Djcnor’s Weblog

G20 Observations

Posted on: April 1, 2009

Naturally, British news has been full of the G20 meetings and the protests surrounding them. It’s interesting for an American to watch because Obama and all he represents is such a very large part of it all.

The Brits are fascinated by Obama’s car. You wouldn’t believe the amount of coverage being given to it. Its name. Its features. The fact that the Pres was told to move his car in favor of the Queen. The funniest part is the amount of time given to full coverage of the process of moving and reparking the car.

Another thing that caught my attention was the  way that Brit police dealt with the protesters. I’m sure this country has kidnapping laws. Yet the British police walled off large groups of protesters at several different places. I can understand, for the sake of safety of the protesters themselves, who were converging on the spots from several directions, limiting the influx into the central recipient space. But the policy of the Brit police in not letting protesters leave that space after the police had cut off further entry, not even to receive medical treatment for injuries caused in confrontations with police, amounts to kidnapping. It is also a policy designed to discourage participation in protests. It says, “Don’t dare to come if you might need to go to the bathroom, or eat, or treat your diabetes, or any number of other things within several hours.” It could result in totally unnecssary medical emergencies.

It is wrong. It is kidnapping. And I hope it is brought to court.

The third thing, of course, is the ultimatum delivered in concert by Sarcozy of France and Merkel of Germany. demanding binding reform of world financial markets as the price of their participation and agreement to whatever the meeting produces. The news I’m reading seems to see it as aimed at Britain. Mind you, I absolutely agree that concrete steps must be taken to curb tax havens, hedge funds, and rating agencies.

Last, never doubt that the significance of a black American President has been fully appreciated by European blacks. Their smiles were as broad and their eyes as moist as those of American blacks on inauguration day. They came just for a glimpse, just to see it with their own eyes. The times have changed, and I am glad to be around for it.


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