G8 Protests – 2008

8 Jul

The large scale protests against the G8 summit in Sapparo, Japan and around the world to express solidarity on 5 July which is the International Day of Action Against the G8 has certainly drawn attention to the world’s most pressing problems.

According to Socialist Unity which reproduced a note from the No! G8 Legal Team, the protests in Japan has been heavily suppressed with those arrested facing possibly, years in prison in addition to police raids. As it relates, prior to the protests,

Activists throughout Japan have been arrested at demonstrations and in their homes, often on “technical” charges, such as not registering a change of address. Overt surveillance of activists, academics and reporters has been taking place for months, and with some local activists for years. International conference participants and protesters have been interrogated for hours at the border and many have been denied entry into the country without warrant.

Besides the repression which ought to invite outright condemnation, a report by the University of Toronto found that the G8, ‘is struggling to keep its promises despite success on several big-ticket issues such as fighting climate change, working towards regional security in Darfur and promoting energy efficiency‘.

The BBC G8 profile also notes that critics have accused the G8 of representing the interests of only ‘an elite group of industrialised nations, to the detriment of the needs of the wider world‘. Another AP article, ‘G8 summit draws grab-bag of activists, causes’ noted that the summit has drawn a variety of demands ranging from banning ‘cluster bombs, stop global warming, end poverty, outlaw war’. For example, La Via Campesina, has protested against ‘subsidies and other supports in rich countries for big-business agriculture and demanded a return to small-scale farming to restore stability to food prices and supplies’. It also noted that the central theme running through all these issues is the effect of ‘corporate- driven globalisation’ which has ‘triggered a series of crises — in the world economy, in oil prices, in agriculture, and in the climate’.

Enough said.

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