[g8-sheffield] Socialist Party article...
againstthewar at totalserve.co.uk
Mon Jun 13 22:54:10 BST 2005
G8 justice ministers' meeting:
Stop taking liberties!
ONE OF David Blunkett's last acts as Home Secretary was to offer
Sheffield as host city to a meeting of G8 Interior and 'in'Justice
Ministers. On 15-17 June they will be discussing the domestic impact
of the 'war on terror'.
Dave Robbie (Sheffield PCS branch secretary) and Edd Mustill
In practice this meeting is about attacking democratic civil liberties
and human rights across the globe. Amnesty International's recent
report points the finger squarely at the G8 countries for being the
worst culprits globally.
Human rights violations by the US and UK stretch from unlawful killing
in Iraq and Afghanistan to systematic torture and abuse in Guantanamo
Bay, and to detention without trial in Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons
Attacks on our civil liberties at home go hand in hand with this
agenda. Anti-terrorist legislation introduced by Sheffield MP Blunkett
(ruled illegal by the High Chief Justice) has been extended by Charles
Clarke who has introduced control orders, would like to take away the
right to trial by jury for some, and will be attempting to impose ID
cards on us all (at £300 each!).
A G8 meeting held in Derby just a few months ago saw the deployment of
over 1,000 police officers at a cost of more than £2 million to
'protect' the city from 50 demonstrators. All indications are that
similar heavy-handed tactics are going to be deployed in Sheffield,
especially as there will be far more than 50 protesters.
Already Netheredge residents in the vicinity of the Marriott Hotel
hosting the meeting are being issued with ID cards to enable them to
get to their own homes! City centre roads will be closed and theatres
have been told to close whilst the 'Big Brothers' are in town.
Whilst police permission has been granted for a "Peace and Justice"
demonstration on Saturday 11th, protests whilst the G8 ministers wine
and dine have so far been refused.
Protesters are to be penned into a designated area and 'assemblies' of
two or more outside the security cordon could be arrested under
Sheffield will be turned into a virtual police state for three days,
such is the unpopularity of the G8 capitalist leaders. And this could
be a dress rehearsal for policing the protest in Gleneagles on 6 July.
They have only been forced to put issues of poverty and global warming
on the agenda at Gleneagles due to massive popular pressure.
Campaigns such as Make Poverty History and Bob Geldof's 'Live8',
whilst playing a key role in creating awareness, seem to seek the
support of the very politicians responsible for many of the problems
in developing countries that they are seeking to solve.
In Sheffield many people agree with us that such problems are symptoms
of the exploitative capitalist system. The fact that the 'LiveAid'
campaign of 20 years ago is effectively being repeated on a larger
scale shows the need for radical change.
Socialist Party will carry these arguments into the anti-G8 protests
in Sheffield and Edinburgh, where there will be many workers and young
people open to a socialist alternative as the failings of the profit
system become more obvious.
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