Sunday, March 29, 2009

G20 protesters face police with Tasers

How A Taser Works

SCOTLAND YARD is to deploy officers armed with 50,000-volt Taser stun guns to deal
with violent demonstrators planning to disrupt this week’s G20 summit in London.

The centrepiece of the security plan will be hundreds of officers from the Metropolitan police territorial support group, who are routinely armed with speedcuffs, extended batons and CS gas spray.

The Met confirmed yesterday that they will be supported by officers equipped with Tasers on stand-by should trouble break out.

“There will be an armed response vehicle element to this operation and [those officers] will be carrying Tasers,” said a spokeswoman.

The Met’s admission that Tasers could be used for the first time in the UK during riots came as protest groups claimed police had contacted them to warn that a day of protest in the City on Wednesday would be “very violent”.

All police leave has been cancelled and 10,500 officers, including reinforcements from other forces, will be deployed in the biggest policing operation undertaken in London.

Demonstrations intended to bring the capital’s financial centre to a standstill on Wednesday and disruption to the G20 summit at the ExCel centre in Docklands on Thursday will provide the first big test for Sir Paul Stephenson, the new Met commissioner. He will be aware that the protests provide an opportunity to show the world that London is up to the security and public order challenges of the 2012 Olympics.

With yesterday’s TUC march, a state visit from the president of Mexico tomorrow and the arrival of 40 delegations including 19 heads of state for the G20 summit on Thursday, the week presents a series of complex operational challenges the like of which the Met has not seen in recent history. The organisers of the protests – an alliance of envi-ronmental campaigners, anticapitalist and religious groups – insist they will be peaceful. However, police fear that anarchist elements are likely to stir up trouble.

Police expect up to 1,500 protesters to converge on the Bank of England on Wednesday. At 12.30pm, other demonstrators are expected to “swoop” on the European Climate Exchange centre in Bishopsgate, where they plan to erect pop-up tents, makeshift toilets and even a bicycle-powered cinema, marking the start of a 24-hour Climate Camp.


London Anarchists: have appealed for people to join in “direct action” similar to
that seen at previous antiglobalisation protests

Whitechapel Anarchists: London group which praised the attack on the home of Sir Fred
Goodwin, the disgraced bank boss

Class War: veteran anarchists who are encouraging supporters to “burn a banker”

G20 Meltdown: A new organisation which will host a carnival at the Bank of England

Climate Camp: environmentalists behind direct action at Heathrow airport and power
stations in North Yorkshire and Kent

Climate Rush: group against airport expansion who have “rushed” parliament

People and Planet: student network campaigning to end world poverty, defend human
rights and protect the environment

Stop the War Coalition and CND: anti-war protesters against Iraq and Afghanistan wars

Labels: , ,

London: We Wldn't Pay For Their Crisis!

Protest Banner: We Won't Pay for their Crisis

Furious protesters took to the streets, voicing out a shared international displeasure at the bankers who have failed thoroughly. "WE WON'T PAY FOR THEIR CRISIS!!"


Tens of thousands marched for five hours in "one of the largest" protests in London on Saturday, four days before the G20 summit kicks off.

Leaders from the world's 20 biggest economies are scheduled to meet in London on April 2 to discuss how tighter regulation of financial markets, billions of dollars in stimulus measures and credit lines for international trade can help the world economy recover.

The police, who are coordinating a large-scale security operation in the build-up to the summit, have been barred from going on leave until the summit ends.

"It's fair to say that this {protest} is one of the largest, one of the most challenging and one of the most complicated operations we have delivered," Commander Simon O'Brien, one of the officers in charge of security, said of Saturday's protest.

While the protest from Temple Place to Hyde Park highlighted several issues, including social inequality, loss of jobs, war and climate change, most took to the street to express their anger over bankers whose greed they say led to the global financial crisis.

The protesters, ranging from union members, taxi drivers and the retired, marched the 7.2-km stretch to the sound of brass bands, piercing whistles and blasting music from stereos. Among them was 73-year-old Geoff Stratford who awoke at 4:30 am so he could arrive in London from Manchester in time for the rally.

"The cause (of the financial crisis) lies in casino capitalism and in the greed of bankers," Stratford told China Daily as he and his wife marched, holding aloft a banner.

"We want to get the view through to the leaders who are meeting to find consensus. We have pensions and are not affected much by the crisis but the leaders should correct their mistakes and make people suffer less," he said and added that he would join the marches scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday as well.

Essex resident Milton McKenzie said: "How can we have a situation where we have people out of work and the bankers just cream it off, helped by the government?"

Dressed in green sportswear, Andrea Porteous and her 10-year-old daughter Taylera raised chants of: "Put children first".

