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While "holiday protests don't stop wars" (Arundhati Roy), thousands of activists and campaigners from around the world are due to descend on Scotland in July during the G8 summit, to engage in a broad range of demonstrations, protests and actions relating tomilitarism, poverty, climate change, asylum, and many other critical issue. Here we round-up details of some of the public events, and the calls for action and support.
Resisting the G8 at Gleneagles
The leaders of the G8 countries (the eight most industrialised, wealthy and powerful countries) will meet at Gleneagles in Scotland on 6-9 July for discussion of international issues and to strengthen their relationships and appear for photo-shoots. These annual summits have become a focus for protests and actions, as activists try to unmask their hypocrisy and reclaim the agenda.
A number of actions and demos are already being organised about issues such as climate change, human rights, war and nuclear weapons. There are three main organising coalitions. Firstly, Make Poverty History - including Oxfam and Christian Aid - are organising a massive rally through Edinburgh to occur on 2 July with 200,000 people expected to attend. Secondly, G8 Alternatives is a predominantly socialist coalition organising demos and an alternative summit to occur on 3 July. Finally, Dissent! is a network of individuals and groups who have emerged from the radical ecological, anti-war and anti-capitalist movements, and who are providing a networking tool to organise direct actions.
Make Poverty History are organising their own transport to Edinburgh for their rally, and details are available from their website.
Accommodation is being organised by the Faslane G8 Team from 2 to 5 July, for those wanting to come to Faslane on 4 July. Transport is being organised from different parts of the UK and Europe for the Faslane action as well. The organisers hope this will be a nonviolent action and encourage everyone to take part in NonViolent Direct Action (NVDA) training. For details on all of this, check the website http://www.faslaneg8.com
The South East Regional Mobilising Network against the G8 has booked two trains to Edinburgh from London. The first will leave London on 1 July and return on 9 July; the second will leave on 4 July and return on 8 July. Return tickets cost #50 (or 50 Euros for those coming from overseas). See http://www.resistg8.org.uk
Other working groups
There are working groups organising food, more general accommodation for activists, media coordination and legal support. You can discover how to help out via http://www.dissent.org.uk.
In order to make the organisation run smoothly and safely, and in order to help better accommodate everyone, it is advised that if you are going to Scotland for the G8, you do so as part of an affinity group, perhaps between five and 15 people in each - and that you each support one another, and train in NVDA before you come. To organise training in your area see www.seedsforchange.org.uk or contact the Dissent! trainers working group on email@example.com. Your local Faslane G8 Coordinator may also be organising training. You can find out who they are at www.faslaneg8.com. Planned events UK indymedia are providing updated information about, and coverage of, events running up to and during the G8. See http://indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2005/g8/ 12-17 June Cre8 Summit has been organised by individuals wanting to protest “for” something rather than “against” the G8. Organisers are planning to work with the ongoing community protests against the building of the M74 in Glasgow, in particular the council estates of Govanhill and Gorbles. The plan for the work is to reclaim a vacant piece of land that is on site for the construction of the motorway, and than to turn it into a community social space with gardens, sculptures, benches, artwork, etc. There is an email list that announces news on this project: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe at: lists.riseup.net/www/info/cre8summit 18 June There is a Cycle Caravan leaving Brighton for Gleneagles. See http://www.g8cyclecaravn.org 2 July Make Poverty History Rally to take place in Edinburgh which is expected to be the biggest demonstration in Scotland ever. This is expected to have an anti-militarist presence, You can't end poverty, unless you end war. Make Poverty History, c/o BOND, Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saint's Street, London N1 9RL. (http://www.makepoverty history.com 3 July There will be a Make borders history walking tour of Glasgow. See http://www.makebordershistory.org G8 Alternatives Summit in Edinburgh with speakers including George Monbiot and Scott Ritter. G8 Alternatives, PO Box 10097, Dundee DD2 4WW (0131 2206259; http://www.g8alternatives.org.uk) 4 July A day of nonviolent but disruptive action at Faslane to highlight the links between militarism and destructive economic globalisation. As Thomas Friedman, the star columnist for the New York Times, once commented, “For globalisation to work, America can't be afraid to act like the Almighty Superpower that it is. The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell-Douglas, the designer of the F-15, and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technology is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.” This action is organised by Trident Ploughshares, CND and Scottish CND, but is supported by a wide range of other groups including CAAT, Voices UK, Stop the War, and Unison. The gates will be blockaded to shut the base - which is home to the Trident nuclear weapons system, the ultimate expression of the militarism that makes neo-liberal globalisation possible - and others may cut or swim their way into the base, to cause the maximum possible disruption: 0845 458 8366 http://www.faslaneg8.com. 5 July People will take action at Dungavel Detention Centre where innocent people are locked up having committed no crime. The people detained at Dungavel have fled their countries, often as a consequence of economic and military policies of the G8. 6 July This is the opening day of the G8 Summit, so activists will publicly try to blockade the summit to prevent delegates from entering, but this is also the international day of action against the G8 Summit, so autonomous direct actions are expected in towns and villages around the world. See http://www.agp.org. 8 July This is the international day of action against the root causes of climate change. Global warming is the biggest threat to life on earth, and Tony Hot Air Blair has promised to make it a priority at this summit, but in reality there can be no real change whilst the G8 continue to take a business-as-usual, “consume now, panic later” approach. See http://www.dissent.org.uk/g8climateaction. Legal Support G8 legal support group The G8 Legal Support Group will be providing legal support at the anti G8 summit in Gleneagles. We presently have regular planning meetings both in Scotland and London. During the protests we want to staff a legal office 24/7; staff a legal desk at any convergence centre; providing legal observers at all protests; help out those arrested at police stations and their initial court cases; and support those detained trying to get into the country. To do this we need a large number of volunteers. Can you help? There are a lot of events to monitor and we need a lot of back up volunteers as well. Obviously we don't expect people to work 24 hours a day. If all you can give is one day that's OK. If you've done legal observing before, great. But it doesn't matter if you haven't. We will provide training. We don't expecting people to be legally qualified. Those who have been harassed, assaulted or arrested by the police or been in court are often better quipped for the task. But, we want both. We also reckon we need up to #5,000 to do the job properly and for large amounts of legal literature. Know anybody who would donate money to us, or can you put on a benefit for us? Cheques made out to “LDMG” and sent to LDMG, c/o BM Haven, London WC1N 3XX. We have a website at www.g8legalsupport.info where there is a lot of well researched legal information, including a detailed guide to Scottish law. As well as being in English, the guide and other documents will soon be available in Greek, French, Spanish, German and Italian. We strongly urge people to read this information and digest it well before coming to the protests in July. If you are up for helping or finding out more, contact us at email@example.com