G6B wraps up

By Вen Li

The G6B summit ended today, leaving some participants with more questions than answers. More than 1,200 participants and delegates sought alternative solutions at the five day counter-conference to the G8 summit.

At the closing session on Tue. June 25, participants stated they gained a greater understanding of the issues involved but wanted more information on the G8’s relationships with other transnational organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank.

“The G7/G8 agree they’re just a talk shop, but what matters is relationships,” said session co-leader Sarah Kerr. “But it’s not true because they have implementitive control over organizations like the IMF and WTO.”

Aside from far-reaching relationships, organizers also focused on four key points. They claim the G8 imposes unfairly on developing nations seeking aid conditions such as developing export-oriented economies; reducing government funding to industrial subsidies and social services; privatizing natural resources, and generally liberalizing trade.

Session co-leader Pam Foster said the G6B and similar activist efforts result in greater awareness by the public.

“The G8 has become a focus of a lot of attention so they’ve added agenda items that are from the people,” said Foster. “But their final report will say all these things that the G6B suggested can be accomplished by pushing globalization further, faster.”

While the ultimate effect of the conference on the G8 summit remain to be seen, Kerr encourages participants to remain active.

“We as a people have power to do these things,” she said. “We have power as consumers, artists, shareholders, workers, voters and students.

“As a university, we should only put our name on things that are produced by fair factories. Students have enormous power in educational institutions.”

Organizers told participants to persist in communicating their messages to unsympathetic media and politicians, despite perceived ideological barriers.

“They frame us as a bunch of disorganized people but it doesn’t match who we are,” said Kerr. “It is a part of this marginalization-to shut us up.”

At least one participant saw the anti-globalization message touted by some organizers and speakers differently.

“Globalization is not the problem, economic privacy is the problem,” shouted an anonymous guest to applause. “Amnesty International and United Nations want to globalize.”

A summary document of the conference proceedings will be presented by the Canadian G8 delegation to G8 leaders during the Kananaskis summit.

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