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G8 2004 Savannah/ Activists pressure pays off

by NCRPA Wednesday, Jan. 07, 2004 at 9:59 PM

Political thaw in Savannah: Officials get behind planned G8 Summit Actions

G8 2004 Savannah/ Ac...
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We need your support now!


The City of Savannah has come on board with activist plans for Free Speech events during the G8 Summit (June 8 through 10).

Between June 8 and June 10, 2004, thousands of demonstrators will

descend on Savannah to protest the G8 Summit staged on Sea Island.

In the past, these events have been marked by confrontations between

protesters and local police. In an unusual move, local free speech

activists and local officials have joined hands to turn this around.

"We know that thousands of people are coming," explained Kellie

Gasink, national coordinator for the Savannah-based National Coalition

to Repeal the Patriot Act, "We also know that unless the people

of Savannah organize the event for their benefit, then it will be

organized by the demonstrators and the police. We don't need that."

Gasink and at least 100 activists from throughout the southeast

laid the groundwork for G8 actions in Macon meeting in December.

Today, final touches are being put on a week-long free speech festival in June,

coinciding with the Sea Island summit.

"In many respects, G8 2004 will be very different, " Gasink continued.

"For one, this is the first meeting of this type to be held in a

region where Black people predominate. This is actually the 'Black'

G8. That means that the demands of the Black community for racial

justice, economic development, the end of police brutality and judicial

misconduct, among others, will come to the fore. The eyes of the

world will be on Savannah in June 2004 and the people of Savannah will tell their story to the world. The visitors will simply assist us."

We need your support now!


The proposed free speech festival in June will include a star-studded

concert, a parade through downtown Savannah, a free speech zone and wall

and numerous art installations throughout the city.

"The support of local civil and law enforcement officials has been marvelous," said Gasink. "The people of Savannah should be proud.

Unlike other cities that have faced the G8 phenomenon with dread, Savannah officials have looked the tiger in the eye and concluded with us that we can make this very historic event work for the benefit of all our people."

As of January 6, city officials have endorsed the use of the city's main park for a G8 Free Speech Festival and Parade. The park will also serve as the Free Speech Zone where local and international activist groups may set up information booths. Vendors will be welcome, too. The park will also house the Free Speech Walls, two 80 ft structures where activists and organizations will be invited to post their statements.

An Artists Committe was formed on January 4 to organize visual, performance and film screening events during the Festival.

Plans for a major concert are still on the way, as we struggle to find a large enough local venue. Federal authorities have now claimed the Savannah Civic Center (the largest inddor facility) for their own, apparently even icing out the local police.

We are gearing up, engaging over 35 local organizations and 50 regional groups to make the Savannah Actions during the G8 Summit the most positive and politically stunning protest events in decades.

We need your support.

Monies are needed for permits and deposits and rents.

Already 50 supporters have joined the Savannah 125 since December 5, 2003

(125 supporters who have donated at least to our efforts.)

If you cannot visit Savannah during the G8 Summit, then you can still have your presence felt.

Click here to donate


Let's show the world what the international progressive community can do in Savannah, June 8-10, 2004.

Contact: Kellie Gasink

National Coordinator

National Coalition to Repeal the Patriot Act

G8 Organizing Committee/ Savannah

Mail To:

National Coalition to Repeal the Patriot Act

22 Bryan Street (172)

Savannah, GA USA


Tel: 866. 237. 7563 (toll free)



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