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IAF - Irish Anti-imperialist Forum - Adapting to changing times

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Adapting to changing times

Guest writer Davy Carlin, a Belfast activist, with his views on the G8 summit.

Today’s world is a far different place than that of the beginnings of the recent Irish War, better known today, as the ‘Troubles’. Yet, within such a local insurrection it is nevertheless important to acknowledge the global and historical context in which that insurrection had taken place.

It is within that remit that I pen but a few brief initial points and suggestions of lessons that I believe can be taken into today for those of radical outlook.

At that time, and within that previous decade or so, the world had seen growing armed rebellions,   mass student revolts, and black, gay, feminist and minority mass civil and liberation rights movements and more, indeed it had seen the questioning of the world as it was then, with millions struggling to change it.

From that, inspiration was taken from many here local, and so we were to see our own civil rights movement and then soon, we were also to see the rise of armed insurrection.

30 years on and a decade or so back, we again had seen the increased questioning of the ‘New world order’ and the impact that capitalism was having on our world. Millions more were again not only opening their eyes to a world that was seeing millions starve and thirst to death in the interests of a few, seeing wars of death and destruction being waged in the interest of that few, seeing the creation of boom and bust with most of the wealth of the world owned by that select few, but also seeing many more opening their minds to the possibility of a better, fairer and more equal world.

Again mass global awareness and mobilisation began, this time co –ordinated on a scale as never before witnessed in such terms. Ten of millions of us mobilised, marched, agitated and occupied, against war and racism, against globalisation and poverty, against capitalism and the control held within the hands of a few over the many.

And, this was all brought back home locally, which had seen hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands mobilise together on issues of common concern. One such event had seen thousands mobilise against the arrival of George W Bush {American President} and Tony Blair {British Prime minister} who had arrived to attempt to, illuminate us, with their presence. Their war summit and bloodlust which was to slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocence had seen them specifically choose the North of Ireland as their apt place to further plan such.

Now, in the short time ahead, we are again to be hosts for world leaders, as the G8 is soon to arrive in the North, which is being sold as being one of the most high profile events ever to take place in the North.

Of course they will be fawned upon by many of our political class and more. Yet while at times we have found inspiration in struggle and such stance from other lands, we too, have always been a people to provide inspiration in struggle and stance to other lands.

At this time of recession, fear reeks, negativity abounds and even once radical heads are bowed, just to get by.  Many though smaller and individual struggles still go on to seek to provide a better life for those local and afar. Indeed history has shown us that struggle ebbs and flows, that there is time for organised retreat as there is for mass mobilisation of collective unity.

Yet while the G8 will be a time for the rich and powerful to further divvy up the world for the few, to wine, dine and be merry, it can also be a time for those with revolutionary and radical minds and hearts, through to those of progressive and liberal minds and hearts to begin to fight back against the fear and negativity, the greed and the gluttony, the corruption and control.

And although the political left is in retreat and even in ructions within many organisations and areas, this can be a time to locally re-kindle our forces, to seek to create momentum, to again link arms, to mobilise and march to the drum and vibes of human solidarity and within the ebb and flow of our collective history.

Let us not forget what the G8 is really about, no matter what is said or read.

It is an elite club; a club where decisions are made that have and do destroy the lives of millions through their neo liberalist agenda. It is where the warmongers meet; it is where repression and suppression of rights of peoples and their land is agreed. And while they may voice that they are also setting goals to protect the poorest on the planet – the G8 is primarily where the world is divvied up by the few in the interest of the elite, and much more of the kind.

So let’s further prepare the ground work, let us again be that inspiration to those local and afar, that shows that even within these harsh times, that our heads will not be bowed but held high and that with arms linked that we can still march in solidarity with and for each other, for a different, better more equal type of world.


Source: The Pensive Quill, February 01, 2013