Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Put People First: G20 back in town

On 28 March 35,000 people marched 'for jobs, justice and climate' in central London. Put People First, the coalition of organisations responsible, is now gearing up for the G20 Finance Ministers' visit to London on Friday 4 September. Details of events for the day are HERE.

While these activities won't be on the scale as the demo earlier in the year, they represent a chance to bring trade unionists, movement activists and the left together in united protest - demanding action is taken to alleviate the impact of economic crisis.

Plans are also being made for the G20's return visit to these shores in November, though on that occasion St Andrews is the location (fine for us Geordies - it's nearer than London). Protests and a 'G20 Alternatives' conference are in the pipeline - I'll confirm details when I have them, but the weekend of 7/8 November is the main focus.

The idea will be to bring together a number of big issues - hopefully the 'war on terror' will be one of them, as its exclusion from the official slogans in March was an unfortunate weakness. If Stop the War and peace groups can be more involved, and help build a good turnout, that will surely strengthen everyone.

All of these events will in turn build towards what should be this country's biggest climate change protest yet. The 5 December national demo co-incides with the UN talks in Copenhagen and will be part of a global wave of action. The date is also, interestingly, very close to the 10th anniversary of one of the anti-capitalist movement's great landmarks: the protests at Seattle's WTO summit.

As far as I'm aware, nothing is currently arranged to mark the occasion. This seems a shame, as its precisely the Seattle mobilisation's combination of unity, radicalism and militancy that we need now more than ever. Learning the lessons of our movement's history can serve us in a new era of deep capitalist crisis.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    The St Andrews (alternative) summit will have an opportunity for lots of people to organise their own workshops (Put People First want the main focus of the day to be the "action" - currently a photo op) - I agree with you that it feels like "jobs, justice and climate" leaves many gaps, including the war on terror - if that doesn't appear to be mentioned as plans start building up, it'd be great to have a workshop on the topic, so consider organising one!

    The alternative summit will be on the 7th of November, although related campaigns will probably get some attention in surrounding days, and with a fair few campaigners around I'd be surprised if one or two spontaneous demos didn't break out, so if you've got the time please do stick around for a bit! Crash space is being organised at the mo, although if you'd rather something fancier than look into booking now as accommodation is quick to go in St Andrews.

    Hope to see you there!

    Put People First are starting to get this website going:

    St Andrews group helping out: (probably the better place to go if you need local info such as travel or accommodation)

    As you can see it's all still very much in its infancy, so all of the above could change, but it's correct to my knowledge at the mo!