The G20 and the Fight for Climate Justice
Last year the Camp for Climate Action faced extraordinary policing at the G20. The Climate Camp in the City was not only surrounded and kettled, but between midnight and 1am was removed with force and violence from a quiet street in London, with the sole reason that the protest was obstructing traffic.
These past few days, social and ecological justice groups protesting against the G20 in Toronto have come under even greater police violence and oppression. Today the bedlam continues, as the protesters’ convergence centre is raided and locked down, just as the Earl Street centre was raided at the London G20 last year. The vigil for the 500 arrested activists has been kettled and beaten back, just as the vigil for Ian Tomlinson was kettled and silenced on April 2nd last year.
Ray, a woman from the Indigenous peoples’ mobilisation against the summit, said:
“This is real life, this is the real Canada. This happens happesn everyday but now you can see it. this is g20 freedom of speech. For us, Native people this is what we know. This is Canada.”
But there is also hope. The Peoples Assembly for Climate Justice built on the People’s Summit in Cochabamba, trying to find a way forward after the collapse of the climate talks in Copenhagen in December, a set of talks which were hurting rather than helping an ecologically just politics.
Just as at Copenhagen, the arrested are starting to be released, one by one. Having destroyed the protests, found excuses for the $1billion policing bill and attempted to paint the G20 summit as legitimate and the protesters as criminals, everyone is expected to move on. But as we’ve shown here in the UK, we won’t let them get away with these actions. The successful legal action against the Kent Police over the absurd policing witnessed at the Kingsnorth climate camp shows that even though these governments and corporations expect us to back down, we keep on resisting.
Over the past few years, the Climate Camp has resisted huge measures to stop us protesting, but lucky for us, we’re just don’t seem to get the message. So while the G20 leaders continue to send out communiques to the rest of the world, acting as if they have any legitimacy left, we’re getting our own act together and heading up to Edinburgh for the UK Gathering, to plan our actions against RBS and for Climate Justice.