May 16th 1998 saw the first Global Street Party, responding to Transnational Companies increased attempts to dismantle National limitations on trade and the free movement of capital.
The day the G8 Group of World leaders met in Birmingham discussing how to further lower our wages and environmental standards,and further increase their profits, a variety of acts of defiance took place in over thirty cities worldwide. These varied from traditional Reclaim The Streets tactics of blocking off major roads with tripods and sheer weight of numbers, to Critical Mass bicycle protests, marches, rallies ,and riots. The most radical actions took place in Prague where 3000 partied,smashed up a cop car,billboards,and Mcdonalds,with 40 people arrested,and in Geneva where banks,jewellers,were attacked before a standoff with riot cops near the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation.
In Birmingham the G8 summit was relocated,as 5000 people blocked off the busy Bull Ring road surrounded by a heavy police presence.Other cities including Ljubljana, Sydney, Toronto,Tel-Aviv, Stockholm,Lyon,Utrecht, and Brisbane showed their opposition to the Globalisation,which threatens to shift power even further from the individual into the hands of unaccountable Big Business.
A Worldwide Day Of Action on Friday June 18th 1999 has been called, to coincide with next years G8 meeting in Koln, Germany. The actions should occur in the major financial districts of each city,or at the headquarters of a Multinational near you,organised autonomously by a diverse range of local groups. Go for it!
"The Struggle for car-free space must not be separated from the struggle against global capitalism. The streets are as full of capitalism as of cars and the pollution of capitalism is much more insidious."
June saw 2 major simultaneous Reclaim the Streets actions in north and south London, with thousands successfully reclaiming space in Tottenham and Brixton.