Callout for First Meeting

G7FMM ''Welcoming Committee''

In late June, government representatives of the G8 nations will be meeting in Kananaskis, Alberta. Early that month, finance ministers and bank governors from the G7 will meet in Halifax to prepare for that summit.

The G8 have announced, as usual, that their aims include stable development and the reduction of global poverty, with a concentration on plans for Africa. Dare we trust that these are their real intentions? Can we believe that they aren't solely focused on the neo-liberal version of globalization that puts an increasing proportion of the world's wealth into the hands of a tiny elite? Everything we know leads us to conclude that plans for ever more intense exploitation and accumulation will not change without community action.

The situation in the Atlantic region may be only the tip of the global iceberg, but it does represent the larger situation in how people, labour and resources are exploited.

  • Sable Island natural gas riches flow south to the US market while Nova Scotia's privatized power utility jacks up local rates, and Exxon Mobil sends good oil and gas jobs to the USA
  • The Atlantic fishery was industrialized to maximize corporate profit leaving communities with no fishing quota, empty factories, and idle workers dependent on social assistance
  • Maritime forests are being stripped through clearcutting !sum!Nova Scotia’s few remaining wilderness areas are threatened with mining !sum!First Nations treaty rights are under assault
  • African Nova Scotians remain without justice for the destruction of Africville and continued oppression
  • Nova Scotia "enjoys" the country’s lowest minimum wage, and highest university tuition
  • Atlantic Canadian suffer the effects of pollution from away while our cities' infrastructure fall into disrepair. Halifax Harbour is shamefully polluted, but the cleanup effort is privatized and will disproportionately impact marginalized communities
  • Homelessness is on the increase, while developers continue to favour the richest home buyers.
Globally, the situation is increasingly tense. The brutal and indiscriminate assaults on the people of Afghanistan displays the ruthlessness of the US military machine and establishment. In Palestine, the autonomous areas are being invaded by thousands of troops backed by tanks. As this plays out the American military proclaims its option to preemptive nuclear strikes, building its "Axis of Evil" into a list of targets that includes even Russia. The tragic events of September 11 are being exploited as a pretext to target social movements in the Philippines and Colombia, and to expand Western control and domination around the world.

The war's other front continues domestically. Governments at all levels, in particular but not exclusively the far-right governments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia, unabashedly pursue economic policies in keeping with the dictates of big business. The inevitable consequence is increased impoverishment and indebtedness, intensified resource exploitation with accelerated environmental degradation, and a reduction in general social services and real security. This war has its own arsenal, with weapons ranging from privatization schemes through work-fare to specially militarized tactical police units. The neo-liberal agenda -- embodied by institutions and treaties like the IMF, World Bank, WTO, NAFTA, FTAA and G8 -- here in Canada as abroad, is the relentless transfer of power and wealth to the economic and political elite.

With apparent disregard of conventions regarding human rights in general and refugees in particular, the war has expanded to include so-called "anti-terrorist" laws, little more than sophisticated stereotyping in the form of racial profiling, and an excuse for racist immigration policies. These laws constitute a judicial assault on political, civil, and human rights and political organizing, have clear racist implications that create an atmosphere of the worst forms of prejudice, resulting in a new wave of scapegoating and attacks on immigrant and refugee communities.

Last July, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Genoa, Italy against the G8, and were met with state-sponsored police brutality that included the murder of activist Carlo Giuliani. The Genoa protests were accompanied by protests worldwide in opposition to the G8.

The global uprising is led by grassroots movements in the global South. The recent popular rebellions in Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia stand out as inspiring and empowering examples and models of resistance to imperialism and capitalism, in the face of violent day-to-day state repression.

And so, with the intention of coordinating a response to the G7 Finance Ministers when they visit, we are calling you to an initial meeting on March 30th at 1PM in the North Branch Library on Gottingen Street in Halifax.

We see G7FMM-2002 as requiring action in clear opposition to the G7, in solidarity with G8 protests in Alberta, Ottawa, and worldwide, and in ongoing support of local and regional grassroots social justice efforts. This invitation is intended for all organizations, affinity groups and individuals in Atlantic Canada and the eastern provinces, as well as the Northeastern United States.