WDIE Masthead

Year 2001 No. 126, July 20, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Tony Blair and George W Bush Condemn G8 Summit Protests and Have "Much in Common"

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Tony Blair and George W Bush Condemn G8 Summit Protests and Have "Much in Common"

Convergence in Genoa:
No to Imperialist Dictate! A Different World is Possible!

For Your Information:
The G7 and G8

May Study Calls for Reforming UN in Line with Demands of Globalisation

Chapelcross Nuclear Power Plant Accident Danger

An Evening to Remember

Cuba Lives! 2001

Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to Workers' Publication Centre):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
70p per issue, £2.70 for 4 issues, £17 for 26 issues, £32 for 52 issues (including postage)

Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10

Tony Blair and George W Bush Condemn G8 Summit Protests and Have "Much in Common"

Following talks at the Prime Minister’s Chequers residence ahead of the G8 summit in Genoa, Tony Blair and George W Bush declared that the anti-capitalism, anti-globalisation protesters must not be allowed to disrupt the summit.

Blair and Bush condemned this powerful movement for an alternative world with the discredited argument that the liberalisation of world trade will benefit developing countries.

US President Bush misrepresented the sentiments of the protesters by saying, "For those who would use this opportunity to say the world should become isolationist, they are condemning those who are poor to poverty and we don’t accept it." Tony Blair, for his part, said that the G8 leaders needed to get across the message just how important the summit was for the developing world.

Despite the facts which demonstrate that the rich are getting immensely richer and the poor desperately poorer through globalisation, Tony Blair asserted that "the things we are discussing at this summit in terms of global trade, in terms of the developing world, are things that are of huge importance not just to the most prosperous parts of the world but also to some of the poorest countries of the world".

At the joint press conference on the eve of the departure to Genoa, Bush said, "I can’t wait to make the case, along with Tony Blair, about the need for the world to trade in freedom."

Both Bush and Blair laid emphasis on the so-called "special relationship" between Britain and the US. President Bush praised Tony Blair for considering his "Son of Star Wars" plans. He said: "There are some leaders who will reject things out of hand but Tony’s not like that. The thing that I appreciate about the Prime Minister is that he is willing to think anew as we head into the future. He is more than willing to listen. We have got a lot in common between us." Tony Blair’s comments were: "When Europe and America continue to work together and approach problems in a sensible and serious way then the world is a better place. When we fall apart ... the only people rejoicing are the bad guys." The Prime Minister dismissed any suggestion that there was a growing divide between the US and Britain, saying that the two countries "stand together on a whole range of issues".

It appears that earlier, on his trip to the British Museum, the US President was shown the signatures of Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin.

Article Index

Convergence in Genoa:

No to Imperialist Dictate! A Different World is Possible!

An international march in Genoa on July 19 in defence of immigrants' rights began the demonstrations on the occasion of the G7/G8 Summit of the Heads of State and Government taking place in the city July 20-22. Despite a heightening of the already unprecedented atmosphere of police repression and criminalisation of dissent, thousands of people have been converging on the city since last week to oppose the Summit, the imperialist dictate of the big powers and neo-liberal globalisation. By this weekend, more than 100,000 people are expected to assemble in Genoa with a massive "Grand March" and rally planned for July 21.

A Public Forum, organised under the banner "Another World is Possible" opened on July 16, with thousands of delegates representing organisations from around the world participating. The Forum is hosted by the Genoa Social Forum (GSF), which includes a broad range of over 600 organisations world-wide. The GSF is also co-ordinating many of the other marches, demonstrations and other actions throughout the week.

Sessions in the forum held thus far include, "Fighting Poverty and Inequality", "This World is Not for Sale", "Globalisation and Labour", "Mechanisms for a Global Democracy" and "Market Liberalisation and the Next WTO Round". The Forum will continue up until July 22.

An anti-imperialist camp is also scheduled from July 28 to August 4 in Assisi, where numerous representatives of the forces in struggle against globalisation will be present.

