Amongst the throng of press and adoring fans outside the recording studios in Hampstead where band aid three was recorded today and hidden as much as possible by police in uniforms -were the dissenters- arguing that Band AId is little more than a screen to hide the real issues behind world poverty.
A series of unknown and known pop-stars traipsed in and out of Air Studios- to the delight of fans and to shouts of real aid- not band aid, don't whitewash Africa, don't play politcians and boo's. One protester was arrested for handing out leaflets explaining the reasons for the protest
Protester Karen said "stunts such as Band Aid do little to heal the deep wounds caused around the world by current global economic policy and instead sharpen the destructive swords of global capitalism."
As Britain gears up for the G8 summit. Blair's government is doing everything it can to brainwash the public into believing that real action is being taken on issues such as Climate change and poverty in Africa. The political circus offered by Bono and Geldof only contributes to the smokescreen. Bono recently topped up Blair and Brown PR by comparing them to "the Lennon and Mcartney of global development". Producing this record just serves to whitewash over the real issues. It avoids tackling the root causes of poverty and hunger in Africa and around the world, hence contributing to perpetuate inequality.
Jenny Leathen from Liverpool commented that "this record is another piece of armory in Blairs recently created Commission for Africa- forcing neo-liberal economic policies onto countries and opening up western markets to allow multinational companies continued access to the vast mineral resources and wealth of Africans. The G8 Action Plan for Africa sets out a blueprint for the continent which is free-market, free-trade, privatised, deregulated and genetically modified. Just as the G8 will privatize Africa, Central and South America, Oceania, the Arctic and possibly Mars, they are privatizing the atmosphere with the Koyote Protocol and its Carbon Trading market."
The 2005 G8 summit will take place in Gleneagles, Scotland- over the last 10 years protest against summits of the ruling elite (G8/IMF/World Bank/WTO etc) have continued to grow. Groups all over the world will come together in a global day of action on July 6th to resist this illegitimate summit. A summit that perpetuates policies that accentuate the gap between the rich and the poor, attack workers rights, lower living conditions for the vast majority of the population, disrespect cultural diversity and kill our environment. The G8 hide behind the new "fight against terrorism" to promote and justify war, militarism and repression and secure access to the oil and mineral plunder that western economic growth "requires".
The original Band AID single produced in 1984 raised 9.5 million. The 2003 G8 summit in Evian cost 400 million. The security budget for the 2005 summit is set at 150 million. The war in Iraq has so far cost the UK taxpayer 80 billion pounds and rising. The continuing loss of life is unquantifyable,
Protesters argue that the song is obnoxious, patronising and out of date with the real situation in Africa
"This isn't about creating a record to support people in Africa- this is a kodak moment for Bono, Midge Ure and for Blair to manipulate public opinion and push through a destructive economic agenda to serve Western economic interests."
Throughout the monotonous drudge of consumer frenzy in shops this Christmas -speakers will boom out the lyrics "thank god it's them instead of you". There is no them and you- there is only us and them- the ruling elite who are using this record to sell their bands, brands, images, this joke of a democracy that makes up the UK/US coalition and an illegitimate G8 summit that cannot pretend to have the larger world at its best interest.
Dissent! a network set up in 2003 to build resistance to the G8 summit and strengthen the grassroots movement in these isles is calling on people to converge in Scotland against the summit and for us to take real action together in villages, towns and cities. Throughout the year we will take direct action and converge in gatherings to inspire, inform and create resistance against the G8.
be part of the solution not the problem-
plans are a foot to release an alternative do they know its christmas on the 29th- the same day as release date for Band Aid 3
The London Anti G8 group is part of the Dissent! Network for more information.