Jun. 25th, 2010

the GD G20

Jun. 25th, 2010 05:08 am
kellista: (Default)
For some reason feeling the need to practice the line re: confronting the massive billion dollar police state boondoggle that is apparently costing at least three times more than every other G20 summit ever. Surprise! Capitalism remains ass-backwards and murderous. Are they so scared of 'protestors' because of how glaringly obvious the reasons to protest are? Is this why they're trying to make even the symbolic act of standing up in public, sotto-voce mouthing some three-word-chant or dressing up like an oilspill or even (gasp) throwing a stone at a chartered bank window and then going home grounds for detention and criminal charges?

To wit:
1)G20 countries are responsible for more than 85 per cent of global military spending and 95 per cent of global arms production. Five G20 countries (the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea) spent nearly $1 trillion in 2008 on the military but for about one-tenth of this we could eliminate global starvation and malnutrition, educate every child on earth, make clean water and sanitation accessible for all, and reverse the global spread of AIDS and malaria.

2)The G20 decides the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The UN notes that, in an era characterized by the implementation of WB and IMF prescriptions, an unprecedented number of countries saw development slide backwards. In 46 countries people are poorer today than in 1990. Why would G8/20 leaders advocate such policies? Because their result is that the world's poorest nations end up subsidizing the richest. Professor David Harvey points out that from 1980-2007 $4.6 trillion was transferred from the Global
South to the Global North.

4)No one is invited but the super-elite plutocracy. Once the leaders and bankers have decided what is best for us they will tell us what they think we ought to know. While G20 governance over the Global North is undemocratic, its rule over the Global South is downright neo-colonial.

4)This is our city and our money. There are pressing issues here. The money spent for the summit (fake lake, fences, granola bars for cops, downtown tree removal, et al) could house everyone who is currently homeless in Toronto plus everyone on the waiting list for community housing - a total of 80,000 people - for over a year in a one bedroom apartment at the average market rent for each person. It could pay for every person on the woefully inadequate Ontario Disability Support to get $250 a month added to their cheques for the next ten years. It could buy a Metropass for public transit for every person in Toronto on welfare for about ten years. A billion dollars is a thousand million and a billion too much to invest in this calibre of violence.

5)Now we find out the province has secretly passed an unprecedented regulation that empowers police to arrest anyone near the G20 security zone who refuses to identify themselves or agree to a police search. So the rich and powerful who run the world cannot meet each other without hiding behind ten thousand cops, erecting a wall, and suspending civil liberties. It's funny, it's almost like they're saying "there is nothing you can possibly do or say to make this scenario look more fucked than it already does". I have to quote [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby for the agitprop on this one, "They have transformed a bustling, prosperous city into a microcosm of the world they wish to create. Governed by martial law, cordoned off, leaders isolated from the people they claim to represent. This is what democracy looks like, indeed. They used to accuse activists of hiding our faces behind black kerchiefs and balaclavas—now they're the ones hiding behind walls." So yeah, for me it's more imperative to not let this shit keep us away. To the barricade, etc.
kellista: (Default)
Also, there's a full moon on Saturday. And I love love love these 55 word stories. I think a beautiful perfect short short story is more impressive than a good novel in many ways, maybe because too much information is, like, the modality of the day. Raymond Carver, ftw. Now where did I put the rest of that sand...
kellista: (Default)
one arrest today after a 3-hour walk about the city; strange and wonderful reunions; a beautiful rainbow "they are rich because we're poor/dignity not fear/fight to win" banner; ultimately eminently frustrating due to all of the bike cops from the suburbs earning their massive overtime. vuvuzelas, brass band, drum corps! one umbrella was seized!

now for a strong cup of coffee (or two) with the cbc talking the utter dicking-over of the mowhawks at akwesasne, followed by a return to the tent city/party in allan gardens with dog. you should come!

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