Unwilling to admit she had lost her job, the 40-something former office administrator said: "I finished my work days ago." Porteous conceded that she had sent her resume to several companies but failed to get a single job offer. "Some of my friends too have not got feedback after sending 20-30 job application letters."

A London taxi driver said he joined the protest because the financial downturn meant his daily fare had gone down by 20-30 percent. "I have to drive six days a week or a minimum of two extra hours every day," said John, who refused to give his full name. "I am urging the G20 leaders to find a way to punish those who brought about the crisis."

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Europe, US split deepens before G20 finance talks

Who will remember the poor countries which the IFIs have pledged to help? They didn't when they could. Now they cannot even save themselves


World finance chiefs prepared for a ministerial meeting of the G20 leading economies near London on Saturday that threatens to expose deep divisions over how to halt the raging economic crisis.

Just three weeks before a gathering of heads of state from the Group of 20, discord seems to outweigh lip service to coordination and a German-French drive to focus on cross-border rules for finance is further souring the air.

"We have agreed that Germany and France will send a common signal at this summit" on April 2, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin.

"The issue is not spending even more but to put in place a regulatory system to prevent the economic catastrophe that the world is experiencing from being repeated," Merkel said in a direct rebuttal to US calls for more spending.

There must be "regulation and transparency of financial markets," she said.

US President Barack Obama, who enacted a 787-billion-dollar stimulus bill last month, tried to bridge the gap on Wednesday, calling for a two-pronged G20 effort to fix the global economy: stimulus measures and regulatory reforms.

But after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers this week, their chairman Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg rejected the US calls for more pump-priming by other G20 economies, declaring such proposals "do not suit us."

Juncker after conferring with Czech officials in Prague on Thursday again voiced opposition to any additional spending plan to combat the crisis.

"The European recovery programme represents a spending level of 3.4 to 4.0 percent of GDP," he said.

"Our public finances are beginning to suffer and we must take account of the effects these programmes will have in 2009 and 2010 before we undertake additional spending."

The US stimulus is substantially more than the 400 billion euros engaged by 27 EU countries. The two total economies are of comparable size, but the EU has not forged an integrated response.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has also called for the International Monetary Fund's "New Arrangements to Borrow" credit programme to be boosted to 500 billion dollars -- far more than proposed by the Europeans.

For the whole of 2009, Britain is chairing meetings of the G20 -- a grouping of 19 developed and developing countries plus the European Union that includes China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and the United States.

The main point of contention appears to be a push by the United States and Britain -- which have angled much of their rescue spending on boosting demand -- for some leading EU countries to do likewise.

The United States and Britain have included heavy demand-side measures, such as a cut in sales tax in Britain, because they stimulate activity quickly.

They argue broadly that some countries, principally Germany but also France, have focused unduly on increasing state spending on investment in industry and infrastructure and should now allocate extra funds to spark consumption.

However, leading countries in Europe face constraints on their big budget deficits, which are rising markedly above EU limits.

German officials have also begun to talk about "exit strategies" from the massive state spending and support programmes once the crisis begins to abate.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday defended Europe's efforts to soften the blow of the global crisis.

"The social system of Europe is very different from the American one," he told a news conference in Brussels.

"We have, compared to the US, a very ambitious system of social safety nets, in terms of unemployment, in terms of public health and in many other areas.

"So when we talk about fiscal stimulus, it's not the same thing in the US and in Europe because the Americans usually think about discretionary additional fiscal stimulus," he said.

Finance ministers and central bankers from G20 economies, will begin arriving on Friday at a hotel in the small town of Horsham south of London where the meeting is to be held.

"Ministers will discuss medium-term regulatory frameworks, the need for improvements to the financial system and wider economic stimulus and speak out against protectionism," Investec Securities economist Philip Shaw said.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Upcoming Philadelphia World Bank/IMF Consulta

Calling all Philadelphia area anarchists, anti-authoritarians, anti-capitalists and anyone concerned about the IMF and World Bank.

Philadelphia Consulta

Come to the Wooden Shoe Saturday March 7th 5-7pm for an education about the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and why we should protest them. The IMF and World Bank are planning to meet April 24-26th in Washington DC. There are already protests planned with the aim of disrupting those meetings. There will be someone here from Global Justice Action, the DC group organizing the logistics of the protest in April. After a presentation, there will be a discussion about what we, as Philadelphia-area residents can do to help with the larger strategy and what we hope to gain by doing so. Let's make this the start of something new and beautiful.

Wooden Shoe Books
508 s. 5th Street
Philadelphia PA 19147
Wooden Shoe Books

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,