the Disillusioned kid
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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The Group of 8 Nations (G8) is made up of the leaders of the world's 7 leading industrial nations and Russia. They hold annual meetings at which they sketch out plans for how the world will be run. As you might expect these plans typically set out plans which serve the interests of the national elites which they represent, rather than the needs of the majority of the world's population. These meetings take place behind closed doors, but have attracted considerable resistance. After the riots which accompanied the G8 meeting in Genoa in 2000, they have gone out of their way to avoid protest. This year they are meeting on Sea Island, 80 miles south of Savannah, USA, which it is of course virtually impossible for protesters to get to. Instead decentralised protests have been called for around the world.

In Nottingham events kicked off with a critical mass around the city centre. This basically involved a load of people with bikes getting together and using their numbers to disrupt the traffic in order to make people aware of the G8 meeting and to protest about the hegemony of the car. The turnout at the event wasn't bad with numbers varying between 15-20 or so. We caused a fair amount of disruption, gave out some leaflets and succeeded, if nothing else, in pissing a few motorists off! While the pace was too slow for my liking it did give me something to do and probably constituted the best exercise I've had in ages. There was talk of more critical masses being held around the city in the future. I look forward to it.

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