Sheffield Against the G8


For breaking news see Sheffield Indymedia

From the 15th - 17th June the Justice and Interior Ministers from the eight most powerful countries in the world -the G8 - will meet in Sheffield.

Groups of local people are coming together to show them how unwelcome they and their painful policies are. But also to create space where we can share experiences, learn from each other, and explore alternatives through which we can prioritise the needs, dignity and joy of people and protect our environment.

While the G8 Ministers are in Sheffield discussing policies and tactics of increasing repression, we will make clear our rejection of them and work towards true freedom, peace and democracy.

Sheffield Against the G8

If you make people frightened enough they will agree to anything…

It has been argued by many that if you get people to be scared enough they will easily give up hard won civil liberties and turn on others to protect themselves. Is this what is happening to us - a constant bombardment of images and sound bites from the media, politicians and other people who we are told "know best", whipping up a disproportionate fear of crime, fear of foreigners, fear of migrant workers and asylum seekers, probably even fear of our own neighbours.

Where will this end and where will it leave us and our communities? What will our lives be like when we have traded in all our civil liberties to protect ourselves from these exaggerated demons?

No rights to be angry with our government? No right to protest and demand change? Unlimited detention? Trial without jury? Not knowing what we are on trial for? House Arrest? No scope for anonymity and personal freedom - ID cards, CCTV, databases, DNA samples, retina scans? No right to asylum and freedom from persecution and the wars perpetuated by others? No right to work here and contribute to the economic and social well being of our communities?

How long will it be until we have no rights at all and all that was hard won for us by past generations is lost?

No Justice No Peace.......

The Justice and Interior Ministers are meeting in Sheffield to discuss these very issues - how people can be controlled and monitored, how much further civil rights can be dismantled to aid the continuing so called "War on Terror", how to keep out asylum seekers and other migrants without considering how the warmongering, perpetuation of conflicts and economic exploitation of people in other countries contributes to migration and how our own countries have grown prosperous from the contribution of migrant workers. Nowhere in this dialogue is there to be any meaningful use of the word "Justice".

So who are the G8 and why do some people in Sheffield (and around the world) see them as bad guys.....?

The G8 countries are the UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia. They are the group at the heart of corporate globalisation and the key exponents of a neoliberal economic agenda. This is an agenda which essentially promotes and protects free trade in all its forms. All aspects of life, from the production and exchange of essential goods and services, through to our health care and education, are to be determined by the forces of the "free market", maximising profit for the few at any human or environmental cost.

Profit clearly comes before people and the joy and dignity in life that we should all be entitled to. We see this most clearly in our everyday lives through the privatisation of public services and the increasing hardness of our working lives. In essence, at a global level, the G8 are responsible for co-ordinating this assault on our livelihoods, public services, jobs, wages and environment.

In an ever increasing climate of harsh criticism and suspicion over their agenda, the G8 have made promises on seeking solutions to the world's problems, but in reality have failed to deliver in making any progressive changes. It is clearly evident that through them nothing will ever change. People and the environment continue to suffer, and increasingly so.

The UK holds the presidency of the G8 throughout 2005 and will host a summit for the leaders of the G8 in Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland on 6-8th of July. In the run up to this summit the Ministers of these countries will be meeting around the country to discuss a range of issues from security, trade, relations with developing countries, energy and the environment.

People in the UK and around the world are mobilising for a global day of action against the G8 Wednesday 6th July 2005 - the opening day of the G8 Summit. We in Sheffield would also like to play our part in this global groundswell and demonstrate our rejection of the G8 during the Sheffield Ministerial meeting on 15-17th June. Why not join us?

"The realistic course of action today is to demand what is seemingly impossible, that is, something new"

Repressive governments always imprison unpopular groups first

Don't believe what you read in the papers........

We shouldn't be too surprised that people in power like the general population to passively accept what they want and so implement strategies and laws to ensure this. One strategy is to use the media to run scare stories about how bad people are who challenge those in power, while repressive policing tactics are hidden from view.

The people who take to the streets are just like you - mothers, fathers, someone's children, friends, neighbours - just ordinary people who have had enough of injustice and hardship. Just like generations before them who struggled for decent living and working conditions, women's right to vote, jobs and civil liberties, we are just people who strive for better lives for us all.

Please don't believe everything you read in the media - learn from others instead, or read about what people are working towards in your community through grassroots news websites such as

So how can I join in?......

A whole host of events are planned in Sheffield and are listed on the back of this flyer, and there are many ways you can get involved - protesting, creative actions against the G8, clowning around with the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, banner making, counter-conference, workshops, benefit nights of bands and sound systems, film nights, Peace in the Park festival - we hope you will be able to join us in a week long festival of resistance and change in Sheffield.

For more information contact

Join the email list. For people wanting to come from out of town convergence places for people to stay have been organised. Stay tuned to our website for details!

“If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that's something, but people in power can live with that. What they can't live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organisations that keep doing things, people that learn from the last time and do better next time.”

A little bit of history the politicians and the media prefer to keep quiet! Renounce your Liberties

In 1990, the G7 held its meeting in London. It passed by quietly. There were no protests and there were no 'red zones'. The world's most powerful leaders were left to shape the world we live according to their own agenda, an agenda under which people saw their themselves and the environment increasingly exploited for the benefit of a small global elite.

But then there was a shout of "enough is enough", which resonated around the world and became louder. Eight years later, 400 social movements from around the world - under the banner of Peoples' Global Action -co-ordinated local resistance to global problems. In the UK 50,000 people came together to resist the G8 meeting in Birmingham. People realised that politely asking governments, institutions and corporations for change was not enough, change had to be demanded and action taken. Resistance to the hardness of our lives and to those who exploit us need grow from the people themselves.

Since 1998, many summits and conferences have been resisted in every country in which they have attempted to meet. This resistance has successfully delegitimised these institutions and strengthened the movements that attack them. Global anti-summit mobilisations have linked diverse struggles tackling common issues. These mobilisations have, over time, created a global 'movement of movements', in many respects historically unprecedented.

The People's Global Action was founded in February 1998 by hundreds of people from social movements as diverse as the Brazilian landless peasants movement (MST), Reclaim the Streets in the UK, the Zapatistas in Mexico, radical ecologists from the Ukraine, Maori from New Zealand and squatters from across Europe, all of whom had gathered in Geneva for the founding conference. The PGA Network was created as a tool for co-ordination and communication between groups, movements and individuals wanting to organise global anti-capitalist resistance, particularly to international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and to draw attention to the possibility of alternative forms of social organisation. The PGA, and the movements involved within it, were instrumental in initiating and co-ordinating the global days of action against the last G8 meeting in the UK in Birmingham 1998, the day of action in financial centres around the world on June 18th 1999, and the events in Seattle and around the globe which coincided with the WTO Ministerial in November 1999.