Saturday, June 9, 2007

Desmond Tutu addresses G8 Leaders

I wish I had some insightful commentary to add here, but work's been getting in the way of my blogging (and my pre-blogging research) again. But I think this is important and should get wider attention...

From Ecumenical News International

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined other religious leaders and globalization critics in sending an anti-poverty message to leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations who are meeting in Germany.

"We can survive only together, we can be free only together, we can be prosperous only together, we can be human only together," said the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town to lively applause at a rally during the Kirchentag, the once-every-two-years German Protestant convention, meeting this year in Cologne.

The June 7 rally, outside the city's cathedral, took place the day before the heads of six African nations were due to join the leaders of the G8 countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, German, Russia and the United States -- for the final day of their northern German summit.

"I want to say to the leaders of the G8, 'I am an African, I am a man, I am a human being ... I am not an object of pity, I am not an object of charity'," said Tutu. "I am an African, I am your brother."

The open-air gathering had a live video link to an anti-poverty concert in Rostock where rock stars were trying to put pressure on the G8 leaders meeting nearby in Heiligendamm, behind a 12-kilometer-long fence topped with razor-wire.

"The message of the Kirchentag is clear; we say: Pull down the barriers between those who decide and those who are affected by the decisions," the president of the Protestant convention, Reinhard Höppner, told the Cologne rally. "We say: Do not put your efforts into growth that violates the dignity of people."

More here.