Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

G20 Summit, preparation and protest

The G20, the Group of 20 countries, just met in Antalya, Turkey. I am here to amplify local voices of resistance, and attend and write about the G20 protests. I’m joined by Ariel Vegosen, fierce campaigner for justice. Here’s a breakdown of some of our activities at the G20 Summit.

PREPARATION FOR G20 SUMMIT, meeting with local activists:

Ariel and I were at the Antalya offices of the Türkiye Gençlik Birliği (TGB), or Turkish Youth Party, for planning the G20 protests on Sunday. The TGB are planning a “surprise” at the protest. Turkish flags adorned the meeting room in their office. As we met, images of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk looked on us with a stern gaze.

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We also engaged in sign-making, music playing, and other fun activities with some local students we met.

And, I wrote an article for Common Dreams about the resistance to the G20 that I was finding here in Turkey.

PROTEST DAY 1, main day of action:

Protests in Antalya sent a clear message against US imperialism, the G20, neoliberalism. 35 protesters have been arrested in the city. Meetings of world leaders, and protests by the people of the world, continue for a second day. Ariel and I joined in this inspiring day of resistance. At one point we even led the march.

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Two groups organized protests. First, the TGB, who are secularist, militarist, and aligned with the principles of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. These TGB supporters marched neatly with red and white signs and Turkish flags. They marched in columns, and had coordinated closely with local police to hold a permitted march. Second were the Öğrenci Kolektifleri, the local student collectives. Protesters in the student group did not have a permit to march. In a third direct action, several students began walking toward the G20 barricades to deliver a letter to the G20 representatives. More than 35 people were arrested

PROTEST DAY 2, follow-up actions:

G20 protests to oppose G20 policies, imperialism, and neoliberalism, and stand in solidarity with the arrestees and support the right to protest. More than 35 people were arrested yesterday, according to organizers. Those arrested were detained while still at their homes, walking to the protests, or walking to deliver letters to the G20 in an act of civil disobedience. At least 20 were released within one day.

The G20 summit is now over, and President Obama and world leaders are going home. They leave us with… not much.

Filed under: activism, g20, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, media

As G20 Summit Begins, Resistance is Just Under the Veil

This is the full text of an article that I wrote for Common Dreams about the resistance to the G20 summit that I was finding here in Turkey, published on Sunday, November 15, 2015, the day that the G20 Summit began in Antalya, Turkey.

President Obama arrived today in the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya, Turkey, for the G20 Summit, a meeting of the leaders of the 20 most significant economies in the world. After being greeted by children in traditional Turkish dress as the sun rose after his overnight flight, Obama headed to his first round of meetings. For security, he is staying aboard a US military warship docked at seaside, rather than one of the many posh resorts in this vacation town.

Protesters have been arriving in Antalya for the past few days by the busload, despite the fact that the local government has banned protests during the summit, according to local news sources. Several Turkish media such as Today’s Zaman has been excluded from the G20 summit, although they applied for media accreditation. Turkish officials state that 11 protesters were arrested yesterday for G20 protests. 4 were arrested at the Antalya airport while holding signs, and 7 more arrested in Istanbul.

Turkish officials arrested over 250 people in Antalya and the surrounding area, according to local sources. The Turkish government announced that these were suspected ISIS members, but many local people have raised questions about how many of them were actually ISIS.

The agenda at the G20 Summit reflects the tensions of the region. Especially following the Paris attacks, emphasis has been given to discussing the situation in Syria, counter-terrorism measures that may include more militarism in the beleaguered Middle East and the migrant crisis. All of the propaganda will no doubt focus on  They will also discuss global economic development, including a $60 trillion infrastructure project that should worry environmentalists or anyone concerned with the climate. These funds will be channeled through multinational development banks. They will also discuss climate finance, and it remains to be seen whether this will actually be a meaningful discussion, or just a token gesture in comparison to their infrastructure development plans, which so far have not addressed sustainable, earth-friendly development at all.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has rented out the Mardan Palace, an entire luxury hotel for $18 million for the Saudi delegation. The Chinese president will be accompanied by an entourage of government ministers, functionaries, and assistants. Brand new Canadian President Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party will be in attendance. They will join world leaders from all G20 countries.

