Nor would this have happened without MakePovertyHistory,who have been campaigning for Dept relief since the last G8 took place in 1998 Birmingham, Britain when Jubilee 2000 surrounded the G8 delegation in Birmingham city centre by linking hands in a huge human ring if people.
Nor would this have happened without DISSENT, whose origins can be traced back to that Brum-G8 Summit. Because along side them that day were "Reclaim the Streets" the avant-garde of direct action in those days, which included in their numbers, and in other groups (of anarchists) that were with them that day those groups and individuals who went on to found DISSENT.
Reclaim the Streets created a huge street party in Birmingham City centre that day,. They and their comrades also organised street parties in 40 other countries around the world as part of the anti-g8 protest, which set the anti-capitalist globalisation movement as a higher profile force.
Both these two components of protest, whose progressions will be present in Gleneagles, 8 years on from that the Brum-G8, in large numbers, hopefully again, hand-in-hand, Resisting the oppression caused by G8 policies around the world, which include war.
They will be resisting the planned repression of the police force working politically on behalf of the state and G8 leaders. They are planning in Edinburgh, and Gleneagles to repress legitimate protest against the barbarity of the current unelected, and self-appointed, world regime: the G8 industrialised nations.
Where are the voices of around 200 hundred other nations who make up the world community? Where is there voice? They are powerless under the illegitimate war-mongering regime of the G8? I think, we must ne the voice of these people at Gleneagles, which will be echoed around the world by millions of other dissenter and protestors.
The unlilateral depbt relief package offered by gorden brown on behalf of the G8 would not have happened without Make Poverty History annd Live Aid's imaginative campaigning; and, also the tireless activities of members of the DISSENT network.
But these small steps, although apparently worthy, need to be changed to giant leaps. Anything less would make the plight of Africa worse. It must be remembered that the G8 is about so much more than just debt relief for Africa.
The £22bn worth of debt cancellation announced last week led to praise from some aid agencies and some African governments at the weekend praising week to the world’s poorest countries. Some of them hit on the real problem: if relieving debt is to have a positive effect for Africa, the G8 industrialised nations must deliver a new deal on fair trade, as well. They should go further and demand that this is agreed and announced at the G8 in Gleneagles, otherwise any relatively small amount of debt relief is worthless. Some would say it makes matters worse under present conditions for these African countries.
However, it seems likely that the G8 will put forward no concrete plans to implement any real kind of fair trade, and that the money they pledge last week will not even be delivered. For these reasons, Bono and ‘live Aid’, backed by MPH, are right to call on people to descend on Gleneagles to force the G8 leaders to make firm commitments on fair trade. That means nothing less than the end to ruthlessly exploiting African and other economically weaker countries, and a complete and unequivocal immediate right off of all poor nation’s debt. Anything less than this will be ineffective.
The money in this “new deal” has only been pledged; and it must be remembered too that these poor countries have paid these sums of money many times over already to the west in the form of interest. West banks, the World Bank and the IMF, have already made huge profits out of these debts. The plan is just to take less from them in interest profits, but to continue creaming off huge sums supported by the unfair trade rules they have with these countries and which the west refuses to change because western corporations make so much money out of them.
The fears from the others are that, at best, the cash released might not all be invested wisely or benefit the most needy. And, at worst the money may never be released because the conditions attached will probably be to stringent: liberalisation of markets, privatisation of essential utilities and the rest of the IMF's new-liberal economic package which would open the debt-relief recipients up to further exploitation by stronger liberal capitalist economies.
This is how the west has benefited from lending money to poor countries, as well as, military dictatorships, and developing capitalist economies in the past. The western liberal capitalist elite and its G8 leader puppets are really not just thinking the following, but whispering it behind closed doors.
“We lend you a billion, but you must spend that and another billion on arms from our companies, and you must privatise your electricity supplies so our corporations can buy them up, and make big profits from them. And you must pay back at good interest what we lend you for this. And you must not spend the money on a national health programme, but your leaders can corruptly steal millions upon millions, as long as they keep it in our banks and invest in our western companies and buy our western luxury goods.”
