Peoples' Global Action against "Free" Trade and the WTO
Issue number 2, June 1998
Table of contents:
The second issue of the PGA bulletin comes full of action. About half of it consists of reports from the days of action that took place in the whole world as heads of state and ministers celebrated 50 years of "free" trade in Geneva. However, not all the action reports are in this issue of the bulletin: several of them will be printed in the next bulletin, like the dozens of actions that took place on the 16th of May in India, or the demonstration organized by the textile workers in Bangladesh. If you do not see your local action reported in this issue, please send a brief report to agpweb (AT) lists.riseup.net or to the fax number (0041) 22/ 940 20 70.
We are preparing a dossier with information and pictures of the actions that took place all over the world; a video is also being prepared. Please send pictures and videos of your actions to IAS, 5 Rue Samuel Constant, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland. And if you want to see a really good 52 minutes TV programme on the PGA, with footage of the actions in Geneva, Hyderabad, Birmingham, Prague, Montreal and Sydney, look for someone who can receive TV5 (the French international TV) and book the following dates in your calendars: if you live in Europe, Asia or Africa, you'll have the opportunity to watch the programme on the 30th of June at 20:00 and on the 3rd of July at 15:00 (Central European Time). If you live in Canada, you'll have three opportunities to watch it: on the 14th of July at 21:00, the next day at 3:30 and on the 16th of July at 10:00 (always Montreal time). Finally, if you live in Latin America, the Caribbean or the USA, you'll be able to watch it on the 17th of July at 20:00 and on the 20th of July at 16:00 (always Mexico time). The programme, called "Maladies de la Mondialisation" (something like "The Illnesses of Globalization") is in French, but even if you don't understand it, you really shouldn't miss it - it is a brilliant hour of PGA propaganda, although it was done by the official Swiss TV!
These WTO conference and the days of action are over, but the globalizing machine has not stopped. In Geneva it was announced that the next Ministerial Conference will take place in the USA in the second half of 1999. This was the only political outcome of this conference, which otherwise consisted of cheap rhetoric to commemorate 50 years of social and environmental havoc. However, the next one will have a very strong significance: the MAI and the social clauses will be in the agenda, as well as further liberalization of agriculture, strengthening of the patents system and associated biopiracy, and eventually a new Millennium Round of negotiations!
The growing grassroots resistance to the neoliberal regime has induced the classical response from above: the OECD and the WTO have realized that they will not remain in the dark anymore, and have hence decided to seduce some self-appointed "representatives of civil society" (i.e. NGO officials) by offering them a totally meaningless place on the negotiation process. We hence have to strengthen our confrontation with the institutions and treaties at the root of misery, sending a clear message that we are not willing to bargain with our lives with these illegitimate centres of power.
In order to prepare a strong, coordinated grassroots response to this neoliberal onslaught, the next PGA conference will take place from the 1st to the 4th of April 1999, in Bangalore (India). The convenors' committee will meet at the beginning of September to set the agenda of this conference. Your ideas and suggestions are most welcome; please send them to agpweb (AT) lists.riseup.net or fax them to (0041) 22/ 940 20 70.
next part (Global Days of Action against "Free" Trade and the WTO - May 1998)