Death in Genoa


With each demonstration the fences go higher, the security forces swell, the gear gets more sinister, the weapons deadlier. Each time, beneath the pleas for peace, the rage is ratcheted up another notch. In Genoa, where some 100,000 anti-corporate-globalization demonstrators massed last week, there was, inevitably, a victim. An Italian police officer shot 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani point-blank, once in the forehead, once in the left cheek, as he hoisted a fire extinguisher toward the officer’s Land Rover. La Repubblica called him a Christ figure with arms splayed upon the asphalt. Corriere della Sera countered, saying he was an anarchist provocateur. But Giuliani is not the first to die demonstrating against neoliberal economic policies. Recently, activists have been killed in Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Bolivia, and elsewhere. The police are ready to kill to keep order. Are demonstrators prepared to die to be heard? —Lenora Todaro