Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/492/2538
Eye-witness from the G8
DESPITE POLICE brutality and provocation, the anti-G8 protests in Germany at the start of June were a success. It was inspirational to be part of a movement that emphasised the need to abolish capitalism - a system that promotes greed, privatisation and war.
Sean Clothier Leeds Socialist Party
I could not help but notice, whilst walking through the camp or marching through the streets, the number of people with a socialist outlook.
Most of the protests I have attended in Britain seem to be dominated by 'peace' and 'make poverty history' slogans before they are hijacked by Bono and Geldof who shed 'crocodile tears'. Throughout the week however, the red flag seemed ever-present.
The whole atmosphere was political. I was surprised by the number of people from former east Germany, many of whom had experienced Stalinism, who seemed open to socialist ideas, offering protesters food and water and cheering.
There was good reason for discontent in Rostock. It cost Û100 million for the G8 summit to take place in an area that suffers from low wages, high water prices and high unemployment.
For me, it was useful to talk to comrades from other sections of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) across Europe and learn about the struggles that are taking place.
You soon realise that we in Britain are not alone. After these discussions the importance of the CWI was clear to me; an international that fights for a socialist alternative to capitalism.
A lesson to be learnt from the G8 protests was the need to link this movement with the workers' movement. Unfortunately the trade union leaders failed to mobilise their members. Had they done so the movement would have been enormously strengthened.
The anti-G8 protests showed opposition to a system that measures the price of everything and the value of nothing.
No matter how hard the police try to intimidate anti-capitalist protesters, such struggles will only become more intense as more people realise the problems of capitalism are not being solved.
Besides, water cannon on a hot day can actually be quite refreshing!
In The Socialist 21 June 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
War and terrorism
Socialist students and ISR
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news