J-1 Decentralized Action days against G8 !
Tusenvis demonstrerte før G8-møte i Frankrike : Dagsavisen
37th G8 summit – Wikipedia
Lederne av G8-landene Storbritannia, Canada, Frankrike, Italia, Tyskland, Japan, Russland og USA skal kommende torsdag og fredag møtes på feriestedet Deauville i nærheten av Le Havre. Byens finansdistrikt var nærmest forlatt og mange butikker var stengt da flere tusen demonstranter markerte sin avsky for G8-lederne forrige lørdag.
Fransk politi er i høy beredskap i forkant av G8-møtet, og flere enn 12.000 politifolk og militært personell er mobilisert rundt Deauville. Ifølge protestarrangørene ble busser med demonstranter fra Paris og Caen stanset på kontrollpunkter, og identiteten til alle passasjerene ble sjekket.
Christian Pigeon, som var med å organisere demonstrasjonen, sier politiet hadde bedt flere butikker om å holde stengt søndag. Politiet uttrykte bekymring for volden som ble utløst av radikale tyske aktivister under NATO-toppmøtet i Strasbourg i 2009. Sikkerhetsstyrker var plassert i sentrum av Le Havre fra morgenen av, men marsjen gikk for seg uten voldelige hendelser.
Gjennom en megafon ropte en demonstrant at folk er «lut lei av de åtte marionettene som stenger våre fabrikker og skoler», med referanse til G8-lederne. «Vi mener at avgjørelser som berører hele verden må bli tatt av alle jordas innbyggere og ikke bare av de rikeste», sier italieneren Davide Rossi, som var blant de få utlendingene som deltok i lørdagens marsj.
Ifølge arrangørene møtte 7.000 personer opp til protestene, men lokale tjenestemenn anslår antallet demonstranter til 4.000.
Ting må forandres
While the financial crisis hits a nearly bancrupt Europe, things have yet to change. The problem remains the same: Faced with private financial crisis, the only proposed solution is a policy of public austerity.
It ensures that the cost of economic irresponsibility is assumed by the majority of the population, including the most vulnerable. Globalizing austerity for the people, expanding the playground of multinationals, thus the project of the G8 and G20 could be summarized.
In response to this logic, at the time when the powerful gather at the G8 meeting in Deauville, we decided to occupy the Standard & Poor’s rating agency.
This occupation means to point the finger at what we oppose every day: an economic system and policies that favour multinationals, banks and financial institutions at the expense of the people. Globalizing austerity and wars, causing environmental destruction and creating individualism and the destruction of social ties.
Why do we focus on rating agencies ?
– The rating agencies are involved in an ultra-liberal logic:
When a state, a company or local government borrows money on capital markets, rating agencies assign them an estimation of their ability to repay the loan. This rating allows borrowers to access the capital markets. Under the guise of assessing their creditworthiness, agencies contribute to extending market-friendly policies though mesures of austerity.
A connivance with the financial markets:
Standard & Poor’s has almost the same shareholders as other rating agencies (Barclays Investment Funds and Companies U.S. Investment).
The rating agencies have been accused several times of giving too good notes to bad financial products, especially those containing subprime in 2008 :
In 2001, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s value the Enron investment grade (the better category). Soon after, the company has declared bankrupt.
In 2008, Lehman Brothers gets the highest rating on the eve of its collapse.
In June 2010 the Inquiry Committee of U.S. Congress on the financial crisis (FCIC) revealed that Moody’s employees were pressured into assigning favorable ratings of risky financial products in order to ensure the signing of contracts.
The rating agencies are not neutral evaluators, but are in league with financial marketeers and contribute actively in promoting a logic of a neo-liberal economy.
– The rating agencies are speculating with the public debt of countries with difficulties:
They trigger speculative waves while at the same time awarding bad debt ratings to a country. Because of these poor ratings Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Iceland are placed in disastrous situations.
For these countries, it becomes a vicious circle: borrowing to pay off debt, reducing deficits to borrow again, cutting public spending to reduce deficits, ad infintum.
Consequences: budget cuts, wage freeze, increased work time, pushing back the age of retirement, decommissioning services (education, health), privatisation of public goods and the repression of protest movements, like in Greece for example. Rating agencies are thus directly responsible for the repressive policies against people. Those policies are basically to curb any revolt against the system that feeds them.
– Interference into state policy:
The rating agencies don’t hesitate to make recommendations to the states they value, which is a direct blackmail in order to impose regressive policies. Japan has therefore received lower ratings after the earthquake and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Budgetary adjustements have been recommended in order to remedy their bad rating! This is at odds with any spirit of solidarity.
