Saturday, May 24
The G8 isn't scheduled until next week, but already the border crossings that were going to be closed have been closed. The army has taken over the airport, and all pleasure boating on the lake at this end has stopped.
The French have installed missiles (to protect Evian).
Yesterday we learned that all the the ATM machines in the zones à risque in Geneva will be emptied on Monday or Tuesday of the coming week and will be kept closed down for at least a seven days. You will have to go to your bank to get cash, but of course your bank will have to be one of the ones that stays open.
This morning I learned there will be no mail deliveries in all of Geneva from the 29th (which is Ascension and a holiday anyway) to Monday June 2 at the earliest. In addition, all the post offices in the center of town will be shut -- and unable to perform their usual banking services.
The map of the big march has now been published. The demonstrators will begin at the Jardin Anglais by the Mont Blanc bridge and go all the way to the border with Annemasse. The TPG will be sending special buses to bring them back to their campgrounds. Some of the marchers may decide to start at the Bout du Monde instead of at the Jardin Anglais. In this case, they will pass just two streets back of the apartment!
Already people are beginning to get settled in on the university campus even though the big arrivals are not expected until Thursday. The official estimate is for 100,000, but I have seen numbers as high as 400,000.
This morning's Tribune de Genève has pictures of several banks in midtown which have completely boarded up their fronts. The banks and the store owners are remembering all the damage that was done in 1998 when people were protesting about the WTO. At that time Plainpalais was completely trashed with all the store fronts broken and cars overtured and set on fire.
We have been warned that cars will not be safe if left on the street. But not everyone has options. Lucky that both our cars are garaged!
There has been a rumor that the police are considering manipulating the telephone system over the weekend to prevent communication between demonstrators in Geneva and in France. No doubt this is no more than a rumor, but the police saw fit to dignify it by issuing an absolute denial.