“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.” ― Mario Savio okay so here we go. I want to explore the NATO/G8 summits that are going to be held in Chicago in May. What is NATO? The most information regarding this body the general population consumes comes in the form of “more casualties of NATO-led troops” in Iraq and Afghanistan, or about how NATO troops are being deployed to “intervene” or “stabilize” regions like Somalia or Libya. Or some other nonsense. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is:
an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, and the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. The alliance includes 28 members in North America and Europe, with the most recent being Albania and Croatia who joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world’s defence spending… …NATO has added new members seven times since first forming in 1949 (the last two in 2009). NATO comprises 28 members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
My summary: NATO is a tool used by the world’s governing body of elites used to justify and perpetuate wars that serve their best interest (war profiteering, controlling natural resources like oil and strategic locations for future imperialistic endeavors, etc.) with little concern for the needs, wishes and demands of the people from their respective countries. Whenever shit goes down in the world, NATO is there.
And entering into this exploration, I didn’t know that a NATO summit was anything more than a regularly scheduled meeting for these wankers to meet behind closed doors and figure out how to spin their next war agenda to the public. Which it still is. But it’s more than that:
NATO summits are not regular meetings like the more frequent NATO ministerial meetings, but rather are important junctures in the alliance’s decision-making process on the highest level. Summits are often used to introduce new policy, invite new members into the alliance, launch major new initiatives, and build partnerships with non-NATO countries.
And this year is the second time that a NATO summit is being held in conjunction with the G8 summit (The first time was when it was G7, London summit 1977). So let’s take it back a step again, right? What is G8? Is it fly like a G6?
The Group of Eight (G8, and formerly the G6 or Group of Six then G7) is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8. In addition, the European Union is represented within the G8, but cannot host or chair….Collectively, the G8 nations comprise 53.0% of global nominal GDP and 42.5% of global GDP (PPP). [...]
The ministerial meetings bring together ministers responsible for various portfolios to discuss issues of mutual or global concern. The range of topics include health, law enforcement, labor, economic and social development, energy, environment, foreign affairs, justice and interior, terrorism, and trade. There are also a separate set of meetings known as the G8+5, created during the 2005 Gleneagles, Scotland summit, that is attended by finance and energy ministers from all eight member countries in addition to the five “outreach countries” which are also known as the Group of Five — Brazil, People’s Republic of China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. [...] All eight of the G8 countries are amongst the thirteen top-ranked leading export countries. The USA, Germany, Italy, France, Russia and Japan are among the top 10 countries with the largest gold reserves. Some of the world’s 18 largest major stock exchanges by traded value and market capitalization are in G8 countries (U.S., Japan, UK, Canada, Germany, Russia.) G8 countries are represented in the top eleven economies (by nominal GDP) of the world, according to latest (2010 data) International Monetary Fund’s statistics. Also, five countries of the G8 have nominal GDP per capita above US$40,000. (USA, Canada, Japan, France, Germany), from the same 2010 IMF data. The G8 nations also have some of the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, and most powerful militaries. Four of the eight nations are armed with nuclear weapons (France, Russia, UK, USA), three others have the capability to rapidly produce nuclear warheads (Canada, Germany, Japan), and some have nuclear weapons sharing programs (Canada, Germany, Italy). A few of the world’s 10 largest oil producers (Russia, USA, and Canada) and the countries with the third and eighth largest oil reserves (Canada and Russia respectively) are in the G8. Seven of the nine largest nuclear energy producers are in the G8 (USA, France, Japan, Russia, Germany, Canada, UK), even though Germany will wean itself from nuclear power by 2022. The 7 largest donors to the UN budget for the 2011 annual fiscal year are in the G8 (U.S., Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada.) The G8 and the BRIC countries makes up almost all of the 15-nation “trillion dollar club of nations.” All of the G8 and G8+5 countries (minus South Africa) are in the top twenty nations that are ranked by the amount of voting power and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the IMF organization.
So.. a coalition of the most influential/power wielding people in the world – the people who run shit, the people who own the most, who produce the most, who consume the most, exploit the most, gathering to figure out how to move forward (i assume) in a way that furthers their economic
The overlap between NATO AND G8 is clear. However, the fact that they’re holding a joint summit says (to me) that they aren’t even trying to hide the simultaneity of their agendas.
Essentially, to use “occupy” language – these fuckers are the 1%. They are the powers that be, or at least are representatives for those who ultimately control the puppet strings (depending on which theory you’re into). They are gathering to discuss the future of our lives. The future of the globe. And they don’t care what citizens of the world have to say. They really don’t. So in my mind it is imperative that we show up and refuse to let them go on their business as usual without at least acknowledging our presence.
If you cannot make it to Chicago for the summits (may 15-22), participate in the may first general strike, which was called for by Occupy LA:
“In protest against the corruption of the worldwide marketplace, which has led to illegal foreclosures, mass unemployment, low wages, high taxes, and a penalization of all those who do not own the “1%” of the world’s resources, and in solidarity with the im/migrant movements of May 1st, OLA [Occupy Los Angeles] decided to declare May 1st, 2012 a People’s GEneral Strike…OLA is calling upon the people of Los Angeles and the United States of America to take this day away from school and the workplace, so that their absence makes their displeasure with this corrupt system be known…
“…This is a day when we take a stand against the way the system has enslaved us and burdened us with unmanageable debt, incredibly long working weeks, unfeasibly expensive healthcare – by taking a day for ourselves, being human again, spending time with our families and friends” -occupymay1st.org
In over 80 countries around the world, May 1st is celebrated as a “Workers” day, to express solidarity with the Labor movement, to celebrate im/migrant rights, and is recognized as a holiday.
Occupy Los Angeles has called for a massive general strike on May 1, 2012
Fundamentally, the Occupy Movement has its roots in class struggle. it is about the wealth gap, failed trickle-down economics, the fact that most people are slaves to their occupations to pay off mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, or basic survival necessities like food and shelter. We have been manipulated into believing that we should trust those at the top to be “job creators” without questioning who those jobs ultimately benefit. Without causing a disruption to business as usual, those in power cannot get a clear message that the people are fed up, that we will no longer passively watch them benefit from our labor. It is about realizing the vast amount of power and control in the hands of a few. It is about recognizing our common struggle, acknowledging and deepening our understanding of the intersections of our various oppressions. And it’s about celebrating solidarity and the potential of creating the kind of world we would like to live in.
And we’re running out of time. Our rights are slipping away and their control is growing. The time for action is now, ya’ll.