G8 Q and A
1. Where will you be this week (i.e 2 - 8 July)?
I am spending 2 - 9 July on the Rural Convergence field near Stirling. What I will be doing there is helping to dig the compost toilets, washing-up, making cups of tea and doing a turn in the rota of the Info-Point. I may go along to one or two actions, too.
On 1 July I will be doing a benefit for the DISSENT! Network Against G8 at the Bongo Club (which is where I am during the Edinburgh festival from Aug 3- 28). The same day I will have driven a transit van full of people up from Leeds.
2. What contribution can people in the arts make to politics? Is it a different kind of contribution to anyone else's?
Fundraising. I am in a position to be able to do something useful by way of benefit gigs. DJ's, bands and the like raised money for legal defence monitors and costumes and leaflets and the hire of the train, the rent of the field etc. etc.
Gigs are also a good way of getting information out of the box, to people who might not otherwise hear under-represented points of view. Both in the body of the show and by having an info-stall in the venue full of excellent free leaflets, agitprop, stickers and schnews.
3. Do you think anything that happens this week really can Make Poverty History? Is that really achievable?
Yes but, as has been said elsewhere, not by impoverishing history. That is, not if we forget our knowledge of history so much that we start to think that walking up and down has ever changed anything (find an example). But if enough people blockade the A9 and stop the summit actually taking place, then it will begin to be possible that democracy and not corporate power might shape the future.
4. Is there one particular, concrete aim which you would like to see this week achieve?
As many people as possible going to both the march and to the direct action campaigns.
5. If you could talk directly to a room full of G8 leaders, what would you say?
"Here is are your Guatemala work visas, we will come and pick you up from the Dole/ Chiquita banana plantation in a year's time, by which point your views about capitalism may have altered enough for us to have a sensible discussion."
The point is there is no point saying ANYTHING to G8 leaders because they do not have the power to make any substantial change. What can they do? The financial markets and corporate bloc have both the power and the purse strings and they are not going to give it to some civil service temp like Gordon Brown - even if he wasn't already as much a a free market fundamentalist as Digby Jones. Brown believes in the very privatizations which everyone from the Soweto Electricity Committe to the Bolivian Co-ordinadora bitterly oppose, (a consideration, incidentally which makes a mockery of his and Bono's cant about 'listening to the people of Africa and South America.')