Six people were arrested in London today in the lead up to the G8 Summit next week. Great Britain is hosting the summit, which is to be held in Northern Ireland. Those arrested were allegedly planning anti-capitalist demonstrations. Some are additionally accused of possessing weapons, and planning to add violence to the protests. Despite the arrests, the planned “Carnival Against Capitalism” will most likely be carried out.
The anti-capitalist group uses the symbolism of carnival to engage with its opponents. Protesters stated that carnivals are a time when ordinary people may take to the streets, and those in powerful positions are rendered unable to resist. They cite the global financial crisis as the reason for their continued anger against the G8 members. The group has yet to formally negotiate with the authorities, continuing to maintain that they are uncontrollable.
The G8 Summit has been a favorite target of protesters, and large companies have issued warnings to their employees to use common sense and exercise caution. Separate brawls broke out, and additional arrests were made that concentrated on other protest groups. The group StopG8 crafted a map in May that illustrated targets, at which people were encouraged to display their anger. The map contained hedge fund offices, equity firms, banks and embassies.
Such protests have often turned violent before. In 2009, protests against the G20 summit turned violent, and as a result some 100 arrests were made by police. Today, police say that they have an appropriate plan set in place to ensure the G8 summit goes smoothly. Skirmishes that play out before the media can often gain protest groups the support of the public. The summit may well be a chance for Europe to chart an economic course in turbulent times. Whether or not the views of those that protest will be heeded remains to be seen.
Do the G8 Protesters deserve to be heard in some capacity?
[Image Via The Standard]