On Indymedia Uk and the ResistG8 list, there was a call for submissions for a “Reflections on G8″ booklet.
I have submitted one of my write-ups, but it seemed to never get printed – and maybe never will, because the style might be too simple and modest. (Inner beauty, apparantly that’s what “modesty” is called in Chinese! According to BBC Learning Zone).
So, I put it up here on my blog, because that is why I have it, isn’t it.
Ode to the cleaners! A local perspective after the G8.
It is now the 20th of July, and the big hype is over. Most of the activists were quick to leave, a few stayed to clear, tidy up and reorganise the spaces and to take on responsibility in fulfilling promises made by other people.
The few activists left to tidy up other people’s mess were not the bigmouthing, theoretical and ideological proofed academics or wanna- be intellectuals, who are so quick in telling everyone what to do and how â€“ yet, exactly these had disappeared early.
No, most of the reliable, hard working people present, were the silent, unobtrusive types, and most of them were female, who kept themselves usually in the background a lot, who talk less and work more, and have earned my total appreciation, respect and admiration for what and how much they worked, how reliable they are, whilst also doing one of the least acknowleged, but one of the most important work: tidying up the mess left behind.
Maybe it is the fear of repression, the lack of excitement or the exhaustion as reasons for most of the activists to leave within 3 days after the last protest.
So now it is a case of tieing up loose ends to find people disppearing into nowhere, not answering emails nor telephone calls. The lost and found items are still piling up high in various places, many activists are disappearing far away to other places on the planet into holidays, the prisoner support group is hardly working yet, two people remain on remand in prison, court cases start in august, september till november, and already a call has gone out to note down the glorious successes of â€œThe Movementâ€? at this years G8 protests.
Too early if you ask me.
So, there will be enough people talking about the successes of this mobilisation, so I will neglect this, and just say it was brilliant so many people coming up to Scotland.
Beforehand there was much of a discussion, that counter mobilisations confronting summits locally would be obsolete â€“ I do still believe differently, and it certainly made sense to us. For the G8 protests, it has made all the difference in the world, here in Scotland, to have international and country-wide support from activists.
It was good activists from all over actually coming here, not only to protest, but also to create and publicise feasible, practical alternative non-hierarchical views and projects.
Especially those helpers, who came up to half a year early, they really made a huge difference, but also the activists coming even one month earlier, or a few weeks or days, they gave much incredible support by the practical work they did. Without them, the convergence centres would not have been possible and without them, there would not have been the brilliant start of the protests with the Cre8 community garden possible, which was the best reaction possible to the mainstream media villifications, and without them, we would have been stuck with publicising, with resources, and with places.
It has so far been an incredible good experience locally for us. In fact, so far, there seems to be nothing better than having a G8 summit in your local town, as you can still sleep in your own comfy bed every night and everybody from the activist scene is so incredibly friendly and takes care not to piss the local activists off â€“ which is a very big advantage compared to mobilisations into other towns, where often, people and activists not yet known might find it difficult to be included and trusted.
After the protests, it is also hard to tidy up, in the respect, as you need to dismantle the dreams and visions connected with the places, the places standing for an alternative, better future we long for, the places symbolising mainly positive experiences for us, images for a possible world not foccused on making as much money as possible, but actually based on caring for each other, based on solidarity, mutual aid, respect, responsibility and freedom.
We are also able to continue with a new little Indymedia Centre now in the basement of the Forest building (tel: 0131 225 6885) in Edinburgh.
I dearly love this place already, not for what it actually is, but because of its already young history, for where it came from and how it got started. This is keeping up the spirits.
An experienced, wide and far travelled activist stated with relief after the clean up when leaving:
â€œFor the first time after a big counter summit mobilisation, I actually feel we have left something good behind for the locals.â€?