London G20 Protest: Biggest Since Iraq War?

by Chris Sturr | March 08, 2009

From Sunday’s (it’s still Saturday EST) Observer:

The voices in G20′s chorus of protest

A mass demonstration ahead of the London G20 summit is set to attract a huge mix of different interest groups as a new coalition, Put People First, takes shape. Ed Vulliamy and Richard Rogers report

Ed Vulliamy and Richard Rogers
The Observer, Sunday 8 March 2009

The G20 summit of industrialised nations in London next month will be marked by one of the biggest demonstrations since a million people marched against war in Iraq in 2003.

On that Saturday, the issue was simple. This time the protest–although it draws on equally diverse social and political quarters–is a complex weave of movements and priorities united by one emotion: a disgust at the latest incarnation of capitalism that demands a different way of organising the economy of the planet.

To say that the protests will invoke the causes of social justice, the environment and fair trade would be to put it too simply, so we have published brief statements by some of the prime movers about why they will be taking to the streets.

Some preach the message of Jesus, while others urge outright revolution and much in between, forming perhaps the widest coalition of pressure groups ever assembled in Britain. And there will be the thousands of normal people angry at the way politicians and their friends in the banks, thinktanks and corridors of power are mismanaging our lives.

Apart from the main demonstration on Saturday 28 March, a flurry of further protests is envisaged, including Financial Fools Day, a blockade of financial institutions to prevent people from getting to work on 1 April. While trade unions will be aware that the protest comes close to the 25th anniversary of the Eighties miners’ strike, a group called G20 Meltdown will stage carnivalesque parades, one of which will “honour the 360th full circle anniversary of the Diggers” – Civil War revolutionaries.

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