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Report from Scotland-make war and poverty history

category national | summit mobilisations | news report author Sunday July 03, 2005 14:26author by rory hearne - IAWM Report this post to the editors


Just as the Make Poverty History (MPH) protest in Dublin on Thursday the MPH demonstration in Edinburgh (the largest in Scotland’s history) was a carnival of unity of purpose and diversity of perspectives.

Making poverty and war history- report from Edinburgh.

Rory Hearne (Irish Anti War Movement)

We marched to demand debt cancellation (18 countries is not enough), more and better aid and trade justice not free trade. The Irish Anti-War Movement demanded G8 leaders drop the debt instead of bombs on Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya. We are demanding action now from Ahern and the G8 leaders. Old age pensioners, nuns, families, children in buggies, NGOs, anti-war, anti-capitalists and socialists together created a sea of white around Edinburgh.
As we marched through the streets of Edinburgh workers applauded from inside shops and Edinburgh Castle was bedecked with a massive Make Poverty History Banner. We felt, yes we really can end poverty.

This is a truly global movement. They came from all over the UK, Italy, France, Portugal, Africa (with Zimababwians on the march carrying banners that read ‘make Mugabe history’, and of course from Ireland.

Bono, Geldof and the MPH campaign have done a fantastic job to build these historic mobilisations and concerts that put the spotlight directly onto the G8 leaders. Because it is the G8 and their global neo-liberal economic system of war and profit for the few that is the cause of global poverty. The US will spend $200bn on the Iraq war by the end of this year. This is equal to three times the global aid budget. If the G8 stopped dropping bombs and spent that money on debt cancellation and aid they could solve global poverty overnight
Furthermore the conditions of privatisation and free markets tied to debt relief and aid are the very policies that are causing poverty. The medicine being prescribed by the G8 for poor countries is the very poison that is killing them.
The global justice movement has been growing since Genoa 2001. It is demanding action now, as Mandela said “the world is hungry for action not words”.
Here in Scotland the demonstration planned for Gleneagles on Wednesday 6th was banned. But elected MPs of the Scottish Socialist Party disrupted parliament last week to protest for the democratic right to march on Gleneagles. They were told to choose between the barricades or the benches. But their pressure has meant the protest will now go ahead.
Despite the fears of violence a quarter of a million people marced peacefully yesterday. At Genoa in 2001 all the talk was of the violence of the protestors. This time the focus, thankfully is on the violence of the G8 as they preside over the death of 30,000 children a day from hunger and the massacre of over 100,000 in Iraq.
Live 8, Bono, Geldof and MPH have pleaded and asked for the G8 leaders to take action. Due to the pressure of the campaign they offered some debt relief. But Bush and Blair have lied over Iraq. Why should we trust them on this? The people that can make poverty were on the streets of Dublin and Edinburgh. They are the workers fighting privatisation of our public services, the peasants occupying land in Brazil, the Bolivians forcing the nationalisation of their resources, the French who voted no to the EU constitution. Our movement will not end after Wednesday. These protests are just one more important and historic step towards bringing about a world without war, where people and the environment come before the profits of western multinationals. We appeal to all those who marched on the MPH events. Stay involved. Support the struggles for justice at home. On September 9th we will be surrounding the Dail for action on aid, on the 24th we will be in Shannon protesting against complicity with the illegal war in Iraq.
Gordon Brown said ending poverty will take a lifetime. We cannot wait that long.

Rory Hearne is attending the protest in Edinburgh. He is on the steering committee of the Irish Anti-War Movement. Contact hearner@yahoo.co.uk or 086 1523542 for info.

author by anarchopublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

come on we're not all children, you can be a little more critical than that. What about Bill gates live on stage, what about bono sucking up to blair and brown what about "don't mention the war". what about the politics?

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Were you actually at the march? There is nothing in this news report that couldn't have been written in advance of the protests. Please give us at least a bit of information and not just oh-so-bland propaganda.

author by V1publication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Glad to see that Bono and Geldof are going to be protesting at Shannon on the 24th. of July. And there was me thinking that Bono actually supported the war, I do not recall either of them making any statements against it.
I look forward to seeing him and Geldof tearing down the fence.

author by Insiderpublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 18:50author address Edinburghauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Well perhaps if you bothered to ring Rory Hearne's mobile 086-1523542 "Badman" you would find that Rory Hearne is indeed in Scotland.

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was making the point that his report is entirely free of information.

author by .publication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 20:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Bono, Geldof and the MPH campaign have done a fantastic job to build these historic mobilisations and concerts that put the spotlight directly onto the G8 leaders."

Oh yes Rory (SWP/IAWM), Bono and Geldof have indeed done a 'fantastic job' - of hijacking the global justice movement for the most reformist of demands. Debt relief? Certainly, but the 'gains' that MakePovertyHistory (which, by the way, the IAWM/SWP is affiliated to in Ireland) have praised have conditions attached that involve the adoption of neo-liberal economic policies and privatisation by the countries applying for debt relief.

The Edinburgh march and the Live8 concerts were aimed at backing Blair and Brown in their negotiations at the G8 summit. The 'fantastic' Geldof was photographed in Saturday's papers with his head lying on a smiling Blair's shoulder. Like two lovers. This, lest we forget, is the warmonger Blair who currently is Bush's leading military ally in the Iraq mass slaughter. And Brown? Gordon Brown (much praised by the 'fantasic' Bono and Bob) spoke at Edinburgh (Bill Gates spoke in London).

This is the MakePovertyHistory campaign that the SWP uncritically praise. Look at the front page of the latest issue of the Irish edition of Socialist Worker, and see Hearne's remarks above. In Ireland, the SWP (using their IAWM front) have actually affiliated to this disgraceful attempt to pull the global justice movement in behind the warmongers Blair and Brown.

The global justice movement is being emasculated and the SWP is assisting this process. Why the praise for Bono and Geldof? Why the weak, half-hearted criticism (when it does occur) of MakePovertyHistory?

Because the SWP wants to recruit on the fringes of these concerts and marches. Party self-interest has overwhelmed their revolutionary politics. Too much criticism might piss off possible recruits.

author by Observerpublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 21:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another negative whining prick who won't even give his real name just a load of f**king dots. Dotty what have you ever done to end world poverty? Probably sweet f**k all. What's your alternative dotty? Probaly a load of .. (Dots).. Put up or shut up dotty.

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 22:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But at least the dotted crusader above bothered to articulate something more than a stream of abuse which amounts to "stop thinking, clapping is good enough".

Observer, perhaps you could give us your analysis of why people should support MPH and why political criticism of them is illegitimate. I would have thought that an anti-poverty campaign that is fronted by people who spend most of their waking moments trying to accumulate more of the world's wealth is pretty obviously problematic. But maybe I should get back to the clapping.

author by ..........................publication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 22:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's a great name you've got, 'Observer'. Was yer ma on a UN mission at the time?

Try dealing with the content of the comment instead of trying to suppress dissent and you might begin to begin to understand what the global justice movement is all about. Another world IS possible!

Too bad some people have been blinded by the bandwagoning of some ultra-reformist celebrities. No criticism of the right-wing shift is apparently allowed! Well, not on my shift, muppet. I'm not going to meekly accept the hijacking of a movement that I and millons of others put their hearts and souls into. It was meant to be about changing the world, challenging capitalism, not pleading with the G8 to do this or that. Fcuk the G8. Fcuk Geldof and Bono. And Fcuk the enemy within (you and the SWP) who talk about the 'fantastic' work of these Blair-lovers.

author by Positive Alternativespublication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd be far more interested to see what happens after Wednesday; if as expected the G8 dig their heels in; and refuse to give 100% complete and total debt cancellation as the MPH people are demanding. I'd very interested to see how Geldof and Bono; and the MPH people; and the SWP respond then. What's their strategy then?

Those of us who belive that "Another World Is Possible" must clearly articulate our alternative vision; otherwise we will be rightly criricised of just being always negative with no alternative positive solutions to offer.

author by .publication date Sun Jul 03, 2005 23:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree. Problem, however, is the diversity of the movement and the demands being pursued, though that obviously acts as a strength as well. The one thing we all have in common is a demand for greater democracy or, should I say, a full say in how we live and die. This means the democratic restructuring of the economy also, geared towards satisfying need rather than greed. The G8 is all about greed, which is why the appeals made by MakePovertyHistory are problematic. The G8 leaders are being given credibility, as if they have a right to decide life and death in Africa!

