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27th G8 summit

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27th G8 summit
Host countryItaly
Date19–22 July 2001
Venue(s)Genoa, Liguria
Participants Canada
 United Kingdom
 United States
 European Union
Follows26th G8 summit
Precedes28th G8 summit

The 27th G8 summit was held in Genoa, Italy, on 19–22 July 2001 and is remembered as a highpoint of the worldwide anti-globalization movement as well as for human rights violations against demonstrators.


The Group of Seven (G7) was an unofficial forum which brought together the heads of the richest industrialized countries: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada starting in 1976. The G8, meeting for the first time in 1997, was formed with the addition of Russia.[1] In addition, the President of the European Commission has been formally included in summits since 1981.[2] The summits were not meant to be linked formally with wider international institutions; and in fact, a mild rebellion against the stiff formality of other international meetings was a part of the genesis of cooperation between France's president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and West Germany's chancellor Helmut Schmidt as they conceived the initial summit of the Group of Six (G6) in 1975.[3]

The G8 summits during the 21st-century have inspired widespread debates, protests and demonstrations; and the two-or three-day event becomes more than the sum of its parts, elevating the participants, the issues, and the venue as focal points for activist pressure.[4]

Leaders at the summit[edit]

The 27th G8 summit was the first summit for Japanese Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi and US President George W. Bush.


Opening ceremony on 20 July 2001
Bono, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, and Bob Geldof

These summit participants were the current "core members" of the international forum:[5][6][7][8]

Core G8 members
Host state and leader are shown in bold text.
Member Represented by Title
Canada Canada Jean Chrétien Prime Minister
France France Jacques Chirac President
Germany Germany Gerhard Schröder Chancellor
Italy Italy Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister
Japan Japan Junichiro Koizumi Prime Minister
Russia Russia Vladimir Putin President
United Kingdom United Kingdom Tony Blair Prime Minister
United States United States George W. Bush President
European Union European Union Romano Prodi Commission President
Guest Invitees (Countries)
Member Represented by Title
Algeria Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika President
Bangladesh Bangladesh Shahabuddin Ahmed President
Belgium Belgium Guy Verhofstadt Prime Minister and European Council President
Mali Mali Alpha Oumar Konare President
Guest Invitees (International Institutions)
Member Represented by Title
International Monetary Fund Horst Köhler Managing Director
United Nations United Nations Kofi Annan Secretary-General
World Bank James Wolfensohn President
World Trade Organization Mike Moore Director-General


Traditionally, the host country of the G8 summit sets the agenda for negotiations, which take place primarily amongst multi-national civil servants in the weeks before the summit itself, leading to a joint declaration which all countries can agree to sign.


The summit was intended as a venue for resolving differences among its members. As a practical matter, the summit was also conceived as an opportunity for its members to give each other mutual encouragement in the face of difficult economic decisions.[3]

The overall theme of the summit was ways to reduce poverty. Topics discussed at the meeting included an evaluation of the Enhanced HIPC Initiative which involved debt forgiveness to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, the Global Health Fund, the global digital divide, the environment, and food security. Although the main summit was from 20 to 22 July, the summit was preceded by a meeting of the G8 foreign ministers on the 18th and 19th.[9]

The summit was overshadowed by riots in the city after a crackdown by police targeting anti-globalisation groups and the death of 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani, leading some to talk of a deliberately followed strategy of tension.

Before the summit, significant controversies and ridicule among local people and media focused on the security plans (such as fences going through streets and inside houses) and image provisions (such as the prohibition to dry up the laundry[10]).

Citizens' responses and authorities' counter-responses[edit]


Protesters burning a Carabinieri vehicle

The Genoa G8 Summit protest, 19 to 22 July 2001, was a dramatic protest, drawing an estimated 200,000 demonstrators. Dozens were hospitalized following clashes with police and night raids by security forces on two schools housing activists and independent journalists. People taken into custody after the raids have alleged severe abuse at the hands of police.

Demonstrators accused the police of brutality and denying them their right to non-violent protest. They believe that G8 summits are non-legitimate attempts by eight of the world's most powerful governments to set the rules for the planet at large. Police and many politicians argued that attempting to blockade a meeting is in itself a violent event and an attempt to impede the workings of democratically elected governments.[citation needed].

The G8 meeting was held inside a "Red Zone" in the center of town that had been declared off-limits for non-residents and surrounded by a barricade, leaving protesters no chance to communicate with summit delegates. Fears of a terrorist attack at the time had also led to an air exclusion zone around the city, as well as the stationing of anti-aircraft missiles. Only one activist, Valérie Vie, secretary of a French branch of ATTAC, managed to publicly breach the Red Zone barrier, but was immediately arrested by police agents. There were also several border riots ahead of the summit, as police attempted to prevent suspected activists from entering Italy. The Italian government suspended freedom of movement entitled by the Schengen Treaty for the duration of the G8 summit, in order to monitor the movement of the many protesters arriving from across the European Union.

