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A guide to the G20 Protests

March 27th, 2009 · post by anon · Make a comment

Both the G20 summit and and the protests taking place around it have been hot topic in mainstream media sources, hushed conversation between activists and in general discussion internationally. But what is it that will be drawing people out into the streets over the coming week? Who are the G20 and what protests are planned? Last Hours attempts to answer some of the questions surrounding the summit.

Who are the G20?

The G20 is a group of twenty finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the worlds most wealthy economies and the European Union. These economies cover 80% of world trade and the countries themselves contain two thirds of the worlds population. This year Spain and the Netherlands are also included in the summit though not formally part of the 20. Officials from international economic institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are also likely to be in attendance.

The summit itself is being held at the ExCel Centre in Canning Town which has also hosted the bi-annual DSEI arms fair.

The summit website claims the aim of the meeting is “to reform and strengthen the global financial and economic system”.

It is this that is of concern to many of the groups taking part in protests between the 28th March and 2nd of April claiming “Capitalism isn’t in crisis, capitalism IS crisis!”.

We contacted some individuals planning to attend the protests, asking them their motivations for taking part.

Statement 1

If enough people take to the streets, the chasm that divides society will be illuminated.

“The G20 in my home city is the perfect opportunity to show these officials and head of state that they don’t represent me. If the city erupts into the anti-authoritarian carnival that is being billed, they’ll have no choice but to accept, albeit privately for the time being, that the system they represent is failing and their days at the apex of society are numbered.If enough people take to the streets, the chasm that divides society will be illuminated.

This is our opportunity to take back the streets and simultaneously show the leaders of 20 of the most economically powerful nations in the world just how serious we are.”

Statement 2

“The G20 Summit is the perfect opportunity for us to oppose the past and future agendas of the richest, most powerful people in the world. I’m sick of corruption being ascribed an anomalous feature of the neoliberal economic system we live in. The workings and motives behind big business and its insidious relationship with politicians are clear. I’ll demonstrate against the Group of 20 not just for myself, but also for the powerless and voiceless millions whose countries are being ravaged by the most recent and most predatory stage in the advance of late capitalism. It’s the least I can do.”

Statement 3

“The current economic crisis has made capitalism more transparent then ever before. Finally the illusions are being stripped away. House prices may have tumbled but houses still stand tall, the price of food may have risen dramatically but the fields and hedge rows are still full of wonderful edible plants! We may no longer be able to afford ‘luxuries’ but today love and companionship is more real than ever.

We have been forced to unplug ourselves and have found that there is a whole world waiting for us.

We have been forced to unplug ourselves and have found that there is a whole world waiting for us. It’s time to kick capitalism whilst it’s down. The illusions they put before us have kept us working jobs we hate for too long, separated us from those that we love and are destroying the planet we rely upon to survive.

Let’s smash the final illusion. Let’s tell them they don’t control our lives anymore!”

What’s going on?

Saturday 28th March

On Saturday March 28th a demonstration has been organised under the banner ‘put people first’. The demonstration was initially called for by a wide range of nongovernmental organisations including christian groups, environmental campaigns and charities.

Since then call outs have appeared for:

  1. a militant workers direction action block (meeting at 11am Victoria Embankment Gardens )
  2. an anti-capitalist, feminist block (meeting at the corner of Blackfriars Bridge and Victoria Embankment at 11.30am. people of all genders welcome.) www.feministfightback.org.uk
  3. a student block (meeting at 10.30am Brunei Gallery at SOAS, Russel Square)
  4. a baby block picnic (11am at the ‘Year of the Child Fountain’ next to ‘The Lookout’ in Hyde Park close to the rally location for chilling out and awaiting the march arrival at the rally)

Wednesday 1st April

The day before the summit is set to be eventful with actions planned throughout the day.

Critical Mass (9am)

G20criticalmassThings will kicking off with an early morning critical mass.

Described as “A voyage of exploration into the world of Carbon Trading, what it is and who’s making a killing out of trading in hot air.”

Meet at Bank Junction (Bank tube station) to set of at 9AM

G20 Meltdown (11am)

At 11am the party begins with groups forming at four points in the square mile ready to converge on The Bank of England at 12pm.

  1. Moorgate Station: Red horse against War
  2. Liverpool Street Station: Green horse against Climate chaos
  3. London Bridge Station: Silver horse against Financial crimes
  4. Cannon Street Station: Black horse against land enclosures and borders in honor of the 360th full circle anniversary of the Diggers

www.g-20meltdown.org

g20frontwebStorm The Banks (12pm)

At 12pm the four G20 meltdown groups as well as others will converge at The Bank of England to ‘Storm The Banks’.

Climate Camp in the City (12:30pm)

In an audacious move, the folks that brought you climate camp are attempting to stage a 24 hour protest at the at the European Climate Exchange. Organisers are asking demonstrators to ‘plan for the swoop’ by converging on the space at 12:30pm sharp. For more information visit www.climatecamp.org.uk/g20

Jobs not Bombs Demonstration (2pm)

At 2pm anti-war groups will be gathering at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. The demonstration will then move onto Trafalgar Square for a rally and the usual speeches.

Thursday 2nd April

Amongst Other Things… A Giant Game of Monopoly at the Stock Exchange (7am)

Plans to blockade the Stock Exchange have also been made public as it opens for business at 7am.

“Come to the Stock Exchange at 7a.m. for a rediculous game of Monopoly featuring corrupt bankers and leering landlords!

Learn how to do backhanders, piggybacking, backstabing, and swindle, scam, nay, HORNSWOGGLE your way through the system! All the tricks of the trade on display on this day to get you through the late stages of predatory capitalism!”

Then off to Excel…

Autonomous actions and protests are planned though-out the day around the summit venue.

You can find a map covering events on the 1st and 2nd of April at http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/03/425118.html

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