Walden Bello on G-20: “it really doesn’t know”

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

One of the sharpest analysis of the global crisis and the G-20 Summit in London coms from Walden Bello at Focus on the Global South:

“The Group of 20 (G20) is making a big show of getting together to come to grips with the global economic crisis. But here’s the problem with the upcoming summit in London on April 2: It’s all show. What the show masks is a very deep worry and fear among the global elite that it really doesn’t know the direction in which the world economy is heading and the measures needed to stabilize it.

The latest statistics are exceeding even the gloomiest projections made earlier. …

The current capitalist crew manning the global economy doesn’t know whether Keynesian methods can re-inflate the global economy. Meanwhile, an increasing number of people are asking whether using a clutch of Social Democratic-like reforms is enough to repair the global economy, or whether the crisis will lead to a new international economic order.
A New Bretton Woods?

The G20 meeting has been trumpeted as a new “Bretton Woods.” In July 1944, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, representatives of the state-managed capitalist economies designed the postwar multilateral order with themselves at the center.

In fact, the two meetings couldn’t be further apart.

The London meeting will last one day; the Bretton Woods conference was a tough 21-day working session.

The London meeting is exclusive, with 20 governments arrogating to themselves the power to decide for 172 other countries. The Bretton Woods meeting tried hard to be inclusive to avoid precisely the illegitimacy that dogs the G20’s London tryst. Even in the midst of global war, it brought together 44 countries, including the still-dependent Commonwealth of the Philippines and the tiny, now-vanished Siberian state of Tannu Tuva.

The Bretton Woods Conference created new multilateral institutions and rules to manage the postwar world. The G20 is recycling failed institutions: the G20 itself, the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), the Bank of International Settlements and “Basel II,” and the now 65-year-old International Monetary Fund (IMF). Some of these institutions were established by the elite Group of 7 after the 1997 Asian financial crisis to come up with a new financial architecture that would prevent a repetition of the debacle brought about by IMF policies of capital account liberalization. But instead of coming up with safeguards, all these institutions bought the global financial elite’s strategy of “self-regulation.””

read more at: http://focusweb.org/u-20-will-the-global-economy-resurface.html?Itemid=1

Police report one dead demonstrator in London

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

BBC makes the following report from the G-20 demonstrations in London:

“There have been 63 arrests, with some police and protesters injured. Later, a man died after collapsing, police said.

He was found unconscious near the Bank of England and two police medics were unable to resuscitate him.

At 1930 BST, the London Ambulance Service took him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.”

Sky makes a similar report. Indepedent sources have not been able to confirm what have happened so far.

The 6-7 000 men police force have been acting strongly outside Bank of England and Royal Bank of Scotland. Clashes have occured especially when the police stops peoples from getting away, so called kettle tactics. The police have also stopped the reopening of the alternative summit at the University of East London. During the evening they also kettled some 2000 persons in the peaceful climate camp and by midnight some 500 were still kept inside the kettle.

Anger was especialy strong outside the Royal Bank of Scotland and finally wondows were broken nad protesters went inside and smashed the interior. BBC reports: “RBS has been in the spotlight after the £703,000 pension arrangement of former chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin, sparked public anger.”

The day begun by workers at car supply firm Visteon in Enfield was occupied by the workers when they upon he arrived at their work was informed that the company was gone bankrupt and all were unemployed. At eleven four G-20 Meltdown demonstrations started heading for Bank of England were some 5000 demonstrators gathered.

Picture from Indymedia UK

“Can we overthrow the government – yes we can” is one of the slogans on the banners. It may sound as hubris. But the fact is that in Iceland sustained demonstrations since beginning of October when the global crisis due to extremely speculative bakers hit the country finally overthrow the government by the end of January. For the first time since anti-NATO demonstrations in 1949 the police used tear gas against the violnet demonstrators. At its peak 6000 demonstrated out of a population of slightly more than 300000, that is 2 percent of the population. In Great Britain that would mean that more than a million take to the streets. That is far from the situation yet in London.

From Indymedia UK

You can follow the course of events in London in main stream media or more in detail at Indymedia: http://www.indymedia.org.uk

Alternative London Summit Press Release: Occupation at 4pm

Tord Björk | G20,global crisis,International action,popular movements,Repression | Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Despite management efforts to shut down the Alternative London Summit on Wednesday 1st April organisers and speakers are committed to making sure the event goes ahead at the University of East London as planned.

Occupation commences at 4pm. At 6pm there will be a press conference held at University of East London in the East Building, room 1.12. Speeches commence at 6pm across two lecture theatres.

Organisers are appealing to the public to join academics, union representatives and students in the occupation of the university in order to ensure that prominent political, scientific, academic and activist speakers who have remained committed to the event will be free and able to speak as planned.

It is vital at this pivotal moment in British and world history that we, the people have a public platform to understand and act on alternative ideas and strategies for our political, environmental and economic future.

The inconvenient truth that the authorities are so anxious to suppress is the simple fact that another world is possible!

Despite New Labour’s best efforts to establish corporate control over our education system, like many other universities across the country the University of East London is proud of its diversity of ideas, its intellectual autonomy and freedom of expression.

Free speech still exists in our university and it is our duty to protect this.

The crucial battleground on April 1st is the Docklands Campus of the University of East London. Either we lose control to the corporate state or we defend our sovereignty and therefore defend our traditions of freedom and democracy across England and Beyond. This is a battle between language and violence. If armed police are permitted to break the sacred circle of academic and scientific autonomy England will be a police state.

You may not have been thinking of coming. Please think again.

We are the people. We are the power.

The Alternative London Summit 2009 program you find at: http://www.altg20.org.uk

Petition to open the university: http://www.petitiononline.com/openUEL/petition.html