The G8, and its lackeys in those financial institutions the IMF and World Bank, have not cancelled the debt repayments from the region this year, instead they have merely ‘suspended’ the 46$billion due. Will there be interest on the unpaid interest we wonder? What conditions may be attached to this act of ‘charity’? More structural adjustment programmes perhaps (that’s privatisation to you and me)? No sign though of the affected countries 350$billion multilateral debt owed being cancelled. Take Indonesia, the over 100$billion debt it owes was largely lent to it during the reign of the despot Suharto, who built up his military & state power with it, and used all those shiny new weapons against the Indonesian people (and being used in Aceh today). Now they have to pay it back!
So whilst the G8 is in the news, there is little coverage that really reveals what the G8 does and how it does it, and what we can do about it. That is where the people in the Bristol Dissent group hope to come in, providing critical information, alternatives to capitalism, and ideas and examples of action that can be taken. If you think human need is more important than corporate greed, and that capitals apparent deathwish for the planet needs to be stopped, then read on and come along to the stuff listed below. (Thanks to Schnews for the graphic - www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news479.htm)
Bristol Dissent Group
Post: Dissent, Box 102, Greenleaf Books, 82 Colston St, Bristol, BS1 5BB
Monthly group meetings: last Tuesday of the month (Jan 25, Feb 22 etc), 7.30pm at Kebele Social Centre, 14 Robertson Rd, Easton, BS5 (tel 939 9469). Minutes are placed on the e-list.
Info/Research sub-group: meets next 18 January at 6pm, at Kebele.
This sub-group has produced one factsheet titled ‘The G8 – an introduction’, and is working on several more: sustainable development, climate change, Africa/debt, G8 governance, PFI (privatisation), the IMF/WB/WTO. These factsheets will critique the G8’s position on these issues, and what they have (or have not) done. Other ideas being discussed include info on ‘alternatives’ to capitalism, and G8 jargon and acronyms explained. Interested, want to contribute? Get in touch.
Events/outreach sub-group: meets next on 13 January. Contact the group for more details.
This sub-group sorts out benefits/socials, stalls at events/gigs/in the street, and other outreach activities & action.
Art/stencil workshop: 22 January at 3pm, at Kebele. Some materials available, bring more if you can.
Benefit party: 29 January, 8pm onwards, 2 or 3 bands plus DJ. The Plough pub, Kilburn Rd, Easton, BS5. Donations on the door. (To be confirmed).
Benefit night: 18 February, 9pm to 1am, at the Leftism club night, the Porter Butt pub, London Road, Bath. ₤3 on the door, ₤2 before 10pm. (To be confirmed – check www.leftism.co.uk/)
National Dissent Gathering: 12/13 Feb, in Glasgow. See www.dissent.org.uk for more info, or contact Bristol Dissent. This is the bi-monthly, decision-making body of the national Dissent network.
Resisting the G8 – Bristol: day of workshops, discussion and information, with party after. Planned for a Saturday in late March/early April. Topics & ideas likely to be covered include Iraq, climate change, Africa/debt, direct action, legal advice, clown army, Zapatistas, indymedia etc. More info to follow soon from Bristol Dissent.
Global week of action, 10 to 16 April. This is being organised by people linked to the Trade Justice Movement, and in Bristol has the working title ‘Don’t agonise, organise’. Events are expected to include a day of meetings, stalls etc at the ‘L Shed’ on 16 April. Bristol Dissent is meeting one of the organisers on 25 January to discuss ways it can be involved. Background info at www.tjm.org.uk/ and www.april2005.org/
G8 summit actions: there have been calls for actions locally and at the summit at Gleneagles in Scotland. There are no details available yet for local actions, but for the summit itself these are the ones that seem pretty certain so far, organised by a variety of groups & campaigns.
Sat 2nd July - 'Make Poverty History' march in Edinburgh, see www.makepovertyhistory.org/
Mon 4th July Trident Ploughshares Faslane Blockade, see www.faslanepeacecamp.org.uk/ and www.tridentploughshares.org/g8/
Wed 6th July INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST THE G8 SUMMIT 2005
Blockades and decentralised actions.
Fri 8th July INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
Actions in Scotland and decentralised actions. For background info on those rising tides see www.risingtide.org.uk/
Information about the area and targets in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh will be available at various convergence spaces, and in a pamphlet to be published by Dissent - similar to the 'squaring up to the square mile' booklet that was produced before the 18 June 1999 ‘Carnival against Capitalism’.
There will also be actions themed around the issue of precarity, work and unemployment, along with immigration/asylum (No Borders).
The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army www.clownarmy.org are also planning fun and games around the summit and are busy boosting their numbers on a recruitment tour of the UK...keep an eye out for events in your area.
The G8 Alternatives group, a broad-based (mainly) Scottish campaign, are also planning actions around the summit, details so far unconfirmed. Check www.g8alternatives.org.uk/
Other websites worth a look for G8 & event info include: www.g8.gov.uk/, www.gleneagles.com/, www.ifiwatchnet.org/, www.agp.org, http://indymedia.org.uk/ & http://bristol.indymedia.org/