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US President Barack Obama arriving in Turkey for the two-day G20 Summit. (Photo: Reuters)

Meanwhile the “B20” Summit, a convergence of global corporate and business interests, with meet and schmooze with leaders. “L20 meetings” for labor groups, “W20” for women’s groups, “Y20” for youth-focused groups, “C20” for civil groups, and “T20” for think tanks has also occurred, though unlike the business interests, they do not have large joint sessions with the heads of state. As usual, pro-business groups have the coziest treatment at the G20. The world’s power-brokers are here in force.

A busy press room contains space for over 3,000 reporters. Over 10,000 additional security personnel are in the city. A local sports center has been fashioned into a jail with room for about 500 people, in case protesters need to be arrested.

The Türkiye Gençlik Birliği (Turkish Youth Party) will protest, starting today at 1:00 PM at Antalya Municipal Building in Kaleiçi, Antalya. A march will follow. The groups will be protesting on G20 issues, US imperialistic policies, capitalism and neoliberalism. The group is expected to demonstrate with colorful signs and banners, and say that they have a “surprise” planned for US President Obama.

The Öğrenci Kolektifleri (local student collectives) will protest today at 3:00 PM, at the “Occupy” park, Aydın Kanza Parkı, Antalya, Turkey. The work of these collectives covers a range of issues such as the migrant crisis, media censorship, capitalism, neoliberalism, gender equality, and imperialism. The collectives have recently marched with banners and torches. They are expected to engage in street theater tomorrow, and participate in marches.

With a detention center prepared for up to 500 protesters, we will see what occurs as the G20 protests get underway.

Where is the public, visible opposition? Resistance is just under the veil here in Turkey, when you scratch the surface.

“The G20 is more capitalism,” said one young man running an independent bookstore in Istanbul. He said that he opposed the organization because of its neoliberalist principles. Outside his bookstore was posted the phrase, “Work less, read more.”

A young man wearing a black leather jacket, hand-painted with anarchism symbols, told me that he “hated” the G20. “But, I have hope,” he said. The young man reported that he had been a protester at Occupy Gezi. After a clash with police, he had been accused of throwing Molotov cocktail explosives, and had spent six months in jail.

Filed under: activism, g20, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, media

I’m a free woman! My G20 case was withdrawn!

Some wonderful news! My case was withdrawn yesterday!

I came all the way from Washington DC to Toronto, Canada, where I’m checking in from a cute little coffee shop on Queen Street, to face the charge of “Assault of a Police Officer.” I was hit with this ridiculously false charge after I was arrested during the G20 summit weekend, manhandled, thrown into the back of an unmarked van, beaten and strangled.

Yesterday, the case was withdrawn after I stood in front of the judge for 30 seconds, just long enough for the prosecutor to say that they have no interest in pursuing my case. I am now a free woman. Now I’ll be able to pursue charges against the real criminals – the Toronto Police, starting with Officer Kevin Antoine, Toronto Police, Division 52, Badge #7880, who was one of the men who attacked me. Wish me luck!

Filed under: activism, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

Toronto Star article on my G20 case withdrawal!

A photo of my G20 arrest in Toronto, as re-published today by the Toronto Star.

In an article in the Toronto Star today, Betsy Powell writes about my charges being dropped:

Photographs of Toronto police throwing activist Lacy MacAuley to the ground were among the most unforgettable images capturing G20 summit protests.

On Monday, the Crown withdrew a charge of assault peace officer laid against the Washington woman.

“I’m a free woman,” she announced via Twitter. “Of course it’s no surprise — what evidence could they possible have had?”

Overall, more than 300 accused facing charges from G20 protests attended court Monday. It was described as one of the largest mass court appearances ever seen in Toronto. Ministry of Attorney General officials said they could not estimate how many people processed at the Finch Ave. W. courthouse had their charges dropped.

She goes on to write:

“All the cases that were withdrawn or were diverted are an indication they had a lot of false charges on a lot of us to begin with,” MacAuley, 31, said last night.

MacAuley said she came to Toronto in June to participate in peaceful protests against the G20, an organization whose policies are “making life worse for most people.”

I’d like to note here that I came not only to participate in peaceful protests, but to amplify the voices of all of those opposing the G20 through doing media work!

She was walking in a protest march along Pape Ave. near a temporary detention centre when anti-riot police moved in and scooped her up.*

“I didn’t assault anyone,” she said. The Crown withdrew the charge Monday with no explanation. “It was over in 30 seconds.”

