Tag Archives: g8

Democracy Now! on G20 Summit Toronto

Great G20 summit coverage!

Watch in full above (recommended!) or watch each part below:

1. Fortress Toronto: Massive Security Clampdown for G8/G20 Meetings Most Expensive in Canadian History – go to video

2. CODEPINK Activist Detained for Over 48 Hours at Canadian Border After Being Denied Entry to Canada – go to video

3. Indigenous Activists Protest G8/G20 Meetings in Toronto – go to video

4. Indigenous Leader Art Manuel: “Indigenous People Are the First Ones Impacted” by Western-Driven Resource Extraction – go to video

5. Indigenous Groups Lead Struggle Against Canada’s Tar Sandsgo to video

6. Canadian Activist Stefan Christoff Targeted by Government Surveillance, Harassment Ahead of G20 Summit – go to video

G8 history: Undermined post-war 3rd world justice project

G8 history: Undermined post-war 3rd world justice project

Academic and activist Vijay Prashad on the ‘Third World Project’ and the G8

Interview by Sharmeen Khan, CHRY

The 3rd World Project was a very hopeful post-World War II economic justice and political equality effort amongst the majority of countries in the global south (‘the Darker Nations’ of Prashad’s book on the subject).  The aim was to “create a different kind of world for their people.”

In this interview, Prashad outlines how the G8 (then the G7) was created to destroy the project in order to ensure global economic and political supremacy of the G7 countries.  They were able to undermine it through promotion of corporate globalization, and through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

Prashad recaps the history of the 3rd World Project, analyzes how it was undermined and discusses what this has meant for the people of the south. He then discusses the meaning of current transfer of power from the G8 to the G20.


Part I: What was the ‘3rd World Project’?

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Part II: How the G7 set out to destroy the 3rd world project. And succeeded.

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Part III: What is the meaning of the power shift from the G8 to the G20 currently taking place?

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About the interview:

Vijay Prashad joined CHRY host Sharmeen Khan by phone. Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor in International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conneticut. He has recently written ‘The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World

[June 2010, CHRY 105.5 FM, Toronto]



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Special thanks to Krystalline Kraus’s blog for many of the links!

Canada, abortion, the ‘good woman’, and the G8

Canada, abortion, the ‘good woman’, and the G8

At the G8 meeting in Halifax, Canada stated clearly that is will not be including abortion in its maternal and child health plans at the G8 meetings in Huntsville, including any funding of abortions. This could set off a potential impasse with other countries, including the U.S., which lifted the Bush administration ban on funding abortion in its development projects. The U.S., which is likely to tread lightly given its own highly organized anti-abortion groups, has said it will not cause a U.S./Canada split.

There is an excellent op-ed in the Globe and Mail today, taking the Harper government to task ‘bad policy’ on its maternal health initiative: “by refusing to fund abortions… the Conservative government is effectively saying only women who become mothers are worthy of complete health care…

It further argues that: “the maternal health initiative embeds these ideas in public policy. If you are a good woman, a woman who mothers, you will be rewarded with health care. If not, if you dare to be a non-mother, necessary health care will be withheld. In fact, the refusal to provide comprehensive health care to such a woman can be interpreted as punishment for being a bad woman.” Harper’s top-down do-good plans at the G8 seem more and more like a platform for his ideology.

I suspect there won’t be a lot done on maternal health when all is said and done in Huntsville, and there certainly won’t be any fundamental economic changes which are at the heart of poor health.

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, health care solutions (though they are important) that don’t acknowledge the sources of poverty and poor health are not nearly enough. Medicalized, band-aid solutions have been proposed for years, and poor health is as rampant as ever. But anything that might question globalization’s own role in this economic precariousness is surely off the G8 discussion table (and far away in another room).

G8 Foreign ministers get acquainted in Quebec; talk Afghanistan, Iran

G8 Foreign ministers get acquainted in Quebec; talk Afghanistan, Iran

A number of key things came out of this week’s G8 foreign ministers meetings.

1. One item of importance to Canadians is that the Conservative government plans to continue with its Afghanistan withdrawal plans and be out of the country by 2011. I am happy to hear this and that Canada is holding firm against U.S. pressure to stay, though I don’t think we should have been there to begin with.

However, due to the withdrawal, the Canadian government is reasoning that there is no need for, and will not be, any more debate around Afghanistan. What? Imagine if the government decides to change its withdrawal plans due to ‘new’ circumstances? At that point, won’t we be thinking that there should have been debate during that year and a half? And

In any case, Parliament needs to be debating the things that happen over the next 21 months, a lot of time for many developments to transpire. Maybe they figure it isn’t much time since the war has been going on since 2002, but that leaves plenty of time for lives lost and people maimed over the next year and nine months.

Further, does this end of debate also include the detainee debate? Finally, what will happen after 2011? What is Canada’s role then?

Ignatieff (the Canadian opposition leader) is right, the Conservatives want to do foreign policy through the media, with no Parliamentary oversight and debate.

2. There is a plan for an Afghanistan-Pakistan border trade initiative “to help improve trade between the two countries and strengthen border infrastructure.” I don’t fully understand the details, though it does seem like a plan build an economic solution to help people economically to dissuade them from joining the Taliban. Not sure how all that will work, and it doesn’t seem like they know either. Window dressing?

3. And Iran. The G8 has been kind enough to open dialogue with Iran over their nuclear program, though they call for strong measures against them as well. Setting aside the unspeakable fact that four G8 countries are nuclear weapons states themselves, there is little evidence that Iran has nuclear capabilities, or will in the future. The White House even announced this back in February:

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the US “do not believe they have the capability” to enrich the uranium to the 20 percent level, as President Ahmadinejad claimed earlier today.

Iran has been enriching uranium at 3.5 percent, the level needed for its power generation program. On Tuesday they announced that they were beginning to enrich uranium at 20 percent, the level needed for their medical reactor. The IAEA indicated yesterday that Iran has converted a small percentage of its enrichment program to the 20 percent level.

Since the announcement, US officials have insisted that they needed to make haste with new sanctions against Iran, claiming that the 20 percent enrichment (though itself legal and innocuous) could have been a step toward the capability to enrich uranium above 90 percent, or weapons grade.

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