Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Circus Maximus Opens in Germany: Updates on the G8 Summit 2007 and TED Global in Africa

Dateline Berlin 06/06/07 – The Blackeagle’s Bunker
As G8 demonstrators and the Schwarze Bloc (anarchists) reach the razor wire at Heiligendamm, bloggers stay on top of the real news about the summit and Africa

As we here in Germany await the arrival of the G8 leaders and their delegations at Rostock International Flughafen today, German press and media report that some G8 demonstrators have reached the 12 Km-long razor wire fence surrounding the exclusive seaside resort of Heiligendamm and are harassing and attacking the police and other German security forces. The lean, mean Ring of Green (German Polizei) that has been battling German rioters and “foreign forces” at Rostock since the night of June 2nd has been broken (temporarily). German politicians, security forces, and military are hotly debating what their next steps should be in case the situation at Rostock and Heiligendamm ‘gets out of control’. Should the police continue use of tear gas and high-pressure water cannons and police batons or should they switch over to non-lethal (rubber) ammunition? Should they bring in the federal anti-terror shock troops (GSG-9) or the German Army? The German Supreme Court has just ruled that a planned mass demonstration by thousands of anti-G8 demonstrators from Rostock to Heiligendamm “ist Verboten!” The G8 Summit 2007 in Germany is already shaping up to be a summer to remember. This baby will make the 2005 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland look like a cakewalk. Let’s hope that it does not end as tragically as the summit in 2005 which was totally disrupted by the deadly terrorist attacks on London. We shall see.

Meanwhile, down in Africa…

The TED Global 2007 Conference in Arusha is moving right along at a rapid pace. According to the latest blog posts from the White African, rock star and Africa advocate Bono is chillin’ with Dr. George Ayittey, the famed economist and firebrand critic of many of Africa’s political leaders. Jewels in the Jungle readers may remember Dr. G. Ayittey from my previous post re: TED Global 2007 - Africa: The Next Chapter and have already read his TED Q&A essay ‘Coconut Republics vs. Banana Republics’. If you haven’t done so, then do so because as you can see in the photo Bono is getting a crash course in Ayitteynomics (read the book Africa Unchained by George A.N. Ayittey).

Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder with Rebecca MacKinnon of the Global Voices Online project at Harvard Law School, is also in attendance at TED Global 2007 Arusha. EZ has written about Bono’s opening address to the conference where he carries a personal message and video greeting from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel for the TED Global 2007 attendees. Bono opens his talk in Tanzania with a smackdown of Ugandan radio journalist Andrew Mwenda’s positions re: aid for Africa. Mwenda contends that foreign aid undermines democracy in Africa, and he ain’t alone in his thinking either.

I should mention (again) that there are over 50 top blog authors and CJ’s (Citizen Journalists) in attendance at TED Global 2007 in Arusha and the best place to keep track of their experiences and writing is at the TED Global blog and at (search for Technorati tags: tedglobal07 and TEDGlobal2007). I’ll attempt to keep track of breaking news out of Arusha as best I can this week as will other bloggers who are members of the Global Voices Community and other blogger networks.

Shifting our attention back to Germany, to Berlin and Rostock…

I would like to take this opportunity to personally welcome (back) to the blogosphere the Panos-London AfricaVox 2007 crew. Who’s that you ask? AfricaVox 2007 is a group of 9 top journalists, editors, and TV/radio professionals from sub-Saharan Africa who have been invited here to Germany to cover the G8 Summit 2007, that’s who. I have already stopped by earlier this week to say “Howdy” via a post by Ugandan journalist Richard M. Kavuma of the Weekly Observer. Ironically Richard and I wrote about the same news scoop (BILD Zeitung’s Afrika edition of June 1st) and published on the same day without knowledge of one another’s story until the next day. It is of course rare to share leads and kudos in the dog-eat-dog world of professional journalism and news publishing but it is an everyday occurrence in the live-and-let-live World LIVE Web (the blogosphere). Please read Richard’s article “Why Geldorf’s Image of a Rotting Africa is OK with Me” and his latest piece titled “Protesting for/against whom?” Here is the lineup of the AfricaVox 2007 G8 Summit Crew in alphabetical order:

Tigisit Kassa – Ethiopian radio journalist
Kakaire Kirunda – bureau chief of Uganda’s Monitor newspapers
Richard Kavuma – senior reporter for Uganda’s Weekly Observer
Thabo Mabaso – reporter for South Africa’s The Independent
William Mapote – journalist for Mozambique’s KFM/KTV network
Zinhle Mapumulo – reporter for South Africa’s Sowetan newspaper
Abebe Teshager – Ethiopian radio journalist
Collins Vumiria – chief news editor for Uganda’s Radio West
Francisco Xerinda – deputy editor of Mozambique’s Sanvana newspaper

And while your at it, if you are a fellow online author writing about the G8 and/or writing about African affairs, get yourself an AfricaVox 2007 button and paste the logo code into your blog or website template to show your appreciation and support. Please. Thanks.

That’s it for today. See you with more news and views later this week when the G8 Summit 2007 really heats up. Damn, are those air raid sirens again??? Ciao. I’m gone.

Related blog posts and news articles and other stuff

TED Global 2007 in Tanzania – bloggers speaking up for Africa
White African
Dropping the Bombshell on Aid Development in Africa, 06/04/07
We can take Africa back one village at a time, 06/05/07
(George Ayittey’s speaks at TED Global 2007 in Arusha)
Bono and George Ayittey at TED Global, 06/05/07
Meeting the Inventors, 06/06/07

Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices Online (My Heart’s in Accra)
Bono vs. Mwenda, 06/04/07
Getting Rowdy with Andrew Mwenda, 06/04/07

BBC News (G8 Gleneagles Summit 2005)
Africans on Africa: Debt (article by Andrew Mwenda), 07/07/05

TED Global Blog & TED Talks
Dr. George Ayittey’s critique of Coconut Republics vs. Banana Republics, 06/04/07
TED Global 2007 bloggers (aggregated blog posts and Flickr photos)

The Arusha Times (via
A meeting of geniuses: World’s brains meet in Arusha to set Africa’s new milestone

AfricaVox 2007 – African voices at the G8 Summit 2007
Panos-London Online
AfricaVox 2007 at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm
Desert Voices: an oral testimony and journalism project (desertification in Ethiopia)
Desert Voices – the photo gallery with audio files

Spiegel International (English language edition of Der Spiegel magazine)
Clashes at Heiligendamm ahead of summit: Police use water cannon on anti-G8 protestors, 06/06/07
The World from Berlin: Putin, the leader of the G’s Black Bloc, 06/06/07
G8 Rioting has Germans Second Guessing Policing Strategy, 06/05/07
Interview with Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz: Bush’s Policies are Accelerating Climate Change, 06/06/07
Spiegel 360 – special feature of the 2007 G8 Summit in Heiligendamm

ZDF (Germany’s second state-sponsored national TV network)
ZDF blog at the G8 Summit (German language)
ZDF-TV online coverage of the G8 Summit 2007 in Heiligendamm

ARD (Germany's first state-sponsored national TV network)
ARD special online coverage of the G8 Summit 2007

N-TV (an independent 24-hour independent news network, cousin to CNNI)

N-TV special online coverage of the G8 Summit 2007

German and European bloggers covering the G8 Summit 2007
Davids Medienkritik – a German media watchdog
Atlantic Review – Jörg Wolf & friends on transatlantic issues and relations
A Fistful of Euros – one of Europe’s most popular group blogs

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