Points 1
Addendum: Areas of concern
From Callout to first meeting for 2002 G7FMM

The Halifax Mobilization for Global Justice working group has identified the following themes and areas of concern:

  • Social programs - health care; privatisation; public education; post-secondary education; cuts to social programs; social assistance; taxes; corporate welfare
  • Environment - tar ponds; HFX water - waste treatment plant; HFX harbour; Newfoundland water; arsenic issue; clearcutting; Sable gas; Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Oppression - Africville; immigration; refugees; aboriginal issues; environmental racism; slavery and reparations; racial profiling; Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, and Transsexual issues
  • War/Imperialism - Palestine; war; 3rd world debt; criminalisation of dissent; Labrador NATO testing; imperialism; fair trade Vs free trade; war on drugs; The Real Axis of Evil: G7/G8/WTO/IMF/WB
  • Poverty - housing; NS Power; minimum wage; first world debt; child poverty; homelessness; poverty
  • Labour - labour standards; privatisation; first world debt; health and safety; taxes; corporate welfare 
Callout for First Meeting
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.

They have again announced that their aims include stable development and the reduction of world poverty, with a concentration on plans for Africa, but dare we trust that these are their real intentions? Can we believe that they aren't solely focused on the neo-liberal version of globalisation 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 that plans for ever more intense exploitation and accumulation will not change without the community's 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 labour and resources are exploited.

One example being how Sable natural gas riches flow south to the US market while Nova Scotia's privatised power utility jacks up local rates, another how the fishery was industrialized to maximize corporate profit leaving communities like Canso with no quota, empty factories, and idle workers anxiously dependent on social assistance. Our forests are being stripped, our few remaining wilderness areas threatened with mining, and we suffer pollution from away while our cities' infrastructure fall into disrepair; even our schools and office buildings are sick. With homelessness on the increase, this area has just recently hosted a military exercise, one component of the war on terrorism; how much community housing could have been financed with the nearly three-quarters of a million spent on that one war game?

Globally, the situation is increasingly tense. In Palestine, the autonomous areas are invaded by thousands of troops backed by hundreds of tanks, and 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 war's other front continues domestically. Governments at all levels, in particular but not exclusively the far-right governments in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, 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 privatisation 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 persistent 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, usually little more than sophisticated stereotyping in the form of racial profiling. These laws, really nothing but a judicial assault on political, civil, and human rights and political organizing, have clear racist implications that create an atmosphere conducive to the worst forms of prejudice, resulting in a new wave 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. Police actions broadened to include the convergence center and the independent media center where activists engaged in obviously peaceful activities were brutalized. All of this was met by protests worldwide in opposition to the agenda of the G8 and the criminalisation of dissent. Grassroots resistance to the imposition of neo-liberal globalisation has been particularly vital and increasingly energetic global South. The recent popular rebellions in Ecuador and Bolivia stand out as inspiring examples, with the Argentinean stand being an empowering model of resistance in the face of violent state repression, the mundane face of imperialism and capitalism.

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 and worldwide, and in ongoing support of local and regional grassroots social justice efforts. Ultimately this invitation is intended for all organizations, affinity groups and individuals in Eastern Canada and the Maritimes as well as the Northeastern United States.

After the 1995 People's Summit, organized around that G7 visit to Halifax, the organizing committee's chairs had this to say: "The People's Summit was an experience that we would not have missed. It was sometimes frustrating, sometimes stressful, always intense, but mostly it was empowering, enjoyable, rewarding, informative and, well . . . intense. It is truly amazing how the P7 evolved in to the actual event of June 10 - 17, 1995. But this evolution is a good illustration of the character and dynamics that the People's Summit developed over its life."