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 Nuclear Free Scotland February 2005

G8 SUMMTI-PUT AN END TO POVERTY AND WAR!

In July this year, the leaders of the eight most industrialised, wealthy and powerful countries of the world will be meeting here in Scotland.

The G8 summit, planned to run from 6th - 9th July, involves the leaders of Russia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA and France, meeting in Gleneagles Hotel to talk informally about global issues.

The G8 has no formal place in international treaties or international relations. The G8 summit is where the most powerful leaders of the world meet and privately discuss matters so that agreements can be made before issues are discussed by the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation or the International Monetry Fund.

The G8 a private members club from which the rest of the world is excluded, where secret deals can be made before they are decided through official channels. And although much has been made in the media about the opportunity the G8 this year presents in helping Africa, for example, it is clear that the G8 exists to ensure that the eight maintain their priviliged position in the world.

And an unspoken factor behind that privilged position is, of course, the military power that the eight share. Four of the eight have their own nuclear weapons programmes, two others allow US nuclear weapons on their soil whilst all eight are bound together in either NATO or by other military treaties.

And as at previous summits, major protests are planned at the summit at Gleneagles:

On Saturday 2nd July the "Make Poverty History" Coalition, fronted by pop superstar Bono, will have a demonstration in Edinburgh which will possibly be larger than the demonstration against the attack on Iraq two years ago in Glasgow. CND has decided that we need to be there in large numbers to make the links between Poverty and War. We know that most famines in the world have war and conflict as their root causes; we know that corrupt governments across the world are kept in power by the arms trade (of which Britain is the second largest arms dealer in the world); we know that the possession of weapons of mass destruction is a huge drain of resources that could be used to abolish poverty, or improve health and build decent homes, hospitals and schools. So we hope CND members and supporters and members of our international sister organisations will be in Edinburgh.

Then on Monday 4th July, Trident Ploughshares and CND are calling for a mass blockade of the Faslane submarine base on the Clyde. Faslane is not just a Scottish issue. It is a symbol of the militarism that lies behind the power of the G8. We expect that the blockade on the 4th July will be the largest blockade held at Faslane as already groups are planning to join us from across Europe and beyond. British CND has made the blockade at Faslane its campaigning priority for the first half of 2005 and groups from Scandinavia, Holland and Belgium, France and Germany have already contacted us to discuss plans.

Scottish CND has also affiliated to the G8 Alternatives Network which has agreed to organise an Alternative Summit, a convergence centre music festival and campsite near to Gleneagles and protests during the G8.

During the G8 there will be a massive flurry of activity with hundreds of groups planning events and activities to coincide with the G8 being in Scotland. As well as being an unprecedented opportunity to get our message across to the most powerful leaders in the world, it will be an amazing opportunity to meet activists involved in sister campaigns and similar social change movements from across the world as thousands of activists come to Scotland to protest.

And behind the scenes hundreds of volunteers will be involved, with providing accomodation and food, arranging transport, helping with legal support, making banners, costumes and props. So if you wish to help then please get in contact with the Scottish CND office and start making your own arrangements for taking part. Advice on how to prepare for the G8 and the blockade at Faslane will be available soon, make sure to get a copy from Scottish CND as soon as you can.

G8 Dates for your diary

Saturday 2nd July 'Make Poverty History' demonstration, the Meadows, Edinburgh.
Sunday 3rd July: G8 Alternatives 'Alternative Summit' Edinburgh
Monday 4th July: Faslane Blockade
Tuesday 5th July: Protest at Dungavel Detention Centre, Ayrshire
Wednesday 6th- Friday 9th July: Convergence and protests at Gleneagles and Central Scotland.

Jane Tallents

 

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