French Authorities Try to Stamp Out Dissent

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support today for as little as $1 per month!

Globalise Resistance train cancelled.

LONDON - In an attempt to silence dissent against the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy this week, French authorities have cancelled a train chartered by British protesters.

All of the Globalise Resistance train's 450 seats were filled when organizers were informed yesterday (Tuesday, July 17) by French authorities that the charter was cancelled.

Ticket-holders included environmentalists, trade unionists, teachers, students, pensioners, socialists and children. Despite this, the British press had dubbed it the "Anarchist Express."

The train was scheduled to depart from Calais, France tomorrow morning. It was going to the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Genoa. Evidently, the G8 leaders' commitment to free trade remains limited to the free movement of capital, goods and services - not people.

"It shows the weakness of the authorities and their policies that they feel it necessary to stop people having a voice at all," said Guy Taylor, a Globalise Resistance spokesperson. "We are fighting this decision. Democracy without the right of protest means nothing."

Dispina Mavrou, a member of Globalise Resistance, asked, "What are they scared of? We only want to put the case for preserving the environment and cancelling Third World debt. This whole thing is ridiculous."

The group plans to pursue legal action against French authorities. In the meantime, the 450 ticket-holders are scrambling for alternate transportation, including planes, buses, trains, ferries and hitchhiking.

The demonstrations in Genoa will once again bring together the disparate strands of the emerging movement against corporate globalization. Third World debt, Star Wars, sweatshop labour, global warming, the General Agreement on Trade in Services, agri-business, racism and drug patents are just some of the targets of the demonstrators.

Organizers expect over 120,000 people in Genoa.

Attempts to thwart participation - like those of the French authorities - should prove futile. As at previous demonstrations in Seattle, Prague, Nice, Quebec, Gothenburg and Barcelona, the majority of protesters are in fact local.

Erin George is a recent graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism, and former Ontario Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. She is a member of Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice. At CFS and Mob4Glob, she was involved in educating and organizing for the Quebec City demonstrations against the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.