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Scotland Gets Ready For G8


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
As G8 leaders gather behind massive security in Gleneagles next week, police nearby will face a week of demonstration by groups aiming to get their message across to the politicians, or simply disrupt their talks.

Edinburgh, around 70km from the luxury hotel where the G8 summit takes place from July 6-8 will be the epicentre for protests.

The Scottish capital will get its first taste of activism this Saturday, when up to 200 000 people are expected to march in support of the "Make Poverty History" campaign, which is calling on the G8 to do more to assist poor nations, notably in Africa.

Britain's International Development Secretary Hilary Benn has already announced he will join the march, putting an official seal of approval on an event which will be carefully stewarded by trade union members.

However, as well as anti-poverty activists, some demonstrators will have a different message for the leaders of the G8 nations, Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

"Stop the War", which campaigns for foreign troops to get out of Iraq, will join the protest and hold its own rally at the end of the march.

The next day, groups representing interests such as trade unions, anti-globalisation activists, green organisations and anarchists will hold a "counter-summit", also in Edinburgh.

Further protests associated with the summit are planned for Monday and Tuesday, the first of which will see peace protestors rally at the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the estuary of the River Clyde, near Glasgow.

Bob Geldof, the Irish former pop star who has organised the Live 8 series of awareness-raising concerts this weekend, has called on thousands to descend on Edinburgh again on Wednesday to demand a better deal for African nations.

The same day, G8 leaders will begin their meeting behind a huge security cordon at the Gleneagles Hotel golf resort - where some more militant groups have pledged to come calling before the summit ends on the Friday.

"We are not going to be turned away from Gleneagles. The police will realise that they're not able to stop us," said Joshua Brown of the G8 Alternatives organisation.

Other groups are threatening to stop access to the summit by blocking roads with burning tyres or other barriers, prompting police to ask local petrol stations to refuse to sell petrol in cans during the summit.