Call for Regional Anti-G8 Protests
From June 8-10 of 2004, a G-8 summit will be held in Sea Island, Georgia, a remote, gated island of resorts and million-dollar houses with two military bases nearby. Maybe we should start thinking about changing our tactics to local or regional convergences?
Those in power have become used to our strategy of massive convergences, and they have learned to combat it effectively. The last G-8 summits in Evian, France and Kananaskis , as well as the World Bank meeting in Qatar make this quite apparent. But even when these meetings take place in large cities, the international police state is more prepared than we are. There was a massive police presence recently in Sacramento, with approximately two cops to every protestor, as well as several helicopters in the air 24/7, massive amounts of undercovers, various varieties of weaponry (including the new pepper ball), and two tanks. Meetings in places such as Sea Island, where the nearest cities are over 80 miles away (Jacksonville and Savannah), also makes the support structures of housing, media, and other planning extremely difficult.
These strategies are making it increasingly difficult to disrupt any of these meetings. The only thing coming out of the protests is media coverage and a sign that we have not yet given up. While this is important, this can be accomplished with other tactics, tactics that can also disrupt corporations and government offices, as well as tactics that are educational or can help foster community empowerment.
In addition to the ever-increasing preparation of the police state for massive convergences, thousands of people leaving their homes to protest in another location makes things such as community empowerment and education difficult, as well as limiting protestors to only those people who have the resources (time & money) to travel, and excluding people who don't feel comfortable leaving their own communities to mobilize with people from other comunities (ie. latino activists from Portland who don't feel comfortable travelling on a bus to Sacramento with 50 white people and no other people of color).
Local mobilizations in people's own backyards can solve many of these problems. There would be inherently a lower number of police and less police state preparation in general. There would be a wider variety of individuals and organizations involved in the planning of mobilizations as well as actions and events themselves. Events such as teach-ins, workshops, and community-based events, will involve a larger number and variety of people and will allow an expansion of our community base. Local mobilizations also allows a wider variety of organizations and individuals to get involved, because they can more easily access resources and plan things independently of a planning committee that may be hundreds of miles away. But most of all, revolution will not spring forth by people travelling to one point- it will come forth from the root, from our own individual communities.
There still is, however, one advantage to massive convergences- numbers. A larger number of people in most actions often means that more can be accomplished. More people can cause more disruption and can gain more media attention. So, maybe it might be a better idea to make a compromise. Somewhere in between many local convergences and one massive convergence.
As a compromise, I propose multiple massive regional convergences. Where these specific convergences would be depends on people in their own communities rising up and calling for their own regional mobilization and getting started working on it.
I do have some ideas, based on history and geography. I think Portland, Ottawa, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Savannah, and San Diego are the most important regional sites. I would hope that local actions and events happen just about everywhere, though.
We've got less than 11 months to make this happen. The office of homeland security and police departments in Georgia are already geting ready. Let's not waste any more time before they catch onto us.
For more information about the G-8 summit in Georgia, go here:
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