April 9th, Heiligendamm
- UK Anti-G8 Mobilisation meeting: Feedback from Reading 25/04/07
- Europe's Radical Left Confronts Global Issues and Enemy Within 1 / 2 ahead
- PREPARATION WEEKEND 21/22 APRIL in Berlin
- International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and the G8 Friday 8th June 2007
- Resources for International Day of Action against Climate Change & G8
UK Anti-G8 Mobilisation meeting: Feedback from Reading 25/04/07
The second UK wide anti-G8 mobilisation meeting was held in Reading on Sunday March 25th. Here is some feedback...
Minutes, Dissent! G8 2007 Meeting, Reading, UK (23/3/07)
Warsaw meeting. Minutes from this meeting are on their way.
-> 3 Convergence centres proposed, one in Hamburg, one in Rostock, one in Berlin. None sorted as of yet, having the same problems as were had in Scotland.
-> Camp sites planned, but no set places yet. More likely to be squatted.
-> Two strategies for the blockades were being discussed at this meeting. Strategy a) blockading the G8 itself. Strategy b) blockading capitalism, maybe in another city? Communication would be vital. There'll be meetings at 8.00 in communication centre's, then the communication centres will talk to each other and
coordinate mass movement. (although there are not enough people doing this
-> The mobilisation in Germany expects people to turn up organised already. There is a need to still focus on certain elements of the logistics (i.e. transport), as it may be needed to move tens of thousands of people quickly. There is a further meeting in April (13th-15th) in Rostock. Unfortunately no-one was able to go as a delegate from the British Isle's (Addition: Though some people are going from UK I think?)
-> Lots of actions have been planned, start on the 25th May with the Finance Ministers meeting. However, there is some fear, especially in Germany, as being identified as one of the 'organisers', especially around setting up blockading groups. List of events on the 'News From the Fields and Beyond' newsletter.
-> There are innovative ideas surrounding the blockades coming from a group in Amsterdam. Simon to get their ideas onto the website, especially their 'barricade in a bag' instruction booklet made from bamboo and other skipped stuff.
London meeting (No Borders). About 10 people there:
-> Enthusiasm for organising from London.
-> Desire to coordinate between groups. No Borders are going to Germany, Rising Tide have an action planned for the 15th (not sure which month was meant, and where it was. Pretty sure it's going to be in London), Indy will be providing "live feed things", but need translators.
-> Researching and collating all the callouts (will use the S.E. G8 lists to send this)
-> There'll be another meeting after the Rostock meeting.
-> RTF party on 31st March fundraising for prisoner support. There'll be a G8 infoshop during the day, which they need help with. Talk to Brian.
-> 2 general thoughts about blockades. A) Independent affinity group based blockades, and B) mass walk out/blockade (leaving early like in Scotland). Both will probably end up happening.
-> We're not here to organise blockades, rather, our role is to act as an infopoint to facilitate groups who are organising blockades.
-> Simon has a few documents that will get posted onto the website when it's running.
-> Got a map with possible locations for protests. Simon to get more (maybe put a link on the website?
-> Blockade list wasn't working properly (or may be working just no-one was using it.) Simon to look into (Addition: I believe a new one has now been set up? A link was posted on resistg82005 list a few days ago)
-> Offering support before, during and after protests. Running "well-being areas" which were at the Climate Camp and at the G8 in Scotland. There is also an email and phone number providing contact when "well-being areas" aren't being ran. They'll be at the G8 this year, and will also be at the Earth First! Gathering.
-> Two issues to be discussed. A) Travelling to Germany (go as a group or in small groups?), and B) Travelling within Germany.
-> There is someone trying to sort info out about B, but he's based in the UK. Will know more after Rostock meeting.
-> Not much organised. Need to wait for Rostock meeting.
-> Everyone who wanted publicity after the first meeting got what they wanted.
Website and funding:
-> No info and we don't know how to contact the key holders of these two things, although a simple website has been setup. It's a simple blog and to sign up for it you need to go to the website, fill in the registration form, get a password, and then you'll be able to post on the blog. This is now up and running.
-> Money for the stickers. Agreed that M should take the money for the first run of stickers.
-> We need to encourage others to go. Ideas for this included: Try to put the G8 in context for local groups to help them understand how 'their' issue is affected by the G8.
-> Flooding the local press closer to the time.
-> We need to try to get those not involved, involved.
-> Also need to let those who are 'already in the know' what's been done already in preparation.
-> Could put structures in place to include students, as it's right at the end of their exam period, but they may still want to come (need stuff they can plug into)
-> Info tour or regional speakers? The man from Brighton to contact German man who did a talk at the Cowley Club about coming back to the UK for a proper tour. Info to be posted on the Dissent! mailing list. Tour to be possibly organised through the Social Centres Network.
6-10 pm in London, being sorted for a Tuesday or Wednesday, somewhere between the middle and the end of April (but not the last weekend).
