A Summit for People About People

The G20 are coming to Toronto and it’s costing Canadian’s more than $1 billion in security costs, plus even more in lost productivity and wages. As a contrast to that, there are a series of events happening during the G20 conference that cost a heck of a lot less that brings together leaders of the world.

These leaders are getting together to ensure that at least on some level, people’s concerns are put ahead of corporate concerns.

Take, for example, the Council of Canadians (COC) public Shout-out for Global Justice on June 25.

Relocated to Massey Hall from the University of Toronto because the latter will be shut down for security reasons, it gathers prominent international speakers such as COC chair Maude Barlow, author-activist Naomi Klein and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman who will call for climate, water, economic and social justice.

“These really are world leaders coming together — and we’re doing it for less than a billion dollars,” says Mark Calzavara, COC’s regional organizer for Ontario and Quebec.

Keep reading at the Star.

As a bonus, these alternative summits don’t need fences!

A Canadian Bookstore’s G20 Reading List

The arrival of the G8 and G20 later this month to Ontario has a lot of Canadians upset – and those who aren’t are welcome to read some books. Canada’s largest bookstore chain has a display of books to read to learn about the complexities of what the G20 is all about.

It’s a good list of books that you should take a look at. Are there books you’d like to see on the list?

The book chain has created a reading list and series of G20 tables in its stores across Canada to “promote dialogue,” said Bahram Olfati, Chapters’ vice president for adult trade.

“You see people such as Bono talking about giving aid to Africa. We have included the book Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo, which says this aid isn’t really helping,” said Olfati. “It is one of my favourite books on the tables.”

With subheads such as “Outlaw Literature,” the tables are the product of a series of roundtable discussions among Chapters executives and staff to cover G20 issues from the left, right and centre, said Olfati.

But each store has the leeway to add to the table. And the one Chapters store inside the yellow security perimeter in downtown Toronto for the summit of 20 world leaders this month has decided to include titles by Chomsky, a long-time outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, and a few on Guevara, including Che: A Memoir by Fidel Castro.

Keep reading at The Star.

The 2010 People’s Summit

The G8 and the G20 are coming to Toronto this month and they are effectively shutting down the city (yes, that’s bad news). For a good spin on things, The People’s Summit will be happening as a “counter summit” to the G20’s and bring people from many walks of life together to make the world a better place.

The 2010 People’s Summit is civil society’s alternative “counter Summit” to the G8 and G20 Summits happening in Huntsville and Toronto this June 25th – 27th. Together we will create a space where diverse local and international movements can democratically organize to advocate and educate for global justice.

Community organizers, activists, non-governmental organizations, independent media, workers, impacted communities, artists – the people – converge this June to work together to educate, empower and ignite the positive change we would like to see in our world.

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