‘Say Nae to the G20’ protest in St. Andrews

G20 protesters in London

By Anna Fenton

Hundreds of people will assemble in Market Street, St Andrews at 1:30pm Saturday 7th, to say ‘nae’ to the G20.

The demonstration, which has been supported by Stop the War, the SSP, a growing number of unions and St Andrews student societies, has been called in order to demonstrate opposition to the policies of the G20 finance ministers who are meeting in St Andrews for a summit on the economic recovery.

The G20 is taking place next on 7th November in St. Andrews, a month before UN climate change talks commence in Copenhagen.  Whilst the G20 itself is taking place outside of St. Andrews, many protest events will be taking place in St. Andrews’s centre. Campaigning groups united under the slogans ‘Put People First’ and ‘No more Business as Usual’ will be petitioning the G20 countries to take their views on board. 

“The G20 are continuing to prioritise unsustainable economic growth, which is causing catastrophic environmental degradation.  Whilst they enjoy their luxuries at the Fairmont hotel, we will be there as the voice of the voiceless,” said Amir Gholami, a third year philosophy student also at St. Andrews.

“I’m against the G20 because they are an unrepresentative, undemocratic organization that serves the few at the expense of the many. It’s like a private men’s club,” said Alistair Martin, a fourth year international relations student at Edinburgh.

‘Nae to G20’ say that the G20 has helmed one of the largest economic recessions in history and has been responsible for the growing gap between the rich and the poor.  Organisers have stated they do not want the G20 in their town, or anywhere.

“We are organising protests against the G20 to create a public discourse opposing the neo-liberal economic policies crafted by the G20, policies that are designed to advance the richest nations of the world at the expense of the poor. We are protesting because the multitude of voices resisting the G20 globally are not given a voice and as such must take to the streets to show their dissent” says Alex Brown, media liason for the group.

‘Nae Tae G20’ is a group made up of locals and students, ordinary people unhappy at the presence of the G20 in St Andrews.  As well as being endorsed by Stop the War and the Scottish Socialist Party, they also have the support of a number of other organisations, including Lower Rents Now! Coalition, numerous workers unions throughout Scotland and St. Andrews University student societies.

Speaking in The Courier earlier this week, Fife Police Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Barker said St Andrews should not experience any difficulties as a result of the protests: “Our policing intention over the period of the summit is to ensure the minimum level of disruption to the day-to-day lives of local people, consequently Fife Constabulary has utilised a dedicated team which has been planning for some considerable time for this event.”