200,000 march in Edinburgh

Some 225,000 came out for the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh July 2, on the eve of the G8 summit about to open at the Gleneagles resort outside the city, as Live8 concerts echoing the demand for action against poverty in Africa and elsewhere were held in London’s Hyde Park and other venues around the globe. Only one arrest was reported, but many activists complained of being photographed by police, both on the march and at road stops and train stations en route to Edinburgh. Police are also said to be concerned about an “Anarchist Carnival” scheduled for this evening in Edinbugh. (BBC, July 2) Anti-war themes were prominent in the Edinburgh march, but another action by the UK’s Stop the War Coalition is scheduled for tomorrow, with a blockade of the nearby Faslane Naval base scheduled for Monday the 4th.

See our last post on the G8 protests.

  1. An angry African response…
    …to the Live8 feel-good fest is provided by the blog Black Looks: Musings and Rants by an African Fem. “We are not whales!” protests African Fem, calling Geldof and company to task for a “self-congratulatory, paternalist and arrogant attitude towards Africa and Africans,” as well as liberal illusions. She offers this critique of development aid and conditional debt relief:

    What is presented as “charity” is in fact more money for the West:

    By a) boosting private sector development and b) good governance

    meaning privatising the public sector such as electricity and power, health and education; allowing foreign investment; removing obstacles to foreign investment (eg be less stringent on pollution requirements than in the west, allow foreign companies to bring in their own staff or staff from outside the local community in which they operate.); cooperation with the “war on terror”; purchase of Western goods…

    These are the same IMF/World Bank/G8 policies that have been killing Africa in the past. Arms sales from Britain to Africa amount to more than $1 billion. So on the one hand Blair is advocating cancellation of debt WITH conditionalities that benefit Britain and on the other he is selling $1 billion worth of arms to African countries. How do policies such as these alleviate poverty and where is the justice? Whose victory are we celebrating here?