Bono and Geldolf have become a real problem for global justice activists because of their open support for Blair and Brown. Also, you have both of them kissing up the White House as if really we're all on the same side. And yes, there are sides in this. Bush and Blair are warmongers who are responsible for the deaths of many people, and not just in Iraq. They also represent and buttress the economic system that causes the poverty they supposedly hate.

MakePovertyHistory has shifted the global justice movement to the right. Watch what happens over the next few days as more radical activists take to the streets. Any trouble and they will be attacked as 'betraying' the good will generated by the saintly Bono and Bob. There will be lots of tut tutting and talk of 'extremist' minorities who don't understand the need to adopt the ultra-reformist position of Bono, Bob, Blair and Brown.

And the likes of Rory Hearne with his guff about the 'fantastic work' of the terrible twins? Yeah, well that does more than disappoint me. It outrages me. The SWP in the latest edition of the paper takes the same line. Unstinting praise for the two saints on the front and very mild criticism of the reformist demands buried elsewhere. Meanwhile, their front - the IAWM - has actually affiliated to MakePovertyHistory!

I'll say it again, the comments above by Hearne and general sucking-up line of the SWP is all about recruiting. Everything else seems to be secondary. For real, albeit guarded, criticism of MakePovertyHistory, you'll have have to search out their theoretical journal or other not-easy-to-get stuff.

MakePovertyHistory are a problem. The SWP, by taking such an uncritical stance, are adding to the difficulties faced because of the right-wing shift.

That said, the movement goes on. We will not be deflected by appeasers, ultra-reformists and their 'revolutionary' hangers-on.

author by Jopublication date Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is Hearne a socialist or a member of Christian Aid? Why all this uncritical glowing praise for Bono and Geldof?

author by SWP Supporterpublication date Mon Jul 04, 2005 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't get it either.

But Rory is posting as a member of the IAWM, not the SWP. And they are not the same thing. (Cue dozens of posts claiming yes they are.) Yes, there is a huge crossover, but nominally at least, the IAWM is a broader organisation. Hence Rory's postings should reflect that. The SWPs position is laid put pretty clearly on the back page of the current paper.

But... the words "Geldof" and "fantastic" in the same sentence... in the same issue of SW. A cautious welcome maybe. Support the aims of the movement, but at least be a bit critical when it starts becoming a propaganda arm of New Labour. I hope the activists are being a little more critical on the ground in Edinburgh.

Incidentally, is this the same Bob Geldof who spat on anti-globalisation protesters outside the World Economic Forum a few years back???

author by Colourcodepublication date Mon Jul 04, 2005 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The SWP decided to wear white and not use slogans against capitalism at the MPH march. All of the other socialists and radicals wore red (SSP and SP) or black (the block) or at least ignored the white clothing thing and used more radical slogans. Its one of the reasons the SWP was so low profile on the march, they had carefully disguised themselves as a charity.

author by Anti war personpublication date Tue Jul 05, 2005 02:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"but nominally at least, the IAWM is a broader organisation"

Yes you used the right phrase "nominally"

In Name only.

Every chairman ever ever-- SWP

Every Secretary ever (takes the minutes)

Every press release ever sent out ( bar a few ) RBB / SWP

Every one of the people on the email list bullitins are list are stored in SWP bosums and shared with no one. Find out for yourself

How many SWP people will be packed in by the party when they hold their "AGM" lots and lots.

The IAWM is just about as "Irish" as the "Iraqi Government" is Iraqi. Go and See and see for yourself.

The IAWM is the SWP.

Its a dead thing. Let it die.

Hearne represents a brand name for his party that is all.

author by badgirlpublication date Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with badman (above) I was on the G8 protest - on Saturday and NO - I didn't see Rory Hearn there at all. I think he's living in some cuckoo land. You say you're on the the Anti-war steering commitee - I didn't see you behind the Anti-war banner on G8 on Saturday. You should practice what you preach!

author by .publication date Thu Jul 07, 2005 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bad girl is writing from her home in D4. I was in Scotland and saw hearn there.

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