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The G8 at Gleneagles, 1 year on - films, reflections, 16 July, common place

commoner | 30.06.2006 09:56 | G8 Russia 2006 | Analysis | Social Struggles

A year on Sunday, 300,000 'white wristbands' marched on Edinburgh to ask the world's most dangerous armed criminal gang - the G8 - to stop being nasty to those poor Africans and 'make poverty history'. Meanwhile, 'violent anarchists' had a big holiday camp. What happened next?


That's right, folks, its 'refections' time. Last year, most of us piled up to Scotland to demonstrate either in favour of or against the G8. Some of us went to beg those in power to be a bit nicer to poor people and stop stealing so much of the resources of Africans, to let them become free market capitalist economies in their own right. Some of us went there to shut the G8 down because we don't like them and think they are in fact the cause of most of the problems in the world. Others went up there to: have a holiday; get pissed; get laid; watch a bit of riot porn; write stuff; build stuff; hang out and be all 'alternative'; spy on activists; all of the above.

Why on earth did we do it?
What the hell did we achieve?
Did the G8 make poverty history? Can they?
Do white wristbands alleviate poverty?
Can rock concerts make people hate capitalism?
Who won from the G8 summit and protests?
Who were the losers?
What is the G8 and where is it now?
Is the anti-capitalist movement stronger or weaker as a result?
How many questions can I ask?

On Sunday 16 July, 3-6pm, the common place cinema hosts a probably very antagonistic and one-sided film and discussion afternoon on 'The G8 at Gleneagles, 1 year on'.

3pm: 'G8, Can you hear us?' Length: 60mins
A truly vommit-worthy but still quite enjoyable film about three very different protesters who headed to Gleneagles in 2005 to protest against this year's G8 summit. It follows Green Party activist Matt Wootton as he cycles to Scotland. The Communist Party of Great Britain national organiser Mark Fischer seeks to convert everyone he meets — but fails badly with Matt. John Jordan is the inspiration behind the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, whose purpose in Scotland is to carry out peaceful civil disobedience – and to encourage others to do so too. The clowns spread the anarchist word as they tour the country in a caravan fuelled by solar energy and recycled chip fat.

4pm: Let's have a heated debate about the G8 Length: infinity
In addition to all the questions above, what did we think of how the film portrayed the politics and tactics of the global justice movement? How do we relate to the account? Is it realistic, fair?

Venue: The Common Place Social Centre, 23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds,

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