With weeks to go till June 18th the list of actions is looking prettyimpressive, with events being organised in 41 countries and more movementsaround the world taking up the call all the time.
Of course, the process of building links globally between movements is justas important as the events on the day itself, as a strong internationalnetwork is needed to counter the globalisation of misery under capitalism.
The groups involved are incredibly diverse, from environmentalists inZimbabwe, Poland, Israel and Portugal, to Unions incuding the BangladeshNational Garment Workers' Confederation, Indian Fisherfolk Union andAustria's Independent Unionists, to the unemployed in France and indigenouspeople in Nigeria fighting oil companies, to peasant groups in Indonesiaand Senegal......
The Internet is a powerful tool: electronic communications will allow us toknow what is happening everywhere on the day though the main sitewww.j18.org. This site will have a continuous feed of text reports, photos,video and audio from as many places as possible. It will also be aninvaluable tool for media work, prisoner support and a future archive forinspiration as well as a breakthrough in setting up our own directcommunication channels. Send in what you want to say about your group oraction to the June 18th website - www.j18.org - it belongs to all of us!
Links to other J18 web-pages arehttp://www.nodo50.org/reclaim (Madrid, Spain)http://utopiaverde.org/foros-huelva/actividades/18-junio (Huelva, Spain)www.j18.org/glasgow/html (Glasgow, Scotland)www.june18.freeuk.com (Lancaster, England)http://junio18.8m.com (Montivideo, Uruguay)http://xinet.com/rts/ (San Francisco, USA)http://bak.spc.org/j18/flyers/boston.html (Boston, USA)
Sydney will be doing a webcast through the day, athttp://www.j18.cat.org.au/ with real video, audio, photos and textupdated all day.
So what is happening on June 18th and where? Obviously this is not thecomplete picture, but here we go...
On June 18th the sun will come up first (after New Zealand) in Australia,where political activists in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane areorganising a day of festive protests.
The Sydney J18 Collective say: "The J-One-Eight Public Holiday willdefinitely be 1999's biggest anti-globalization event - a carnival, adirect action, a street festival'
'Mobile and bold squads of activists will be able to create a sense ofmass agitation and excitement. There will be banner hangs on main arterialroads to Central Business District, street theatre on expressways to thecity, autonomous actions targetting individual corporations, a lunchtimemass action "Anti-Business Lunch", and a 'Scumbags Tour" of corporate HQ.Also planned are a mass "Friday Night Office Party" street procession atpeak hour and a special J18 Critical Mass bike ride through the businessdistrict.
By this time activities should be in full swing in the South Korea in theFar East, and beginning in South East Asia: there are J18 contacts inThailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (where the North Sumatra Peasant Union /NSPU are organising for J18).
The sun rises next on South Asia, with actions in Nepal and Bangladesh(where action is being taken by the1.5 million strong Bangladesh NationalGarments Workers Federation). In India, the National Alliance of PeoplesMovements (NAPM). say:
'There will be protests across 25 states in India, involving hundreds ofthousands of people who have been marginalised by the market economy andWorld Trade Organisation policies. Many capital developments are coming toIndia but they benefit only the rich.'
A few hours later in the Middle East, Green Action is organizing for J18together with other organizations in Israel. Simultaneously, Africa andEurope spin into life. Students for Environmental Action are getting ittogether in Harare, Zimbabwe. Chikoko, the network of indigenous groupsresisting the oil industry in Nigeria will be springing into action at thesame time as Earth First! Prague in the Czech Republic and actions againstthe European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in Minsk, Belarus. InMalta the Moviment Graffitti is organising a J18 punk concert, while inItaly : 'we are planning in Milano, something like a street rave parade,and a similar one in Roma: we should be able to involve in the party alarge number of squats, sound systems and common people, to create a funpartyin' venue in both cities'
In Cologne, Germany on the 18th of June, there's a mass 'Laugh-Parade',where thousands of people will make a laughing stock of the G8 leaders.There will also be a camp for activists coming from different countries(including 400 Indian activists at the climax of their direct action tourof Europe), and on the 19th, a mass demonstration against the G8 summit.And a call for mass fare-dodging has gone out for activists within anovernight train-ride to Cologne : 'get together en-masse at your main trainstation and get on a train for Cologne and let us turn June 19 into anotherday to remember.' No money. No passport. No problem.
There is a J18 street party organized in Lausanne, Switzerland. 'Here, thestreets, privatized by cars, will be given back to the citizens. A hugeevent with music and more'
In the Basque Country, actions are being organised in Bilbo (Bilbao) andIru~na, (Pamplona).
In Southern Spain, a network of environmental groups is organising for J18in Huelva. From Valencia : We're planning two open "critical mass" in theafternoon, a big street party and some groups are going to do some directactions all over the city.' In Asturies, 'feminist, autonomous,ecologist, sindicalist groups are organizing a carnival in front of thepublic savings bank CAJASTUR.'
In Scotland there will be an action in Edinburgh on Sat 12th june with10,000 ú10 bank notes from the Bank of Bigotry distributed. And on the18th a global street party in Glasgow.
In England, Lancaster Freedom Collective have 'a day of actions on localcorporate nasties'.... In Newbury 'hundreds of happy, smiling folk, dressedup and armed with banners, posters, leaflets, custard pies, D-locks andmuch partying paraphernalia will converge on Vodafone and show them abetter way of living!'.
In London the day will begin with Critical Mass cyclists riding into theheart of the beast in the City (the financial centre of London), followedby pickets of Reed Employment Agency, Smithfields meat market andMcDonalds. Meanwhile autonomous groups will be hitting targets all overthe City. The Association of Autonomous Astronauts are calling a protestagainst the militarisation of space, and International Solidarity withWorkers in Russia (ISWoR), are doing actions against Gap Clothing. Atmidday debt cancellation activists will start off a global chain reaction -a human chain around the Treasury in Whitehall, and then thousands ofpeople will come together for a powerful Carnival of Resistance in thefinancial Square Mile organised by London Reclaim The Streets!
In Wales the 'cymraeg dim sharid a cymraeg' collective is planning acritical mass cycle blockade in Cardiff,. The Irish section of theInternational Workers' Association is organising for J18 in Belfast.Meanwhile down in Dakar, Senegal, the peasant farmer group Concept is thecontact for J18 organising,
A few hours later, as we move through time and space on to LatinAmerica...In Brazil two networks have answered the 18th June callIn Montevideo, Uruguay, the J18 network is working on ideas such as :
- a spoof trade fair
- banks for the poor outside the banks, where they can depositmisery andunemployment. Invite rubbish workers to deposit their rubbish (theircapital!) in these banks, and block the streets with their carts.
- posters and flyers, designed like cheques or dollars.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina the debt cancellation movement Dialogo 2000,(religious and social groupings including Madres de la Plaza de Mayo andtrade unions), will hold a procession/march through the financial centre.In front of the Central Bank/IMF building speakers will argue fornon-payment by the peoples of the indebted South, and popular artists andmusicians will perform under the banner Liberation from Debt
In Santiago, Chile a conscientious objection group, and street performerswill march in protest against the banning of street performing.
In Medellin, Colombia, autonomous groups are organising a forum onglobalisation, a carnival against multinationals with a potlatch bazaar,traditional games and puppets and acrobats, music videos and poetry, and aconcert with local ska and punk bands. There will also be a demonstrationat the multinational Banco Santander.
"we are conscious of the devastating capability of transnational capitalbut we are also conscious of the creative capacity of imagination andfreedom. That's why we will protest in force but we will also celebratewith joy, the joy of making possible human contact, warmth, art and life."Club de los Intelectuales Podridos (Decaying Intellectuals' Club)
At the same time in North America, in New York, Reclaim the Streets NYC areorganising an action in Times Square. In Boston, at noon on June 18,Boston Encuentro will rally near BankBoston and Fleet headquarters, 'We'llbegin with a conga line, music,puppets, street theater and leaflets.There's a rumor that Zapatistas may ride in on horses to show theirsolidarity.' A mock letter from ╬Fleece Boston', will send up the giganticmerger of BankBoston and Fleet Bank, which already promises layoffs of morethan 5,000 workers..
'We plan to combine satire and entertainment with serious critique, toshine light on the dark side of finance capital - the giant banks at thecenter of the neoliberal conquest of the world.' (Boston Encuentro)
Turning North to Canada, Peoples' Global Action - Ottawa (social movementssuch as the Canadian Federation of Students, coalition to stop the waragainst Yugoslavia, Industrial Workers of the World, Canadian Union ofPostal Workers, and Comite des Sans Emploi -Montreal folks-, Critical Mass)are organising actions on corporate institutions.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, (US) a J18party is being put together.. InRegina, Canada students and trade unionists are uniting following the "StopCorporate Control" action to plan a bigger and more radical action forJune 18th. In Albuquerque (US) a feminist activist collective, feministsliberating our world (flow), are organising for June 18th, Meanwhile, south of the border in Mexico D.F there will be an action onthe Stock Exchange.
Back North, Eugene, Oregon will have a party and finance tours arounddowntown, stopping at particularly "bad" institutions. Also planned aremusic, games, and murals Further down the coast, The San Francisco BayArea is bubbling with excitement as J18 draws near. Planning is focused onthe ten worst locally-based multinational multideath corporations.2500-5000 flyers have already been printed for SF. They say, "ART ATTACKHITS FINANCIAL DISTRICT" in addition to a graphic of a tripod. In Vancouver3000 flyers and 2400 stick up posters have been printed with the meetingpoint for J18 revelrous subversion:
And the sun will set on June 18th in Downtown Los Angeles where there'll bea J18 Street Party:
'in mass we'll march, bike ride, dance, protest and party towardsdestinations to be announced. Have fun. Be creative. There will be music.There will be dancing. Remember, revolution is the festival of theoppressed!' (LA Reclaim The Streets)
Uuf! And don't forget to send reports of all your inspiring actions to therest of the global network!!