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Counter-G8 International Forum opens in Hokkaido

[Media G8way ¦ Gipfelsoli Infogroup]

Press Release July 1 2008

  • “The G8 is part of the problem, not the solution”
  • Demonstrators continue to prepare protests and demonstrations, despite police scaremongering

Yesterday, the Counter-G8 International Forum opened in Hokkaido and will conclude this evening. Anti-G8 activists from Japan and across the world have come together to strategise on how to effectively resist the G8’s global nightmare and construct alternatives to a system in which financial crises, food crises and ecological destruction are inherent. Conference participants will discuss how ordinary people world-wide can continue to build resistance and make other possible worlds a reality. Discussion topics include precarity and labour, the commons and public goods, autonomous media, anti-capitalism, anti-militarism and the future of planetary organisation.

Amongst the speakers are feminist political economist Mariko Adachi, John Holloway, author of “Change the World Without Taking Power”, Michael Hardt, co-author of “Empire” and Japanese scholars Satoshi Ukai and Minoru Iwasaki.

“The G8 exists to further the interests of capital and its rulers: the G8 are the managers of a global machinery of violence. We only have to look to the harrowing effects of war, detention camps for migrants and privatisation for evidence. The G8 see poverty and global ecological catastrophe as welcome business opportunities that make the rich even richer. Such a logic only creates more poverty, insecurity and ecological disaster.” Sunia Highland, a migrant rights activist from the United States said.

“The G8 is part of the problem, not the solution”, Anti-G8 protester Mary Brookes explained.

With seven days to go before the official G8 summit begins, this week has already seen three days of protest against the G8, starting in Kyoto with two days of resistance to the G8 Foreign ministers’ meeting and culminating yesterday with the Tokyo Day of Action against the G8 in which around 700 demonstrators took part in an overly policed march through the Shinjuku neighbourhood of central Tokyo.

Despite police scaremongering, activists continue to prepare protests and demonstrations against the summit. A daily six hour march is planned from the Toyoura camp to the town, and a major demonstration estimated at 10,000 people will take place on July 5 in Sapporo.

Entry into Japan for foreigner visitors continues to be difficult. WATCH, a lawyers network, issued a public statement condemning the excessive harassment of people on arrival in Japan.

Background Information

  • Counter G8-International Forum: http://www.counterg8forum.org/
  • No G8 Action Japan: http://media.sanpal.co.jp/no-g8/
  • Network of Lawyers Observing Human Rights Around the G8 Hokkaido Summit 2008: http://watch08summit.blogspot.com/2008/06/we-strongly-protest-against-detention.html
  • Independent media collective in Hong Kong (Chinese): http://www.inmediahk.net/node/1000363
  • G8 Media Network: http://g8medianetwork.org