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Just What IS The G20, And Who Is Protesting It?

Topics: Politics | Add A CommentBy admin | June 28, 2010

Judging by the damage done to Starbucks and American Apparel last weekend, the protesters mostly hate crap coffee and hipsters. And is the G20 creating the new world order? Maybe.

Whatever the G20 is up to, it gets their fans
more excited than Detroit Tiger fans in 1984

If you don’t feel like you have a clear idea of what the Group of Twenty really is, you’re not alone. More than half the people randomly surveyed on the streets of New York recently had no idea either. Is it a luxury car? A high-powered handgun? A French supermarket chain? A group of avant-garde Belgian artists? While the answers to all those questions are “yes”, we’re talking about the G20 that met in Toronto over the weekend. And the answer to what that G20 is is a little more complicated. If you’re a little more on the paranoid side, you’re probably convinced that it’s the public face of the mysterious Bilderberg Group, and that it’s an evil cabal engineering the demise of the US Dollar and planning a global currency so that its members (essentially bankers and multibillionaires) can take control of the global economy, and thereby have secret control of all the nations of the world. And who knows; you may be right. In spite of the Group of Twenty’s wall-to-wall media coverage, we still mostly only hear about how much their meetings are being protested, not what they’re actually planning. I personally don’t get a warm tingly feeling about the organization; if you look at the member list, you’ll note that the US representatives are two of the geniuses – Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke – that spin back and forth through the revolving doors of Wall Street, the Treasury Department, and the Fed Bank, and can largely be given credit for getting the economy in the mess it’s in in the first place. Which should be reason enough to protest them. But seriously, what are the protesters protesting? Judging by the damage done to Starbucks and American Apparel, they mostly hate crap coffee and hipsters. But this piece on SocialistWorker.org probably sums it up with the least hyperbole I was able to find, and it boils down to this: the G20 is a handful of bankers and world leaders that no-one has asked to get together and decide that they know what’s best for over 6 billion people, and they haven’t shown in the past that they really have anyone’s interest in mind but their own. And who exactly are the protesters? Well, it’s hard to tell, because the Black Bloc strategies used by the more violent ones dominate media coverage, to the extent that the more “wingnut” sources perform in-depth shoe analyses to imply that the black bloc protesters are actually cops. But if you visit a site like TorontoMobilize.org, it appears the bulk of the protesters were Toronto-based organizations of women, people of color, indigenous peoples, the poor, the working class, queer and trans people, and disabled people, and that they just may have some legitimate complaints.

The G20 logo for Toronto’s summit bears a strange resemblance to a fire hose dousing a protester, or a mechanical claw descending from the sky to grab hold of the human race:

These are the US representatives to the G20. You may remember them from some of their other recent financial planning.

The protesters are mostly regular old oil-smeared people like you and me: