The planet’s most dangerous men are coming to Scotland in two weeks time to attend the G8 summit. Men whose economic policies are causing catastrophe in Africa, Latin America and beyond.
Men who are refusing to deal with the looming disasters of climate change in case profits are threatened. Men who are responsible for a war in Iraq that has killed 100,000 and devastated the country.
Tens of thousands are going to Scotland demanding action against the desperate poverty they have caused. The measures these men have announced so far are nothing like enough to deal with the human emergency neo-liberal policies have created.
Partial debt relief has been announced for 18 countries. Even this comes at a cost. The countries that qualify have had to slash social spending and hand services and raw materials to Western companies.
The millions of poor in countries that haven’t obeyed the West are being left to rot.
And we mustn’t let these men bury the issue of the war in Iraq.
War and poverty are linked. One quarter of the US annual military budget could wipe out extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Instead the money is being spent to back up corporate interests with force. It is a fantasy to believe we can deal with poverty without taking on the warmongers.
We need to make sure the demonstration on Saturday 2 July rings with the slogan, “Fight poverty not war”.
On Wednesday 6 July thousands will march to the hotel where the G8 are hiding. Every socialist and anti- war activist should try to be there. If you can’t then join the school students who are organising protests in city centres across the country.
Ever since the huge demonstration in Genoa in 2001 the G8 have been hiding from the people they claim to represent. Today from Ethiopia to Ecuador people are taking to the streets against their neo-liberal nightmare.
In the US, in Italy, in Britain calls to pull the troops out of Iraq are getting louder. We must make sure the message that’s telegraphed from the G8 is that the people have turned against the masters of poverty and war.