Fighting the Great 8

New York Activists Stage Wednesday Protest of Canadian Summit

The mission for tomorrow’s G-8 protest outside the offices of the International Monetary Fund, according to its organizers, is simple: Raise awareness through media attention. And hopefully, without the violence that erupted at last year’s tirade in Genoa, Italy.

The G-8 summit brings bitter memories. At last year's event in Genoa, Italy, president Bush and chummy Vladimir "Putie Poot" Putin were greeted by a massive protest of hundreds of thousands. After police shot and killed young activist Carlo Guiliani, the events were trailed—for good or for bad—by a media circus.

This year, the G-8 protesters’ PR plan is to challenge the "If it Bleeds, It Leads" mentality of mainstream news organizations and attempt, once again, to drag the many issues of corporate globalization into public spotlight.

"The problem is, the media only wants to cover you if you’re violent," says Kate Crane, an organizer for Direct Action Network, "but we live in a world where profits for a very few are taken before the well-being of the masses. And that’s not okay."

The activists charge that free trade and its exploitative perpetuators need to be kept in check. Their main targets: the IMF, the World Bank, and the G-8 summit, a cocktail party of sorts between the globe’s seven financial leaders in charge of the world’s economics. Oh, and Russia too.

"This summit of the world’s warlords can only advance a global strategy that began with the 'retaliatory' campaign on Afghanistan last fall, and has since broadened into a post-Cold War remilitarization of the planet," according to a DAN press release.

DAN’s idea is to mirror the official protests of the G-8 summit, which begin tomorrow, in the remote, run-and-hide ski town of Kananaskis, Canada, where the outrage is expected to take a more mild form.

After all, Canadian activists, as opposed to their European comrades, are a softer breed.

A "revolutionary knitting exhibition" is planned this year for nearby Ottawa, where hundreds of riled-up activists expect to knit one square foot of yarn, then thread the menagerie together to symbolize one, global, social safety net.

A variety of other activities are planned: a march featuring various peace groups; a "Pink Block," where gay and lesbian activists will voice various concerns; and a Critical Mass bicycle exposition.

"The biggest challenge is to make the different connections between the different struggles," says Crane. "Everybody always complains that the corporate globalization movement is just a laundry list of causes."

On Wednesday, in front of the IMF offices at 828 Second Avenue, DAN will sound the alarms, once again, for "all New York activists on behalf of global justice" to start marching toward the office of the Consulate General of Italy "to show that Carlo's death has not been forgotten, and demand an end to repression against activists."

The time is 5 p.m. The bigger the numbers, the group says, the better the coverage.

Updated information on the Wednesday rally can be found at anotherworldispossible.com.

 
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