The Carnival Against Capital was a global day of protest that took place on Friday, June 18th, 1999. It was a response to the 25th G8 Summit, which was being held in Cologne, Germany at the time. The carnival was organized as an international day of action to protest against the capitalist system and the role of the G8 in maintaining it. The event was also known as #J18, and it was inspired by previous protests such as the Stop the City protests in the 1980s, Peoples’ Global Action (#PGA), and the Global Street Party (#RTS)
The main rallying cry for the Carnival Against Capital was “Our Resistance is as Transnational as Capital.” This was a call to action for people around the world to come together and resist the global capitalist system. The event was organized by a loose coalition of groups and organizations who shared a common goal of fighting against capitalism and its impact on people’s lives.
In London, a spoof newspaper was produced to promote the event, alongside other publicity. On the day itself, the carnival started with a Critical Mass bike ride, which saw cyclists taking to the streets to highlight the problems of car culture and promote alternative forms of transport. This was followed by an action by the Campaign Against Arms Trade, which aimed to draw attention to the role of the arms trade in perpetuating war and conflict.
Later in the day, a large march converged on the London International Financial Futures Exchange for a street party. The exchange was chosen as a symbolic target because it represented the heart of the global financial system. The street party was a festive and creative event, featuring music, dancing, and street theatre. It was also an opportunity for people to express their anger and frustration at the system that was causing them harm.
The Carnival Against Capital was not just limited to London. There were protests in over 40 cities around the world, including Barcelona, Montevideo, Port Harcourt, and San Francisco. Using then new technology, the protests were reported on the internet by independent media activists from London and Sydney, in a step towards the #Indymedia network. This was a significant development in the history of protest movements, as it allowed activists to bypass the mainstream media and communicate directly with each other and the wider public.
The legacy of the Carnival Against Capital lives on today. It was a powerful moment in the history of the anti-globalization movement and showed that ordinary people could come together to challenge the #mainstreaming globalist thinking. The event inspired many people to become involved in activism and to work towards a fairer and more just world. The carnival was a reminder that resistance is possible, and that another world is not only desirable but also achievable.