Huge UK economic justice protests expected for G20 meeting

By staff writers
March 27, 2009

Thousands of peaceful protesters are expected to join rallies on Saturday 28 March ahead of the 2 April 2009 G20 rich countries' summit on the global financial crisis.

The 'Put People First' platform is being supported by trades unionists, church and faith bodies, development agencies, civil society groups and social organisations.

The focus of the march is on the inter-related issues of "jobs, justice and climate".

The Christian organisations sponsoring the coalition are CAFOD, Christian Aid, Christian Ecology Link, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, Ekklesia, Micah Challenge UK, Operation Noah, Progressio, Salvation Army, SCIAF, SPEAK (the evangelical student social justice network), Tearfund, Traidcraft and World Vision.

A 'Put People First' spokesperson explained; "Even before the banking collapse, the world suffered poverty, inequality and the threat of climate chaos.

"We have followed a financial model that has created an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental. Our future now depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future. There can be no going back to business as usual."

The Metropolitan Police warned last week that militants were also planning in an "unprecedented" way ahead of the summit.

Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown has said anger over the financial crisis will mean people are more likely to "sympathise" with the "hard-line G20 protesters".

But participants in the main march are concerned that this should not be used as an excuse for heavy-handed policing or for criminalising non-violent protest.

"This will be a celebration of people-driven solutions as well as a protest against the distortions of a lopsided money-driven global system," a Put People First local coordinator told Ekklesia.

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