G-20 Summit in Britain
On March 28, as part of a global campaign to challenge the G-20 ahead of the summit taking place on April 2, an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people demonstrated in London, England to reject the plans being hatched behind closed doors by the world’s financial oligarchy and their prescriptions to the crisis that come at the expense of the rights and well-being of the world’s peoples. The action was part of a Global Day of Action called by an alliance of some 150 unions, faith groups, anti-war, environmental and other civil society and social movement organizations, as well as participants in the Assembly of Social Movements at the recent 2009 World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil.
On April 1 militant mass demonstrations again took place throughout London to denounce the G-20 and its agenda for further impoverishment of the peoples of the world, war and destruction of the environment. Voice of Revolution applauds the courageous actions of the masses of people in London fighting for justice and solutions to the crisis that serve the needs of the people and open a path for social progress. The actions both days saw a large police presence and brutal attacks on demonstrations. We condemn the police repression and criminalization of dissent and join the demonstrators in their determination to advance the fight for rights.
Attention will now shift to the NATO Summit, which starts in Strasbourg on April 4-5 and is to be condemned by the peoples of the entire world in an international day of action on April 4. Actions in the U.S. April 3 and 4 on Wall Street will target the U.S. financiers and their empire-building, demanding an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, dismantling of NATO and an end to all war funding. Peoples are demanding government fund the needs of the people at home and abroad.
Mass demonstrations took place in other parts of the world, including many cities across Europe. In Germany, a broad coalition of groups organizing for actions in Frankfurt and Berlin on March 28 issued a call that clearly identified the source of the crisis and the immediate need for alternatives:
“The capitalist crisis reaches evermore people in everyday life in 2009. It is not just a problem of the poor regulation of banks — the crisis is capitalism and has many faces: poverty, hunger, climate catastrophe, war over access to raw materials, financial market crash and economic crisis.
“We demand that the agents and profiteers of the crisis foot the bill. We will not accept that it be paid by employees, the unemployed, retirees, school and university students, and the people of the global South.
“On March 28 we are demonstrating for a society of solidarity and fundamental changes of the economy. We want democratic control of the economy and it’s orientation towards people’s needs rather than that of profit. Immediate appropriation and socialization of the banks rather than nationalization of the losses! Social security for all people worldwide, not security for profits!
“The compulsion to permanent economic growth, competition and profit accumulation stands counter to an economy geared towards social and ecological aims. We need alternatives beyond capitalism — the way it is, is not how it will remain.”
Reports say that the march in Frankfurt was 25,000 strong, while the 30,000 people that marched in Berlin were attacked by police at the end, with several protesters hurt and arrested.
In Spain some 10,000 people took to the streets in Barcelona, as well as several thousand in Alacant and Valencia. Demonstrations also took place in Madrid, Seville and Salamanca.
In Paris, France, demonstrators dumped a pile of sand outside the stock exchange, on top of which they sat in lounge chairs while sporting beachwear, to mock the use of offshore tax havens and the aloofness of the rich elite from the situation facing ordinary people. In Switzerland around 250 people marched in Geneva behind a banner reading “Capitalism Is a Mistake.”
In Vienna, Austria around 7,000 people marched with banners reading, “We won’t pay for your crisis” and “Capitalism can’t be reformed.”
In Montreal about 100 people condemned the G-20 summit outside Canadian government offices at Place Guy-Favreau in response to the call of l’Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financières internationales et pour l’Action Citoyenne (ATTAC-Québec). ATTAC-Québec Secretary Claude Vaillancourt denounced the summit, describing it as asking arsonists to put out a fire, and that alternatives must be presented from the people. The need for alternatives centered around human needs and dignity was also emphasized by other speakers.
(Sources: Indymedia, www.putpeoplefirst.ork.uk, China Daily, TML Daily)
The G-20 Summit April 2 is the second this particular grouping within the imperialist system of states. The first summit took place last November as the economic crisis began to extend its destruction globally.
The economic crisis has its reflection in a global political disequilibrium. The United States has launched a new president on the international stage to rebuild its image and assert its leadership in fashioning a new equilibrium that favors its empire-building and hegemony. The U.S. ruling elite are busy fabricating an anti-conscious celebrity cult around President Barack Obama using emotive words and phrases for change, and symbols and images of a past “Great America.” The aim is to camouflage the ugly deeds and reality of those in political, economic and military control in the here and now, to keep people marginalized and disempowered and to maintain U.S. hegemony over its rivals. If the people, especially in the U.S., Canada and Europe, do not expose and oppose the ugly deeds of U.S. imperialism on the political, economic, military and cultural fronts, the words, symbols and fanciful images of the Obama cult recreating an idealized “Great America” of a distant past will block the human factor/social consciousness from developing and leave an opening for fascism to regain its pre-WWII influence and control. To fall under the spell of the words, symbols and images of an idealized “Great America” allows the war president and ruling elite to reassert U.S. hegemony and intensify U.S. wars of aggression and interference in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine and elsewhere, continue the obscene Bush/Paulson bailouts of the rich and their monopolies, and to pass the burden of the economic crisis onto the backs of the U.S. working class and middle strata and those of other countries.