In the city itself, the centre of Genoa, the so-called Red Zone where the G7/G8 Summit will take place, has been sealed off to all but residents and others with special passes. Fifteen-foot-high steel mesh fences have been erected on 240 narrow streets around the restricted zone. In places, the barricades are said to be reminiscent of the Berlin Wall. The G8 leaders hope to drive to the summit venue, the Ducal Palace, through near-deserted streets.

A series of letter bomb explosions in the city have been seized upon by the police forces as a pretext for increased repression of all those converging on the city. The police have yet to produce any evidence linking the bombs with any groups, except for one which they said was "unrelated to the Summit". Despite this fact, Italian Interior Minister Claudio Scajola said on July 16 that the bombing was "a very serious incident that can be attributed to a minority fringe of the protest". Police forces as part of the resulting "security clampdown" staged night-time raids throughout Italy on July 17, targeting convergence centres and flats where activists were staying. Raids were reported in Genoa, Milan, Florence, Naples, Turin, Bologna and Rome. Police seized documents, protective gear, and, in one alleged case, "three sledgehammers, paving stones and a wrench". Searches have also been reported in the stadium which the city has opened up for activists.

Meanwhile, police are stopping over 1,200 people a day for "identification" checks, not including those at the Red Zone checkpoints. Government officials report that over 700 people have been kept from crossing into Italy at the border because they "were thought to be trouble-makers". In one case, three British protesters were deported back to Britain by the Italian authorities. The explanation was that they were being sent back at the orders of the British police. One of the three, Richard Byrne, said that although his intention was to protest non-violently, he had been treated like a criminal at Genoa airport. It appears that previous arrests of the three during anti-Trident demonstrations at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde in February last year has been used as a pretext to stop their freedom of movement.

The atmosphere of hysteria being generated in the lead up to the Summit is typified by the latest "security" addition by the Italian government. Surface-to-air missile launchers have been conspicuously placed alongside runways at Genoa's airport. The authorities are deploying 16,000 soldiers and police officers.

Article Index

For Your Information:

The G7 and G8

THE G8 SUMMIT is taking place this weekend, July 20-22, in Genoa, Italy. The city is being highly militarised for the event, while at the same time massive anti-imperialism and anti-globalisation demonstrations are being planned. The following, on the G7 and G8, is for your information.

In November 1975, the heads of state and government of Britain, France, West Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States met in Rambouillet, France. Since that time a Summit has been held yearly at which the major imperialist powers discuss matters of global economics and politics. The venue rotates among the member states.

The Group of Seven, or G7, was formed the following year when Canada joined at the Puerto Rico Summit. In 1977, at the London Summit, a representative of the European Community joined, although the name remained as the G7.

Since then, membership in the G7 has been fixed, although 15 developing countries' leaders met with the G7 leaders on the eve of the 1989 Paris Summit, and Russia has had a post-Summit dialogue with the G7 since 1991.

There is also a G3 (Germany, US, Japan), a G11 (G7 plus four others), and even a G20.

Starting with the 1994 Naples Summit, the G7 and Russia met as the Political Eight, or P8, following each G7 Summit, until the 1997 Denver "Summit of the Eight" established full Russian participation in all but financial and certain economic discussions. The 1998 Birmingham Summit saw full Russian participation, giving birth to the Group of Eight, or G8.

The G7 foreign ministers meet annually, shortly before each G8 Summit. This year they met from July 18-19 in Portofino, Italy.

G7 Finance Ministers meet four times a year. Their last meeting was on July 7 in Rome. The G7 Central Bank Governors join the Finance Ministers at three of these meetings, including two meetings which are held just before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in April and September.

Since the launching of the Euro, the presidents of the European Central Bank and the Euro-Group, representing the Finance Ministers of the 12 Euro countries, have participated in portions of the G7 Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' meetings.

In addition, other G7 and G8 ministers, including Labour and Environmental Ministers, meet periodically.

The G7/G8 Summit has consistently dealt with macroeconomic management, international trade, and relations with developing countries. Questions of East-West economic relations, energy and terrorism have also been of recurrent concern. As an exclusive body of the world's biggest powers, the Summit aims to give its direction to the international community and set the agenda on the world scale, and provide guidance to established international organisations. At times it arrives at decisions that shape international order more generally.

