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EU: Uphold Scotland's tradition of peaceful protest - Message from G8 alternatives
01 February 2005
"We would like you consider supporting the following statement that we will be sending to the Scottish and Westminster parliament and to Tayside police. Members of G8 Alternatives which is planning a major alternative summit on Sunday 3rd July in Edinburgh with speakers from all over the world attending have initiated this statement. We would appreciate a reply before Wednesday 9th February. Please do not hesitate to give me a call if you have any queries.
Our freedoms as citizens and our democratic right to voice our opposition to the rulers of the world are in danger of being silenced. Our liberty to peacefully protest free from violence and intimidation is being threatened.
This is what the police and security forces have threatened during the summit of the G8 in Gleneagles this July:
- Major areas of Edinburgh and around Gleneagles cordoned off.
- Buildings in our cities and towns boarded up.
- Thousands of police officers in full riot gear, armed with rubber bullets drafted in from all over Britain.
- People, including young children who live in the Gleneagles area forced to carry an identity card.
- Venues for public meetings and events in Edinburgh vetted by the Home Office.
Nobody in Scotland was consulted about holding the G8 summit. Public opinion was not sought on whether we should play host to the world's greatest warmonger - George W Bush. A number of organisations are preparing for a range of peaceful protests and public meetings, discursive and creative events to show that a better world is possible. This 'movement of movements' includes NGOs, trades unions, academics, campaigners, thinkers and artists. We cannot allow these dissenting voices to be silenced.
We the undersigned, demand a full guarantee from the police and security forces and from the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments that during the summit of the G8 in Gleneagles the July:
- The planned peaceful demonstrations in Edinburgh and at Gleneagles will not be policed by those in riot gear or with rubber bullets.
- Venues for public meetings and events will be made available to campaigners in Edinburgh and in other parts of Scotland.
- People will have the right to protest peacefully during the G8 summit.
- The police and security forces shall not inhibit NGOs, activists, and campaigners from creating spaces and circumstances where families and children can feel safe to peacefully voice their protest.
Unless our freedoms and human rights are fully upheld we believe that the G8 should not meet here at all.
Gill Hubbard on behalf of G8 Alternatives (07985 797022) http://www.g8alternatives.org.uk"
The petition Upholding Scotland's tradition of peaceful protest can now be signed at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/g84peace/petition.html