The G20 summit began in Cannes, France with the presence of governments of the most industrialized countries.
Because of the summit, the collective anti-globalization movements from all over the world met in Nice to attend a top-against where proposals for equitable development, both locally and globally, will be proposed.
During this week, the participants against this summit will debate topics such as the illegitimate debt, austerity policies, food sovereignty and lack of security.
The movement of the Indignants joined this meet with the objective to share in the debates, to be among the other organizations, to work on common
projects and to improve the international coordination.
This counter-summit will come to an end in Nice with the departure of the Marches To Athens, in the direction of Greece.
AN EVENT NOG20 WITHOUT INCIDENTS [01/11]
A peaceful demonstration against the G20 summit in Nice began around 16H, with people numbering close to ten thousand. Various anti-globalization organizations have joined the 15M movement which is characterized by the atmosphere of celebration and protest.
Among the numerous indignants who gave made it to Nice, we were able to distinguish a good quantity of those who had marched in the March to
Brussels. Other groups of indignants were identified by their chants pronounced in languages so varied such as Dutch, German, Greek or the Hebrew.
The event went smoothly and peacefully, despite the huge police presence deployed within the city, a mechanism which has become common in the G20 summits, including, for example, a helicopter flying over the participants.
In the middle of this mass of people we can hear the Spanish indignants singing the familiar songs like ” Que No, que No, que No nos representan…”
Before the nightfall we could see banners and posters as “respeto 99%, 1% provecho” or “G20 J’AI FAIM”, The English were also clearly visible, and
some have been very clever to show their rejection of the meeting of industrialized countries with signs referring to the Occupy movement: “I lost my job, found an occupation.”
Toward 18H30 the protesters arrived at the old slaughterhouse in Nice and gradually everyone began to organize a popular assembly. The agenda
revolved around developing the activities for the next day and highlighted among the points was the exchange of experiences, ideas and opinions.
CONFERENCE ON ECONOMY [02/11]
Shortly before 10 am, a conference organized by the group ATTAC started on the theme: “Crisis, debt, taxation and the fight against tax havens.” 200
people filled in a room of Don Bosco College, the venue for the event. Ricardo Gómez, one of the spokesmen of the group Sol Economics participated
in the conference with an exhibition of a set of proposals for Erradi tax havens and the implementation of financial measures, some have already been
approved by governments where none have ever been implemented. The presentation questioned the effectiveness of organizations like the OECD and
the FATF group. It was also mentioned that the parameters used to determine what is a fiscal paradise seem arbitrary and politicized, also the example
of Switzerland was discussed, who with their constitutional right of financial secrecy, in practice opperates as a refuge for scapees of great tax fortunes, and multinational groups which hide their activities in and have questionable motives.
The other proposal by Economy Sol was the application of common standards of transparency which can be applied to transnational corporations and that identify their activity, billing, employment, trade and purchasing costs intra-group (between parent companies and subsidiaries).
The debate has taken root in the struggle of different organizations for the past ten years to develop ways to erradicate tax havens, which are known as
a niche where private money continues to grow more and more and now represents a 13% of global GDP and 25% of the private wealth.
Public interventions include the implementation of Transition Day, a proposal to withdraw money from banks to be held on Saturday 5th. More info
INTERNATIONAL MEETING [02/11]
Around sixty persons participated in the International Meeting that was convocated on the 2nd of November in Nice. The panel of participants was
diverse. Groups from Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, Belgium, France, United States, Israel, Greece, Holand, Canada, Germany and Spain spoke in an initiative by the movement OccupyLondon.
Seated on the floor of the Pasteur Sports Complex, the round of interviews began with a presentation of the different fights that have been developing
in the various countries.
Specially interesting where the experiences of countries such as Syria, Egypt or Greece, where freedom of expression and the consequences of the
economic crisis are much more intense that the rest.
One spokesperson from Egypt wanted to leave clear that the real revolution is still far from us, and, on the other hand, stressed that the elections
taking place in Egypt are far from being democratic.
Left to be said is that countries such as Bahrain or Siria are still fighting against their dictatorships for their freedom, and that the human price the people are having to pay for it is ignored by the international press.
From Israel we heard how taking the squares occurred throughtout the whole country, inniciated at first by the real state bubble which installed itself
in that region ten years ago. The protests and the assemblies meets afterwards made possible a social justice which included peace among the
Palestinian people, even though it is clear that this process will require much time.
It should be emphasized the involvement of a participant from the March to Brussels. The young woman of Venezuelan origin who walked from Madrid to Brussels said “I lived in Spain and I saw how a country has gone from wealth to a total marginality, it disappoints me. Like many others, I could not do anything to until the marches began … “It is not only in Spain that we are experiencing a dictatorship… The dictatorship is even stronger in France… They are repressed, there is no freedom of expression, they are being manipulated because most people have a comfortable life, but there are thousands of people who are struggling there.”
As the various spokepeople conversed, it was curious to observe how many of the same problems were repeated almost systematically.
A constant between the mentioned countries was on the one hand, that we are met by the same problems, and that local governments are not prepared to deal with a globalized economy an on the other hand, that the G20 seems to have no intention to fix global problems because governments represented at the Summit are the same ones which are defending the Transnational and taking advantage of laws, tax havens… etc., with the aim to continue to operate their companies.
COUNTER-SUMMIT CONTINUES WITH ARRESTS [03/11]
Discussions and workshops on public debt, its impact on employment and social costs, have where also part of the G20 counter-summit. Another group treated the topic of the reform of the financial system.
There have also been actions taking place such as the concentration at the border of Monaco to see the closure of tax havens which were promised during the G20 in London. On a more ironic note, a parody of a press conference by Sarkozy was held.
At 16H, a demonstration by three hundred people, monitored by two hundred police officers, was held from the slaughterhouse to the Piazza Garibaldi in support of the three inmates from the Basque country which were sent to prison on Tuesday, November 2nd. They were charged with possession of
dangerous objects and detained after the police searched their vehicle when they arrived in Nice. Among the confiscated materials were: 1 pole, 2
spikes, 2 hicking sticks, sungoggles, leather gloves, a Swiss army knife, and some nails and screws. The car owner said that all the equipment belonged to him because he works as a maintenance man in camping zones and has a passion for mountaineering.
After 30 hours of isolation and no communication with the police, the prisoners agreed to a speedy trial during which they were accused of conspiring in groups to harm third parties (by which they were found innocent) and transport of weapons of the sixth degree ( by which they were found guilty and convicted).
The prosecutor demanded 10 months in prison for the owner of the car and the equipment, 8 months for the second member, who declared himself an anarchist and 5 months for the third who said he was not linked to any organized group.
The sentence was settled at one month in prison prolongable to 3, depending on conduct, the confiscation of the equipment and a ban of entry into the
Alpine region for a period of 3 years.
According to statements by one friend of the detainees, the translation of the trial was insufficient for the full understanding by the accused. In addition, the judge’s questions where all directed at finding out the political and ideological orientation of the three detainees. Also, they were represented by counselman given by the court who was impossible to contact after their speedy trial.
The lawyers who have now taken over the case will appeal and ask for the three citizens of Basque origin to be immidiately released.
Since the start of the forum in Nice, the police presence has been disproportionate, identity check points have taken place everywhere and citizens who seemed to be of Spanish origin have been stopped and searched by police. One participant from Paris eclared “I had to pass through three controls until I arrived at the lawyer’s office of the detained. I was an hour late because of it… this is like a jail, one can’t walk down the street without being interrupted.”