As we went to press the European Social Forum (ESF), held in Florence, had just got under-way, with more than 30,000 people signing up to attend.
Women in Black Against War, during the big march. PHOTO: SPADA/IMC ITALY
And as with Genoa last year, we were also receiving the usual reports of activists being turned away from the border and pulled off coaches by immigration officials. Several had received week-long bans preventing them for entering Italy for the duration of the meeting.
The day before the forum opened between 1000 and 5000 activists held a march and demo at nearby US military base Camp Darby - home to army and USAF forces, and whose beaches are used for military R&R!
Two days later, on 9 November, more than 300,000 people turned out to march against the possibility of war on Iraq. Several smaller-scale direct actions took place, including what the BBC termed a “raid” on a local Caterpillar factory in protest at their continuing sales of bulldozers to the Israeli military.