Protest against G8 climate ministerial, London

15 March 2005

Police arrested two protesters at a noisy demonstration protesting the climate policies of G8 ministers meeting today in the City of London.

About 40 activists beat pots and pans and blew whistles to demonstrate their opposition to G8 climate policies, arguing that they served the interests of big business rather than the world’s poor likely to be most affected by global warming.

They were outnumbered by more than 50 police officers behind a metal barricade set up to defend an entrance to The Brewery on Chiswell Street, where the ministerial meeting discussing responses to the climate crisis was being held.

“The ministerial meeting’s aim was to continue with business as usual while portraying industrialized-country governments as the saviours of the environment. We were here today to say enough is enough. We need true climate justice now,� said Matthew Robbins of Rising Tide, a London-based environmental group.

The protesters stressed G8 and World Bank policies of subsidizing oil exploration and extraction, which they said could only make global warming worse.

“This shows how afraid of the truth ministers are, when they have to barricade themselves out of hearing of the public,� said Amy Tanner of the G8 Climate Action Group.

The arrests, on public order grounds, were made as protesters paused by another entrance to The Brewery where they had moved preparatory to dispersing.

The protest followed Monday’s Alternative Summit for Climate Justice, held at nearby Toynbee Hall.

The alternative seminar was also watched closely by more than 20 police in what one participant characterized as “the sort of attempt at intimidation that is becoming routine in Blair’s Britain�.

In the build-up to the G8 Summit in Scotland in July this year the Labour Government will share its future vision of market environmentalism with 20 countries (including the G8 themselves).

So will they practice what they preach or preach what they practice?

£5.5 billion road-building programme to build 200+ new roads.

Airport expansion (12 new runways across Britain); refuse to tax aviation fuel despite government promises to tax polluting industries

£500 million of public money for export guarantees to the oil and gas sector per year in the last three years via the UK Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD).

Nuclear energy classed as 'green' with Labour plans for more reactors

Why leave the future stability of the planet in the hands of these profit-driven megalomaniacs as ecological and social justice is pillaged worldwide.