Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The G20 Congeal In Pittsburgh

"We're born, hired, disposed
Where that job lands, everybody knows
And you can tell by the smile on the CEO
That the environmental restraints are about to go.
You can bet that laws will be set to ensure the benefit
Of unrestricted labor laws
All kept in place by displaced government death squads.
They own us. They produce us. They consume us.
Can you fucking believe this? What a stupid world."


- From Propagandhi's "...And We Thought That Nation-States Were A Bad Idea"

Remember that song? That song was a big stepping stone into punk rock for a lot of people who grew up in the nineties. Like any classic its just as relevant today as it was back in 1996, particularly now.

Which is a good segue into the topic of today. The G20, the nations (as opposed to the corporations) possessing the world's biggest economies, are meeting in a couple days here in Pittsburgh to discuss how to get the world economy back on track. To those who don't focus on politics or activism much, there isn't a very clear understanding of what is actually going on here. Typically, major media markets are already focusing more on the protests that are about to spring into action rather than any details of the meetings themselves. They treat the protests as a spectacle of crazed hippies and communists who took a leap into the deep end of the left, and rarely acknowledge the reasons thousands of people rally at events such as this. Most people have no idea why these people are even here.

I found something that can give a quick but accurate synthesis on all this, which is posted for your convenience below. The actions that result of decisions made at closed-door meetings like this have the potential to affect everyone, and this is why people give a shit. And if you are wondering what this has to do with birds.....the economic activities of any government has direct impacts on the environment and consumption of natural resources. In hard economic times, environmental policies invariably turn lax....whether it be emissions, pollution, the size of a catch, deforestation....you name it. This typically is most prevalent in third world countries, of course. "Not in my backyard!".

"The economic disaster of the recent days needs no introduction: mass unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, and non-existent credit markets plague the developed world, while in the global south, the rising cost of food and fuel have led to hunger riots and increased poverty and destitution. According to the United Nations, the number of people currently living on the brink of starvation is nearly 1 billion, the large majority of the hungry being women and children. At the same time, wars for imperialism, immigration restrictions, environmental destruction, tuition hikes, and prison populations are exploding.

And how have global leaders responded to the demands of the people, to deadly riots for rice in the developing world and university and factory occupations in the global north? By spending billions of dollars buying up bad loans and bailing out transnational banks, corporations. Thus far, nearly $8 trillion of the people’s money has been spent supporting the global elite. Without transparency and without a voice, the global working class has been robbed to support the faulty investments of a privileged few.

Now, Obama has called another meeting of the twenty richest countries in the world in Pittsburgh, a working-class city that is intensely affected by the economic meltdown to discuss how best to continue failed policies such as neoliberalism, privatization, deregulation, and billion dollar bailouts. As their number one priority, this elite "Group of Twenty" leaders and finance ministers will be increasing the power and scope of the International Monetary Fund by trillions of dollars, an unaccountable institution that has imposed loan conditions, abject poverty, and environmental devastation on billions of people in the developing world to benefit corporate profits. It is time the G20 learned that capitalism isn’t in crisis, but capitalism IS the crisis. It is time that the G20 disband forever in shame."

- From Radical Students Against The G20

Go here if you want to get involved with the festivities.

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