archives of global protests

2006 G8 Summit in St.Petersburg

Report from Carnival Against Capitalism in Lawrence, KS

As the worlds eight richest countries met in Russia last weekend, thousands demonstrated against global capitalist imperialism and were brutally repressed by Russian police.

In solidarity with the protests and in a statement against these colonial powers meeting, we took over a section of downtown Lawrence and had a Carnival Against Capitalism last monday.

Below is an article written about the event and a link to pictures. I will say that I think that it was one of the best shows I've ever played.

Carnival Against Capitalism

by Tj Campsey | 18 July, 2006 | Lawrence, KS

The US Bank on the corner of 9th and Massachusetts looms over downtown Lawrence, Kansas. At 4:00 p.m. CST, Monday, July 17, 2006, radicals gathered there in 105 degree heat to show the little college town a bit of the new world they imagine. Hours earlier, anticapitalist activists in St. Petersburg, Russia, faced down repression as world leaders wrapped up the G8 summit. Thousands gathered to protest the summit, a gathering of the world's eight most powerful capitalist leaders. Back in Lawrence, various flags hung around the scene: black and red, Arab Resistance, an upside down Corporate American flag. Food Not Banks, the locals' version of Food Not Bombs, served a warm meal and distributed fresh vegetables from the Kansas Mutual Aid Community Garden. Jugglers and sidewalk chalk splashed the corner with color. Code Pink left their mark with pink balloons scattered about, and a banner hung above, announcing the "Carnival Against Capitalism."

The start of the carnival saw about 50 people, but the heat soon whittled it down to 30. As the evening progressed, that number was maintained by the flow of passersby. In all, organizers estimate at least 100 people stopped by to eat, read the literature, and enjoy the entertainment.

Given the number of bank employees who timidly observed the event, police presence was surprisingly low. Perhaps the heat kept them away as some revelers speculated, or perhaps as Joe Carr said "If we are challenging state power, the state will repress us. The fact that there was no police presence shows that we were not challenging enough."

Carr, a performance artist from Kansas City, was first on the musical lineup. He and his band, including bassist Ty Bos, beat boxer Eaman, and Aaron Ross (AKA DJ Nipples), tapped into the bank's power supply to deliver an amplified set. Carr implored the audience to shout "Boom, Boom" while he rapped about those in the Middle East who are engaged in armed struggle against western occupation. Next up was Death and Flowers, a local band consisting of bassist Cal, drummer Nic, and guitarist/singer Brandon. They performed a spastic blues and folk set as the sun passed behind the buildings to give some relief from the heat. The final performance was Erik Petersen from Philadelphia. A carpenter and punk-folk musician, he asked in a song about oppression, "What is a lowly carpenter to do?" He then lamented commodification and spectator consumption having come to replace simpler times.

The literature passed out made clear the reasons for opposing capitalism and the G8. One flyer declared, "War, famine, exploitation, and poverty are direct results of an economic system that ... concentrates all power over all life into the hands of the few." On the reverse side, the flyer criticized the G8: "The coordination of these nations and their unequal influence over international institutions such as the WTO, IMF, and G20 insures that their interests dominate the world order." The flyer went on to express solidarity with resisters to the G8.

Overall, organizers viewed the Carnival as a success. Several onlookers shared words and gestures of support, while hecklers were few. Much of the literature was handed out and all of the food was gone by the end of the evening.

Long after the corner was cleared, the sidewalk glimmered with chalk renditions of a new world free of exploitation and oppression.

Joe "Yousef" Carr
Anti-Oppression Activist & Performance Artist

photos from

global actions | reports | g8 2006 |

valid xhtml 1.0