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G8 summit Gleneagles: protest against world poverty
THE G8 (Group of Eight), who are holding a summit in Gleneagles in Scotland this July, brings together the leaders of eight of the world's richest nations: USA, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and now Russia.
Nick Parker, International Socialists (CWI, Scotland), Glasgow University
Since it was set up in 1975 to discuss the "economic problems of the day", the G8 has failed to provide any viable solution. The problems facing the world have deepened further. 2.8 billion people today are forced to exist on less than $2 a day, whilst transnational corporations become more and more powerful.
However, the G8 has also been the focal point of the fight against global capitalism. More recently, large-scale protests and direct action have accompanied this event, with coalitions and networks formed between various participating grassroots organisations.
This year Blair's government assumes presidency of the G8 and July's Gleneagles meeting will discuss solving the problems facing the African continent.
Any attempt by the G8 to solve the problems facing Africa will fail. Historically, the African continent has been devastated by the actions of the capitalist class who rule in many G8 countries. Their imperialist and colonialist policies have caused extreme poverty for most Africans. Capitalism's representatives today are just as unlikely to secure a solution.
In fact, imperialism's ideological basis is still little more than thinly-veiled racism. The official G8 website, created by Blair's government, argues that the African continent is afflicted by such poverty and war because of "poor government". This denies the urgent manner by which transnational corporations continue to exploit Africa's natural resources and sustain corrupt governments in the region.
There are signs, however, that with collective struggle, ordinary people can make a difference. Look at the impact of the general strikes in which Nigerian CWI members had a key role.
Only with collective organisation and struggle can ordinary Africans fight the poverty, war, and exploitation by transnational capitalism and its representatives in the G8.
Past G8 events have been the arena for mass demonstrations against the capitalist system and its hypocritical leaders. Gleneagles will be no exception. At Glasgow University, coalitions have been formed between students in various societies to co-ordinate resistance.
Ordinary people from all over the world, too, will travel to Scotland this summer to show the ruling ˇlite that another world is possible.
However, the full participation of the working class, supported by the radical middle class, and the trade unions' involvement will be essential to establish a socialist world.
It is important to stress demands such as the abolition of Third World debt. However, only the fight for a socialist world based on the democratic organisation and control of production and society will end the chaos which engulfs the planet today.
From International Socialist, paper of International Socialists, CWI in Scotland
In The Socialist 19 February 2005: