G20. "We already are the other world." Contesting the big ones for "misery, war and environmental devastation"

The G20 in Hamburg and the protests against the liberal “global disorder”

The crucial week of activities that surround the G20 summit, to be held in Hamburg on July 7-8, started in the worst possible manner on Sunday.

After the successful “Protestwelle” event, with about 25,000 participants in the streets and on board of boats in the waters of the port, called, among others, by Greenpeace, Campact, Nabu and Oxfam, 5,000 protesters gathered in front of City Hall to defend the freedom of protest.

The response of the police was not long in coming: around 10:30 p.m., special units surrounded and cleared the Anti-Capitalist Camp, newly installed in the Entenwerder park, causing several injuries and detaining a few participants. “They defend the indefensible.” This is the statement of the work group, which is coordinating the international participation of protests in Hamburg.

The G20 will photograph a time of “global disorder”, almost 10 years after the great financial crisis, where at least two distinct policy options will be discussed at the table.

A real “parade of monsters”, characterized by figures that, in an attempt to capitalize on the social malaise caused by the crisis, are combining the return to political nationalism, economic isolationism and authoritarian government with a strong extractive connotation.

With the likes of Trump and Putin, Erdogan and Temer, Modi and Macri (not to mention the Saudi petro monarchs) those who are instead trying to relaunch the business as usual will be confronted, governed by the exercise of a multipolar planetary soft power. Those politicians such as Merkel, Macron, Xi and Trudeau (and those from the more marginal countries, including Italy). None of the sides though intend to question the fundamental pillars on which the neoliberal model has been resting for the past four decades.

If it’s clear that the productive and economic globalization processes are not reversible, one of the strong points, and at the same time, a cause of continuing instability of the capitalist system lies precisely in the attitude to have all the elements of cultural, territorial and social heterogeneity as factors of division, exploitation and differential enhancement, in a context where cash flows are dematerialized and deterritorialized.

Both sides will be the target of the protests, which will add to the old antiglobalization slogan “another world is possible,” a peremptory statement: “we are already in the other world.” It alleges that a present made of “poverty, environmental destruction and war” was partially caused in the G20, despite their different options.

In Hamburg, different players will converge: the activists of social movements, non-governmental and cooperative organizations, the union, the Leftist parties, in a broad spectrum ranging from the Protestant Churches to independent groups, showing how the wide scope of movements present a practical alternative to the “global disorder” represented by the G20.

The various global waves in recent months, have been led, at different times, by women and the power of the “not one less” motto, by migrants and the solidarity of Welcome Initiatives, by precarious workers exploited by the new platforms of logistics and its new forms of strikes, by the thousands of local struggles against any project that endangers the ecosystem and by the experiences of conflict over the right to the city, which sometimes become municipal governments for change. All of this will burst on the scene of a metropolis which, in itself, has a long and solid tradition of social struggles.

The level of militarization can be imagined: 19,000 agents will be mobilized, restored border controls and a large “red and blue” areas where the right to protest will be denied.

In this scenario, tomorrow we begin the two-day debate of the “Summit for global solidarity.” On Friday, the blocks of “civil disobedience” will be set around the port and the city center. And on Saturday, the big closing demonstration. In an effort that all the activities against the G20 do not remain as a single event, merely an isolated “blaze” of mobilization.

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