well, this week has been amazing. The Alternative G8 Summit in Rostock, Germany.
Some of my WaterAid colleagues where in Heiligendamm but I stayed in Rostock for lots of the workshops and debates.
It was a very full program of events and so we had early starts and late finishes. The early starts were mostly due to the fact that we were staying in Wismar, some distance from Rostock -a 90 minutes train journey. This meant lots of knitting!
It was very funny as I didn't really fit in with the radicals, rebels and protesters, visually at least. I was freshly showered and fully fed from the hotel breakfast every day and I smelled lovely, obviously, of Issey Miyake and carried my tape measure bag freshly. I was desperately sorry not to have been able to get to the blockades or go on any demos but that was not why I was there, unfortunately.
I was quite worried about all the media reports about the violence and the brual way that protesters were acting but when I got there the sun was out (it was about 95 degrees!) and my comrades were not brutal they were people who simply wanted to express their right to have their voice heard and I felt very honoured to be part of their gang. I longed to be at the blockades. The media seemingly made it up, or at least wildly exagerated. Fancy that happening? I have a friend in New York who didn't even know there was a G8 summit as there news is mostly about about a celebrity going in and out of jail.
What happened in Rostock and just outside the £30 million fence that was built around Heiligendamm was super super important. Protesting is our right and we must exercise that right whenever we feel we must. Last week in Germany was one of those times.
The Alternative G8 was a way of ensuring that issues that concern us stay within the public sphere for discussion. If we did not do this the G8 and other leaders may become even more unaccountable and that, to me, is unacceptable.
The G8 have committed themselves to providing £30 billion to Africa but they have committed themselves to this before, and more before, and not kept the promises. I hope they will this time.
Water and sanitation were not on the agenda but we will continue to campaign for this for next year Japan will host the G8 summit in July. It seems odd to me that not more people see that water is key; it underlines advances in all other areas - people with HIV/Aids need more water than people without! Even if people in Africa have HIV/AIDS medicine what good is a tablet if you have no water to help you take it? What good is a school if you do not have time to go because you main task for the day is walking for 4 hours to get water for your family? Would you have gone to school as a 13/14 yr girl during your menstrual cycle if the school had no toilets?
Apprarently the media tent at Heiligendamm laid on food and drinks, as much as the media could consume. Our hotel had the best breakfast I have ever had at a hotel. How lucky are we? Almost like we have nothing to worry about. Apparently George Bush missed most of the last day of the G8 summit due to a stomach bug. I wonder if it was brought on from over indulging in all the luxury.
So the early mornings and late nights took there toll - I was only there for three days but sometimes it's difficult to concentrate when you are so tired. It took me a couple of seconds to think of a solution (I don't drink coffee), knitting. I am proud/surprised/amused to say that I was the only person knitting during the Alternative G8. It helped me to focus and stay engaged when extreme heat and sleep deprivation was hammered away.
I worked on this scarf. Another from Victorian Lace Today. I love lace knitting! And I love knitting on addi lace needles! Which, coincidentally, we have just had another delivery of so why I am writing this when there is lace and more socks to be knitted on addi lace needles I don't know!
The yarn is a gorgeous peach silk from Habu.
I finished the last scarf but have yet to block it so I will post pictures of that soon.
Craig is currently knitting in public in Trafalgar Square. He is ecpressing his right to be in a public place doing something he enjoys with friends while hurting no one. I hope he is not arrested as we have not paid the £440 per hour hire fee for Trafalgar Square.
I must also confess to being a little bemused by this international knit in public day. I knit in public every day and so do most people I know.
I can hear police sirens! I hope the knitters are ok!