The Throne Read (May/June 2007)

180244.jpg Protesters block the road to the G8 in Germany. Photo courtesy

G8 Germany: A New Wave of Dissent

After holding previous G8 meetings in remote locations, the heads of state from the eight leading industrialised countries - France, Italy, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Japan and Germany – finally went public again, meeting in the Baltic Sea town of Heiligendamm in Germany last June 6th to 8th.

Under the central theme of “Growth and Responsibility,” the heads of state focussed on issues of global trade and financial relations. Resources and climate change also figured high on this year’s agenda.

Hoping to spark a new wave of anti-globalization protests, activists launched the Dissent! G8 Infotour. Touring throughout the word, the group delivered over 200 presentations in over 25 countries, including Canada in the lead up to protests.

The result of the international mobilisation was Block-G8, a 10,000 person demonstration which was able to shut down the main road leading to Heilligendamm in opposition to unbridled capitalism and continued warmongering by the G8 leaders.

No Supermodels for Oaxaca

Despite earlier plans, the National Costume Competition of the Miss Universe Pageant did not take place at the Zapotec shrine Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico, this past May. The cancellation was announced by Donald Trump himself, the economic mogul and owner of the Miss Universe Pageant. The Governor of Oaxcaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, claims that Trump’s exorbitant request for 1.5 million pesos dissuaded the province from holding the competition, but many speculate the last minute change was due to Oaxaca’s year-long people’s movement for civil and social justice. The movement has been a blow to the province’s exploitative tourist trade, both because the movement is critical of the way Oaxaca has been marketed to international tourists, and because media worldwide have portrayed the movement as violent and dangerous. This was despite protests remaining peaceful until attacked by Mexican police forces.

APMO, or Supermodels for Oaxaca (an international models’ movement), also claimed responsibility for the cancellation. In May, APMO declared they didn’t want another Tlaltelcolco Massacre (where, during the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, hundreds of protesters were massacred and others wounded and imprisoned) and thanked Mr. Trump for responding to their request to move the pageant.