Move fast, strike harder...
Europe's Radical Left Confronts Global Issues and Enemy Within 1 / 2ahead
Europe's radical left-wing groups are at the forefront of demonstrations against international injustice. While the coordination of protests has improved, the radical left continues to suffer from a violent minority.
The Easter holiday weekend is one of the traditional protest seasons on the European activist calendar, one which has enjoyed a renaissance in the last few years. After watching attendance figures fall throughout the 1990s, the 2003 invasion of Iraq marked the beginning of a gradual upswing.
The increase of people at the Easter demonstrations over the past four years, and the rise in other high-profile, hugely popular protests suggests that European activists, mainly from the radical left, have more to march against these days.
Opposition to the Iraq war mobilized between six and 10 million people worldwide in 2003 -- three million alone in Rome, while over 300,000 anti-capitalist demonstrators converged on Genoa in 2001. This summer's G8 summit, from June 6 - 8, is expected to attract a similar number in host location Heiligendamm and the surrounding region.
It seems that the left-wing movement in Europe has found a new impetus the like of which has not been seen since the radicalism of the 60s and 70s. Fired by opposition to war, globalization, inequality and threats to the environment, radical left-wing groups are once again making their presence known.
Umbrella organization mobilizes radical left
However, war, poverty and inequality are not new issues. The gradual resurgence of the radical left in recent years has as much to do with its organization than an increase in causes to rally around. The cohesion and professionalism involved in bringing a continent's like-minded groups together in one place suggests the work of a coordinated radical left-wing network in Europe.
One organization that claims to play a leading role in mobilizing the radical left across Europe is Globalise Resistance, a non-violent London-based group which has been involved in coordinating many of the continent's largest demonstrations of the last six years.
"For protests such as the EU and G8 summits, there is an umbrella organization that is established to coordinate such mobilizations," Globalise Resistance's Guy Taylor told DW-WORLD.DE. "More often than not, it is Globalise Resistance that takes that role."
"The radical left has always been better integrated than the far-right as it has historically been supported by states such as the Soviet Union and China," said Professor Cas Mudde, a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Antwerp and an expert on the radical left. "While that state support is not there anymore, the left has a more international ideology and the links remain allowing independent organizations to work together."
Violent anarchist groups infiltrating protests
In addition to the improved coordination of groups and the attendances at demonstrations, violence has been another aspect of recent protests which has been on the rise.
The May Day protests in Germany rarely pass without a car or two being set on fire, but it is almost out of tradition that the police allow a few vehicles to be sacrificed to appease the anarchists and avoid confrontation.
At other more international demonstrations, however, violent confrontation has increased in both regularity and intensity. While this could also suggest a coordinated approach, it is something Guy Taylor does not agree with.
"It is very rare that the groups involved in protests come under pressure from certain organizations to react violently," Taylor said. "The effect of being ignored by the politicians annoys some and as a result they see a need of a more 'radical' way of protesting, but this is not an argument that gets a lot of support in our group."
According to him, when a protest turns violent, it is rarely the case that the outbreak has been premeditated or organized by protest groups, since most groups' small size precludes them from large-scale coordination.
"More often than not, the only organization capable of igniting a riot is the police," he said. "Massive protests have passed off peacefully despite radical and angry demonstrators being treated with contempt because the police have been careful not to provoke."
Traveling for trouble
The University of Antwerp's Mudde says the radical left holds very diverse views and tactics, but in general, the majority do not follow a violent ideology. However, anarchists and violent protesters of the so-called Black Bloc movement are violent revolutionaries and are relatively mobile. The Black Bloc is a so-called "affinity group" which comes together during protests. The name comes from the black clothing and masks they wear, which make them appear to be one large mass and also hinders identification by authorities.
They have links through the squatter scene in places like Germany and the Netherlands, but comprise a fairly small group of individuals, as few as 200, which could be described as professional protestors, according to Mudde.
Professor Luke March, an expert on left-wing extremism in Europe, agrees with the view that most left-wing groups are decidedly non-violent and most aren't anti-democratic.
"The violent groups are more correctly usually anarchists, animal rights and radical environmental groups," he said. "These groups may march alongside left-wingers but their concerns are somewhat different and they don't have strong links to them."
Recent examples, such as the riots in Copenhagen over the closing of a youth center which attracted radical left-wing extremists from around Europe, indicate that some activists are willing to travel to violently support causes in other countries. One far-left group which was involved in the Copenhagen demonstrations, the Anarchist Black Cross, organizes protests around the world.
"It must be noted that many moderate left-wingers now stay away from this type of protest," said Mudde. "It is the more radical element that attends."
Left-wing, not far-right, unrest at G8
As the June G8 summit approaches, there are fears of further disorder as left-wing groups are concerned that German right-wing extremists might infiltrate the protests. But Cas Mudde believes that if there is trouble, it will come from the radical left's anarchic factions.
