GEORGE BUSH is coming to Europe on Sunday 1 June. Thousands of anti-war and anti-capitalist protesters plan to give him the welcome he deserves. Bush will be at a meeting of the G8 grouping of world leaders in Evian near the French-Swiss border. The G8 meeting is a major opportunity to protest against the chief warmongers - Bush and Blair - and their occupation of Iraq.
The G8 leaders also make key decisions that impoverish the lives of millions around the world. They back the global corporations, institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, attack refugees and tear up workers' rights. The protests which took place at the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001 were a turning point for the anti-capitalist movement.
Massive demonstrations took place, despite police repression and the murder of protester Carlo Giuliani. Last year the G8 fled to the Canadian Rockies to avoid demonstrations. Guy Taylor from the Globalise Resistance anti-capitalist organisation told Socialist Worker, 'Lots of people are phoning us asking for details of the Evian protests. There is a real sense of excitement building up because Bush is coming to Europe. Lots of people see it as their chance to let him know what they think of him and his war.'
Evian will be a chance to show how much the movement has deepened after the huge anti-war mobilisations across Europe. Tom Whittaker, a student from the LSE college in London, says, 'We can show Bush and Blair that their war has made protest stronger than ever.'
Students at LSE are organising their own transport to the Evian protests. Jane Calverly, a housing worker from Liverpool, told Socialist Worker, 'We started a Housing Workers Against the War group. Now we have expanded our interests to imperialism and to oppressive management and trade union rights. Lots of people from the group want to come to Evian. They are really excited.'
The movements behind some of the huge anti-capitalist demonstrations in cities from Barcelona to Genoa over recent years, along with political parties, trade unions, and campaign bodies have been planning the gathering at Evian. Events include a Tribunal on Debt and a Summit for Another World. There will also be Alternative Villages - campsites which will accommodate most of the protesters.
They are intended to do more than provide somewhere to stay. They represent a political initiative to create space for organisation and discussion. The big focus of protest is the demonstration on Sunday 1 June. The whole of Evian has been declared a Red Zone - with the French government banning protesters from the area.
So demonstrations will start from the nearby towns of Geneva in Switzerland and neighbouring Annemasse in France.