together with local activists for Sunday despite of the night-long and cumbersome arrests. In nearby Zeist, around 60 people participated in an antiracist inspection of a deportation camp and in Utrecht 50 people gathered infront of the police headquarters for a loud protest demonstration. However, the caravan was unable to maintain its original schedule and thus, the political groups in Nijmwegen, who had planned to start their Anti-G8 action days together with the caravan had to do so alone.

On monday, a part of the caravan arrived in Nijmwegen and joined local activists for a number of bicycle actions. After the release of the last arrestee, the remaining caravan members who had stayed in Utrecht to support the prisoners drove to Nijmwegen from where the caravan will leave today.

Not only the arrestees will face legal consequences because of Saturdays events in Utrecht. The legal team Utrecht together with many victims of the police action wants to hold the police responsible for indiscriminate use of violence and illegal arrest conditions. Also, the
police faces charges of damaging property for damaging bicycles and breaking locks.


Here is an update on the 100 cyclists and Gr8chaoskaravaan members arrested at the anti-G8 demonstration in Utrecht today. The arrests began at around 3:00 pm. According to dutch activists, the police was well-prepared and had clearly planned this actions aforehand. According to one source, the police acted quite violently, although there has been no confirmation of this so far.Bike Caravan Anti-G8All participants in the demonstration were arrested for not driving on the bicycle way and disobeying police orders, which apparantly is a heavy offence. So far, only one person has been released. As far as is known now, 50 people carrying passports with them have been brough to court, so far one of them has been released. It is yet unclear where the people without passpord have been brought to. The police can detain people without valid ID for up to 3 days.The bicycles have all been confiscated and taken away. The depot will be closed on sunday so it won’t be possible to retrieve these bikes before monday 8:00 am. But it is yet unclear if the police will be willing to return the bikes to demonstrators who can not “prove” they own their bike.

The police claim they detained 93 people for obstruction of movement and disobeying police orders – which, according to dutch law, is a heavy offence.

In Utrecht there will be a solidarity action at 9:30 pm – meet at the station square 7 if you can come!

This is clearly an attempt to prevent protest and public activities ahead of the G8 protests. Do not allow this to happen! Make this news public, organise protest actions in your towns, infront of dutch embassies – until all detainees are released and have their bikes returned!

The Gr8chaoskaravaan is one of 6 caravans which are trying to draw attention to the G8 protests and emancipatory struggles ahead of the upcoming G8 summit in Heiligendamm. The Gr8chaoskaravaan was meant to leave for Nijmwegen tomorrow where a number of actions were planned to take place.

Further material:
Video of Saturdays events in Utrecht:
http://www.indymedia.nl/nl/2007/05/44359.shtml

Reports about Monday 7th bicycle action in Nijmwegen:
http://dissentnetzwerk.org/wiki/Bicycle-Caravan_%22West%22:reports:2007-05-07

Gr8chaoskaravaan reports and infos:
http://dissentnetzwerk.org/wiki/Bicycle-Caravan_%22West%22

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