CrimethInc.: Flashback to June 18, 1999: The Carnival against Capital

A Retrospective, Video, and Comic

When nationalist billionaires attempt to pose as rebels against the global elite, it’s important to remember all the genuine grassroots movements that pose a real threat to those institutions. In that spirit, today we recall how eighteen years ago, demonstrators shut down London’s financial district in protest against the injustices of global capitalism.

Whatever rhetoric he spews about “globalism,” Donald Trump is not an opponent of capitalist globalization, but one of its foremost practitioners, updating it for the 21st century. In contrast with his opportunism, anarchists have always maintained a principled position against so-called “free trade,” coordinating with others around the world to resist its prerogatives and demonstrate other ways of relating to one another and circulating resources. One of the most important clashes in the history of these movements took place on June 18, 1999, in downtown London.

An outgrowth of the free festival movement and the British Earth First! and Reclaim the Streets groups, the Carnival against Capitalism was scheduled to coincide with the 24th summit of the G8 in Birmingham, England and coordinated anti-capitalist demonstrations in forty different countries. It was one of the Global Days of Action called by the People’s Global Action network, which grew out of a series of international meetings initiated by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Chiapas, Mexico.

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