Belgium was also summoned by Standard & Poor’s to review its pension system and to reduce its debt to compensate for the aging of its’ population.
The rating agencies are quick to place the country under pressure, imposing their own political line. On August 17, 2010, Moody’s threatened four States, including France and Germany, in a succinct statement: «the challenges of fiscal adjustment implies that the possible downgrade of your rating is getting closer». This was followed by a implementation of the usual recommendations of the rating agencies and markets: pension reforms this autumn in France, job cuts in state education, not replacing public servants, destruction of the health system and social security, etc. If France has maintained an excellent rating, it’s only because its civil servants are willing to comply with the recommendations and ultimatums of rating agencies.
Regulating or changing the system ?
We do not believe in an ethical or more «human» capitalism. Since the financial crisis has begun, rating agencies have been reprimanded by the European Union. The leaders of the three major agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch) have appeared in front of the U.S. senate in June 2010 to explain themselves, yet nothing has changed since. Even though their responsibility in the financial crisis in some countries has been shown, their very existence was not questioned.
Moreover we are not asking the disappearance or restriction of rating agencies. Even if their grades were reliable and could be questioned, they would only play another role in the economic and financial system of which we disapprove. Just as the IMF, WTO, World Bank, the G20 and the G8 are a part of the market system, their disappearance wouldn’t change the absurd economic system which we are subordinated to.
We see no interest in closing the rating agencies if it does not fit into the abolition of the capitalist economic system in which they operate. We want out of this profoundly inhumane and inherently unequal system !
This action is part of a European framework for decentralized actions.
Currently, 33 cities in 6 countries have already publicly announced their protests (the action map is being updated on the blog).
Contact Paris: +33 6 10 47 74 13 or +33 760335628
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G8 Leaders Fool’s Pride
«G8 meets in Deauville, France: to solve the Financial Crisis?? the Food Crisis?? the Energy Crisis?? the Climate Crisis?? YES, THEY CAN… BUT THEY WON’T!!!» «When G8 Leaders are fooling around with the world, shouldn’t we reclaim the city and our lives with FOOL RESPONSIBILITY?!»
Thursday, May 26th and Friday, May 27th G8 is in Deauville, France. G8 is everywhere – so are we!!… And they all must go!
Actions in several cities (joining the call for dezentralized actions): Paris, Strasbourg, Nürnberg, Berlin, Hamburg, Kiel, Bremen, Cologne, Barcelona, Dyon, Bordeaux and many more:
Also Amsterdam clowns called for action:
Although the weather wasn’t great Thursday, May 26th in Amsterdam – many fools showed up for the ‘G8 Leaders Fool’s Pride’. The procession started around 19.30 in the Leidsestraat. Shouting, singing, dancing – with great music!
Shortly after we started also 2 police horses wanted to join, but they weren’t clownpletely under control (in the mood to start running…) so unfortunately they had to leave.
After a few police vans passed by we entered Heiligeweg and Kalverstraat – enjoying the beautifool shopping area: it’s great to go get shopping when in the same moment ‘world leaders’ are deciding about us!
Of course we had our moments for a short break at some of these stores, especially McDonalds – to think and dance about McWorld and McPolitics!
Finally we reached the Dam square and connected for a while with the people of the Spanish Revolution. Time to have our ‘G8 Leaders Fool’s Pride Press Conference’.
Don’t understand how; but they were all present at the Dam square: Obama, Angela Merkel, Cameron, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Stephen Harper, Naoto Kan and Medvedev.
Their statement was short and simple: several times we made impressive promises. Words sounding beautifoooool. In 2005 in Gleneagles billions to develop the southern countries («Make Poverty History!») and in 2007 in Heiligendamm Angela Merkel spoke about solving the climate crisis…
What happened? «YES WE CAN – BUT WE WON’T!!!»
Next to it the G8 politicians at the Dam square explained they were also humans: also impressed by what happened at the squares all over the world – in Egypt and other Arabic countries, in Spain and even in Amsterdam. That’s why they declared: «It’s time for Real Democracy sooner or later or maybe even Now!!!»
«Therefore why we should stop with G8 and don’t make it G20, but G-7Billion people on the planet: the G-Unlimited!!!»
Of course not all G8-leaders agreed – the press conference ended in a big internal fight. They ended all lying down on the ground, too bad, isn’t it?!