[g8-sheffield] Good and bad protesters

atw againstthewar at totalserve.co.uk
Mon May 30 21:38:49 BST 2005

dh> So far as I know, Make Poverty History hasn't made any statement
dh> attacking Dissent. The media are stirring this up - and it seems to be
dh> working.

I don't know either. I was going on a sentence in Chris Malins email,
"Make Poverty HIstory and other similar groups are typically willing
to condemn types of behaviour".

dh> I don't deny the importance and usefulness of direct action. But I
dh> don't believe that it's the only form of political action that ever
dh> achieves anything - which seems to be your position, if I've
dh> understood?

I don't think demonstrations achieve anything. At least I don't know
of one that has. I'm guessing MPH is some kind of continuation of
Jubilee 2000 who managed to get 100,000 at the last G8 in Birmingham?
I think they were basically ignored - the only success being that Tony
Blair made some sort of wishy washy statement about how he supported
them but wasn't going to do anything anyway.

dh> The sheer size of take-up of the MPH campaign (including a bandwagon
dh> of celebrities, half of whom doubtless haven't a clue what they're
dh> talking about) has forced the issues of trade, debt and aid to an
dh> unprecedented profile in the British media this year. That keeps up
dh> the pressure on the government, which contributes to (and I say this
dh> through gritted teeth) the British government taking a relatively more
dh> impressive line on those issues compared to other G8 governments.
dh> However, the coalition has not endorsed the government's position,
dh> despite Blair's attempts to co-opt it, but continues to lobby for more
dh> radical reform on all three fronts.

dh> This won't end capitalism - but it may save huge numbers of lives
dh> in the mean time.

I certainly hope so - but I wouldn't count on it. And if the other G8
governments don't agree then the British government's effort will be
simply words and Blair will have both his cake and eat it. He'll have
credibility with MPH for having tried but nothing will have changed.


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