Thursday, June 07, 2007

The G8 Summit

Because I'm getting only limited news on the G8 Summit here in Amsterdam, on CNN International, I'm wondering how it's going this time around. I heard about the protests in Germany yesterday.

I was taking a walk in the early evening last Thursday (before flying home on Friday for the whirlwind trip) and came upon this building.

And I was thinking, what is this all about?! So I opened up their website, as seen on this banner. And here are some of the points I lifted out:

The participants in the Summit Conference represent the world’s eight mightiest governments, which help create the problems -- for which they then decide upon the so-called solutions.

1. The globalisation policies of the G8 make life unbearable for many people and provoke resistance. Ultimately globalisation is enforced by repression and military might. G8 means war. Globalisation forces people to flee their homes, to seek asylum.We intend to show the connection between the G8 and war and make our resistance visible. In an action of civil disobedience, it is our aim to clearly show our rejection of war and training for war.

2. The ‘Group of 8’ (G8) is an institution without legitimacy. Nevertheless, as a self-appointed informal world government, they make decisions which affect the whole of humanity. The policies of the G8 stand for a neoliberal globalisation and deregulation, economic policies oriented towards the capital returns of international financial investors and companies.

3. The world shaped by the dominance of the G8 is a world of war, hunger, social divisions, environmental destruction and barriers against migrants and refugees.

4. Globalisation in the interests of the majority of people requires a fair relationship between industrialised and developing countries, and means freedom, justice, social security, democracy and the conservation of the planet’s natural resources for the next generation.

If you go to this page, you can see what they promote as the solution/alternative to the G8.

In a nutshell, they are for the global freedom of movement and equal rights for all. They are against war, torture and militarism and the global state of exception. They are against the neo-nazis who try to present themselves as the “only real anticapitalists.” They are for the small farmers of the world who are being undermined by multinational corporations. They are against 40 years of Israeli occupation of Palestine. They are for climate justice.

Hmmm. If I were in Germany right now, makes me wonder if I would join them! What about you?


  1. Firstly: Great post!
    Secondly: In a peaceful demonstration, I'm sure I would join. Unfortunately, many carry their message the same way the G8 does. Setting cars and buldings on fire, beating up policemen and civilians, etc., is definitely not the way to do it. I'm saddened by these poor attempts to restitute peace and "positive" awareness.

    There are, however, quite a few positive groups and I sincerely hope that they can get through the thick skulls of the "so called great 8". Is it so difficult to understand? If there were no war, we wouldn't need such a highly developed "national security system".

    Maybe if we all start small, in our own direct environment, and make things change.

  2. i at my age am beginning to et cynical of this world and its ways, Ginnie..which is a pity. I know its a beautiful world but then scratch a little deeper and the ugliness comes gushing out ......equal rights, democracy, freedom : these words sound so superficial in a world which cant really bother .....everyone seems to have an agenda and every agenda being run by greed....

    great post, Ginnie.....makes one almost ashamed of the "wise beings" , the homo sapiens ....

  3. CS: I did notice that several times in the link this group described themselves as peaceful resisters. But as I've listened to CNN and have heard about the ruckus in some places, I've wondered if this group is part of it, or not. A Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. type resistance would work for me. I agree--we all need to start small in our own way, one person at a time!

    Moi: Sigh! In the end, we realize that we really haven't come that far as the human race! So sad!

  4. True and sad, Ginnie!!!

    I am a true-blue Cancerian, Ginnie....28th June ..thats my birth date...they call me the mother of my friend circle..and my husband complains I (s)mother him all the time....:DD thats what they are known for right, Cancerian women..for their motherly instincts......

    it sure is a cool month...and I remember ur birthday ...the day after Anne Frank's ...u also share it with one of my coolest friends....:)

  5. We all hate war, poverty, torture, militarism, but these things have been in the world since time began, it's the nature of the breed, and I don't think peaceful or non-peaceful resistance will make any difference.

  6. Moi: Your b-day is the same as my deceased brother's and my aunt, who will be 98 this year! YAY! Yes, you are the Cancer mother. So is Donica and so is my grandson! :)

    Ex-S: It's a hard nut to crack, isn't it! One great Teacher said 2 things: "The poor you will always have with you." And then he turned around and said, "Feed the poor!"

    I wonder what part we DO play midst all this stuff that we'll always have with us. Do we sit around and do nothing and just let it happen? Or do we try to effect peace/change whenever and wherever we can? Does it make a difference to the one who is attempting to change things? And is that what it's all about?!

  7. Yes, *peaceful* protest is fine, BUT unfortunately 1) many of the "protestors" have absolutely no clue what they are protesting against - they are either out to have a party or to get into a good fight and 2) even those who are not throwing stones or settings things on fire have destroyed private property, including farmers' crops, disturbed domestic animals, left their garbage everywhere and blocked the streets preventing residents from reaching their homes. That can't be right. I don't know if this type of protest will change anything at all. I thought the goal was to make things BETTER, not worse! :-)

  8. I'm very glad you posted this. I've been following it in my own shallow way, frustrated at our President's refusal to sign Mme. Chancellor's proposal, eager to hear if anything good comes. I agree with the sentiments here, but I also feel it is essential that we do what we can, regardless of how badly others "do it," whatever that may mean.

    We just watched the 1976 Woody Guthrie film "Bound for Glory" last night, and he's an example of someone who did make a difference. But he spent all his life's energy doing it! Is that what it takes from us, to stop working and go on the road in protest? Thank God some do that, but the rest of us have to find our way, be informed, support those we feel are "doing it right." But it takes an incredible amount of time and energy just to stay informed, let alone find the REAL answers, and not what the media feed us (after getting their scripts from the powers that be).

    It's hard work. I say more power to them. I'll check the sites later . . . (see!? I have to find time!)

  9. Christina: I bet you're seeing this more first-hand than any of us, at least on TV, since this is going on in Germany. Do we just throw up our hands in despair???

    Ruth: It's got to be easier than this to do the right thing!!! Arrgh. But you're right, the Power of One. One person at a time. God have mercy on us all!

  10. I don't know, Ginnie. It is pretty discouraging. I've heard that this (the violent protests) is hardly being mentioned in the US media but they're showing *everything* on the German news channels, interviewing protestors and those affected by them and even doing extra programs on it.

    SOME day we'll figure it all out. :-)

  11. I had a feeling you'd be seeing stuff we're not seeing, Christina. What is so hard about figuring this stuff out! Grrr.

  12. I read a great book once, called "Can A Girl Run For President?" The very simple message of the book is, first of all, how appalling it is that an elementary student actually asked this question of the person who wrote the book, and secondly, we must treat every single person as if they were going to be a president. The purpose being, that if we are all treated with the highest respect and importance, we are sure to all be presidents. The third, and most important, message of all in this book was, "NEVER tolerate lying, cheating or stealing." It's a very simple rule. But, if we were to live this way, we would not tolerate ANY lying, cheating or stealing and those who are causing all the problems, would have been put in their place long ago by all the presidents in the world who refused to put up with their indecency.

  13. This is an interesting post about a delicate matter. Sometimes I feel that the politicizations lives in a different sphere. People wants peace and justs, and I wouldn't say governments disagree, but there is always a strategic twist in the way they try to archive it. To point out 8 of them is also a bit ignorant, even if you must accept they are powerful. But why is that a criteria? I think UN should be positioned stronger and more committed, but I'm afraid that at least some of the G8 representative don't want to give up their power?