Who Will Be Protesting at the G-8?

Who Will Be Protesting at the G-8?

The G-8 Summit is scheduled to get underway on Wednesday, and with the summit will come protesters — as many as 100,000, according to estimates. Those intending to protest have already been tarred by the violent clashes between anarchists and the police last week at a pre-summit protest in Rostock; police in Heiligendamm are gearing up for similar protests at the G-8. That preparation is understandable, but it obscures the fact that the overwhelming majority of the protesters will be attending not to cause violence, but simply to make sure that their voices are heard.

As with the protests in Seattle, the press will no doubt be tempted to paint the protesters as little more than an angry, unthinking mob. Fortunately, Spiegel Online is doing its part to counter that temptation with a new report entitled “Faces of Protest.” The report introduces us to nine very different individuals who will be protesting on Wednesday in Heiligendamm. They are:

The Christian
The Communist

The Parliamentarian
The Idealist
The Student
The Retiree
The Socialist
The Utopian
The Union Member

Take some time and meet them.

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vargold
vargold

As a so-called “anti-globalization” activist, I thank you for this, Prof. Heller. Incidentally, we are are not “anti-globalization,” but pro global justice, as I think you appreciate. I’ve been reading Der Spiegel’s reports on the G-8 protests, etc. regularly and have frankly not been too happy with them up to now, particularly with regard to their characterization of “violence-prone anarchists” who, we are asked to believe, were the cause of trouble at the 1979 G-8 meeting in Genoa. As one who paid assiduous attention to events there (monitoring the many dispatches from various journalists as well as protestors at the site) I can assure you that the violence was instigated chiefly by agents provocateur disguised as “black bloc” protestors, and were witnessed by numerous people to be in fact coordinating their undercover (“black”!) operations with Italian (and possibly other) police and intelligence units. This is not conspiracy theory or paranoia. It is documented fact.. And while it is true that some of these protestors include violence on their list of potential tactics, we would do well to cast a highly skeptical eye toward official versions of supposedly anarchist/black bloc-instigated violence. Also, it should be noted that some witnesses to Saturday’s… Read more »

vargold
vargold

Rich countries have not fulfilled their promise from a 2005 G-8 summit to increase foreign aid by some $67.3 billion annually to poor countries, with half of that going to Africa, by 2010.

Here’s a pretty good piece on the G8 in today’s Independent.

(link at bottom)

The true value of what the G8 gives in aid

As leaders of the world’s richest countries meet, this is the proof that they could do much more for the poor

By Paul Vallely

Published: 04 June 2007

“There is something more morally binding about a promise when it is made by the rich to the poor. There is something altogether more shocking, therefore, when such a solemn pledge seems about to be broken.”

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article2611752

Matthew Gross
Matthew Gross

Nice to see the tired old platitudes of police infiltration and cop responses are still be trotted out to justify mob violence. To address the profiles themselves, they can basically be broken down into: Young communist Old communist Young communist Curious school kid Blatantly self-interested state handout receipient Old communist Young communist Young communist Blatantly self-interested state handout receipient Der Spiegel attempts to make them sympathetic, but there’s little sympathy left for those who refuse to acknowledge the abject failure of communism and the gradual failure of socialism. Hell, half of them can barely articulate why they’re there. In 1968, she says she still dreamed of a great revolution, but today there are a number of mini-revolutions. Reversing the privatization of the Berlin water management was one small victory for Härlin. He was one of the founding members of the DKP back in 1968, experienced the historic collapse of East Germany (“I had a lot of hopes invested in that system”), has protested countless times against the Munich Security Conference, and stood as a candidate for Munich city council and then for the German parliament in 2005. It is a history of failure. It does warm my heart to see… Read more »

Troy
Troy

No doubt the band playing the anthems has a nice fat contract with a subsidiary of a huge multinational media giant. Rage Against the Machine only works in a few countries — the ones they rage against. The countries they support would shoot, imprison, censor them for protesting.

vargold
vargold

Alas, the moronic voices of rightwing redbaiting and reactionary anti-intellectualism have spoken once more, in this otherwise respectable forum. They shall have my ear no more.

vargold
vargold

Speaking of protestors—and their rights—allow me to apprise the forum of a forthcoming book which will be the only one in print to explain how to best use international law, the U. S. Constitution and the laws of war to defend civil resisters in criminal cases. It is intended for use by concerned citizens, activists, NGOs, civil resisters, their supporters and their lawyers as well as by the American peace movement.

Protesting Power: War, Resistance and Law, by Francis A. Boyle Rowman &Littlefield Publishers Inc.

vargold
vargold

This article includes some info on the outrageous behavior of the police at Rostok.

