*So, what is this G8 Summit?

The Japanese Foreign Ministry explains, “[the G8 Summit is] where
world leaders come together to freely and privately exchange ideas
around one table in order to reach consensus-based decisions on global
issues – particularly those with regard to economic and
social conditions – and effect change in a top-down manner.”

The G8’s origins lie in the oil crisis and global recession of the
1970s. It was formed by leaders of prominent developed nations as a
forum where, amidst their insecurity, they could privately brainstorm
on how to best protect their global interests and standing.

*How does the G8 Summit relate to me?

The G8 has been operating in the same secretive manner since its
start. “Leading” nations have established a system for matching
strengths and guaranteeing their maximum profit and advantage, while
the rest of us – the non-represented – are busy working and
doing what we can to stave off poverty. Leaders at the summit are not
making decisions based in our realities – and the decisions they make
effectively increase the hardships we face.

They weren’t kidding when they said ‘top-down’.

And yet, looking back over the last few decades, impromptu
non-democratically formed organizations like the G8, the IMF, and the
WTO have actually put themselves at the head of global developments.
Their primary concern is to promote policies like free trade, and the
privatization of water and other resources necessary for human
survival. These policies often ignore the rights of local producers,
workers, and consumers – i.e. people – to security
in health, home and livelihood. In this way, they deeply affect our
daily lives. In fact, the right to survival itself is more deeply
affected the further ‘down the chain.

*We won’t stand for this!

We are ready to stand together before this same force that insists
onmaintaining and expanding its own power and authority at the expense
ofothers. As we see it, not only do these high-level deals injure the
livesof countless women and queer persons, but they would readily erase
ourstruggles and existence from the annals of history as well.

*How can they decide our lives without us…

Unlike these self-professed “leader of the free world”, we do not
wish to take part in impassively making judgments of the value of other
people’s lives. We won’t just stand by and watch as others are judged
in this way and “put in their place” either.

Some friends have lost jobs because they refused to wear skirts to
work – while others have lost jobs because they did indeed
wear skirts to work. Friends who never knew where to turn when
pregnant, face charges for murder after making misinformed choices
alone in public restrooms. In India, women that police had refused to
protect from a serial rapist were later arrested for his murder. In
Bolivia, women in debt are seizing the banks, while in Brazil farming
women are reclaiming the land taken from them after their husbands left
for work and never returned. In Japan, a friend is suing a former
employer for constant harassment, “Man or woman! Which is it? Which are

*Open the door – and find another world.

In each of the countries and towns we were born and raised in, there
weredifferent expectations of us * generally shaped by the
political,economic, and cultural environment of the time. These
expectations haveaffected our conscious and unconscious lives. And we
have struggled withthem at times. We have long resisted being boxed in
– by sex, gender,

sexuality, and so much more.The Feminist and Queer Unit does believe
that all our individual realities are linked upon a common stage. We
believe that by listening to each other and seeing how our experiences
intersect, we can carry each other past this current world’s wrongs. We
can open a door to another world.

There is no better way to fight injustice in our social orders than
toconfront what is expected of us – in behaviors and values,
in ouractions, cultures, words, and even daily routines. By recognizing
theworkings of injustice embedded in our minds, we are empowered to
overcomethem. We can defy them, along with the political and economic
imbalancesthey serve to maintain.

Try opening a door that leads you beyond your understanding of what’s obvious in reality.

This summer, with the G8 Summit in Hokkaido and activists gathering
fromaround the world, the Feminist and Queer Unit has come together to
preparea guidebook for assuring women and queer persons will have safe
spaces andopen exchanges of information during the event.

Last year, the feminist and queer presence at the anti-G8 summit
inGermany was extremely strong. Yet Japan cannot achieve the same. Why

That’s one step that leads towards a door we believe needs to be opened.

The Feminist and Queer Unit will be getting involved in the following:

* Holding workshops to allow people to plan new collaborative events& actions together.

* Creating spaces, and possibly a cafe, for feminists, queer people, and their friends

*Creating a feminist and queer issues awareness guidebook
for otheractivists, and getting involved in information exchanges
across lingualbarriers

• Holding workshops for minority groups whose voices are not beingheard within civil society organizations

* Discovering new ways of creating consensus systems that operateunder the assumption on inherent human diversity

* Create a system facilitating the ability of people to turn to eachother for advice in times of trouble or need.

* Work to resolve the different traumas people experience whenworking in the activist field




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