Anti-capitalists to target conference
ANTI-CAPITALISTS are planning a protest in Steyning against a major conference being held at Wiston House on Friday, November 5.
Demonstrators are being urged to gather on the playing fields in Vicarage Lane at 2.30pm with the intent of 'Resisting the International Elite'.
An alternative 12.30pm meeting point in Brighton's Old Steine is also being advertised.
Groups connected with the Dissent! Network are behind the protest, organised in reaction to a meeting at the Wilton Park conference centre at Wiston House expected to be attended by leading figures including heads of business and industry, government officials, bankers, regulators and academics.
Wilton Park said this type of conference was not unusual and they were surprised that a protest was being planned.
A leaflet encouraging people to join the demonstration said: "On November 5 and 6 some of the world's most powerful people are planning on meeting in the Sussex countryside to discuss International Rule Making for Global Capital Markets.
"The conference will bring together members of the US Treasury Department, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the European Commission and the German Stock Exchange with heads of business and industry and leading academics.
"The purpose of the conference is to facilitate informal networking and frank off the record discussion between those with the power to facilitate the smoother management of the global economy – a system based upon the daily exploitation of the vast majority of the world's population, the pursuit of war and the destruction of ecologies.
"We have other plans!"
The Dissent! network, which includes the Worthing-based movement Shut The G8, is primarily working on radical resistance against the next G8 summit in 2005, but is also trying to build a lasting anti-capitalist movement and is calling on people from all over the UK to head to Steyning for this protest.
The information leaflet goes on: "We are calling on people to resist the meeting however they see fit. Organise yourself into small groups, talk about what you can imagine doing, organise your own actions and communicate with others."
Chief executive of Wilton Park, Colin Jennings, said this was the first time such a protest had been planned against a conference there.
"There is nothing unusual about this particular conference so there is a certain degree of surprise that people think it's a target for the sort of protest we have read people are advocating," he said.
"This is a technical financial markets conference, which happen all over the world all the time, about rule making in global capital markets.
"Wilton Park itself is a small academic independent institution based here in Sussex since the 1950s and conferences are held here for people all over the world on the global challenges being faced."
He said previous events there had focused on a wide range of issues, including poverty and conflict prevention as well as economic and defence related conferences, and had also had meetings of leading people from anti-globalisation groups.
Mr Jennings said he could not go into the specifics of security arrangements at Wilton Park, but they were working closely with Sussex Police.
"We want to proceed with it, not least because one of the issues being discussed is whether existing ways of dealing with corporate misdemeanour are strong enough to prevent it occurring in the future," he added.
The conference chairman will be retired vice chairman of Citibank and former minister of finance of the Netherlands, Dr H. Onno Ruding.
A programme for the event said: "This year's conference for senior market participants, regulators, central bankers, government officials and academics will focus on their relationship between international and EU rules and rule making.
"It will look at their combined coherence and cost effectiveness. It will also look at techniques and mechanisms for producing better regulation in the financial sector."
29 October 2004