Massive protests against the 2007 G8 summit meeting of neoliberal globalizers and warmongers at the Baltic Sea resort Heiligendamm near Rostock in Germany are scheduled before and during the June 6-8 meeting. The G8 is the annual meeting of the leaders of the 8 richest nations in the world. Every summer, these people meet behind closed doors, with no published agenda, and no publicly available meeting minutes. For some reason, they invariably meet near a big ass golf course. Many people in Germany, Europe and the world are sick of the empty promises of the G8 — saying they will help the environment or help fight African poverty and then doing nothing, or worse. The G8 meeting is the best chance to show a big fat middle finger to leaders who dominate the world and to show that another world is definitely possible.
Past protests at G8 summits, EU conferences or WTO meetings have played a central role in the deepening and broadening of the movement against the centralization of wealth and power in a few hands, and in favor of economic justice for workers, environmental sustainability, peace and alternatives to corporate control. Activists are mobilizing throughout Europe for protests and counter-summit activities.
The Dissent! Infotour will be traveling across the West Coast of the USA from February 18 to March 30, 2007, and in New England the first week of April 2007, to invite people in the USA to come to Germany for the G8.
Not long ago in the city of Rostock, Germany — population 200,000, about 15 miles east of G8 host town Heiligendamm — over 500 local people formed a “flash mob” and stormed the Rostock City Hall to protest city cuts in social services while the city and regional government were spending millions to pay for the locally controversial G8 Summit. In Bad Doberan — population 12,000, about 5 rural miles south of Heiligendamm — this past summer, activists moved beyond stereotypical activist communication methods and passed out 3,000 flyers and leaflets to locals in a mass door-knocking action that was hailed by locals as the most successful singular political action since the wall came down in 1989.
The anti-G8 activists also spoke to every business in the central district to explain their concerns, as well as to talk to locals about why there might be 100,000 protesters visiting their small town area in 2007 to protest the G8. In Kuehlungsborn, — population 4,800, about 4 miles west of Heiligendamm — the Dissent! Infotour has already made two presentations, including one at the 4-star Morada Resort, which will be host to 3,000-4,000 international journalists at the official 2007 G8 Press Center. Locals are not impressed by the fact that the G8 is coming to their region, and they are getting more and more pissed off that their regional government is spending 68 million euros of their tax money to support a closed meeting of the leaders of the eight richest countries at a time when 18% of locals are unemployed.
The largest European left radical mobilization in years is taking place in Germany right now. The German military has announced that they will cooperate on training manoeuvers with police and provide medical and communications infrastructure. The military will also take responsibility for air protection with AWACS and sea protection with warships.Special top G8 cop Knut Abramowski looked nervous when he told a crowd of local business people and politicians that he expects 100,000 activists to protest, and that he hopes disruptions will be kept to a minimum during the G8 summit June 6-8.
Why is Knut so nervous? The truth is that he, just like any of the many full time anti-G8 activists in Germany these days, have absolutely no idea what to expect from protests during the G8. He knows that the first mass protests will take place June 2, when there will be a mass liberal demonstration in Rostock (www.g8-germany.info), and radical antifascist activists will be on the streets to block a planned neo-nazi march. Both could get out of control, even though up to 40 water cannon trucks plan to be on call.
Things are actually more likely to move radically outside police management capabilities by the 5th of June, when Bush and friends arrive at the Laage airport on their way to the G8 summit, and the anti-G8 bike rides and anti-war campaigners will be en masse in the region. Actually, even though there are call-outs by over 100 German NGO’s and various groups to participate in protests in the region, many groups have already said they support decentralized actions and plan to organize major blockades and actions across Germany, from North to South, East to West.
So, has your appetite been whetted? It has not been since Seattle that large protests have shook the consciousness of the global north. However, anti-G8 organizers from Italy (G8 2001), France (G8 2003), and UK (G8 2005) all seem to be in agreement — the German mobilization for 2007 is much larger than anyone has ever seen against the G8.
We hope to see you on tour, or even better, on the German barricades in June 2007!
For more info or to find or schedule tour dates near you, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.dissentnetwork.org or www.g7.utoronto.ca.