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Host your own online G20 summit

Next week sees London host the G20 Summit and it seems to have ushered in a silly season of official over-reaction and spurious ways for interested individuals to get involved.

The police and security services are apparently having kittens about what might happen in the City and the Docklands this weekend as environmental campaigners take to the streets and to try to get big businesses to power down the office equipment and lights for an hour.

The idea behind Earth Hour is to highlight just how much energy can be saved if we all switch off unnecessary electrical devices for an hour.

With the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and the City of London lighting up the night sky out of office hours and throughout the weekend, environmental campaigners have warned they may take steps to enforce the big switch off if the business owners themselves don't.

A report in last night's London free sheets suggested City workers who would be in the Square Mile over the weekend should attempt to avoid conflict by dressing in casual attire such as chinos and loafers, rather than the giveway uniform of a suit. Hmm.

There are also reports of protesters using the newly-launched Google Street View to assist in their efforts at finding suitable spots to assemble and to hold sit-in protests. Camp Climate members have told the BBC that they have been using Google Street View for research.

Facebook and other social networks, along with Crabgrass - a networking tool "tailored to the needs of the global justice movement" - as well as text messaging will be used to keep protestors abreast of happenings and where to amass.

But not everyone sees the G20 Summit and Earth Hour as simply fair game. A website devoted to finding ways out of the global economic slump and creating a G20 roadmap is gathering support.

We20.org encourages groups of like-minded individuals to set up local brainstorming groups and come up with ideas for regeneration and eventual economic recovery. Plans are voted on and the best ideas may be posted on the official G20 London Summit website.

We20 was started less than three months ago in London and was set up by volunteers keen to help others through the recession. Its grassroots approach to creating a roadmap to economic recovery is now beginning to gain ground.

Paul Massey, an internet lawyer and we20 member says "It's a neat idea that helps people organise their own G20 meetings of up to 20 people. There is speculation about what the London G20 Summit will achieve but we have already seen we20 meetings produce some great action plans to fix the economy. we20 sees the Summit as a rallying call for everyone to work together to pull ourselves out of this economic mess."

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