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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Sun Jul 14 10:30:19 2002
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 22:21:41 -0500 (CDT)
Organization: The Soylent Green Party
From: Dan Clore <clore@columbia-center.org>
Subject: [smygo] G8 Protest Compilation Story
Article: 141774
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

News for Anarchists & Activists:

Thousands protest G8 in Calgary

Compiled by Sean Marquis, Asheville Global Report, 2 July 2002

July 2—As Group of Eight (G8) leaders met in the Rocky Mountain resort of Kananaskis, Canada, thousands took to the streets of Calgary, June 25-27 to protest the meeting and G8 policies.

About 3,000 took part in street actions in Calgary, home to the head offices of several telecommunications companies and the seat of the Canadian oil industry.

Activists are angry that the G8 leaders are making key decisions on major issues like third-world development, the economy and trade without input from ordinary people.

The G8 includes Canada, Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia.

Surrealism rules G8 summit protests

On Tuesday, June 25, protesters stripped down to their slogans outside a GAP store in Calgary.

Id rather go naked than wear GAP, chanted about forty protesters as they stripped off their clothes. Surrounded by hundreds of supporters, scores of media and curious Calgarians, the protesters said the GAP exploits poor workers, mostly women, in three hundred sweatshops in fifty-five countries in the global South.

The protesters say the GAP is a concrete example of how corporations use the free market policies promoted by the G8 to make money—at any cost.

On Wednesday 4-5,000 took part in a snake march that managed to shut down business in the downtown core. Traffic jammed and the streets and offices remained nearly deserted of workers all morning. Street soccer games were played to tie up intersections, and activists staged an artistic event called the Die-in for Life. It featured a memorial to Carlos Giulianni, a protester shot dead by police in Genoa, Italy during last years G8 summit. About 800 participants dropped down and pretended to die, while big black papier-machier crows flew over them.

At the Global Knit-in on Stephen Avenue, a crowd knit, crocheted and wove while singing songs. A statement from the Revolutionary Knitting Circle read: We seek to revive and expand the social traditions around textiles and other hand-craft workWe promote small-scale, local production and trade. While our focus is on knitting, we welcome other forms of textile hand-craft such as quilting and crochet. Some of us feel that macrame is not a tool for social change.

On June 27 dozens of activists evoked the spirit of Gaia, the Earth goddess, before stripping down, caking themselves with mud and setting off on a journey through downtown.

The mud people were joined by winged people and plant people, all singing, drumming and passing out seeds. The G8 is operating on a power structure that no longer serves the people or serves the planet, said Ocean Rose of a group called the Pagan Cluster, which organized the mud-in.

What this has to do with the G8 is its symbolically and magically taking apart and helping the crumbling of the structures of power, she said.

G8 failed to deliver on Africa On Thursday, four African leaders—South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Algerian, Nigerian and Senegalese counterparts—sought to persuade the G8 leaders to provide funding for their New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD) plan.

What the G8 came up with, though, has been called a squandered opportunity.

African leaders invited to the G8 gathering in Kananaskis, Canada, expressed deep disappointment that the plan did nothing to open western markets, cancel debts of the poorest countries, or provide the financial aid needed to meet the United Nations (UN) targets for tackling global poverty by 2015.

The African leaders were hoping for $35 billion in aid and investment, what they got was $6 billion, even though the World Bank estimates between $40-60 billion a year is needed to get Africa on target to meet UN development and poverty alleviation goals.

Oxfam, a British humanitarian group, said the summit had failed to deliver the much-hyped breakthrough for Africa. A year of promises and grand intentions came to nothing as the leaders of the industrialized world agreed to an action plan lacking two key elements—action and a plan.

The 50 Years Is Enough Network responded to the G8 Summits action plan on Africa by accusing world leaders of treating the chronic problems of Africa with increased doses of the same medicine that has already poisoned the continent.

More privatization, more foreign ownership, less spending on social programs, deregulation of trade ... has worked splendidly—for the multinational corporations based in the G7 [not including Russia] countries, and for coffin-makers in Africa, said Njoki Njoroge of the network.

Although NEPAD was created by African leaders, it is not supported by many African people.

In an interview with CBC national radio, Women for Change (WFC) executive director Emily Sikazwe said NEPAD was based on the same development and economic model crafted by the G8, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that has been in place for the last 20 years, with catastrophic effects.

Because Zambia is forced to service debts which the G8 insists we owe the World Bank and IMF, our government has no resources left to take care of its citizens, Sikazwe said. The World Bank and IMF behave like a very rich person who takes the bread out of the mouth of a very hungry child. Sikazwe said Africa needed total debt cancellation.

We dont owe the G8 anything. Rather it is the G8 countries who are indebted to [Africa] as a result of the slave trade, colonization and now extraction of our mineral wealth, she said.

According to a June 29 report by the Voice of America (VOA), sociologist Aminata Dramane Traore of the West African nation of Mali said she believes NEPAD will benefit only the African politicians who proposed it.

The way they are acting serves their own political interests, so that they can have funds to invest in whatever they want. In terms of priorities, we think that the best thing Africa has to do right now is to invest in human beings. People are dying. The social reality [here] is just bad, Traore said.


Alberta Indymedia, Guardian (UK), Greenpeace Canada, The Post (Lusaka), Reuters, Toronto Globe & Mail, VOAnews