MacAuley said she still thinks Toronto is a “lovely city,” and said she was extremely grateful Toronto lawyer Greg Lafontaine had agreed to handle her case pro bono — although his services will not be required.

*Small correction here: At the point at which the police snatched me, I had actually been standing in the crowd at the peaceful rally outside the temporary G20 jail on Eastern Avenue, Toronto. The police ran in and snatched a young man standing near the front of the crowd. I went forward to photograph the arrest with my iPhone. Then I looked over to see police officers running to snatch me! The rest is history.

Filed under: activism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

G20 update: heading to Toronto to face charges!

A little update on my G20 court case. I’m headed to Toronto tomorrow evening to face the charge “Assault of a Police Officer.”

I am leaving late, late, after-the-witching-hour on Friday night, boarding a train that will rumble through New York City and then up through the hills and plains of rural Canada before rolling into Toronto. (Train travel is the most environmentally-friendly way to travel, and it’s a bit cheaper than airfare, since I’m not quite sure when I’ll be able to make it back.)

Monday is my “case discovery” proceeding. Basically, the Toronto police will present whatever evidence they could possibly drudge up (or falsify?) that I may have assaulted someone. Or the judge could simply dismiss the case, effectively telling the Toronto Police and their shoddy evidence to take a hike. Of course, I’m hoping the case gets promptly and summarily dismissed!

Filed under: activism, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

G20 violence against women press conference

I stand with all the women who have been subjected to the violence of the G20, both in Toronto and in all parts of the world. The violence that I experienced at the hands of the police is only a tiny piece of the violence experienced by women who ecosystems are destroyed, whose family members are taken, or whose communities are uprooted by the corrupt policies of the G20. I was thrown into the back of an unmarked van, punched, strangled, and manhandled. How much more suffering have other women incurred at the hands of the G20?

I contributed this video to a press conference happening today in Toronto to address the violence against women that occurred in Toronto during the G2o Summit.

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, international relations, lacy's life, media, thoughts and philosophies

the first G20, November 2008 in Washington DC

When the G20 came to my city, Washington DC, in November 2008, I helped to organize the people's response, marching to the World Bank building, near where the meetings were held. People like me, we won't stop voicing our opposition. We will overpower and deconstruct the G20's illegitimate authority.

The first G20 Summit was held in November 2008 in Washington DC, called by George W. Bush as a “response” to the global economic crisis (instead of the G8). I assisted in organizing the protests to the G20 in Washington DC, opposed to the idea that nineteen men and one woman could make earth-shaking decisions for the rest of us behind closed doors, without any public involvement at all. During that summit, the G20 would institutionalize some of the most harmful policies that they wield: bailouts for banks and corporations, and increased funding for corrupt development banks like the IMF.

The corrupt policies of the G20 have only worsened, and continue to harm people, especially workers and the poor in the United States and other rich countries, and pretty much everyone in poor countries. I intend to keep opposing these policies, and I know that I will be joined by brothers and sisters in my movement. Our voices will thunder together into a storm that will deconstruct the illegitimate authority of the G20.

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, lacy's life

opposing G20? we’ve only just begun

Leading a few chants at G20 protests in Toronto, "G8, G20. They are few. We are many!" We need to continue to stand up for what is right, and give a megaphone to those working to make the world a better place.

There have been a lot of people, especially my brothers and sisters in Toronto, who have come out of the experience of protesting the G20 feeling oppressed and hurt, like they’ve been broken by the experience. Here is what I have to say.

Brothers and sisters, we need to continue to stand up for what is right! Do not let them break your will. Our wills are stronger than their guns, their handcuffs, or their prisons! Theirs is an illegitimate source of authority. Our authority is born of love and joy, oneness and respect for each other and future generations. Our power is stronger.

The oppression that we have been subjected to is only a fraction of the oppression felt by indigenous people of the Amazon in Peru, who were attacked and shot at last year by government forces for blockading a road to prevent oil corporations from killing their forest, by traditional farmers in Papua New Guinea whose rivers are being killed, who get murdered for opposing the Barrick gold mining company – or the everyday oppression suffered by farmers everywhere who are told they must pay land tax, disrupting more traditional, community-centered food distribution means.

It is for them and for us that we must keep standing up for what is right.