This is what the G8 leaders are really thinking along with their rich powerful un-elected backers. Nothing has changed just the lies and propaganda they give us get more unrealistic and unbelievable. Is it because they are getting more desperate, under pressure from strong groups and networks, like “Live Aid”, MakePovertyHistory, and the DISSENT Network.
He G8 leaders face a massive co-ordinated week of protests and actions in Gleneagles in two weeks time. Perhaps the biggest protests, series of Non-violent direct actions, and direct actions to stop the summit happening for many years. They need to be pressured further into making commitments to solve world problems of which their policies are the root cause.
MPH and live aids political wing are probably correct to give Blair and Brown, in Britain, and the other G8 leaders this last opportunity to deliver the goods. A way out of the mess, at it were. But the conditions already attached to this imposed deal, done without consulting the African countries themselves, make the pledges unlikely to be taken up; and that the money has yet to be found means delivering on this pledge is unlikely – like so many dishonest pledges before.
And in any case, without a fair trade policy as well, all of this money will sucked back by western corporations, and the exploitation of the resources and labour in these countries by the west will continue unchecked by international rules. This means that these poor countries will be losing even more money. The west will get its money back and some. This is the scandal that G8 know all about; this is the game they play with people’s lives. In this case millions of lives that could easily and cheaply be saved.
So MPH, Bono, Geldoff and the Live Aid crew are probably right to give the G8 leaders one more chance, but so far this unilateral “deal” offered is risible, unlikely to be implemented and is nothing new. Gordon brown's debt relief pledges have been worth next to nothing over the last several years. The heath and wealth of Africa has plummeted in this period, as the west secures the developing economies natural resources at low prices, and western corporations take a huge slice of the surplus on things such as oil, diamonds, coffee etc.
They must put an end to this exploitation of the week by the powerful, or we must put an end to them It’s in our hands. Once you believe that, anything is possible, even another world where poverty and evil exploitation is history, and a new history begins.
George Monbiot, in Tuesday's Guardian, described the package as:
"A truckload of nonsense - The G8 plan to save Africa comes with conditions that make it little more than an extortion racket"
And, economist, Larry Elliot's article in same gives an realistic economic analysis that sees Brown being thrown out of the last chance saloon with his latest promises on debt relief which will not be delivered. But then Blair and he will be earning fortunes for the very corporations that will benefit mostly even if some of the relief is given under the present rules of international trade, which are completely skewed in favour of western corporation and government.
Shouldn’t it be the case that MPH and live aid ought not let the media, government and G8 leader's spin make Gleneagles a propaganda victory for them. They are attempting to be seen as a great charity, giving money to Africa, and sorting out the environment. In reality they are continuing to rip-off Africa, and are set to carry on down the road to destroying the planet - with a clever smokescreen of propaganda that may placate many who have wanted to protest, and with the media helping to thicken the smokescreen.
We need to make sure people are not duped into thinking something is really being promised in good faith and will be done this time.
Bono is right to call for people to decent on Gleneagles because the g8 leaders haven't changed their tune - the lyrics might have been changed but the tune is the same, and they are dancing to the tune of the capitalist elite and its institutions. They are ripping off Africa, and still trying to fool us.
So pledges are easily made and just as easily reneged on. And these debt relief pledges will not solve the problems of unfair trade, and the western corporations taking back with the one hand what there governments have given with the other. They are hand-in-hand in this continued exploitation. We too must be hand-in-hand in stopping them get away with it.
And as so many good people have said, it is in our hands - the responsibility to stop our nations exploiting the weak with contempt and with total disregard for life and the planet.
(This article is not intended, nor does not, speak on behalf of DISSENT - a non-hierarchical network of independent groups and individual)
George Monbiot: Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1505927,00.html
Keith Parkin Debt Cancellation – Indymedia: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/06/313369.html
See DISSENT: a network of or spokespeople: www.dissent.org.uk
Also see Bristol DISSENT Background briefings on the G8. These documents can be downloaded: