G8 outside the gate

As journalists trek toward the G8/20 Summit, it may be hard to muster excitement for another round of unmet
aid pledges
and quickly
forgotten PR moments
for the hosts. Outside the gates there’s perhaps a more interesting story in the showdown between political power and street power.
Yet social activists complain the issues at stake seldom get covered, as focus
tends to settle on anarchist offshoots like the Black Bloc and Padded Bloc,
guaranteed to be wearing the most photogenic attire. Meanwhile,
Indigenous land rights are a
hot topic at related civil society gatherings, as are migrant
workers’ rights
in a global economy, and the proposed Robin
Hood tax.
‘ Journalists who find these things a yawn might want to wake up
and take note: time and again, yesterday’s fringe
are tomorrow’s front

To get an inside track, the G8/20 Toronto Community Mobilization
website is a hub for activities ranging from bike block actions to radical
street parties. Rabble.ca has a G8/20 ‘one
stop shop’
of alt media coverage, and has published a
guide to independent journalists
covering the event, including what to do
when CSIS comes calling. The Toronto Media Co-op, a division of Dominion News,
is reporting on the People’s
, while OpenFile
offers coverage from a local perspective. The G20 Alt Media Centre is already abuzz with
reports, tweets, photos and video from the streets. There are also individual activists like Krystalline Kraus and Stefan Christoff blogging and tweeting
from ground zero, and a lively online debate about the relationship of the
bank bombers
to social movements. Journalists who want to dig further into
the banquet of issues on offer will find a virtual library of resources at the G8 Information Centre provided by the University
of Toronto and Munk School of Global Affairs.