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Power to the G7 billion, not the G20

The General Assembly of Occupy LSX has called for a global debate about a very different future to the one leaders gathering for the G20 in Cannes are planning.

As the G20 big nations discuss how to impose the full weight of the economic crisis on the backs of first Greek, and then all other working class people across the globe, LSX unanimously agreed these four points:

1. Our global system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust, driven by profit in the interest of the few.

2. An economic system based on infinite growth, but which relies on finite resources, is leading humanity and the environment to destruction. As long as this system remains in place, people of the world continue to suffer from an increasingly unfair share of income and wealth.

3. We seek a global system that is democratic, just and sustainable. The world’s resources must not go to the military or corporate profit, but instead go towards caring for people’s needs: water, food, housing, education, health, community.

4. An international, global collaboration has started, and is working on a statement that will unite the occupy movements across the world in their struggle for an alternative that is focused on and originates from people and their environment.

Ragnhild Dale, who was involved in drafting the statement, said:

We reject the G20 as a valid forum for decision making. It is unjust, unaccountable, lacks transparency and continues to promote a global economic system that is fundamentally unsustainable. We want to create real dialogue and debate, which isn’t happening at the G20. We invite everyone to join us in creating a global statement that reflects the combined voices of the 99 per cent who aren’t at the G20, so that we can realise real change.

Jamie Arad, supporter of OccupyLSX, added:

We ask questions that the G20 will never ask, such as why are decisions that affect 7 billion people made by a powerful elite behind closed doors? Why do we rely on a global economic system based on infinite growth when we know that the world’s resources are finite? Why do we assume the G20 can be trusted to put people and sustainable living before profits and corporate interests?

You might say, well so what? Just 500 people in a churchyard – more people work in just one of the arrogant skyscrapers that surround LSX's old tents and handmade banners. But they are 500 people showing leadership, pointing a way forward – not back to European war, mass unemployment and hunger as in the 1930s. They speak for the interests of millions.

And in the United States, similar messages are coming through. In Oakland, California, 15,000 people brought the entire city to a standstill yesterday. Demanding equality and an end to police brutality, the occupation movement not only took back space they were driven out of last week – they called for a General Strike and, broadly speaking, got it. Schools, businesses and even more important, Oakland's container port closed down. Workers coming on shift turned back, some parking up to join the occupation.

Oakland's police and politicians who unleashed terror on the citizens last week, were nowhere to be seen. Of course, that doesn't mean the fight is over – it is just beginning. But the decision of big unions to support the occupy movement gave them pause for thought.

Occupations run by Assemblies are test beds, showing what people can do when they are independent and liberated. A network of People’s Assemblies can widen this movement to the whole of society, giving it a concrete form that can appeal to all those under attack from capitalism.

Assemblies can facilitate a transition to a democratic society based on co-operation and self-determination instead of profit and corporate power. They will disprove in action the lie that there is no alternative to the capitalist system and the states/local government bodies that serve it. Go here to read more about People's Assemblies and how they can change the world.

Penny Cole
Contributing editor
3 November 2011

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