The UK will host the G7 summit in Cornwall from 11 to 13 June. And on Saturday 12 June, one group of campaigners will be highlighting how the G7 represents “the interests of the world’s richest countries at the expense of the rest of the world”, while showing solidarity with people who suffer at the hands of repressive regimes which G7 nations support.
The need for an “internationalist day of action”
Credit Suisse’s Global wealth report 2020 shows how G7 countries hosted over half (527) of the world’s “top 1,000 Forbes billionaires”. This fits into a picture where “at the end of 2019 North America and Europe accounted for 55% of total global wealth, but only 17% of the world adult population”, and where 12.4% of people own 83.9% of the planet’s wealth.
As Phoenix Media Co-op reported previously, G7 nations also play a key role in the global arms trade. Over half of the world’s arms exports, for example, come from these countries. And they account for over half of the world’s military spending too.
It’s in this context of rampant arms sales and severe global inequality that Resist G7 (RG7) emphasises the importance of defiance at the Cornwall summit. RG7 is a coalition of local, national, and international groups; and it wants to “build resistance and positive alternatives to the G7”. Speaking in a press release about Saturday 12 June’s “internationalist day of action”, it said:
We are linking international struggles on this day of action and we are bringing attention to the struggles of silenced voices across the world.
RG7 outlined some of the groups it will be calling attention to on Saturday. It said:
We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, subject to unlawful and horrific war crimes committed by the Israeli state, and we highlight the UK’s complicity.
We stand in solidarity with the struggles of Colombian protesters as they watch their fellow people killed by a violent and authoritarian police force. We recognise the UK’s complicity in these human rights abuses, through the training our police gave to those now committing these atrocities.
It also insisted:
We stand in solidarity with those who continue to protest in India this year, against unjust land reforms which will pave the way for corporations to reap profits at the expense of working farmers. We stand against Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in his push for authoritarianism, and call for international action in solidarity with [the] people of Kashmir, who are subject to unlawful violence at the hands of the Indian state.
And it stressed:
We stand in solidarity with Kurdistan and the ecological and feminist revolution in Rojava [NE Syria]. We call on people to join the campaign to Boycott Turkey in response to Turkish president Erdogan’s attacks on Kurdish communities both in Turkey and in Syria. … Turkey, a NATO member, is attacking the very people who were central in defeating Daesh (Isis) in Syria.
Covid-19, climate crisis, and racism
RG7 then called attention to the Covid-19 suffering that is ongoing in the Global South, stating:
Vaccine apartheid is real and it means more lives will be lost in too many countries. It is important that we remember that this was avoidable. Vaccine apartheid is a product of global capitalism where colonial powers protect the interests of the rich over the wellbeing of the majority. … Big pharma is making billions from a publicly funded vaccine while those in the Global South die.
It also insisted:
We shout the names of the environmental protesters killed at the hands of corporations on the payroll of nation states, who seek to silence people protecting their land from illegal drilling, deforestation and the construction of pipe lines.
We support Indigenous people all over the world in their fight against colonialism and imperialism.
And it said:
We stand with Black and Brown communities subject to state violence and systemic racism. We recognise the colonial expansion of the global capitalist system we are protesting as a major culprit in working to ensure the legacy of white supremacy, as it continues to affect people across all ends of the globe.
It finished by asserting:
We shout loudly that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are welcome here … We call for EU nation state police forces and Frontex to stop the sexual abuse, beatings and killings of displaced people attempting to secure a better life for their families.
Main article image via RG7 (with permission)