Alex Nunns interviews Walden Bello.
Regular readers might think that this has become the Walden Bello G8 blog, but us Red Pepperistas just keep bumping in to him. Today I sat next to him on a coach back from the Gleneagles demo, so I took the chance to get a quick reaction to the week so far.
AN: How did you find today's demo outside the gates of Gleneagles?
WB: I thought it was quite militant. It was a good change in mood from the Make Poverty History demo on Saturday. This change was very important. Today's demo was anti-G8 rather than pro-G8. We are coming back to the previous perspective of Genoa. Instead of asking the G8 to do something we are telling them to get out of the way. So I'm pleased we've managed to turn the mood around.
AN: Do you think these tactics of very structured marches and rallies are effective, or are you more in favour of direct action?
WB: Well today's demo was very important, but we do need more civil disobedience tactics like in Genoa and at other summits. We need to effectively utilise non-violent civil disobedience. That's what's missing here. That can be more effective than the dramatic antics of the anarchists.
AN: It's been difficult to do that here though, with such an overwhelming police operation and the summit being held in the middle of nowhere.
WB: It is difficult, which is why Saturday's march in Edinburgh was so disappointing. If it had been marked by examples of civil disoobedience it would have given a more confrontational side to the demo. Today I feel we've been integrated into the program, especially at the fence [surrounding Gleneagles Hotel]. Non-violent civil disobedience at the fence would have been more effective. So I feel that while today was crucial in turning the mood, Saturday was the big missed opportunity.