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S@G | 03.12.2001 21:37

Demonstration - Guildford 15th Dec.

Surrey Activist Group (SAG) is a new anti-capitialist group working non-hierarchically to oppose capitalism in all its forms. Capitalism is responsible for enormous, and growing, inequality in the world - and it is the peoples of the south that suffer most. The income of the richest 20% of the world's population is at least 75 times greater than the income of the poorest 20% (it was 30 times greater forty years ago). Third world debt, enforced by the military might of the United States, Britain and other rich countries, is simply a racket to keep this inequality entrenched. Every day, £28 million flows from the poorest countries in the world to the banks of the rich countries.

Multinational corporations, with the help of global institutions such as the WTO, IMF, & World Bank, have used globalisation to spread across the world. But this does not mean the opportunity to buy Nike shoes and Gap clothes anywhere in the world, it means the businesses such as Nike and Gap employ workers in the third world to make the products they sell in the west. These workers are not being "given an economic opportunity" they are forced into the low paid jobs in sweatshops, where they are treated like slaves. In a Gap factory in Honduras, workers were subjected to forced pregnancy tests, forced overtime, exceedingly high production goals, locked bathrooms, and wages of £2.50 a day which only met 1/3 of their basic needs. Whilst this is happening the CEO of Gap is making £15,000 an hour.

We are also opposed to the current war against Afghanistan, as we feel that the UK & US are using the cover of the September 11th attacks to further the economic interests of major oil companies. We are constantly told of the need to overthrow the Taliban, which we in SAG totally agree with, but we are not told of the economic need of an oil pipeline to run oil from the Caspian Sea. According to a United States Government website: (

"Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan, which was under serious consideration in the mid-1990s. The idea has since been undermined by Afghanistan's instability."

"Besides the gas pipeline, Unocal also had considered building a 1,000-mile, 1-million barrel-per-day (bbl/d) capacity oil pipeline that would link Chardzou, Turkmenistan to Pakistan's Arabian Sea Coast via Afghanistan."

Unocal being a Californian based energy corporation. Innocent civilians are dying every day in Afghanistan because of this war, but innocent civilians are dying all over the world because of the day to day effects of capitalism. Nestlé makes powdered milk that it bribes doctors into supporting with free gifts. This milk is given free to mothers in the third world until they stop producing breast milk, at which point they are forced to pay for it. Nestlé’s milk does not give the children any of the goodness that normal breast milk does and according to the UN 1.5 million children die each year because of it.

The capitalist arms trade profits from war. Tens of millions of people have been killed in wars since 1945. An estimated 95% of the dead were unarmed civilians. Most wars are fought with imported weapons. The are too many examples of capitalist arms sales causing international crises, sparking conflict and prolonging war. The arms trade to the global south increases debts and diverts resources away from badly needed social spending, but yet the global north continues to encourage it. Many aid projects are tied into arms sales, which arm the security forces that systematically commit torture, rape, and murder.

Guildford is in the heart of the Southeast and is the home to thousands of commuters. Guildford has 2 Starbucks, 2 GAP’s, 2 McDonald’s, a Nike franchise, and a Disney Store, as well as lots of small fashion boutiques. The weekend of 15th December is one of the busiest weeks of the year as it is when most people do their Christmas shopping. The two GAP stores in Guildford have the second biggest turnover for GAP after their Oxford St. store and the Christmas shopping period is when they bring in the most of that money. We in SAG have been regularly demonstrating against these corporations since the WTO meeting in Qatar on 9th November but would like to make a larger presence felt. Because of these reasons SAG will be taking to the streets on Saturday 15th December and we invite you to join us. We will be demonstrating in Guildford town centre at the height of the Christmas shopping period, on the weekend after the EU Summit in Brussels. We will assemble outside Guildford main train station at 1:00pm. Please bring flyers, flags, banners, & friends.


P.S. This is a demonstration not a paper sale.

If you would like to find out more about SAG please e-mail us at or you can send us some post to: SAG, PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey. GU21 2XL

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