Germany: Police use massive force against G8 demonstrators in Rostock

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jun2007/rost-j04.shtml

Diplomatic Gunboat
Diplomatic Gunboat

Mr. Gross,

I had a similar reaction as I read through the profiles. I was hoping to find at least one interesting critique, but instead found the usual confused socialist mush.

vargold
vargold

I agree completely regarding the lack of substance in Der Spiegel’s “Profiles”; this is to be expected from mainstream middlemind media. I suggest you check out the following page on the Global Exchange website, for one:

http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/index.html

Incidentally, for those wishing to follow events at the G8 as they unfold (or, as the case may be, crack open…) here’s your ticket: http://www.indymedia.org/

Matthew Gross
Matthew Gross

Der Spiegel did about as good a job as can be expected, I imagine. After all, they are trying to catch the “average” protestor on the street, who is given only a few lines with which to explain himself.

Had they asked event organizers (such as they were) I’m sure they would have managed to round up some model protestors for them, but that would have kind of defeated the exercise.

Troy
Troy

I assume I have your ear no more, but I have no problem with defending civil resisters. Civil resisters, however, have no right to burn cop cars (or any cars for that matter), break store windows, and move beyond agreed upon limits. Those acts are by definition, uncivil and criminal. The masks they wear are signs of cowardice and a desire to esacpe prosecution — not persecution, since many of them come from the privileged classes. They carpool in Mommy’s BMW or answer the $8/hr. “Activist” ads in the LA Times or whatever rag they read. No doubt some (many) are sincere, but sinceriy counts for little when criminal (common law type — arson, trespass, etc. — not the speeches, music, posters, etc.) activity is the method.

vargold
vargold

Allow me to copy/paste this message from Deutsche Welle re their new globalization section: We here at DW-WORLD.DE are proud to announce a new online special called “Globalization – The Interconnected World.” http://www.dw-world.de/globalization The Group of Eight (G8) summit of leading industrialized countries begins on Wednesday in Heiligendamm, Germany. With globalization at the top of the itinerary, DW-WORLD.DE is examining some of the key issues that will be discussed. Here are just a few of the features of “Globalization – The Interconnected World”: * The interactive special makes use of audio and visual material, guest commentaries as well as a mobile blog to look at an array of globalization topics ranging from technology and aid payments to a profile of the anti-globalization movement who will be protesting at the event. * See what everyone from the President of Brazil to a Chinese housewife had to say about the role of the G8 then add your own opinion to “The G8 and Me: A Personal Look at Globalization”. * Our interactive feature ?A Global Car? shows just how global Germany’s most popular car really is by mapping out the Volkswagen Golf. * Exclusive reports from the summit tracking events as they… Read more »

vargold
vargold

Here’s the G8 Summit homepage:

http://www.g-8.de/Webs/G8/EN/Homepage/home.html

vargold
vargold

Today’s highlight on DW-WORLD describes the attempts by Germany’s police to prevent protest at the G8:

Police Prevent Protests As G8 Summit Gets Going in Germany

As G8 leaders arrived in northern Germany Wednesday for

their annual summit, German police imposed strict limits on protestors, effectively preventing most to get anywhere near the airport.

http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=evvcdxI452wihpI0&req=

l%3DevvcdwI452wihpI0

vargold
vargold

Scrap G8 Summit’ Call by UN Official

As campaigners warned “G8 Wreckers Threaten ‘Life Or Death Lottery’ For Millions,” a UN official said there was no reason why the annual meeting of the world’s richest countries should continue to be held. The UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, told the launch of the Alternative Summit that “another world is possible”, that globalisation had lost its way and that a “revolution from below” was needed.

http://us.oneworld.net/external/?url=http%3A%2F%2

Fwww.actionaid.org%2Fmain.aspx%3FPageID%3D627

vargold
vargold

G8 set to fail on poverty and climate change

“This self-selecting private members club of the world’s richest countries doesn’t have the will, or the legitimacy needed to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. It’s time for it to go.”

Oxfam Press Release – 05 June 2007

G8 risk going into reverse on aid, warns Oxfam on eve of summit

vargold
vargold

News flash from the G-8 Summit:

Ronald MacDonald has been arrested!!!

vargold
vargold

June 06, 2007, 12:46 PM

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERVIEW WITH NOBEL LAUREATE JOSEPH STIGLITZ

‘Bush’s Policies Are Accelerating Climate Change’

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz doesn’t think much of the G-8 summit — and even less of US President George W. Bush. In a conversation with SPIEGEL ONLINE, Stiglitz, an economist and critic of globalization, reveals that he has some hopes for the summit in Heiligendamm nonetheless. more…

vargold
vargold

THE EUROPEAN PRESS ON THE G- 8 SUMMIT

‘Tense and Embittered’

Never before has the mood at a G-8 summit been as tense as this year, writes Italian daily La Repubblica. SPIEGEL ONLINE presents a selection of commentaries on the summit from some of Europe’s leading newspapers. more…



THE WORLD FROM BERLIN


G- 8 Protesters Praised for Non- Violent Civil Disobedience

The peaceful blockades by anti G-8 demonstrators at the summit in Heiligendamm have allayed fears of mass violence stoked by last Saturday’s riot in Rostock, and have won praise in the German media. Also, commentators say America is starting to budge on global warming. more…

* ‘A Tremendous Victory’: G- 8 Protesters Gear Up for Day Two of Blockades

* The SPIEGEL G- 8 Round- Up: ‘This Is A Great Party’

vargold
vargold

Another summit saved? From whose standpoint? Promises, promises. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m sure Africa isn’t holding its breath–it’s still waiting for the pledges of Gleneagles to be honored. Meanwhile, every day some 38,000 children die of preventable disease and starvation–more than ten times the number of people who died in the 9-11 attack. No memorials for these kids, though–only promises, so far. GERMAN CHANCELLOR’S ‘STERLING ACHIEVEMENT’ Angela Merkel, The Summit Savior Yet another summit saved: at the closing press conference Friday, a tired but happy Angela Merkel described this year’s G-8 summit as a success. Even Bono accepted her assurances, she said. By Carsten Volkery and Severin Weiland in Heiligendamm, Germany more… * Merkel’s G- 8 Tour de Force: Germany’s Green Chancellor * Queen of the Summit: Merkel Revels in G- 8 Climate Breakthrough * Battling Disease: G- 8 Countries Pledge €44.5 billion to Combat AIDS in Africa * The World from Berlin: Merkel Crowned ‘Miss World’ After Climate Deal * Photo Gallery: “Miss World” Merkel Kept G- 8 Men in Line * The SPIEGEL G- 8 Round- Up: Farmers Demand Payment For Trampled Fields, Activists Won’t Cough Up * SPIEGEL 360: Our Coverage of the… Read more »

vargold
vargold

And the G8 Verdict Is – Failure

Failed on Africa – abject failure on HIV and AIDS – off track on aid: an international development group delivers its bleak assessment on the G8 summit.

vargold
vargold

G8 Summit Announces Breakthrough on Climate Protection

# “The G8 members are Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, the United States of America, Canada (since 1976) and Russia (since 1998). The European Commission is also represented at all the meetings.” Press release, June 7, 2007: “The leading industrialised nations (G8) aim to at least halve global CO2 emissions by 2050. The Heads of State and Government agreed at Heiligendamm [Germany] to achieve this goal together as part of a UN process. The big emerging economies are also to be incorporated in the process…The resolutions adopted by the EU, Japan and Canada form the basis of the agreement reached on climate protection at Heiligendamm. The approach suggested by the United States was added to this, namely of incorporating the biggest greenhouse gas emitters outside the United States, especially China and India.”

# G8 Summit documents: Growth and responsibility in the world economy (38 pages, PDF)

vargold
vargold

The Dilemma of G8 Protest (June 6, 2007) Although the mobilization of activists at the 2007 Heiligendamm G8 summit gave “unprecedented” media exposure to the social justice movement, it had the unfortunate side effect of lending attention and legitimacy to the group of eight major industrial nations. Jens Martens of Global Policy Forum argues that, in making such broad demands as “save the climate” and “solve the problems of Africa,” civil society groups reinforce the idea of G8 members as “omnipotent saviors of the universe.” Martens proposes the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a more equitable and democratic policy making body. But the G8 leaders, who are a minority among ECOSOC’s 54 members, have prevented the council from gaining the necessary authority. Although the mobilization of activists at the 2007 Heiligendamm G8 summit gave “unprecedented” media exposure to the social justice movement, it had the unfortunate side effect of lending attention and legitimacy to the group of eight major industrial nations. Jens Martens of Global Policy Forum argues that, in making such broad demands as “save the climate” and “solve the problems of Africa,” civil society groups reinforce the idea of G8 members as “omnipotent saviors of the… Read more »

vargold
vargold

It’s the West that’s starting this new Cold War

The Times Online

June 7, 2007

It’s the West that’s starting this new Cold War

Russia’s belligerence is hardly surprising

Anatole Kaletsky

Know your enemy – a phrase coined by Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist, 2,000 years ago – is even more critical in diplomacy than it is in warfare. As the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations gathered in Germany last night for the annual G8 summit, the identity of the enemy was pretty clear.