As long as we are speaking out against their hyper-capitalist corporate globalization, they’ll try to silence us. Don’t let their intimidation tactics and their attempts at disempowerment work. We need to keep working, and keep giving a megaphone to those working for liberation, all of us!

I was one of the over 900 people assaulted by the police and/or treated inhumanely. Now I am back here in Washington and organizing to oppose corporate globalization. Despite the fact that Washington DC is arguably the most powerful city in the world, few of my brothers and sisters truly understand why we must oppose the G20 and its allies like the IMF, the World Bank, the US Department of Treasury, the US Federal Reserve, corporations, etc – and why we must resist the intangible ideals of monied wealth that poison our minds.

We cannot lose heart. The real struggle has only just begun… not to sound melodramatic (but I’m sure I do), but it is seriously a struggle not just for what kind of civilization we’re going to have, but whether the human species, and species like us, are even going to survive. We have to keep our small piece of the opposition strong, and keep deconstructing their authority, their invisible fists and hands of control, not just for those alive now, but for future generations.

This is only the beginning!

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, lacy's life, media

the story of my unjust arrest

This photo of me appeared in the New York Times on 06/27/2010.

I was thrown into an unmarked van, strangled, punched, and manhandled during my arrest.

The photos of my arrest during the Toronto G20 summit show a small blond lady with purple stockings getting thrown around by police as I was tossed head-first into an unmarked van. These photos have appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star, in the New York Times, and in other newspapers. Footage of the arrest has appeared on CNN and other news outlets such as CBC. My name is Lacy MacAuley, and this is the story of my arrest, including my being violently assaulted, strangled, and punched while riding into the police station in the back of the van.

I arrived at the site of the peaceful jail solidarity rally, just outside the Prisoner Processing Center (PCC) at about 11:30 AM, Sunday, June 27, with two friends from Washington DC, organizer Robby Diesu and Geoff Millard of Iraq Veterans Against the War. I smiled as we walked up to the rally: There under a breathtaking blue sky, a young man was strumming an electric bass and leading a musical chant, “So so so, solidarity!” People were smiling and cheering as two people were released from jail (I understand at least two were released before I arrived), and I used my iPhone to send messages to Twitter about the cheerful rally, with photos attached.

I had come to Toronto from Washington DC to protest the G20 by helping to write about and photograph events that question and deconstruct the G20’s authority. The G20 is a government superstructure with even more power than any individual country, which has been pursuing corrupt bailout policies for banks, corporations and the International Monetary Fund, while allowing citizens to starve. Its “open market” or “free trade” policies only help to concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, and allow corporations to destroy the environment, subjugate civil liberties, and strip away a country’s national sovereignty. The G20 is bad for most of us on earth, not to mention our children and grandchildren. I have a BA in International Relations with a minor in World Development Studies, but it doesn’t take special expertise to realize that something is fundamentally wrong with a tiny cartel of wealthy leaders who are taking money from corporations for funding running the way our civilization is designed. It is all of our duty to resist oppression and make the world a better place. That’s why I was in Toronto, and I did not damage anyone or anything while there.

I was standing in the crowd about fifteen feet from the bass player when suddenly, with no warning and no provocation, police charged into the crowd and tackled a young man near the front. Some in the crowd at the rally began screaming and running backwards, while many remained calm and shouted to the police to let the young man go. I began taking photos with my iPhone of the violent arrest.

Then I looked up to see the police charging for me, closing in from only about seven feet away. I knew that to resist arrest would be a serious offense, thanks to years of training in nonviolence, so I did not resist. The police then tackled me and pushed me to the ground. I was able to put my left arm down to buffer my fall onto the pavement. Then one uniformed officer grabbed me around the waist, pulling me back to the dark blue side of the police line and throwing me face-down on the pavement. As he threw me my arms were being twisted behind my back. I was able to angle my right shoulder toward the pavement so that I did not hit the pavement with my face. Apparently my friend Robby was attempting to run forward through the crowd to perform a heroic act that would save me, but was being restrained by my friend Geoff, who feared that Robby would wind up arrested himself if he did anything.

