Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/398/4850
Take to the streets!
Join the g8 protests
ON 2 July this year tens of thousands of people will march through the streets of Edinburgh to protest at the G8 summit.
Amongst them will be thousands of trade unionists, school students, socialists, community activists and others who have been driven to take to the streets by their will to transform the world.
There will also be one other smaller group - the hypocrites - and chief amongst them will be Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who announced on Saturday that he plans to join the Make Poverty History demo.
Beyond the white wristband, how far does the Chancellor's determination to end the privation and misery that blights the lives of so many go?
Has this caring, sharing Gordon come out to join us on other demonstrations? Against the war and occupation in Iraq for example?
Far from it. He rallied behind Blair during the election and stood by his every action in Iraq, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths of Iraqi civilians.
Is he kept awake at night worrying about how the ex-Rover workers feel when Margaret Hodge reassures them that they will find employment in Tescos, despite the huge waste of their skills and the massive drop in wages that would represent?
It will be clear in the minds of the majority of the marchers that the G8's privatisation policies play a key role in sustaining much of the poverty and lack of access to essentials such as water and electricity that we want to end.
Will Saint Gordon happily fall in behind an anti-privatisation banner? Unlikely. It is under his watch in Number 11 that the Department for International Development (DFID) has donated more money to the pro-privatisation Adam Smith International than it has to some of the poorest countries in Africa like Somalia.
DFID gave £500,000 to provide "advice" to the Tanzanian government. Adam Smith International spent more than half of that on a promotional video that included the words: "Our old industries are dry like crops and privatisation brings the rain."
We know only too well what privatisation has meant for us in Britain.
Far from bringing much needed rain for those in the poorest countries in Africa it brings the denial of essential services.
It's estimated that 45% of people in the Copperbelt province, one of the wealthiest regions in Zambia, can no longer afford to take their children to the doctor.
This is because of user fees (government spending on health is a third of what it spends on debt repayments) and job losses from the privatisation of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines.
So Gordon, by all means join the demo, but don't expect anyone to want you there. Your record and motivations are clear. You represent big business, you do their bidding.
We represent the billions around the world who are saying enough is enough, that it's time to end the rule of profit, which you defend.
On the demonstration we will be linking the ending of poverty with the need to consign to history the system which sustains it.
Make capitalism history. Make socialism our future. And make Gordon Brown go home.
In The Socialist 23 June 2005: