We are in the midst of an interesting few days.
The G20 summit is in town, Brazil's Lula has pointed the finer of the great financial crime at 'blue-eyed bankers', Gordon Brown looks like a total goon, Obama's coming to town and Wednesday looks like it will be fun.
The movement for a superior resolution seems quite parsimonious to me. There was a demonstration yesterday, which had a lot in common with the recent 6 Billion Ways conference. With military occupation, financial, social, developmental and environmental failures colliding with each other, the arguments resonate louder. They make more sense together.
- The economy is declining and people are losing their jobs, so lets invest in setting up a greener infrastructure.
- Developing world doesn't want Aid, but fair trade rules.
- Agricultural sector is the mainstay of food sovereignty.
- The banks are ours now, lets stop them arming tyrants.
- Do not let the ideas (neoliberalism, light-touch regulation) and institutions (WTO, IMF, WB) that created the mess we are in, any chance to resolve it.
- We will be ok so long as we can find a way to bridge what we are capable of to what we actually do.
Detractors usually write off these human urges for pretty blue-blooded reasons and with pretty compelling quantitative seemingly 'practical' logic. Yet their system's failure and humiliation has created an environment where better ideas may be heard more seriously instead.
Yesterday green helmets were donned by thousands marching across London. Green helmets symbolising the willingness to work through these problems, together and creatively. Brass bands played, babies were cooed over and yes the weather was crap with sunny intervals.
Tony Robinson (from Time Team and the unforgettable Maid Marrian and her Merry Men) compered for the afternoon in Hyde Park and there was inspiration to be had. From individuals like Susan George and this cool Indian South African activist (something Naidu) fresh from hunger strike to organisations like Focus from the Global South and the new economics foundation.
I recommend people attend the Alternative London Summit at the University of East London on Wednesday after the March of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Mark Thomas's parting words to any police thinking of acting to form amused, "Remember is was Jackie Smith who cut your pay".