Competing Ideologies: G20 v US Social Forum – by Stephen Lendman
Established in 1999, G20 finance ministers, central bank governors, and, at times, heads of state meet semi-annually to “discuss key issues in the global economy,” the initial 1999 meeting in Berlin, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers.
G20.org calls its itself “the premier forum for our international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability,” saying it “support(s) growth and development across the globe,” or does it?
The reality suggests otherwise about a political power elite gathering to review past achievements, challenges, and prospects for greater exploitation of world markets, resources, and people everywhere. In other words, to support power and privilege over beneficial social change, a consideration not addressed, discussed, or thought about, except with regard to instituting policies leading to the disintegration and elimination of social democracies, replacing them with the worst elements of developing world harshness, tolerating no opposition.
What economist Michael Hudson suggested in his recent article titled, “Europe’s Fiscal Dystopia: The ‘New Austerity’ Road to Financial Serfdom,” saying:
“Europe is committing fiscal suicide – and will have little trouble finding allies at this weekend’s G-20 meetings,” attendees “calling for cutbacks in public spending” when economic recovery requires stimulus, job creation, and public investment, not global wars, banker bailouts, or other counterproductive measures.
Hudson called the meeting “a carefully orchestrated financial war against the ‘real’ economy,” initiated in America, Obama having “stacked his White House Deficit Commission….with the same brand of neoliberal ideologues who comprised the notorious 1982 Greenspan Commission on Social Security ‘reform,’ ” a topic this writer addressed earlier in a “maestro of misery” article about a man who wrecked the lives of millions for the rich, now cashing in big late in life, claiming no responsibility for decades of harm, a legacy others won’t let him forget.
Now it’s going global, why Hudson sees Europe “dying….succumb(ing) to a financial coup d’etat rolling back the past three centuries of Enlightenment social philosophy.” In lock step, America is erasing its New Deal and Great Society gains, planning mass impoverishment, human misery, and fascist harshness, the hidden G20 agenda not reported in the mainstream, sticking to its party line propaganda, the usual rubbish top officials preach to conceal their real plans from hell.
The G20 – An Explanation
Comprising 85% of global GDP, 80% of world trade, and two-thirds of its population, participating countries include America, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain (a permanent guest), China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Australia, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia as well as EU Council and Commission Presidents.
Other attendees include:
— the IMF’s managing director and chairman;
— the World Bank’s president;
— the international Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC); and
— chairman of the IMF/World Bank Development Committee.
Even though they rank higher economically than some members, excluded are Switzerland, Norway, Taiwan, Iran and Venezuela. Included only as part of the EU are Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Greece and Denmark.
The G20 superseded the G33 that replaced the G22. The year 1975 inaugurated the G6 comprised of America, France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Japan. Adding Canada in 1976 made it the G7, then G8 by including Russia in 1997, the EU also included, but it doesn’t host or chair.
On June 26 and 27, 2010, G20 officials met inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada. Thousands of protestors filled city streets outside, Reuters reporting over 600 arrested, many in a so-called “free speech zone,” police spokeswoman Michelle Murphy calling it “quite a messy protest” on Saturday, continuing on Sunday, accusing “masked anarchists” of smashing store and bank windows, then torching two or more police cars.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said “Free speech is a principle of our democracy, but thugs (provocateurs he dispatched) that prompted violence earlier today represent in no way, shape or form the Canadian way of life,” he and his government have been systematically destroying in league with Washington.
Against peaceful activists were more than six KM of barriers topped with concertina wire, thousands of newly installed surveillance cameras, patrolling helicopters, the Canadian Armed Forces at undisclosed locations, and over 7,000 police, plain clothes officers, mounted patrols, snipers on rooftops, US Navy Seals (trained killers), about 1,000 private security guards, and planted (“Black Bloc”) provocateurs. More on them below.
Police, acting as hooligans, used tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, bean bag guns, batons, and other intimidations, a security operation costing Canada a reported $1.2 billion, the Harper government’s communications director, Dimitri Soudas, calling protestors “a bunch of thugs who pretend to have a difference of opinions and instead choose violence in order to express” them, adding that police were “ensuring these thugs don’t rampage across the city and create even more damage.”
In fact, protestors were peaceful, but not police, independent reports saying they exhibited extreme brutality, including against journalists (men and women), beating and punching them, injuring others, and arresting hundreds, some before the summit convened to intimidate others.
Protest organizer, Niki Thorne, reported that 20 police raided her house and arrested four people, saying:
“Police forcibly detained and cuffed a number of people, and refused to allow those in the house to call for legal advice. Without showing warrants, asking consent, or giving notice, (they) did an illegal cursory search of some of the people on the premises as well as the house itself.”
According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, those arrested were charged with conspiracy to commit mischief, police alleging they were “planning to break off from peaceful protest and launch violent attacks,” with no corroborating evidence.
In fact, quite the opposite, according to reports, video, and other evidence exposing undercover police violence, posing as “street thugs,” hooded and dressed in black (the so-called “Black Bloc”), instigating disorder and brutishness, destroying public property, smashing windows, burning police cars, blamed on protestors – an old story in Canada, America, and other global venues to blame state crimes on peaceful activists, the major media reporting it without question, independent journalists kept away to suppress it, public perceptions manipulated by misinformation.
This is how a police state operates, Ameri/Canadian fascism, making false accusations and arrests, employing hooligan tactics against peaceful protestors, and refusing non-mainstream reporters entry into Canada, others arrested to prevent their coverage – violating Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a constitutional bill of rights, affirming:
“freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media communication (as well as) freedom of peaceful assembly (and) freedom of association.”
The US Social Forum (USSF) – Another World is Possible
Evolving from the World Social Forum’s (WSF) alternative vision, the USSF first met in Atlanta in mid-2007, this year in Detroit for activists, organizers, minorities, labor, the poor, indigenous peoples and others wanting social justice and a better world, mirror-opposite of the G20 agenda – supporting privilege over the common good, plotting to extinguished those old-fashioned notions, forcibly when necessary.
On its web site (ussf2010.org), USSF headlines “Another World is Possible, Another US Is Necessary,” calling itself:
“a movement building process. It is not a conference but is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. (It’s) the next important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history.”
“We must declare what we want our world to look like and we must start planning the path to get there. The USSF provides spaces to learn from each other’s experiences and struggles, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, build relationships, and align with our international brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.”
No wonder, the major media ignore it, instead supporting power and privilege, corporate interests, imperial wars, democracy for the few, sham elections, and street thuggery hooliganism. At the same time, social justice concerns are suppressed, ones affecting most people everywhere, their voices never heard, their issues unaddressed, their struggles disregarded and spurned.
But not in Detroit from June 22 – 26, ground zero for the failed economy and counterproductive measures causing it, over 20,000 attending in solidarity for a better world, one that can’t come a moment too soon, that won’t happen without mass grassroots support no longer tolerating official policies preventing it – in Toronto, Washington, or other global cities where governments deny their own people justice. What better time for change than now, USSF’s agenda an inspirational call for it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.