"The far-left and far-right share similar feelings towards globalization," he says. "But they will not mix. They will stage their own demonstrations away from each other, and I believe the far-right extremists will not go in search of confrontation with the left."
PREPARATION WEEKEND 21/22 APRIL in Berlin
From the 2nd to the 10th of june 2007 there will be demonstrations and actions against the G8 summit taking place in and around Rostock and Heiligendam.
Queers from different movements, communities and countries are planing actions and a "queer barrio" (a queer neighbourhood) at one of the big resistance camps.
To prepare for this we are organizing a camp-preparation weekend (21/22 April). The plan is to practise how to live together, check our equipment, and have workshops and discussions about thing which important to us, such as: actions / how we live together in the barrio, camp / food-organization / legal information / making banners, costumes and things for actions etc
All interested queer people are welcome to join us on this weekend.
It will be at the Schwarzer Kanal, a truck site in the Michaelkirchstrasse 21, next to the Michaelkirchbrücke Bridge in Berlin Mitte U-bahn Heinrich-Heine.
And the workshops will take place at the following times:
On Saturday 21st: from 10:00 till 18:00
and Sunday 22nd from 10:00 till 14:00
International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and the G8 Friday 8th June 2007
German, Dutch, Portuguese, and French translations
We all know the terrifying statistics: a million species extinct by 2050, 19 of the 20 hottest years on record since 1980, Greenland and Antarctica melting, droughts, floods, famines ... the G8 have had over 30 years to address climate change and only succeeded in providing trillions in subsidies to the very industries that are destroying our planet and our future. And while the G8 continues to line their pockets, island states disappear and hundreds of thousands die as a result of the freak weather conditions caused by their irrational and uncontrollable obsession with never ending economic growth. We have a ten-year window to act. As the megalomaniac G8 leaders meet in Germany, masked behind a barrier of fences and soldiers, intent on leading us further towards catastrophic and irreversible climate chaos, we must shout, scream and roar 'no more'. Now is the time to take direct action and shut them down, them and their climate criminal industry friends!
The 8th of June International Day of Action Against Climate Change and the G8 has been called by the International Rising Tide Network. This is a call for autonomous, decentralised actions appropriate for your town, city, or local area. Use this international day of action to support local struggles against oil refineries, gas pipelines, strip mines and coal-fired power plants. Disrupt the financial backers of the fossil fuel industry. Organise workshops to spread sustainable post-petroleum living skills. Find a weak point in the infrastructure of resource exploitation and throw a literal or symbolic wrench in the works. It's time to visit your local polluters and give 'em hell! sup>We already know of actions planned across the UK, North America, Germany, Canada and Australia and that's just the start! By 8th June actions will be planned around the world. Pass this call out on to all environmental justice, climate action, radical sustainability and related movements in all the G8 countries and the Global South. Rising Tide will create a collection of outreach and agit-prop materials (including this call out in five different languages) that can be used by groups around the world to organise locally. These materials will be downloadable from http://risingtide.org.uk and http://risingtidenorthamerica.org.
Direct action and civil disobedience are the rational response in this time of crisis. Support the 8th of June International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and the G8! Tell us about planned actions for climate justice being planned in your community. Contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com In June 2007 the G8 will understand the meaning of rebellion, revolt and revolution. Their recipe for catastrophe will be met with our global resistance!
Resources for International Day of Action against Climate Change & G8
Rising Tide has now produced a number of flyers and posters to help publicise the 08.06.07 International Day of Action against Climate Change & G8 - availble to download from the Rising Tide website.
At www.risingtide.org.uk/g8 you can now download:
1 - Translations of the Call Out in German, Dutch and Portuguese (French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese to come).
2 - The main 08.06.07 Day of Action flyer (see below) is also now downloadable - along with a poster image. All in high quality.
3 - Plus, one way you could take action on the 8th of June is to organise a Critical Mass Bike Ride. We have made a leaflet that you can print out to help publicise your Critical Mass.
Put Friday 8th June 2007 in you diary -
International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and the G8.
As the G8 leaders meet in Germany, intent on leading us further towards catastrophic and irreversible climate chaos, we must shout, scream and roar 'no more'. Now is the time to take direct action and shut them down, them and their climate criminal industry friends! The International Day of Action Against Climate Change and the G8 has been called by the International Rising Tide Network. This is a call for autonomous, decentralized actions appropriate for your town, city, or local area. Use this international day of action to support local struggles against oil refineries, gas pipelines, strip mines and coal-fired power plants. Find a weak point in the infrastructure of resource exploitation and throw a literal or symbolic wrench in the works.
For more information and agit-prop materials see www.risingtide.org.uk/g8 and http://risingtidenorthamerica.org.
Direct action and civil disobedience are the rational response in this time of crisis. Their recipe for catastrophe will be met with our worldwide resistance!