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G8 at Evian: Multinationals 'United' In Exploitation?
IN EVIAN, France, representatives of the world's most powerful capitalist nations discussed many issues, including globalisation, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), North Korea and the Middle East.
Paul Hunt, Coventry
They were greeted in Evian and nearby towns by tens of thousands of anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation protesters, many travelling across Europe to give these imperialists a 'warm welcome'.
This year's summit met after the war on Iraq and with widespread fears on the world economy. For Bush and Blair, the 'revelation' that there may not have been WMD in Iraq couldn't have come at a worse time, with Chirac who voiced concern regarding the war, hosting the summit.
Political commentators ask "will this prompt better relations" between the two wings of imperialism and the international ruling class? Tony Blair certainly seems desperate to heal the rift between Britain and the war's 'opponents', mainly Germany and France. Blair said "world leaders should bury their differences over Iraq and work together in issues such as African poverty and freeing up world trade."
"Freeing up" trade is what the G8 is all about, carving up the world, liberalising the economy so multinationals can increase their exploitation of the working class worldwide.
Chirac, hailed as a progressive by many for his 'anti-Iraq war' stand, wages uninterrupted war against France's working class, in a huge battle over pension reforms and cutbacks. Germany's leader, Schroeder, at a special conference of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) last weekend, passed a new package of reforms to relax job protection laws and cut unemployment benefits.
After the huge anti-war protests and the ongoing anti-capitalist movement, the G8 leaders know that wherever they meet they'll be greeted by a sea of protest. This movement however has many strands of thought, with a great deal of confusion amongst the leadership and participants.
There were some incidents of clashes with the police - who didn't attack the main demos but concentrated on harassing some smaller protests.
In a town near Evian, some anarchists attacked a 350-strong meeting of the Parti Socialiste. (France's main social democratic opposition party, who are trying to gain from the opposition to Chirac over the pensions and cutbacks but whose leaders admit that they'd do the same!)
The leading spokespersons of the anti-capitalist movement, though, seem afraid of putting a clear socialist alternative.
The world's problems are caused by capitalism, which can't be pressurised into being more caring as some spokespersons imply. That system has to be consciously overthrown by the working class on the basis of a mass party armed with a Marxist programme.
The CWI and the socialist youth group ISR are an integral part of the movement. We are trying to win the best of the protesters, through our actions and most importantly our political ideas, to see the need to build mass revolutionary socialist parties and a mass Marxist international. Another world is possible - a socialist world is necessary!
In The Socialist 7 June 2003: