Message from the organisers of G8 Alternatives

Jul 11, 2005

Its now over a year since a small number of us came together to discuss how we would meet the challenge of having the G8 arriving in Scotland.

From small beginnings came G8 Alternatives that united a spectrum of people to challenge the rulers of world including peace campaigners, trades unionists, environmentalists, socialists, feminists, human rights activists, clowns, autonomists, anti war activists, anti-racists, people from different communities, NGOs, and those who prefer not to give themselves a label.  As the whole world was watching we showed that we will fight to make poverty and war history and that we would not stand aside as the rulers of the world descended in our midst.

G8 Alternatives supporters turned up in their 1000s on the Make Poverty History demonstration – the biggest march in Scotland’s history.

Together we pulled off the biggest political conference ever held in Scotland; 5000 tickets were sold for the G8A summit.  Around 80 organisations held workshops and 1000s of people came to listen to key debates on aid, trade and debt, war and imperialism, climate change and so on.  An impressive range of speakers representing a a number of international and local campaigning organisations discussed alternatives to the pro-war, neo-liberal agenda of the G8.  That day our movement went into ideological battle with the G8 and we showed that there are alternatives and that another world is possible. Musicians, actors and poets provided a creativity that echoed around the Festival theatre and Usher and Queens Hall.  Thanks to everyone who made sure that the G8A summit was so successful.

Immediately after G8 the bombings in London happened.  This atrocity was a result of an aggressive foreign policy that took Britain to war with Iraq; that has killed over 100,000 Iraqis; that has tortured innocent people in Guantanomo and Abu Graib; that destroys all hope and creates only misery and despair.  Many of us have attended the vigils to express our sympathy with the families that have lost loved ones but also to lay the blame where it really lies – at the door of Number 10.  We will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brothers and sisters and stop any backlash and racist attacks.  We will refuse to let our civil liberties be taken from us in this so-called ‘war against terror’.  We will re-double our efforts to bring the troops home.

Our movement is stronger as a result of all of the events  – not just those organised by G8A – that happened in the week the G8 met in Scotland.  Many of us are determined to continue to work together and expand our numbers to make a better world – fantastic!

Gill Hubbard

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