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Dr Kate Hudson
CND General Secretary
Kate Hudson has been General Secretary of CND since September 2010. Prior to this she served as the organisation's Chair from 2003. She is a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner nationally and internationally.

As the G7 leaders gather in Cornwall for their latest Summit, Plymouth and Cornwall CND activist Tony Staunton contributes this guest blog, explaining why CND has a problem with the G7 and why we need a different set of global priorities.

“The G7 meeting – of some of the world’s most powerful political leaders – is taking place in Cornwall this weekend. These leaders govern the richest countries in the world in their own interests, and the G7 exists to keep it that way.

Global capitalism – the neoliberal free-market domination of the transnational corporations – is the default setting.

These politicians are meeting at a luxury hotel complex – behind top military security – in one the most picturesque but poorest regions of Europe: Cornwall. Resetting the global economy after the pandemic will be the key discussion throughout; the Climate Emergency will be centre-stage, used to dominate the media with messages of new economic growth through questionable ‘Green Technologies’, promoted by billionaires like Bill Gates.

The headlines from the G7 will be a prelude to what can be expected from the COP26 deliberations in November, once again led by the UK.

Plymouth & Cornwall CND is supporting the Resist G7 Coalition established soon after the venue was announced. Based in Cornwall, the Coalition has issued the call for action in every community, town and city with a day of action for the Climate on Friday 11th June and for international justice on Saturday 12th.

The G7 cannot pass unchallenged. Our planet is on fire. While world leaders dine in a restaurant where the most expensive wine costs £850 a bottle, the climate and ecological crisis rages on. Yet those world leaders won’t even mention climate justice. Countries in the Global South are already paying the highest price in the climate crisis despite being the least responsible for causing it. And these countries, facing climate devastation, won’t even get a seat at the G7 table.

The Resist G7 Coalition of grassroots groups is supported by a range of established campaigns for non-violent direct action to challenge the political and economic status quo. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Stop the War Coalition nationally are leading the call for exposure of the warmongering and militarism led by countries represented at the G7 conference.

We are clear that barbarous levels of global military expenditure should be converted into investment in the Just Transition to fossil-free energy production by 2030 and the reduction to zero-carbon emissions soon after that. Laying waste to millions of lives and the environment, the current global heating emissions from the global military industry dwarfs all others.

Coalition groups will be leading the exposure of the inherent racism of current policies towards the Climate Emergency and demanding Global Justice. The institutional racism against refugees in Australia has become a blueprint for Britain’s own border controls against inward migration by people of colour. The implications of Fortress UK, Fortress Europe and Fortress USA for the hundreds of millions of climate refugees predicted in the next 20 years are horrific and require immediate challenge from all campaigns and movements.

Currently the G7 is busy reaching out to very select representatives of civic society in the UK and internationally to build a court and a moat of tacit support for neoliberalism around the fortress of their Conference at Carbis Bay.

The ‘G7 engagement groups’ of business, charities, NGOs and trade unions are invited to consult upon economic, environmental, health, trade and ‘labour’ policies, technology, development and foreign policy issues. Supporters of the neoliberal doctrine, the economics of consumerism and privatisation will flock to join, and we must counter their cheers and flag-waving.

Let’s do whatever we can, however difficult the current circumstances, to oppose the G7 agenda – of neoliberalism, militarism and war – and continue the struggle for the kind of world we want to see: a world of equality, justice and peace. If you can join us in Cornwall we look forward to seeing you! If you can show your opposition to the summit in any way locally, we wish you every success – solidarity!”