(Update: Chris Knight suspended over G20-activism) The G20 summit in London next month may be marked by one of the biggest demonstrations since a million people marched against war in Iraq in 2003. According to The Sunday Telegraph, the demonstrations are being organised by anthropologists Camilla Power and Chris Knight.
Under the slogan “Storm the Banks", the two members of The Radical Anthropology Group are urging the public to vent its anger on the financiers and bank executives many blame for the global economic crisis. They think it is necessary to question or even overthrow capitalism - a taboo topic for the ruling elites.
Very interesting: The Telegraph writes that the two anthropologists work at the University of East London, which is based close to the headquarters of some of the world’s biggest banks. The University is “proud of its links with the City of London and multinational companies based in London".
The paper quotes the university’ website who “boasts“:
“We are committed to do all we can to ensure that our expertise is made available to benefit business and society. Utilising the wealth of expertise, research capabilities and facilities at UEL our solutions help companies to become more profitable, more competitive and more sustainable.”
(Or take a look at the frontpage of the university and study the language: Is this a university or a oil company or even a bank??)
Anyway, Camilla Power thinks her role in organising the protests does not conflict with her position at UEL and says:
“What our university management thinks is good for students and academics does not always accord with what students and academics think is good for them.”
But maybe they don’t disagree at all? A spokeswoman for UEL said (diplomatically?):
“The University of east London includes a range of academic disciplines and individual academics who advocate a range of viewpoints. We are proud of our diversity, which fosters a spirit of critical inquiry, and we support freedom of debate. We are also proud of our active partnerships with business.”
As often the case when people take to the streets, the media are mostly interested in writing about violence and “the worst public disorder for a decade“. . Up to 3,000 police officers will be on the streets. Armed undercover officers will mingle in the crowds while police snipers will be stationed on rooftops.