Socialist Worker

Protests will confront G8 leaders in Germany

by Chris Nineham, Stop The War Coalition
Issue No. 2048

Confronting the G8 in Evian, 2003. Hundreds of thousands will converge on Rostock, Germany

Confronting the G8 in Evian, 2003. Hundreds of thousands will converge on Rostock, Germany

Leaders of the world’s most powerful countries will gather in Rostock, Germany, for the G8 conference which runs from 2-8 June this year.

Staying at the best hotels, and surrounded by tight security, together they will plan how to advance the neoliberal assault on workers and the poor.

But their conference will meet determined opposition.

Around 250 activists from across Europe met in Rostock recently to finalise plans for protests against the summit. Over 100,000 are expected to join the united demonstration on Friday 8 June.

As one organiser said, “The city of Rostock will be occupied by the people for the weekend, and with one voice the people will be saying no to the policies of the G8.

“This G8 protest is important for the German movement against neoliberalism because with Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and Jose Maria Aznar in Spain gone, and Tony Blair on the way out, Germany’s Angela Merkel is trying to become George Bush’s best pal in Europe.”

The protests will focus on climate chaos and war, but those issues will combine with the growing discontent in Germany with the government’s neoliberal policies. The rank and file of Germany’s trade unions are pushing for a big turn out of their members.

Rostock is an industrial city that has suffered from cuts and closures since German reunification in 1990 – unemployment is currently 20 percent.

Anti-G8 activists are going door to door around the housing projects that circle the city, urging locals to join the protests.

The new left party (Die Linke), which has its formal launch next month, is producing a million copies of a newspaper publicising the demonstration.

The protest march will assemble in two locations at 11am and rally at the harbour.

A counter conference will start the following day, with big meetings planned on Third World debt, the “war on terror” and climate chaos. There will be speakers from across the world.

The blockades, protests and meetings will continue through the week.

The German movement against war and neoliberalism is asking activists across Europe to mobilise for the protests.

Thousands are expected to cross the Baltic from Scandinavia to protest and sizeable contingents are expected from France, Belgium, Spain and Italy.

In Britain, the Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign Against Climate Change, Globalise Resistance and Respect are sending delegations. Book your place on the transport this week.

Globalise Resistance is putting on coaches from London to Rostock on Friday 1 June, returning on both Sunday 3 June and Friday 8 June.

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Tue 24 Apr 2007, 19:09 BST
Issue No. 2048
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