Following the unmasking of war criminal George W. Bush, the Obama celebrity cult movement is attempting to establish a new equilibrium that favors U.S. empire-building at home and abroad. In the U.S. and Canada, the Obama cult is being used to block the growth of the independent politics of the working class and the forging of workers and their allies into an effective political force. Internationally the Obama cult is trying to negate any attempt at nation-building on the part of the peoples of the world, especially from the oppressed countries, and to reassert U.S. hegemony over its imperialist rivals, especially in Europe.
Many in the world are not easily fooled by the Obama cult of an idealized “Great America” and refuse to remain quiet or inactive within the present disequilibrium. They are fighting for new arrangements and equilibrium that favor the people. They are standing up to challenge the authority of U.S. imperialism within the conditions of the global economic crisis and its unending wars of aggression and occupation.
Rumblings of discontent with U.S. hegemony and its flaunting of international law are heard more loudly and frequently, not only from the oppressed peoples and countries but also from imperialist rivals. Voices organizing and calling for change to the unquestioned political, economic, cultural and military authority of the U.S. Empire are growing bolder and louder amongst all sections of the peoples of the world. Resistance to war and oppression and opposition to the passing of the burden of the crisis onto the working class and oppressed countries are becoming more frequent and better organized and are shedding any lingering illusions that celebrities from the ruling classes will change the world in favor of the people. Progressive social, economic and political change and empowerment are arrangements the people have to bring about themselves in combat against the forces of reaction and the status quo. Increasingly, words and deeds are seen and heard that raise the banner and conception of self-reliance and independence — independence of nations from U.S. hegemony and the imperialist system of states, and independence of the workers’ movement from the negative influence of the ruling class. Workers and their allies are beginning to base their activities and resistance on their own initiative and skills. They are organizing and fighting for an alternative and developing themselves and their organizations into an effective opposition movement that can force governments to bring in emergency legislation to deal with the crisis in a manner that favors the people, not the rich, and put an end to wars of aggression and occupation. Many are taking up the challenge to prepare themselves organizationally and consciously as worker politicians to lead the people in the fight to empower themselves politically through democratic renewal.
Contradictions with U.S. Hegemony
In the days leading up to the G-20 Summit in Britain, the world has witnessed both a powerful people’s movement organizing to demonstrate its demand for an alternative to imperialism and a growing disquiet over U.S. hegemony amongst leaders within the imperialist system of states, expressed through angry words of the President of the European Union, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, and concrete proposals from the Governor of the People’s Bank of China supported by the government of Russia to rid the world of U.S. dollar hegemony. Many in the world do not want and refuse to accept a new equilibrium under the dictate of U.S. imperialism and refuse to allow the G-20 to be used as a U.S. bully pulpit. Opposition to Anglo/U.S. dictate is being heard both outside the G-20 Summit and from participants inside.
Workers and their allies in all countries must learn how to wage politics in their favor and use the very real sense of outrage against the U.S. Empire to occupy the space for progressive and communist politics. Worker politicians have to learn the art of politics, which means using all the political contradictions that exist to their advantage, to occupy the space for change and broaden the scope of their politics and concretely advance the fight for an alternative. An aspect of politics is grasping and using the contradictions within the imperialist system of states to weaken that system overall and block the capacity of the big powers, especially U.S. imperialism, to forge military alliances to wage war against the people through aggressive organizations such as NATO, the U.S./Japan military alliance, NORAD and the U.S.-controlled International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) waging war in Afghanistan.
Working class politics means in part not falling under the spell of imperialist politics and becoming swept up behind this or that big power or combination of powers. It means fighting for an anti-war government that becomes a block both to aggressive wars against the weaker oppressed countries and to wars amongst the big powers themselves.
As the ruling elite in country after country watch their economies disintegrate before their very eyes, their emotion is real and palpable and they quite understandably point their fingers at the main culprit, the dominant power and its unbridled greed and hubris. When the European President denounced the U.S. pay the rich bailouts as a “way to hell,” he graphically expressed the sentiment of many around the world. People, even within the U.S. are not blinded by the TV and Internet charm offensive of the Obama cult; they are acutely aware that the U.S. bailouts, deficits and debt, financed in large measure by flooding the world with U.S. dollars, are meant to strengthen U.S. monopolies in their global competition with others and pass the burden of the crisis onto the working class and middle strata and other countries.