Neither the G7 nor the G8 has a permanent staff or budget. The government of the country hosting the Summit in any given year also provides facilities for the other G7 and G8 meetings during that year.

Article Index

May Study Calls for Reforming UN in Line with Demands of Globalisation

A study released at the beginning of May by the United Nations University (UNU) calls for major alterations in the functioning of the UN, warning that an overhaul is needed "before a crisis induced by globalisation forces the changes required".

The study, New Roles and Functions for the UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions, says that globalisation has reduced the power of national governments in economics and politics "without a corresponding increase in effective international co-operation or supra-national government which could regulate this market driven process".

In response, the study supports efforts to give a greater voice to poor countries and people. "Even if they cannot shape decisions, they have a right to be heard," says the report, arguing that the concerns of poor countries and people should "constitute an integral part of any democratic design for global governance".

Prepared by UNU with support from the UN Division for Social Policy and Development, and Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the study also recommends the adoption of independent sources of funding for the UN in order to "loosen the reins of political control now exercised by the powerful Member States" and "ease the pressures on the United Nations that have been attributable to resource constraints".

The study stresses that the UN must become more representative, fostering the participation of global civil society to a greater degree. It also calls for the UN to become more democratic in its decision making. Among other measures, the authors of the report recommend the establishment of a global peoples assembly, which would run parallel to the General Assembly and serve as "the voice of global civil society".

The United Nations University was established in 1973 with the aim to "contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its Member States and their peoples".

Article Index

Chapelcross Nuclear Power Plant Accident Danger

It emerged last Saturday, July 14, that the management at the Chapelcross nuclear power station in Scotland needed to shut down all the plant’s reactors following the cover up of an accident when 24 fuel rods dropped down an eighty-foot shaft.

On Wednesday, July 18, British Nuclear Fuels said that three spent nuclear fuel rods had been broken, but claimed that there had been no abnormal release of radiation.

BNFL had dropped the rods during what should have been a routine refuelling operation more than two weeks ago, on July 5. The company originally said that the rods had fallen a distance of two feet, but has had to admit that 12 of them had in fact fallen the full length of a discharge chute.

An official said, "Three of the elements were broken when we did an inspection last night but there was never any danger. The fuel has now been sealed into the flask and removed to a storage pond where it can be recovered."

Greenpeace said, however, that there were now concerns over the retrieval of the 12 remaining rods. It called for Chapelcross and the Calder Hall plant at Sellafield, which uses a similar de-fuelling mechanism, to be closed until the cause of the fault is known. A spokesperson said, "This accident is very serious and far from over."

There have been a series of accidents at Scotland’s nuclear power stations in recent years. Only two months ago there was another incident at Chapelcross when a grab release mechanism failed, and less than three weeks ago a large irradiated nuclear fuel particle was found 300 metres offshore at Dounreay.

The Shadow Deputy Environment Minister of the Scottish Parliament, Fiona McLeod of the SNP, made the point: "This incident has highlighted the inherent anomalies in the devolved settlement, and shows why we need to complete the powers of the Scottish Parliament with independence. It is utterly ludicrous that we have nuclear facilities dumped on the people of Scotland, yet we have absolutely no control over it."

Fiona McLeod continued: "One of the major weaknesses of the devolution settlement is the confusion of responsibility in the nuclear arena. While nuclear energy is a reserved issue, some areas, such as the enforcement of the regulations for the disposal of nuclear waste, are organised by SEPA. The lack of transparency and accountability arising from this has left both the Scottish people and Parliament in the dark."

Fiona McLeod also called for all existing nuclear facilities in Scotland to be decommissioned as safely and as quickly as possible. She said that nuclear energy is a failure from the past that has no place in a 21st century Scotland.

Article Index

An Evening to Remember

A special report from New Worker News – 20/7/2001

LAST Saturday was an evening to remember. Friends and comrades packed the NCP Party Centre in London to mark Eric Trevett's 70th birthday and pay tribute to a lifetime dedicated to the struggle for peace and socialism.

Eric along with Sid French and many others led the drive to establish the New Communist Party in 1977. He took the helm in 1979 after Sid passed away and remained General Secretary until 1995. Now President of the Party Eric remains a source of inspiration and a font of experience for the generation which has followed dedicated to combating revisionism and upholding Marxism-Leninism.

