Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 19, June 19, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

The Group of Seven (G7)

Widescale Opposition to G7 Leaders' Summit

The Group of Seven (G7) "Leaders' Summit" June 11-13, brought together Heads of State from the seven countries that comprise it - the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It was held near St Ives, Cornwall, in the small town of Carbis Bay which has a population of just 3,500. To defend the G7 "partnership based on shared interests and values" more than 5,000 police were mobilised at the summit, supplemented by police boats, drones, 150 police dogs, and special police forces in riot gear. Hundreds of Armed Forces personnel were also reported be present.

Sculpture entitled "Mount Recyclemore: The E7," created out of e-waste, in the likeness of the G7 leaders and in the style of Mount Rushmore by British artist Joe Rush on Sandy Acres Beach in Cornwall.

Actions by the peoples of Britain and Europe and virtual meetings worldwide took place to denounce both the G7 Summit and the NATO Summit held on June 14. These actions raised the peoples' demands as concerns providing vaccines free of charge to the peoples of the entire world, demands related to the climate crisis, poverty, the demand for equality and reparations for the crimes of slavery and genocide and many others. Actions are opposing the warmongering activities of the US-led NATO and denouncing the imperialist stand in defence of the Zionist attacks on the Palestinian people and occupation of the Palestinian homeland. The demands include dismantling these imperialist alliances and organising for anti-war governments. Most importantly, they underscore the fight taking place worldwide for people's empowerment against the system which concentrates decision-making in ruling elites of seven countries neither of which represent the interests of the peoples of the world.

Protests had already taken place at finance and health minsters' meetings in advance of the "leaders'" summit and Youth Climate Strike March and Sound the Alarm Actions took place during it.

Two representatives of the European Union also attended the Summit. Britain holds the rotating presidency this year and acts as the host country. It invited representatives from non-member countries Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea.

This photo is circulating on social media decrying the massive police presence at the summit. The cruise ship, with a capacity of 3,000, hired to accommodate some of the extra police officers deployed to the area is moored in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

The host of this year's G7, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said that the G7 summit "aims to unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and create a greener, more prosperous future". This is to be done by:

"- leading the global recovery from the coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics;

- promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade;

- tackling climate change and preserving the planet's biodiversity; and

- championing global shared values."

This was the theme when the Prime Minister addressed Parliament, saying: "The G7 will combine our strengths and expertise to defeat Covid, minimise the risk of another pandemic, and build back better, fairer and greener, for the benefit of all. Alongside our partners, the G7 is now engaged in the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in history, designed to protect the whole world by the end of next year." Hidden behind claims about the alleged success of vaccination programmes in the US, Britain, Germany and France are the real countenance of increasing poverty, inequality, harm to the natural environment, violence and abuse.

The G7 Summit also featured meetings of ministers and representatives of what are called the G7 Engagement Groups: Women 7, Youth 7, Business 7, Civil Society 7, Labour 7 and Science 7. Their intention is to be spokespersons for G7 propaganda about "shared values" which covers up the state-organised violence and efforts made to divide the people on the basis of imperialist conceptions of rights and to funnel money to undermine the resistance of the peoples of both member countries and the world to the neo-liberal anti-social offensive.

Indicative of the "shared values" is the fact that people living in G7 countries are said to be 77 times more likely to be offered a vaccine than those living in the world's poorest countries. At the current rate, it would take the countries kept under the thumb of the "shared values" of the G7 some 57 years for everyone to be fully vaccinated. What is hidden however is how Big Pharma benefits through pay-the-rich schemes. Protesters at the pre-summit meeting of health ministers called on the G7 to "stop making empty promises and protecting the interests of pharmaceutical companies". This goes to the heart of the matter.

Another "shared value" is the high level of legal corruption which makes the most powerful corporations ever richer and the ever larger numbers of poor ever poorer. The compensation at the top is some 490 times greater than that of an average worker. Maintaining this status quo goes to the heart of what the "shared value" equated with "freedom, democracy and equal opportunity" is all about. The CEOs have "equal opportunity" to scam so as to triple their fortunes under the most adverse circumstances.

Within the G7, members like France and Germany remain in contention with the US, including over relations with Russia. Nord Stream 2, for example, a natural gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany, is being built despite US objections. So too, the very presence of NATO troops means the presence of US bases, troops and firepower and threatens the very countries whose soil they occupy. It shows that the mantra about "shared values" is a threat. Countries are told to either sort out the contradictions which abound on every front in a manner which favours US imperialist interests, or refusal to do so will be met with defamation, sanctions, death and destruction. These contradictions include those over the nuclear deal with Iran and many others where the contention over control of markets, investment capital, resources and zones of influence and financial gain lead to policy clashes which means clashes between police powers. Massive disinformation on matters related to human rights, Belarus and Ukraine are all of this nature. The G7 has long since trampled in the mud with impunity the right of the peoples of the world to have conflicts resolved without the use of force.

It is the countries which form the G7 and their obsolete democracies which deprive the peoples of political power that are creating unbearable conditions for the peoples worldwide. The G7 has adopted the slogan to make their countries "Great Again" as well as the imperialist slogan of the US administration, echoed by Boris Johnson, to "Build Back Better". The content of these slogans looks to the past for purposes of bringing it back to the future. In the present it takes the form of threats when the times are demanding political renewal so as to bring forms into being whereby the peoples can speak in their own names. Human agency is essential to change the present so that the path to progress serves humanity in the present. The watchword of the peoples is One Humanity, One Struggle for the Rights of All!

(Photos:Extinction Rebellion, Circular, P. Egerton.)


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