Action report from the Netherlands

May 20th, 1998

On wednesday afternoon the 20th of may activists of the Dutch group "MAI niet gezien!" ("MAI not seen! /MAI not for me!") have chained themselves in front of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Hague, blocking the main entrance of the building for a couple of hours. The blockade was a protest against undemocratic treaties like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).

Activists of "MAI niet gezien!" have been campaigning against the MAI-treaty since january 1998. There has been an infotour in more than 20 cities in the Netherlands in february, march and april, also an occupation in the Department of Economic Affairs in february, and an action in the Dutch parliament in april. Furthermore local streetprotests in more than 20 cities during the international action week in the end of april. Activists of "MAI niet gezien!" share the hallmarks of the Peoples' Global Action and clearly rejects all treaties and institutions wich are meant to enforce the"free"trade of globally operating corporations all over the world.

On wednesday the 20th of may officials of WTO-memberstates met to discuss new priorities for negotiations in the WTO. On the agenda would be the Multilateral Investment Agreement (MIA). The MIA is a very similar agreement to MAI, wich would give transnational corporations (TNC'S) the opportunity to directly challenge social and environmental policies at a privatized court of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a lobby-organisation of the world's largest TNC's. After suspention of the MAI within the OECD for half a year, especially the European Union wants to start negotiations on the MIA in WTO, which were blocked by southern countries in 1996 as soon as possible. The demands of "MAI niet gezien!" are to stop both MAI in theOECD and MIA in the WTO.

WTO kills us - kill WTO!

Warm greetings,

activists of "MAI niet gezien!"

index of may 98