Sunday, June 03, 2007
Ten minutes in an anti-G8 riot


I knew it was a bad idea to get close to the rioters at the anti-G8 protests in Rostock, but I went anyway. And there they were, throwing rocks and bottles at the police, some of them chipping away at the pavement to form more projectiles.

All of a sudden a masked individual drops a huge piece of pavement right in front of my feet. "Don't just stand there ... we need more amunition," he tells me in a bossy voice.

So I decide to just go back to our satellite live vehicle, when I hear from behind:
"He's a cop, a rat," and sure enough, there's three masked guys pointing at me.
"I'm not a cop," I tell them.

"Get outta here, or you'll be next!"

At that moment ... a loud boom ... smoke fills the air. The police have shot tear gas at the protesters and now everybody is running away.

I can't really see, my eyes are tearing, and my nostrils and mouth feel like they're on fire, but I run away as well.

After about five minutes I make it back to our live truck only to find a large police watercanon vehicle approaching fast.

The truck unloads on our camerawoman Claudia and me as we try to find shelter in a telephone booth with protesters throwing rocks over our heads and the watercanon truck inundating us from the other direction.

Oh, and the truck's water is also filled with tear gas.

After about another minute of mayhem, the truck turns in the other direction, the rocks stop flying, but the protests kept going on for hours.

A pretty exciting day, and the G8 Summit hasn't even started yet.

From Frederik Pleitgen, CNN Berlin Correspondent
were you actually there?
Hi Frederik Pleitgen,

I can understand your excitment. I love action thrillers, but watching one is not the same as being there, experiencing it

I am very proud of you people out there, who have been striving to get the news first hand. Being in the spot is not the same as reading it. But your experience reveals to the world the exact things that are going around the world... People like you are really appreciated..

But i still dont understand why people still go on fighting among mankind...we know that there are other things that is putting us or lets say, tryig to doom us...but i dont get the idea of why we are doing this to ourself in the name of land, religion and selfishness.

I believe life is short for some and pretty long for others, love life and love your friends, neighbour and enemies ..that could lead to a more harmonious life..what is there in fighting? Leading to further pollutions and make life better dying that living. All these war stuffs really make me sick, I am in a dilemma, either to feel sorry for them or to be angry at them...but if i react like them..it would make myself look like them..

I really hope that all these thing will come to an end and we all live in the world with no war...sounds like not possible even in dreams...cause then, you guys will be apprentice...
Yep. It was a pretty dumb idea to go anywhere near the Schwarze Bloc (Europe's violent anarchists) during the dress rehearsal riot in Rostock before the open of the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm. I think that is why the majority of the 5200+ journalists are camped out at the Yachthafen in K├╝helenborn. Fortunately you didn't get injured with flying glass, stones, and knife wounds as many of the 433 police suffered over the weekend.

Keep your head down and report smart from the field. After all, you live and work in this neck of the woods and knew what was going to go down in Rostock. Sure enough, it did! Good luck.
Mr Pleitgen,

surely you could not escape a sense of being attacked by the police as well.
I'm strictly anti-violence, but I also believe in the First Amendment.

The German police seriously curbed my constitutional rights on saturday - how did you feel?
I am grateful for your courage every day in the field. Today our
world is a dangerous place. The
root of our problem are leaders with egos larger than life. If the
people we elect would work for the
people and not their own agendas,
this world would be a much safer
place. Also if the world does not get off their ass and do something
about global warming...well i just
can't imagine whats next for us!!
Hello,
great report from you, Frederik.
I was in Rostock as well, travelling with an anti-G8 group from Hannover (hundreds of kilometers southwest of Rostock).
Peaceful demonstrators and journalists were injured.
I'm a print journalist and saw bleeding people on the sidewalk, a wounded cameraman and dozens of protesters who were hurt. And I ask myself if this story is worth an injury. It is! Journalists have to cover it -- and report critical on the protester's, but also police's behavior.
More on my blog at www.julian.feldmann.in

I post my experiences as a freelance journalist on my Blog, www.julian.feldmann.in.
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