Saturday, April 18, 2009

G-20 Protests

Earlier this month, the G-20 summit convened in London. The G-20 was a gathering of world leaders to discuss and essentially figure out how they are going to fix the financial crisis of our world. While this summit was very important, it also created an opportunity to see several social movements in action. During the summit, protests were staged in the London community by several groups. Thousands of anti-capitalists, enviromentalists and anarchists converged in Londons financial district and vandalized two banks, set fire to maniquens dressed as bankers, threw fruit at police while chanting "abolish money" and "storm the banks". At times the protest became violent. These groups feel that the banks are to blame for the worlds financial crisis with greedy bankers at their helms. It There were several other protests in london during this summit including an anti-war protest at the U.S. embassy and an enviromental protest at the European Climate Exchange.


  1. I think it would be fascinating to see how the networks of these social movements influenced this event. Did the anarchists reach out to the environmentalists, or vice versa? Where do the anti-capitalists figure into the picture? Was there a bunch of frame extension going on? How did they organize themselves? And who brought the fruit? :)

    In a topic that is somewhat related. Well, UN related... I thought it was interesting. In a conference in Geneva yesterday, dozens of Western diplomats walked out on Iranian leader Ahmadinejad when he called Israel one of the most "cruel and repressive racist regimes." Many people were offended when he claimed that Western countries "resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering" after WWII. He also called for global unity to combat racism.

    Now, whether I agree with his statements (which I do, in part) is neither here nor there. What I thought was interesting was that many Western countries, but especially the US, were appalled by such comments. The United States still continues to be horribly divided along racial lines - how can any representative of the US sit there in disgust, as if racism is an antiquated notion of the past? A global call to combat racism isn't offensive by any means. Well, at least to me it's not.

    Although there is much harmony between Israelis and Palestinians, there is also a lot of discord. And since our country contributes billions of dollars to Israel, more so than any other country in fact, we are directly funding a deadly campaign that is raging based on the socially constructed concept of race... How can we as a country, or rather our representatives, act as if we are above such things? I dunno, just thougth I'd mention it...

  2. It is ironic how the gathering of world leaders brought together a variety of social groups. These groups that other wise would be at each others throats found a common institution to turn their attention to.

    Sociologigi your comment about the U.S. representatives being appalled by racism caught my attention. Ida B. Wells made the same statement, in the late 1800s based on the U.S. disgust with foreign countries’ treatment of certain race, ethnic and religious groups. She was baffled at how blacks were being lynched for no reason in the U.S. yet U.S. was determined to help other countries abolish their racism.


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