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Before you set off
Come prepared for all-weather camping. Pack a sleeping bag, tent, waterproofs, good shoes, insect repellent for the Scottish midges and above all your toothbrush – activist breath can be grim after several days of cider-soaked protesting. Familiarise yourself with a map of Scotland and our G8 Bulletin Board, essential travel companions. Travel with pals so you have a ready-made affinity group. Billy no mates? Then cling on to someone who can vouch for your whereabouts at all times. Don’t get isolated – exchange mobile numbers.
Once you’re in Scotland
Buy an A-Z and head to a convergence centre (see below). There you’ll find the essential info-point with alternative accommodation and protest news, like-minded souls and a cheap veggie bite from the activist-run kitchen. Most centres will probably close overnight but 24-hour info-points should be on hand for lost insomniacs.
Direct action-types should come to the rural, self-organised eco-village near Stirling shared by People & Planet and Dissent! groups. Edinburgh council will also provide camping space behind a Gleneagles-style fence (complete with security guards) for up to 15,000 people in Hunter’s Hall Park in the Niddrie estate. Places will be allocated and there could be a £10 daily charge so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Beware: official accommodation at past summits has been victim to police raids (tell-tale signs: security cameras, easy access for large people-carrying vehicles, hot showers).
Two, three, many mobilisations
There are three main mobilisations for the G8. Make Poverty History’s (MPH) reformist band of celebrities, NGOs, churches and the Treasury uses the magic power of white wristbands to make imperialist warmongers be nicer to the poor. Then there’s the Scottish-based G8Alternatives group, bringing together the Scottish Socialist Party with trade union branches, local NGOs and, of course, the irrepressible Socialist Workers Party in various guises. Finally, the leaderless Dissent! network of autonomous groups and individuals will oppose the G8 with direct action and a million websites.
There’ll be something for everyone in Scotland – literally. For those looking for safe, clean, family fun, check out the MPH stewarded march on 2 July in Edinburgh. This is not a protest; it’s a ‘welcome walk for the G8’. You’re asked to wear white T-shirts and wristbands to form a 100,000-strong human white band around Edinburgh city centre. Rumours persist that a ‘multicolour T-shirt’ bloc will seek to radicalise MPH’s message. For some light intellectual relief in between the melÈes, head to the growing number of counter-summits on 3 July (see G8 Bulletin Board).
Any unsanctioned action, no matter how fluffy it is, runs the risk of police confrontation and arrest. For those carrying wire cutters intent on penetrating the militarised ‘red zone’ of Gleneagles with its 12-foot high steel fence, police crackdown is obviously so unlikely. There’s even talk of a ten-mile radius of checkpoints. So watch out, all you autonomous hillwalkers and golfers.
For the tourist in you, G8Alternatives will try to march past the Gleneagles Hotel gates to a nearby car park where a team of crack-commando paper-sellers will descend from the Ochil Hills.
The most effective way to shut down the G8 is to blockade relevant hotels, roads, airports and train stations to stop the summit’s delegates, interpreters and workers even getting to Gleneagles. Our tip: move to Glasgow where 5,000 G8 delegates are expected to rest in the city’s finest two-star hotels.
But it’s not just the G8 summit itself that will be subject to mass civil disobedience. Take part in the non-violent blockade of Faslane nuclear submarine base on 4 July (30 miles west of Glasgow), or the solidarity demo at Dungavel’s nasty asylum detention centre on 5 July (40 miles south of Glasgow, 60 miles from Edinburgh).
Be the Indymedia
Make sure the world knows what’s really going on. Budding writers and those with bloody (good) pictures, track down an Independent Media Centre (IMC) to upload your stories, or call in reports to the telephone hotline. Volunteers are needed to form media teams and help run spaces. Edinburgh IMC is at The Forest CafÈ, 3 Bristo Place. For other media points in Glasgow and elsewhere, see www.indymedia.org.uk.
Police and the law: use protection
As Genoa veterans can vouch, anti-capitalists could face a police onslaught in Scotland – they’ve even been training on bulldozers, for Christ’s sake. Know your rights, Scottish law and police powers (check out www.g8legalsupport.info). Faslane’s legal support number is 0845 458 8369. Remember, if stopped by the cops, you have the right to remain silent, and if being searched under a law, they must tell you which one. Once you’ve given them the flick, inform the G8 Legal Support Group with every detail of what happened.
If you are at the receiving end of a pepper spray attack, the friendly Street Medics (www.actionmedics.org.uk) will be on hand to patch you up, while Activist Trauma (www.activist-trauma.net) can give guidance for your emotional needs.
The Spanish state is seizing ballot papers and raiding meetings, write Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte – but it is being met with united resistance
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Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture
Disasters have unequal impacts – it's the poor and marginalised who suffer most. David Harvey writes on Hurricane Harvey
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The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
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Flooding the cradle of civilisation: A 12,000 year old town in Kurdistan battles for survival
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New model activism: Putting Labour in office and the people in power
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The World Transformed: Red Pepper’s pick of the festival
Red Pepper is proud to be part of organising The World Transformed, in Brighton from 23-26 September. Here are our highlights from the programme
Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage
A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it
The dawn of commons politics
As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going
A very social economist
Hilary Wainwright says the ideas of Robin Murray, who died in June, offer a practical alternative to neoliberalism
Art the Arms Fair: making art not war
Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase
Beware the automated landlord
Tenants of the automated landlord are effectively paying two rents: one in money, the other in information for data harvesting, writes Desiree Fields
Black Journalism Fund – Open Editorial Meeting
3-5pm Saturday 23rd September at The World Transformed in Brighton
Immigration detention: How the government is breaking its own rules
Detention is being used to punish ex-prisoners all over again, writes Annahita Moradi
A better way to regenerate a community
Gilbert Jassey describes a pioneering project that is bringing migrants and local people together to repopulate a village in rural Spain
Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!
McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank
Two years of broken promises: how the UK has failed refugees
Stefan Schmid investigates the ways Syrian refugees have been treated since the media spotlight faded
West Papua’s silent genocide
The brutal occupation of West Papua is under-reported - but UK and US corporations are profiting from the violence, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Activate, the new ‘Tory Momentum’, is 100% astroturf
The Conservatives’ effort at a grassroots youth movement is embarrassingly inept, writes Samantha Stevens
Peer-to-peer production and the partner state
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
Imagining a future free of oppression
Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today
The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together
Mike Isaacson argues that efforts to define the alt-right are in danger of missing its central component: eugenics
Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners
Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.
Put public purpose at the heart of government
Victoria Chick stresses the need to restore the public good to economic decision-making
Don’t let the world’s biggest arms fair turn 20
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali
To stop the BBC interviewing climate deniers, we need to make climate change less boring
To stop cranks like Lord Lawson getting airtime, we need to provoke more interesting debates around climate change than whether it's real or not, writes Leo Barasi
Tory Glastonbury? Money can’t buy you cultural relevance
Adam Peggs on why the left has more fun