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UPDATE: G8/NATO summit (May 19-21), G20 summit (June 18-19)

A G8/ NATO summit will take place this May 19-21 in Chicago.

The Daily Northwestern reports, “Chicago City Council approved ordinances January 18 that will tighten protest regulations during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Group of Eight (G8) summits scheduled for May 19-21. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed ordinances to regulate hours for public protesting and increase fines for demonstrators resisting arrest. Occupy Chicago and the Coalition Against NATO/G8 Agenda of War and Poverty (CANG8), along with other union groups, joined forces to challenge the proposed protesting restrictions. …Emanuel originally proposed a maximum fine of $1000 for resisting or obstructing a police officer, but after the meeting, police superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended instituting a fine range of $25 to $500. …Northwestern art history Prof. David Van Zanten said the actual summits will likely result in a section of the city being closed down. The event may resemble the only other American precedent, the 2009 G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, he said.”

CBS News adds, “Officials planning the NATO and G8 summits have launched a campaign to convince Chicago residents that the upcoming meetings will be more than worth the inconvenience they might cause. …(But) security details have not yet been revealed to them, or anyone else; not even organizers determined to put their best face on what could be a historic event. …Earlier this month, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said, ‘quite frankly on May 17th, people outta leave. If you’re in the perimeter, find other ways. I’m hearing it from everybody left and right in the ward that they’re saying they’re gonna leave town starting probably Wednesday or Thursday (before the summits) and come back on the Tuesday.’ …With world leaders from 70 nations in town for the summits, you can multiply the presidential motorcade by 70 to get an idea of what it’ll be like during those three days in May, when, for better or for worse, the eyes of the world will be on Chicago.”

A large protest is planned in Chicago for May 19.

And a G20 summit will take place this June 18-19 in Los Cabos, Mexico.

A Financial Post blog notes, “Mexico, led by president Felipe Calderon, should use its G20 presidency to push for a streamlined membership and a radical overhaul of the G7 at its core, an influential voice (Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management) in global economics has said. In an interview with the FT, O’Neill said that a new-look G7 could consist of the US, Japan, a single seat to represent eurozone countries, and the four so-called Bric nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Among other things, such a shake-up would mean the UK and Canada losing their places. …Now in his last year in office, centre-right Mexican President Felipe Calderón has made it clear that he wants to achieve concrete advances at the forthcoming G20 Summit, to be held in the Mexican resort of Los Cabos in June. The country’s foreign ministry has been working behind the scenes for months to try to ensure a successful agenda during Mexico’s presidency of the group.”

In January 2011, the Toronto Sun reported, “Toronto-listed Vista Gold Corp. …is trying to get regulatory approval to blast an open-pit mine (the Concordia mine) in Baja’s Sierra la Laguna mountain range, a United Nations biosphere reserve. The United Nations says Sierra la Laguna is important because of its freshwater supply — a rarity in mostly arid Mexico — and because its water basin drains into sea turtle spawning grounds. Whales also rely on connected estuaries. …The region is the main source of drinking water for as far south as Los Cabos – a popular Canadian tourist destination.”

The G8 summit in Huntsville and the G20 summit in Toronto in June 2010:

  • were presented as promoting austerity, but cost about $1.24 billion to stage
  • included an announcement by Canada to contribute $1.1 billion for maternal health, a commitment less than the price tag for the summits
  • pledged $5 billion for maternal health, well short of the $30 billion the United Nations says is necessary to stop preventable deaths
  • pledged to cut their deficits in half by 2013, which means cutbacks and privatizations
  • noted that climate change would remain ‘top of mind’ without taking action to address this crisis
  • recommitted to the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round
  • resulted in mass arrests and violations of fundamental democratic rights.