Article from the June 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
PROTEST AGAINST CAPITALISM
Fight for socialism
by Daniel Waldron Organiser Socialist Youth
GORDON BROWN has tried to portray himself as the champion of debt relief in Africa in the run-up to the G8. Blair has commented that he cannot understand why people would want to protest against the summit of the world's most powerful leaders in July when he wants to focus on dealing with the problems faced by the people of Africa and climate change.
However, many people can see through the "caring" face of New Labour and their attempt to publicise the summit as an attempt to seriously deal with issues facing our planet and its poor. This is nothing but Tony Blair and his cohorts trying to do something to reverse the huge damage that the Iraq war and the ongoing occupation have done to his reputation. It must be remembered that Blair's government is responsible for the war for oil which has so far killed over 100,000 Iraqis and thousands of soldiers.
Brown has said he will be pushing for the cancellation of all African countries' public debt at the G8 summit. However, this debt was never going to be repaid anyway. African nations struggle to pay the interest on their debt alone, which amounts to $15 billion per year. Cancelling the debt owed to governments gives African countries more space to pay off the debt they owe to the private banks and companies which fund and back the New Labour government and other governments around the world. The last thing Western capitalist governments want is a third world government defaulting on its private debt under pressure from their people.
Brown has also said that any debt cancellation must be connected to "economic conditions", which means third world countries further opening their economies to privatisation and the domination of Western multinationals. These companies steal huge amounts of wealth from the continent of Africa by exploiting cheap labour and valuable resources. It is the capitalist "free market" which has caused many of the huge problems facing the people of Africa.
The only way to seriously deal with poverty, famine, HIV/AIDS and climate change is to build a socialist alternative to the system of capitalism which can fight for a world where society's wealth is used democratically to provide a decent standard of living for all. Then the amazing technological and medical developments that we have today could be used to effectively deal with the problems capitalism has created. Only a socialist alternative can deliver a world run for the benefit of humanity as a whole, not the profit margins of the bosses.
The Record of the G8 so far:
Socialist Youth are organising a contingent to travel to Scotland for the G8 protest.
- One billion people live on less than $1 a day; 2.7 billion survive on less than $2 a day
- 4 million children in Africa die before the age of 5
- Every day, 6,000 people die from HIV/Aids.
- 17,000 children die every day from malnutrition.
- This year, the US will spend $500 billion on its military forces. $16 billion could eliminate extreme poverty.
- Western banks and governments reckon that the continent of Africa 'owes' them $293 billion. Servicing this 'debt' in interest and fees costs $15 billion a year.
- The richest 200 people in the world have more wealth than the poorest 2.4 billion.
Our bus leaves on Friday morning (1 July) and there is the option of returning on the Monday morning (4 July) or of staying until the Thursday (7 July). The cost for the weekend is £25 and £32 for the week. This includes travel and campsite accommodation. To book your place phone: 07821058319