The UK has the Presidency of the G8 for 2005 - news and analysis relating to responses to the G8 and the meetings in London, Derbyshire, Sheffield and across the UK in the run up to the summit in July at Gleneagles in Scotland.
See also UK Indymedia - G8 2005
The third day of the Ministerial G8 meeting in Sheffield started with a banner drop and what was hopefully a rude awakening for the delgates at the Marriott Hotel in Nether Edge from a Rebel Alliance of RoRS and a squad from the Clown Army.
During the day the Counter Conference was running at the convergence centre and there was a Guantanamo Bay protest action in the City Centre. The day ended with a Insurgents' Party with the Trollyd and Riddimition sound systems and the 2012 Show.
An eventful second day to the G8 Ministerial meeting in Sheffield.
Thursday's main events included:
An all-day Counter Conference at the convergence space, which also hosts the Indymedia Centre, court appearances for people arrested on Wednesday, a protest outside the Cathedral, the Make Poverty History Rice Meal, with an attendant sit-down protest and an ensuing penning in of protestors in and around West Street. More details are in the "Read more..." section of the article and from the links below.
So the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers came to a three-day meeting at Nether Edge's Marriott Hotel.
Their unwelcome started early with a banner drop near Park Square roundabout and the revelation that the police consider the whole shennanigans as "Operation Octagon". The Convergence Space, with Indymedia Centre kicked off with an "Insurgent's Breakfast", mass leafleting took place in the city centre and Meadowhall and an late afternoon Critical Mass.
Focus then moved to an assembly of people on Devonshire Green protesting for the right to protest, the assembled set off into town to be meet the Critical Mass. After having their way blocked by police at Barker's Pool and at the entrance of Surrey Street by the Town Hall they congregated for a while. A number-limited Stop the War protest took place outside the Lyceum. Unfortunately the folks who walked down Fargate and tried to turn onto Arundel Gate had their way blocked by cops and eventually riot cops. There were two arrests around this time.
More details are in the "Read more..." section of the article and from the links below.
In advance of the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers arriving for their summit in Sheffield, protests against their presence started with a Critical Mass at 8:30am (report and video). People started to gather on Devonshire Green at 10:30am for the demonstration called by the Sheffield Stop the War Coalition. Several hundred people then marched through the centre of town on the way to Peace in the Park at the General Cemetery. Lots of information on the G8 was distributed to shoppers in town.
With the fine weather holding out, the 3rd annual Peace in the Park festival was packed. This year it was a benefit for Sheffield Archer Project, a charity providing support for the homeless, and the Intermediate Technology Development Group, an international charity working on practical ways to end poverty for people in need all over the world. Stalls included No Sweat, No2ID and others. Along with an open mic tent and a bands stage there were also tunes from Riddemtion.
The finale of the evening was a performance by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination which included an appearance from the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army . A gig from the 2012 show was arranged at the last minute at The Cricketers and this made a nice end of the day for the few who made it.
The Justice and Home Affairs ministers from the G8 countries are meeting in Sheffield from Wednesday 15th until Friday 17 June. The issues to be discussed at the Sheffield ministerial meeting include counter-terrorism, migration, law enforcement, the expanded use of DNA and legal affairs. People in Sheffield have co-ordinated a number of actions and events against the G8. Full details of these events and a timeline can be found on the Sheffield Against G8 website.
The biggest police operation [ 1 | 2 ] since the 1984-85 miners' strike was mounted in Derby to protect a G8 Environment Ministers Meeting between 15 and 19 March 2005. This involved orders under Section 13 of the Public Order Act to ban the holding of "public processions through the City of Derby" (funerals were exempted) for five days and then under Section 14 a protest was allowed on the 17 March which involved a "designated protest site of Derby Market Place", a time limit and a maximum number of 3,000 protestors.
Events on M17 started with a Critical Mass bicycle protest in the morning with around 40 people taking part, police arrested twelve cyclists, who were released on bail that night, however their bicycles have been kept "as evidence".
Around 100 protestors then gathered in the only place they were alowed to — the Market Place — and spent the afternoon hanging around, listening to some samba, eating snacks from Veggies and watching Bush and Blair get pied. The point of the protest was explained by a representative of Friends of the Earth, "We're trying to take this opportunity with the G8 Environment and Development Ministers meeting just outside Derby to send a direct message to those ministers, particularly about the rhetoric that's being used in terms of climate change, and actually trying to encourage them to take action rather than just talk about the issue — and also to stop pumping our tax-payers' money into new oil developments and actually look at real solutions to climate change."
The G8 Justice and Home Affairs ministers are due in Sheffield between 15 to 17 June 2005 and Sheffield Dissent has a g8-sheffield email list to discuss what protests might be organised — now we have an idea of what to expect...
One legacy that the former home secretary has left the city is a meeting of the G8 Justice and Home Affairs ministers on the 15th to 17th June 2005, to be held somewhere in Sheffield. There is also a G8 Environment and Development Ministers Meeting in Derbyshire on 17-18th March, see M17 Derby - Protest the G8 for details of the critical mass and street party that is planned.
The G8 are the group at the heart of the corporate Globalization and the key exponents of a neoliberal economic agenda. This is an agenda which essentially promotes and protects free trade in all its forms. All aspects of life, from the production and exchange of essential goods and services, through to our health care and education, are to be determined by the forces of the "free market", maximising profit at any human or environmental cost. The G8 are responsible for co-coordinating a neo-liberal assault on our livelihoods, public services, jobs, wages and environment. In addition, the powerful influence of the G8 over international institutions such as the World Trade Orgainsation and the International Monetary Fund ensures that their interests dominate.
In an ever increasing climate of harsh criticism and suspicion over their agenda, the G8 have made promises on seeking solutions to the world's problems, but in reality have failed to deliver in making any progressive changes. Examples of this are their inability to cancel debts owed by the world's most poorest nations, or implement the Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse omissions that are killing our planet.
Over 2005, the UK holds the Presidency of the G8, and over this year will be hosting a series of ministerial meetings around the UK, culminating in the heads of state summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, on 6-8th July Ministers from the G8 countries will gather to discuss a range of issues from security, trade, relations with developing countries, energy and the environment. Even domestic issues, such as employment will be discussed. The meeting to be held in Derbyshire in March is on the enviroment and development, where as the one in Sheffield will be on justice and home affairs issues, including including counter-terrorism, migration, law enforcement, legal affairs and hi-tech crime.
Sheffield City Council appear to be welcoming the summit to Sheffield. Council Leader Jan Wilson has said that "Hosting the G8 JHA summit will put Sheffield firmly on the map..." and The Star has reported that "A huge armed police operation is expected to seal Sheffield city centre for the meeting to prevent a terror attack".
Over the past several years G8 Summits have been a focus for protests and counter summits. Following the Peoples Global Action call for a united global day of action in 1998, the Summit protests have, however, grown and strengthened, forcing the G8 Summits to more inaccesible locations with ever increasing security costs. The venue for the Ministerial meetings in Sheffield and the security implications that will follow are not yet known.
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