The Guardian 6 July, 2005

"Make Poverty History"

More than 250,000 people marched through Edinburgh on July 2 as part of anti-capitalist actions around the world under the demand "Make Poverty History". The actions are in the lead up to the G8* summit on July 6 in Gleneagles, Scotland. In the bright sunshine in Edinburgh the march was unstoppable, a thick mass of people across the roads and spilling onto the pavements. The people waved their placards to the beat of drums. The march streamed ahead, the biggest in Scotland’s history.

Joining them were representatives from around he world, including Kumi Naidoo of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.

The objectives of the actions were summed up by the organisers: the gap between the world’s rich and poor has never been wider; malnutrition, AIDS, conflict and illiteracy are a daily reality for millions. "But it is not chance or bad luck that keeps people trapped in bitter, unrelenting poverty. It is man-made factors like a glaringly unjust global trade system, a debt burden so great that it suffocates any chance of recovery and insufficient and ineffective aid."

By 3 pm in Edinburgh over 120,000 campaigners had jammed into Meadows Park. Queues snaked back and forth around the park as demonstrators lined up to march through the city. People came from as far as the Isle of Egg off the west coast of Scotland and the Shetlands. Nine-year-old Alexander said she and her family had travelled so far to stop people dying in Africa.

The rubber-faced G8 leader’s were led ably by a rubber-face Tony Blair, AKA Mark Winton, circulating in the crowd promoting greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Organised by the World Student Development Movement, the rubber-faced G8 leaders are specifically lobbying for greater availability of Anti Retro Viral drugs (ARVs) in Africa.

The march struck a chord with a plethora of societies and groups. A great atmosphere prevailed. Hundreds of thousands of people stood in line patiently for hours waiting for their chance to move forward into the streets of Edinburgh to complete the march. Chants, drums, protest songs, complete with cups of tea and plates of chips!

*G8 is the exclusive grouping of the political leaders of the world’s most industrialised, wealthy and powerful states. It is not an institution, it has no constitution or charter, and it has no permanent secretariat or headquarters. Its members are the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada and the president of the European Union.

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