Injuries and deaths[edit]

Many demonstrators were injured and dozens more arrested over the course of the event. Most of those 329 arrested were charged with criminal conspiracy to commit destruction; but they were in most part released shortly thereafter because judges declared the charges invalid. Police continued to raid social centers, media centers, union buildings and legal offices across Italy after the summit as part of ongoing investigations. Over 400 protesters and about 100 among security forces were injured during the clashes.

On 20 July a 23-year-old activist Carlo Giuliani of Genoa, was shot dead by Mario Placanica, a Carabiniere, during clashes with police. Images show Giuliani picking up a fire extinguisher from the ground[11] and approaching the carabinieri's vehicle with it before he was shot and then run over twice by the Land Rover.[12][13] Placanica was acquitted from any wrongdoing, as judges determined he fired in self-defence and to the sky but a flying stone deflected the bullet and killed Giuliani.[14] The idea that the stone killed Giuliani has been however questioned on the basis of a security video[15] and the stone being covered in blood while the balaclava through which it should have wounded Giuliani was intact. Videos and photos show that the stone was dipped in blood and placed beside Giuliani's head minutes after his death[16] suggesting an attempt to conceal the police responsibility. Later tribunals including the European Court of Human Rights confirmed that Giuliani was killed directly by the bullet.[17]

Activist Susanne Bendotti was struck by a vehicle and killed while attempting to cross the French-Italian border at Ventimiglia to get to the Genoa demonstration.[18]


In December 2007, 25 demonstrators were condemned for property damage and looting.

Numerous police officers and local and national officials have been ordered to stand trial in connection with the event. In one trial, 28 police officials are standing trial on charges related to the two night raids, charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, use of excessive force and planting evidence. In other proceedings, 45 state officials, including prison guards, police and medics, are being tried for abusing detainees in their custody at Bolzaneto who were arrested during the raid. Detainees reported being spat at, verbally and physically humiliated, and threatened with rape.[19]

Police conducted nighttime raids upon centers housing protesters and campsites, most notably the attacks on the Diaz-Pascoli and Diaz-Pertini schools shortly after midnight on 21 July. These were being used as sleeping quarters, and had also been set up as centers for those providing media, medical, and legal support work. Police baton attacks left three activists, including British journalist Mark Covell, in comas. At least one person has suffered brain damage, while another had both jaws and fourteen teeth broken. In total, over 60 were severely injured and a parliamentary inquiry was launched.[20] It concluded no wrongdoing on the part of police.

Ninety-three people were arrested during the raids. In May 2003 Judge Anna Ivaldi concluded that they had put up no resistance whatsoever to the police and all charges were dropped against them. During the inquiry, Pietro Troiani, the deputy police chief in Genoa, admitted to being involved in the planting of Molotov cocktails in order to justify the Diaz School raids, as well as faking the stabbing of a police officer to frame activists.[21]

In 2005, twenty-nine police officers were indicted for grievous bodily harm, planting evidence and wrongful arrest during a night-time raid on the Diaz School. The Molotov cocktails were reported in January 2007, during the trial of the policemen, to have disappeared.[22]

In 2007, Romano Prodi's left-wing L'Unione coalition voted to create a Parliamentary Commission on the Genoa events[23] but this commission was refused by Senate's vote.

On 14 July, 13 Italian Carabineri, GOMPI Mobile and prison police were convicted for abuse of authority, abuse of office and uniform. Other charges include abuse and negligence. Two medical staff were also convicted. None will go to jail due to statute of limitations.

On 13 November an Italian court cleared 16 of the most senior police officers of any wrongdoing in the incidents of the 2001 G8 summit.[24] Thirteen police officers were convicted of their various crimes during the Diaz raid including Vincenzo Canterini (four years), the commander of the 7th Mobile unit. None will go to jail due to statute of limitations.

However, on appeal in 2010, many of the findings were overturned, and several more senior police officers received prison sentences and disqualifications from public office. Twenty-five of the 27 original defendants were finally convicted. In statements during the trial, the prosecution cited "the terrible injuries inflicted on defenceless people, the premeditation, the covered faces, the falsification of statements by the 93 anti-globalisation protesters, the lies about their alleged resistance [to arrest]."[25]

The Italian government was later brought to trial in the European Court of Human Rights. In April 2017 the case for Bolzaneto station was dismissed as Italy and victims made an off-court refunding deal with the Italian government paying €45,000 per victim and acknowledging the extreme use of violence. In October 2017, the European Court issued two sentences against Italy, the first time declaring that torture was clearly used against the contestants on the Diaz school case, and the second time inflicting a penal fee to Italy for lacking a Torture Law in its penal code, meaning that the Genoa events could not be properly sentenced at the time as unmotivated violence leading to torture.[26][27][28]


Business opportunity[edit]

For some, the G8 summit became a profit-generating event; as for example, the official G8 Summit magazines which have been published under the auspices of the host nations for distribution to all attendees since 1998.[34] Capitalizing on the publicity which attended the Genoa summit, the Commercial Office of the Italian embassies and the consulates joined others in promoting investment in southern Italy.[35]


Core G8 participants[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saunders, Doug. "Weight of the world too heavy for G8 shoulders," Archived 2008-10-11 at the Wayback Machine Globe and Mail (Toronto). July 5, 2008.
  2. ^ Reuters: "Factbox: The Group of Eight: what is it?" Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, July 3, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Reinalda, Bob and Bertjan Verbeek. (1998). Autonomous Policy Making by International Organizations, p. 205. Archived 2020-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Influencing Policy on International Development: G8," Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine BOND (British Overseas NGOs for Development). 2008.
  5. ^ Rieffel, Lex. "Regional Voices in Global Governance: Looking to 2010 (Part IV)," Archived June 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Brookings. March 27, 2009; "core" members (Muskoka 2010 G-8, official site). Archived 2010-06-02 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "2001 Genoa G-8, delegations". G8.utoronto.ca. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  7. ^ 2001 Genoa G-8, delegations. Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine "EU and the G8" Archived February 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ G8 Centre: AIDS statement by Anan, July 20, 2001 Archived January 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ [1] Archived April 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Genoese Laundry Deemed Unsuitable For G8 Leaders". Reuters. 2001-07-17. Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  11. ^ Carlo Giuliani Archived 2020-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Archived copy". www.tatavasco.it. Archived from the original on 10 June 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Carlo Giuliani, 20 anni fa la morte al G8 di Genova". Archived from the original on 2022-04-28. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  14. ^ "G8, festa in caserma dopo il morto," Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine Repubblica. November 30, 2006. (in Italian)
  15. ^ "Le Pulci della Daloiso: Dove si spiega, senza ombra di dubbio, perché è impossibile che il proiettile colpisca il sasso e ne venga deviato – Comitato Piazza Carlo Giuliani". Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  16. ^ "Il passamontagna di Carlo Giuliani accusa le forze dell'ordine: chi infierisce su Carlo morente e perche'? – Comitato Piazza Carlo Giuliani". Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  17. ^ "Ministero della giustizia | Sentenze della Corte Europea dei Diritti dell'Uomo". www.giustizia.it. Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  18. ^ "Susanne Bendotti, 43 anni, francese, voleva raggiungere Genova," RAI News. June 21, 2001.(in Italian)
  19. ^ Popham, Peter (2005-10-12). "Trial forces Italy to relive shocking police brutality". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  20. ^ Carroll, Rory. "Genoa raid was police 'revenge'," Archived 2022-09-13 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian (London). July 24, 2001.
  21. ^ "Genoa police 'admit fabrication'," Archived 2007-09-21 at the Wayback Machine BBC. January 7, 2003; FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting): Archived 2012-09-08 at the Wayback Machine "Media Missing New Evidence About Genoa Violence." Archived 2012-03-14 at the Wayback Machine January 10, 2003.
  22. ^ Statewatch, "Italy: G8-Genoa policemen's trial suspended as planted molotov cocktails disappear Archived 2007-03-03 at the Wayback Machine." Cites La Repubblica, 18.1.2007, and Il manifesto, 19.1.2007
  23. ^ Parliament of Italy: "Commissione parlamentare di inchiesta sui fatti accaduti a Genova in occasione del vertice G8." Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine July 12, 2007; "OK Commissione a testo base per inchiesta camera," Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine Bellacio. August 2, 2007.(in Italian)
  24. ^ Squires, Nick. "Italian court sparks outrage by clearing 16 senior policemen in G8 Genoa Case," Archived 2018-07-20 at the Wayback Machine The Telegraph (London). November 14, 2008. Retrieved on November 16, 2008.
  25. ^ Hooper, John. "Top Italian policemen get up to five years for violent attack on G8 protesters." Archived 2022-09-13 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian. May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  26. ^ "In Genoa predictable torture, Italy condemned again". 26 June 2017. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  27. ^ "ECHR condemns Italy for Bolzaneto (3) - English". 26 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Police committed torture at Genoa G8 summit rules European Court". 16 December 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  29. ^ Independent Media Centre Network: Berlusconi's Mousetrap. Archived 2008-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ IMDB: Bella Ciao Archived 2019-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Sabine Christiansen und Maybrit Illner ausgezeichnet," Archived 2011-05-23 at the Wayback Machine Der Spiegel. October 6, 2002. (in German)
  32. ^ "Variety review of Black Bloc by Jay Weissberg," Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine Variety. September 12, 2011.
  33. ^ "review of Diaz - Don't Clean Up This Blood by Jay Weissberg,"". 14 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  34. ^ Prestige Media: Archived 2009-05-19 at the Wayback Machine "official" G8 Summit magazine Archived 2009-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ "Microsoft PowerPoint - Invest in Southern Italy Genova G8 finale al 16" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-06-09.


External links[edit]