Civil Society Plenary Denounces "We Seize" Repression
  PRESS RELEASE 12 December 2003
  The Civil Society Plenary, meeting in its final session during the first phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) taking place from December 10-12 2003 in Geneva, unanimously condemns the undemocratic actions of the Swiss authorities and the Summit organizers in suppressing dissenting and alternative voices.

Over the past three days:

  • The Polimedia Lab organized by Geneva '03 Collective (, meant to be an open space for participatory communication, was shutdown by riot police on Tuesday the 9th of December.
  • Printed documents critical of the WSIS and of the media and IT corporate monopolies were confiscated and prevented from being circulated inside the Palexpo, the official venue of the WSIS on 10th December 2003.
  • A peaceful demonstration of 50 local and international people at the Gare Cornavin, Geneva, on 12 December 2003, protesting the WSIS and the corporate control of information and supporting community media, was surrounded by about 40 civil police and several vans filled with riot police, and prevented from continuing. Demonstrators were detained, searched, identified and those refusing to be identified were taken to the police station.

These events continue the pattern of political repression that has been a constant feature of public life in Geneva since the G-8 Meeting in early 2003.

We strongly condemn these violations of the right to assemble and freedom of expression that have cast a shadow of hypocrisy over the Summit.

For more information on these incidents, please contact: Geneva '03, 079-757-4372


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