Monday, June 21, 2010

Poverty & Protest under radar at "corporate" G8/G20

Two representatives from organizations fighting for an end to poverty appeared this afternoon on CBC's Power and Politics "show" with Evan Solomon.
One, head of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the other the head of Making Poverty History, were both asked about their sense of the likelihood of open protest, including possible violence at the upcoming G8/G20 conference.
One made an especially telling point: that any violence like a broken window or the potential of "instigated violence" by the authorities to provide opportunity for a "show" of force against rowdies and thugs, would be small potatoes compared with the structural violence of poverty and death that was being engineered by the world leaders in their deliberations.
The other, more moderate, urged supporters to avoid violence if at all possible, because that would make it more difficult to get the message out, since violence would cast a shadow on their efforts and the people involved in getting the message about poverty out.
What was shocking was that they had been informed, last Friday, that there were no facilities for them to hold a press conference during the conference. One has to assume that the federal government does not want the world media to hear a different position from their's, that all-out global trade, and more power through fewer controls and regulations on corporations that spew greenhouse gasses, or that use labour like pieces of iron ore, to be mined and discarded.
There are different points of view in Canada, and the world press needs to hear those differences. For example, it would be a great opportunity for the First Nations leaders to point to the failure/refusal of Canada to sign the United Nations Declaration of Aboriginal Rights, which has been signed by some 140-plus countries, while Canada remains the single completly objecting non-signatory. Since Canada likes to prompt other countries into acknowleding their human rights violations, what about our own refusal to sign on to that document? Why not sign?
Poverty, racism, ageism, maternal health, climate change and global warming...all pressing issues, and yet, we will get more talk about enhancing the positions of the corporations in the midst of these pressing issues...

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