G8 some background

Jun 19, 2005

In 1975 President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing of France invited the leaders of the five most powerful western nations for a ‘fireside chat’ at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss matters of common concern, especially the OPEC oil price hike that had recently happened. Every year since then, the G5 (as it was then) has met, expanding to G8 now, in opulent and luxurious settings, each country taking it in turns to host the event. Increasingly the G8 decides agendas and directions of the international financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and WTO. This unelected ‘fireside chat’ is a real powerhouse for the west and it’s corporate interests.

Globalise Resistance in Evian 2003

Since the Genoa protests in 2001 (see the reports elsewhere on this website), the G8 has increasingly taken to remote and easy to defend venues. Now Blair and Brown are trying an additional tactic to keep the streets quiet: trying to come across as the caring concerned end of the G8. From this website there are many links to articles, reports and analysis critical of the Blair / Brown proposals. It is testament to the impact of previous anti-G8 protests that such a stance has been taken by the Labour leadership in the UK. The Make Poverty History coalition campaigning around and in the run up to the G8 presents the biggest campaign in the UK outside of the movement against war in Iraq. We want to see both those movements and everybody else available keep up intense pressure on the G8 to not just speak about poverty in Africa, but to start dipping into their pockets and funding some of the projects they talk about.

The G8 has a terrible record on not delivering on the targets they talk about. There is no constitutional legitimacy for this annual get together, the only people the G8 are accountable to is themselves. They usually invite some ‘lesser’ statesmen to attend the opening ceremonies or superficial talks, the power is not so readily shared.

Keep the pressure up, turn the spotlight on Blair and Brown, give Bush a similar welcome to the UK as he had in November 2003. Make sure you’re in Edinburgh in July. We will be publishing details of transport and accommodation and all other practicalities in the run up to the most exciting protests there will be in 2005.


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