Taking action: Oxfam vs world leaders

THE LOWDOWN: In the run up to this week's high profile G8 meeting of world leaders, members of Oxfam and several thousand other activists took to the streets. Oxfam members performed a skit mocking the eight world leaders by wearing traditional Japanese kimonos and singing a karaoke version of the ABBA hit song Money Money Money. The not-for-profit organisation also persuaded the actor Bill Nighy to get involved with the campaign in Japan.

Karaoke: Protesters demonstrate in costumes
Karaoke: Protesters demonstrate in costumes

Protesters: Oxfam, other NGOs and Japanese activists
Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Date: 4-6 July


Oxfam wants to put pressure on the leaders of developed nations not to backtrack on promises made during the landmark 2005 Gleneagles summit. The development charity saw a draft communique before the summit that suggested leaders would use the economic situation as an excuse to break previous commitments on aid, climate change and healthcare.


The protests gained mass UK coverage including articles in the broadsheets and on BBC News, and international media including the newswires and a newspaper front page in Japan. The BBC reported that there was a heavy police presence with 21,000 police officers deployed in Hokkaido. The BBC's Tokyo correspondent Chris Hogg claimed the security budget had risen to £140m.

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