G8: Dégage!

Apr 15, 2011

Details on the shape and content of the mobilisations of the G8 and G20 this year are coming out. The international summits of the two unaccountable, unelected, unrepresentative and unjustifiable groupings of national leaders are happening in France this year, the G8 in May and the G20 in November.

Holding both these summits appears to be an unsustainable situation. While neither summit has any form of real legitimacy, the idea of having a ‘rich club’ of nations with China or India is nonsensical to put it mildly. We believe the G8 is in it’s dying years and we hope that this will be the last ever gathering of the G8.

The slogan for the G8 protests is perfect: “G8 Dégage”. First used against Ben Ali in the Tunisian revolution earlier this year, the informal, casual “Clear off” or “get lost” (there’s no exact translation into English). In the words of another sign that became a feature of the North African and Middle Eastern revolutions, it is time to tell the G8 “GAME OVER”.

There’s a strange division of areas of responsibility assumed by the two groupings. The War ion Libya was essentially conceived and led by the G8, the global fiscal policies of bailout and austerity was won in the G20 (London two years ago was a stark example of this). As John Hilary remarks in a video elsewhere on this website, the G8 is a body of military imperialism, a body that decides who are the rogue states, who to marginalize in global politics, and ultimately who to declare war on. The G20 is the body that pushes neo-liberal policies under the guise of ‘development’ and ‘austerity’. It is a grotesque mirror that is reflecting north and south in the world at present.

The Global South, burdened by debt and exploited by the North is sold neoliberal packages as routes to development and a means of paying off debt. The so-called ‘developed’ North is being sold neo-liberal policies by way of paying off debt and deficit reduction. In both hemispheres, working people are told to go without and tighten their belts, while at the exact same time, the number of billionaires in the world is growing.

This convergence of experience would be best served with a convergence of actions, of people and resistance. The G20 protests are going to be the key ones this year. More countries are involved and therefore more people are inspired to make the journey. The austerity packages in so many countries are concentrating the minds of uncounted activists (you only have to look at London’s amazing demo on 26 March for confirmation of this). The EU itself is one of the 20.

But we think it’s important to show our opposition to both.


GR will be organizing transport to both events. The details of the G8 transport will be published in a week or two, when we get the parts of the journey pieced together. The G20 logistics will be announced much later after we have researched the cheapest way of getting there without carbon emissions to die for.

G8 Protest Agenda

Saturday 21 May: Protest in Le Havre starts at 3pm at The Train Station

Main themes: Arab Revolutions, Austerity in Europe, Nuclear Crisis in Japan.

Sunday 22 May: Counter Summit at Le Havre’s University

Main Themes: Debt / Austerity; Democracy & Social Justice; Migrants; Climate Change

Saturday 21 May – Friday 27 May: Alternative Village

Local activists plan to establish an alternative to the G8, camping, with actions and workshops. We do not have much detail on this at present.

Thursday 26 May & Friday 27 May: G8 summit in progress

Decentralised actions are planned in Germany, France and UK, please refer to the dissent networks for more info, we will publish any news as it emerges.

On Monday 23 May & Tuesday 24 May, there will be an international meeting held in Paris to plan for the G20 altermobilisation. Please see the website at www.altermob.org for details of where and when and how to attend this meeting.

G20 protest Agenda

Sunday 30 October: welcoming of the international mobilization

Monday 31 October: First day of the People’s forum

Tuesday 1 November: International Mass Demonstration

Wednesday 2 November: Continuation of the People’s Forum

Thursday 3 November & Friday 4 November: G20 summit in progress, actions, media work and other parts


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