This was echoed by all on Saturday including Chris Coleman of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML) who spoke warmly of Eric's friendship and his non-sectarian style of work which was the mark of everyone Chris had met in the NCP.

And many were there including veteran communists like Arthur Attwood and Otto Cahn, together with comrades who have just entered the struggle and the entire Central Committee of the Party.

Those early days were recalled by Ken Ruddock, now national vice-chair of the Party and Joe Parker who was the NCP's first national chair until his own retirement. Joe could not attend in person but he urged everyone to "drink to the memories of our old comrade!"

Honoured guests included a comrade from the Vietnamese embassy and Viktor Bourenkov of the Russian Communist Workers' Party. Viktor spoke highly of the NCP's stand against Eurocommunism and revisionism as well as its consistent support of the genuine communists in the former Soviet Union.

General Secretary Andy Brooks read out tributes from the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Democratic Front of South Korea, George Johannes from the South African embassy, Mohammed Arif of the British Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation and Keith Bennett of the Korea Friendship and Solidarity Campaign.

"You, the founder of the NCPB, have made a great contribution to strengthening and developing the NCPB on the sound and revolutionary principles of the working class for the past period of the 24 years since its foundation on July 15th 1977" the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea declared.

"You have contributed to hewing out the friendly and co-operative relations between our two Parties. It was a historic turning point in the development of our relations when you paid the first visit to Pyongyang and had the honour to personally meet Comrade Kim Il Sung, General Secretary of our Party and great leader of the Korean people in 1990... so your name is well known to all our Party members and the Korean people. We are proud that we have a true friend, faithful to the just cause of the working class in the UK like you.

"Today the friendly and co-operative relations between our two parties has been surely inherited from generation to generation and further developed as each day goes by under the energetic guidance of Comrade Andy Brooks, General Secretary of your Party and Comrade Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of our Party and great leader of the Korean people.

We, in the future as in the past, will make every possible effort to further strengthen and expand our friendship and solidarity with the NCP in the common struggle for socialism and against imperialism".

George Johannes, South African Deputy High Commissioner in London wrote: "I have been privileged and honoured to have known Eric since the 1970s and have worked closely with the NCP soon after its foundation. During the many years of association with the NCP, we have worked closely on many anti-apartheid and anti-imperialist campaigns.

"In the 1980s when the apartheid regime's agents bombed the ANC Office, where I was working, it was the NCP which assisted us with office space and printing facilities. This was solidarity in practice.

"Eric has turned 70 and it is with great personal affection that I send him best wishes and greetings on his birthday. I cannot attend the party at the Party Centre but I'm there in spirit with you all," George said.

Congratulations also came from the Cuban embassy, the embassy of the People's Republic of China, Richard Balfe (MEP) and the Marxist writer Bill Ash.

Party Chairman Alex Kempshall presented Eric with a small gift from the Central Committee followed by cards from individual comrades and friends.

But the high spot of the evening was, of course, the cake. Baked by a south London comrade and adorned with two "70" candles it was largely demolished before the evening was over!

Eric himself was overwhelmed by the warmth of the reception, which reflected the strength and commitment of the Party's friends and supporters. This was expressed in concrete terms by a bumper collection for the Special Appeal, which reached a magnificent £1,067.

Article Index

Cuba Lives! 2001

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, together with Havana Club Rum, is presenting the Cuba Lives! Free Fiesta this Sunday, July 22, at Clissold Park, London N16, between 2pm and 7pm.

There will be two stages of live music, poetry and dance celebrating Cuban popular culture, including five Cuban live acts.

From Guantanamo comes the 15-piece Cuban folkloric dance and percussion act Danza Libre.

From Santiago comes the 10-piece authentic salsa band Omar Puente y sus Raices Cubanas.

From Havana come Chacón y su Orquesta, with the latest Timba sound, Cubanito, playing traditional Cuban Son, and the salsa sensation Sonora La Calle.

The Fiesta celebrates the culmination of the Containers for Cuba 2001 material aid appeal.

Article Index

RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page