Adapting to changing times.

Guest writer Davy Carlin, a Belfast activist, with his views on the G8 summit. 

Today’s world is a far different place than that of the beginnings of the recent Irish War, better known today, as the ‘Troubles’. Yet, within such a local insurrection it is nevertheless important to acknowledge the global and historical context in which that insurrection had taken place.

It is within that remit that I pen but a few brief initial points and suggestions of lessons that I believe can be taken into today for those of radical outlook.

At that time, and within that previous decade or so, the world had seen growing armed rebellions,   mass student revolts, and black, gay, feminist and minority mass civil and liberation rights movements and more, indeed it had seen the questioning of the world as it was then, with millions struggling to change it.

From that, inspiration was taken from many here local, and so we were to see our own civil rights movement and then soon, we were also to see the rise of armed insurrection.

30 years on and a decade or so back, we again had seen the increased questioning of the ‘New world order’ and the impact that capitalism was having on our world. Millions more were again not only opening their eyes to a world that was seeing millions starve and thirst to death in the interests of a few, seeing wars of death and destruction being waged in the interest of that few, seeing the creation of boom and bust with most of the wealth of the world owned by that select few, but also seeing many more opening their minds to the possibility of a better, fairer and more equal world.

Again mass global awareness and mobilisation began, this time co –ordinated on a scale as never before witnessed in such terms. Ten of millions of us mobilised, marched, agitated and occupied, against war and racism, against globalisation and poverty, against capitalism and the control held within the hands of a few over the many.

And, this was all brought back home locally, which had seen hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands mobilise together on issues of common concern. One such event had seen thousands mobilise against the arrival of George W Bush {American President} and Tony Blair {British Prime minister} who had arrived to attempt to, illuminate us, with their presence. Their war summit and bloodlust which was to slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocence had seen them specifically choose the North of Ireland as their apt place to further plan such.

Now, in the short time ahead, we are again to be hosts for world leaders, as the G8 is soon to arrive in the North, which is being sold as being one of the most high profile events ever to take place in the North.

Of course they will be fawned upon by many of our political class and more. Yet while at times we have found inspiration in struggle and such stance from other lands, we too, have always been a people to provide inspiration in struggle and stance to other lands.

At this time of recession, fear reeks, negativity abounds and even once radical heads are bowed, just to get by.  Many though smaller and individual struggles still go on to seek to provide a better life for those local and afar. Indeed history has shown us that struggle ebbs and flows, that there is time for organised retreat as there is for mass mobilisation of collective unity.

Yet while the G8 will be a time for the rich and powerful to further divvy up the world for the few, to wine, dine and be merry, it can also be a time for those with revolutionary and radical minds and hearts, through to those of progressive and liberal minds and hearts to begin to fight back against the fear and negativity, the greed and the gluttony, the corruption and control.

And although the political left is in retreat and even in ructions within many organisations and areas, this can be a time to locally re-kindle our forces, to seek to create momentum, to again link arms, to mobilise and march to the drum and vibes of human solidarity and within the ebb and flow of our collective history.

Let us not forget what the G8 is really about, no matter what is said or read.

It is an elite club; a club where decisions are made that have and do destroy the lives of millions through their neo liberalist agenda. It is where the warmongers meet; it is where repression and suppression of rights of peoples and their land is agreed. And while they may voice that they are also setting goals to protect the poorest on the planet – the G8 is primarily where the world is divvied up by the few in the interest of the elite, and much more of the kind.

So let’s further prepare the ground work, let us again be that inspiration to those local and afar, that shows that even within these harsh times, that our heads will not be bowed but held high and that with arms linked that we can still march in solidarity with and for each other, for a different, better more equal type of world.


  1. Well said Davy. I'm already stocking up with Kleenex in preparation for being moved to tears by the words of the great and the good and how they're going to change the world. Not.

    I can picture the local gombeens now, running around kissing arses as the G8 vomits up more extortion rackets under the guise of debt reduction schemes and manufacture more wars and famines to ensure such schemes will always profit them.

    A people's summit, that's what we need.

  2. Belfast Bookworm-

    " A peoples summit,that's what we need "

    Well its a pity we cant find a hotel or a bigger venue which would hold all the people- what about if a hotel is booked and the representives who the people voted for speak on our behalf-what about that-or even better-why dont you book a venue and invite the people to it on the same day as the G8 one-Bring a book with you in case its the only company you would get-

  3. MH; would you ask one of your party mates could they lend me one of their big houses for it and I'll get cracking on organising it?

  4. So they are pumping in a least 250k to spuce up shop fronts..(from the Belfast Tel 26/12/12) a head of the G8 in Fermanagh and Enniskillen..

    Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has already allocated £250,000 to fund a revitalisation programme in Fermanagh to pay for shopfront dressing, town centre lighting and provision of a marquee and pop-up stalls for use in public spaces.

    Apart from finding out about U-turns done by the PRM and the lies they told..The sums of money I keep seeing..There is Billions going about that aren't doing anything apart from papering over the cracks...(and paying for big houses)

  5. Michael I can't understand why you'd choose to attack Bookworm on this issue, it just proves to me you're incapable of accepting anything said by anyone who doesnt't go along with your party. The best part of it is in your foolish desire to try and get one over you've actually aligned yourself with the forces of the IMF and World Bank, who control the world by indebting it and making sure there's no way out other than on their terms. And yet you'd have us believe Sinn Fein are still a party committed to at least some degree of socialism!

    If you could get over yourself for one second you'd agree that Bookworm is spot on, the G8 and the policies that derive from this organisation are designed to continue the process whereby the rich get richer while the poor lose out. Just where the hell do you and your party stand here? Are you against the corrupt processes that emanate from the G8 and are designed to ensure continued control over the world's resources and its people? Or are you just against those like Bookworm who you don't like? Obviously as far as you're concerned Bookworm is the greater evil here and the one more worthy of attack. Truly pathetic, in fact it's downright disgusting.

    Once again you're personal attacks do a disservice to whatever, if any, point it is you try to make. Perhaps the problem is you have nothing to offer so distraction is served out in the form of inflammatory language designed to shift the parameters of the debate. That would be easier than addressing the real issues here. Have you anything constructive to offer or is that just too much to expect?

  6. Sean; Michael Henry in all probability doesn't know what the IMF or World Bank are or of the horrific social and economic devastation it's policies inflict on developing countries. . He no doubt thinks its a great idea to have the G8 here. Great advertising for Norn Iron.

    His boss McGuinness 'welcomes' it but cautiously added (to keep the party faithful who still believe socialism is part of SF strategy happy) added that he hoped it would provide an opportunity for world leaders to sit down and discuss the serious issues affecting the world;

    'Not least the situation in the Middle East, in Syria and Palestine between the Palestinians and the Israelis."

    McGuinness neglected to add 'the serious issues that are the making of every rotten war-hawk of the G8'

    He also obviously forgot that he was photographed with the Israeli ambassador, holding a brochure encouraging tourism in Israel - despite his 'concerns' about Palestine.

    I wonder which suit he'll wear in Fermanagh?