[g8-sheffield] The G8 in Sheffield - why does it matter?

Jenny Patient jenny.patient at blueyonder.co.uk
Mon May 16 08:40:24 BST 2005

Dear all,

I started writing a letter to the paper and it's turned into a bit of a rant, so I thought I'd try it out on you first - I'd appreciate your comments. 

Apologies for cross-posting, and congratulations if you're on all these lists..!


The G8 in Sheffield - why does it matter?

Many Sheffield people will now be aware that the G8 Interior and Justice Ministers are meeting in Sheffield on 15-17 June 2005 - but what is it all about?

It's not a democratic forum

The G8 is not the United Nations - it is an exclusive meeting of the seven biggest economies in the world, plus Russia. It's rather like the big boys ganging up in a corner of the school playground.

Their agenda

The G8's agenda has never been to solve the problems of hunger and health experienced by three-quarters of the world's population. They meet to make the world safe for globalisation - a process that puts capitalists in control of everything, right across the world.

How they work

Their states support globalisation through privatisation (e.g. of water supplies in Africa, as well as your bus services) and war (e.g. in Iraq, and the threats to Iran and Cuba). This adds to insecurity in the global South, and to migration, as the people just try to survive and prosper.

What will the Interior Ministers be talking about?

They see terrorism as the worst threat, and they have used this as an excuse to:

  a.. lock up suspects without a trial
  b.. increase the state's control by keeping information about everyone
  c.. play on people's fear of outsiders, and people with different beliefs, appearance or cultures
They will be sharing ideas about combating terrorism and controlling the movements of the population.

What it means to Sheffield

Sheffield will see some of their ideas in action:

  a.. residents will have to carry a passport to enter and leave their homes
  b.. armed police will patrol the streets
  c.. helicopters will hang overhead for days on end
  d.. your email and phone calls may be intercepted
  e.. you will be excluded from your city centre while the G8 wine and dine there
  f.. pubs, theatres, clubs and restaurants will have to close, and buses and trams will stop running
Your local MP and city council are, in fact, so proud of your city that they are prepared to exclude all citizens from it in order to show it off. 

If you would like to add your voice to the protest against this way of running the world, come to the city centre at 5.30 on Weds 15th June, and see www.dissent.sheffield.org.uk for more information.
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