Anyone with any illusions in the liberal democratic state should take note as the gloves are off and it's business as usual for the rich and wealthy elite. The G8 summit provides the British state along with their junior administrators at Stormont an opportunity to showcase the 'normality' of the new era disguising a mask of repressive instruments from unmanned drones, to army patrols and temporary cells at Maghaberry prison to deal with any dissent.
An additional 3,600 police officers will be drafted in from across the UK to assist the 7,000 PSNI officers placing the area in virtual lockdown with widespread stop and search, all serving to disrupt the lives of local people going about their everyday business.
To justify this police state and enormous cost to the taxpayer the whipping up of fear and scaremongering will only intensify with the gutter press playing the role of subserviently printing security force smear stories. From the ‘dissident republican’ threat to the ‘anarchist menace’ is an all too familiar smear campaign leading up to these spectacles. The estimated £50 million cost of the policing operation could be better spent on alleviating poverty, mass unemployment and providing affordable housing but this is not the priority for our local politicians. Wining and dining with the richest and wealthiest elite is!
For other sections of the reformist toothless left it is a chance to resurrect the usual front groups and recruit new members while republican groups will be outdoing each other to see who can oppose ‘British normalisation’ more effectively. The fact that our ruling class is confident enough to host this summit, which would have been unthinkable ten years ago highlights the containment and weakness of armed republicanism as posing a significant threat to the status quo.
For anarchists, it is important to oppose this summit both from a revolutionary class analysis and anti imperialist basis recognising that the solution to this criminal system is ourselves the working class organised at the coalface of struggle in our communities and workplaces across the sectarian divide.
Any opposition to the terror summit must respect a diversity in tactics instead of allowing the state and its propaganda organ to determine what is acceptable or unacceptable protest as this only serves the agenda of the status quo. We must remember the state is biggest practitioner of violence from the decades of state collusion here to the recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The G8 summits effectively decide what sort of world you and your children get to live in. Behind closed doors decisions are made that mean our environment is sacrificed for profit, a system whose role it is to preserve.
It is important to oppose the G8 and its savage neo-liberal agenda. This provides a rare opportunity to challenge the mainstream political discourse, to debate ideas and struggles and the type of world we want to build - one based on serving the needs and desires of the majority not the global wealthy elite.
The reality is this latest summit, in comparison with previous ones, is unlikely to produce the same level of militant opposition and disruption on the streets. The state can and will easily contain and repress any opposition during these spectacles especially any ritual marching from A-B to listen to a few speeches then home again.
The challenge is to build a mass movement from below based on self-management, solidarity and direct action which will strike fear into the ruling class involving tens of thousands of people street by street, workplace by workplace.
Ultimately, this is where the real organising and our potential power lies - in confronting their brutal anti-working class agenda. Capitalism is a violent social relationship based on exploitation and domination that is played out in our everyday lives. It cannot be overthrown by smashing a Starbucks window or grovelling to our masters. The G8 summit is merely a symbol of this which needs to be swept away along with whole rotten system they represent. This is not a demand we make of the G8- the world we need cannot come from above by pleading with them to be reasonable but must be won through struggle of all of us below.
Words: Sean Matthews