As this was happening, I was shouting in a voice that was firm and loud but not frantic, “You have to let me go. Please, you have to let me go. I’ve done nothing wrong.” I had been focusing on holding onto my iPhone with a death grip because I knew that if I dropped it at this point, behind the police line, I might never see it again. Now, as I was laying face-down behind the line, my phone was aggressively pulled out of my hand. One officer kneeled on my head as another fumbled behind me with handcuffs. The officer was leaning hard with all his weight on the left side of my head as my right cheek was driven into the pavement. The pain was immense and overwhelming. I told him to take his knee off my head. A second officer on the other side was also kneeling on my back. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, lacy's life, media

G20 arrest made front-page news

A photo of my arrest made it to the front page of the Toronto Star, the most significant daily newspaper in Canada, on Monday, June 28, 2010, and also the front page of MetroNews, a daily newspaper handed out to public transit riders in Toronto.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

young indigenous leaders want struggle, and resistance, not appeasement

“We are being attacked. This is a direct war against our people,” said Ojistori:yo (Missy Elliott), a young indigenous community leader of the Six Nations, from the stage at the event “Confront the Invasion Night of Solidarity with the Mapuche Peoples and All Our Indigenous Nations in the Struggle for Indigenous Sovereignty!” Part of the resistance to the G8/G20, the event took place last night at the Steelworkers Hall in Toronto.

The night of solidarity ended well after midnight, with young indigenous leaders taking a brave stance on tactics to oppose the G8/G20 and defend their native land. The event included performances by artists such as Test & Logic, revolutionary hip-hop duo; Danny Beaton, traditional native flute player; and Mario Muñoz, Cuban pianist performing Trova folk music. A clip was shown from El Despojo, a film about the Mapuche people’s resistance to corporate corruption in Chile. As the event stretched well after midnight last night, discussions about the indigenous rights community grew passionate and loud.

Some male elders were "co-opting" traditional practices to push women to the sidelines, said some young indigenous community leaders.

In heartfelt tones, young indigenous leaders expressed that their elders had been too quick to accept pacification, and that they furthermore had been failing to show women in the indigenous community due respect. Speaking at a panel discussion that concluded the evening, the young leaders stated that some of their elders were “ego-tripping” from the posh treatment from police and other institutions that resulted from the from their embracing pacifist nonviolence, and that furthermore they were emphasizing pacifist nonviolence out of fear.

“Are we weak? Are we pansies?” asked Zig Zag (Gord Hill), an indigenous community leader, of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation and the author of “500 Years of Indigenous Resistance.” His questions evoked cheers and laughter from the crowd. “This fear is to control us and to subdue us! Their role is to pacify resistance!”

“We have to embrace different tactics, because our movements are diverse,” continued Zig Zag. These tactics, said Zig Zag, include disruptive tactics to fight for the land. The speaker passionately recalled the militant resistance that happened in Canada 20 years ago. Other tactics involve efforts toward indigenous autonomy and a return to traditional practices, as discussed by Miranda D of the Native Youth Movement, of the West Coast, Secwepemc Territory. “We’re taking actions to be self-sustaining,” said Miranda D, who discussed projects to build traditional houses, as well as fishing, hunting, and collecting native plants, presenting ways to oppose colonialism and the policies of the G8/G20.

“[The G8 and G20] have no absolutely no moral right to dictate policies on our land. This is our land!” said Sharon Sanchez, a young community leader of the Women’s Coordinating Committee Chile-Canada. Sanchez decried local indigenous elders who had told her that her banner, which depicted traditional symbols of indigenous resistance such as an arrow and the Mohawk Nation symbol, was too violent. (The banner design concept may be viewed here.)

“All these nations that are gathering are claiming jurisdiction over our people,” said Ojistori:yo. “That red in the Canadian flag? To me that represents the blood of my people.”

Sexism among male elders

Excessive sexism among male elders was pushing many female community leaders to the sidelines, the young indigenous community leaders agreed.

Lindsay Ganohshan Ohwe Bomberry, a young leader of the Onondaga Nation, Eel Clan, of the Six Nations, expressed concern that many male community leaders were suppressing women during the march earlier yesterday that wove its way through downtown Toronto, with men walking out in front and pushing women to the back and the sidelines. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, climate justice, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, , ,

Lacy MacAuley ~ International Relations ~ Radical Dreamer ~ Justice Lover ~ Thought Dancer ~ Heart Writer ~ Divine Dakini ~ based in Washington DC

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If you stand for something, then stand up. Join us. You are part of the solution. lacymacauley@gmail.com