The angry words of the European president suggest what those in the anti-imperialist movement are saying more directly: U.S. unilateral action and wars under President Bush have been a disaster for the world and President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan and his pouring of trillions of dollars of public and borrowed money down the gaping snouts of U.S. monopolies, if not restricted by the people’s movement, will make the situation worse for the U.S. working class and peoples of the world and set the stage for more intense crises and wars.
Raw sentiment declaring U.S. policy a “way to hell” is an indication of the depth of resentment of the world’s peoples towards U.S. hegemony even among the European elite. It reflects how much the people blame U.S. and British reckless actions under neo-liberal globalization for the current economic difficulties. The workers’ movement must turn that raw sentiment into action with analysis, to grow and become a powerful effective independent political force, to unite everyone in a movement to defend the rights of all, to bring to power an anti-war government that opposes the warmongers of the U.S., Europe and Japan and which weakens the entire imperialist system of states and makes possible a genuine alternative and new equilibrium that favors the people.
U.S. Dollar Hegemony
For years, U.S. and Britain have financed their wars of aggression and exploitation of the oppressed countries through plunder, unequal terms of trade and manipulation of the global realm of circulation of capital and the international financial system. U.S. dollar hegemony, the Anglo/U.S. creation of London as an international financial capital and the Ponzi-like financing of U.S. wars and its budget and current account deficits have led to an unsustainable situation for the global economy. The United States and Britain have extorted global tribute through direct ownership of other people’s production and service facilities, theft of raw materials and other social product at low prices, control over international and national markets, unequal terms of trade, parasitic schemes for big scores within the realm of circulation, and wars and illegal occupations. In addition, the Anglo/U.S. alliance has borrowed and printed vast quantities of money to finance their empire-building projects. Their actions have led the world to the brink of economic, social and natural disaster. The peoples of Mother Earth are fed up and want change and new arrangements.
The United States is the most indebted country and Britain the second by far. The existing international financial architecture allows them endlessly to borrow or issue new fiat currency to finance wars and other projects or pay off whatever comes due on public sector debt similar in many ways to a never-ending official Ponzi scheme.
The peoples of the world want an alternative to current international relations based on U.S. hegemony and the medieval dictum that Might Makes Right. It means opposing U.S. annexation of Canada and Mexico and dismantling NATO, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. It means resolving the contradiction between authority and conditions on a world scale. U.S. authority over the world is in contradiction with the necessity for an alternative where hegemony is no longer tolerated, force is not used to settle disputes and terms of trade are for mutual benefit and based on righting the wrongs of the past and assisting the development of those countries that have been oppressed under slavery, colonialism and imperialism. An alternative demands a new international financial architecture that treats all countries with respect and justice eradicating finally the scourge of dominant fiat currencies and the IMF/World Bank dictatorship of compound interest anti-social loans.
U.S. Schemes to Maintain the Status Quo with a New Face
President Obama thumbs his nose at the world with his bailouts of the rich, military surge in Afghanistan and infantile hysteria over the launch of a Korean satellite. He underscores the U.S. agenda of continued domination by constantly giving speeches as the war president and Commander-in-Chief of the 1,000 U.S. military bases strategically placed throughout the globe, its constantly roving naval armadas spoiling for a fight, its active wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, its threats against all who resist, its economic blockades against Cuba, Zimbabwe, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and others, its use of the U.S. dollar as a weapon against the rest of the world, its poisoning of Mother Earth through war and unbridled greed without regard for consequences, its U.S. culture overwhelming and destroying all other global cultures, especially languages, and all its other nefarious deeds of Empire-building.
The U.S. is coming to the G-20 Summit determined to maintain its global hegemony in military, political, economic and cultural affairs. It has made it clear through threats of pre-emptive strikes, blockades and aggression that it will not allow the oppressed or competitors on any front to challenge U.S. imperialism. But this illegal U.S. international authority is in contradiction with the present conditions. From demonstrators in the streets demanding an alternative to imperialist plunder and war, to the Chinese and Russian delegations coming with an agenda of their own, to the demands of the European powers and the needs of others, the U.S. dismisses all with contempt but that is not so easy in practice when the peoples are angry, aroused and yearning for an alternative.
U.S. global authority is in sharp contradiction with the existing international conditions and the needs of the peoples of the world for an alternative. Such an alternative is necessary and the social responsibility for bringing it into being lies on the shoulders of the organized working class and its allies.
Together let us go all out to denounce the U.S. Empire and imperialist system of states at the G-20 Summit April 2 and on April 4, the sixtieth anniversary of the aggressive NATO alliance! Let us demonstrate and demand the dismantling of NATO and the end of the war in Afghanistan!
Let us prepare ourselves and the people organizationally, ideologically and politically for an alternative, a new equilibrium in political, economic, military, social and cultural affairs that favors the peoples of the world!
There Is an Alternative!
(Reprinted from TML Daily, cpcml.ca)
On April 1, we will show the G20 what meltdown means.
Lost your home? Lost your job? Lost your savings? Lost your pension? This party is for you!
Capitalism has been heating up our world for years, melting the icecaps, burning up the rainforests, pushing the planet to tipping point. Now we are going to put the heat on them. At the London Summit , the G20 ministers are trying to get away with the biggest April Fools trick of all time. Their tax-dodging, bonus-guzzling, pension-pinching, unregulated free market world is in meltdown, and those fools think we are going to bail them out. They have got to be joking!
We cannot pay, we will not pay and we are taking to the streets.
Many, imaginative actions will be taking place across London on April 1. One major focus will be four separate carnival parades culminating in direct action against carbon trading and other financial crimes in the City of London.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will lead themed processions starting at 11am from the following rail stations:
Moorgate: Red horse against War;
At 12 noon, April 1, we are going to reclaim the City, thrusting into the very belly of the beast: the Bank of England.
Early on April 2, we are going to bang on their hotel doors, at the Excel Center, to deliver our message of a world beyond capitalism.
Our Manifesto is:
Can we oust the bankers from power?
Protest at London G20 Summit
The leaders of the world’s most powerful nations will meet at the G20 summit in London on April 2. It will be Barack Obama’s first visit to Britain. It is a chance for us to demand a change from Bush’s war policies.
The Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, The British Muslim Initiative, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament have called two protests at the G20:
April 1 (afternoon): Protest March and rally in central London
April 2: Protest March to G20 conference
Our message will be ‘Yes We Can.’ Yes we can end the siege of Gaza and free Palestine, yes we can get the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, yes we can make jobs not bombs, yes we can abolish nukes, yes we can stop arming Israel.
On Saturday February 28 the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called a Put People First demonstration with the support of many non-governmental organization (NGO’s) demanding jobs, public services and an end to global inequality.
When the G20 leaders arrive there will be more protests, demanding an end of the siege of Gaza, troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, jobs not bombs and more. The first anti war event will be a central London march on April 1, the afternoon before the G20 and the day Barack Obama visits parliament. The second will be a protest at the G20 itself. These protests have been called by the Stop the War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the British Muslim Initiative and (CND).
People are already mobilizing across the country for the protests. At the recent Stop to the War student conference, delegates from 29 colleges and universities committed to organizing a turnout. Stop the War groups in Scotland and Manchester and Liverpool are already organizing their transport.
Many groups are coming down to London and traveling on to the NATO protests in Strasbourg leading up to a mass demonstration and counter conference on April 4 and 5. The first week of April could be a week of protests the world leaders will never forget.
The G20 will meet at a time of world slump but they are spending more and more on war. Despite the disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. and Britain are sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan. They are spending more and more in Iraq. The total cost of the war will be around six trillion dollars. The US spends $54 billion and Britain nearly £2 billion every year on nuclear weapons.
Most G20 leaders support Israel and refused to condemn Israel’s attack on Gaza or the continuing blockade. The U.S., Britain and others are still selling arms to Israel. Israel receives more aid from the U.S. than any other country in world.
On April 1 and 2 we will be marching to demand a different set of priorities from the world’s leaders.
The leaders of the most powerful nations will meet in London in April against the backdrop of world slump and war and rising anger at the nightmare world they have created. […]
There are no signs of any serious initiatives on Palestine. U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has gone out of her way to express support for Israel, and the main point of argument over the war is likely to be the need to escalate the action in Afghanistan. Last weekend British Defense Secretary John Hutton attacked NATO for not being warlike enough on Afghanistan and denounced other NATO members for ‘looking to the Americans to do all the heavy lifting.’
Given the massive demonstrations over Gaza and the strength of anti war feeling, given the rage people feel as jobs go and banks are bailed out, there will be big protests at the G20.
(VOR Note: According to the G-20 website: “The G-20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, south Korea, Turkey, Britain and the United States of America and the European Union (EU) who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and President of the World Bank also participate in G-20 meetings on an ex-officio basis. Together, member countries represent around 90 per cent of global gross national product, 80 per cent of world trade (including EU intra-trade) as well as two-thirds of the world’s population.”)