Actions of the People's Global Action against the WTO Summit

(As of May 6, 1998)

Friday, May 15:

Arrival of marchers of the Action Against Unemployment movement at the customs of Moillesulaz. Camping on the Plaine de Plainpalais, reception at the Foyer St Boniface (phone: 322 27 60), May 15-20.

Saturday, May 16:

About 12-1 pm, arrival of:

- over 600 members of Zapatista movement support committees from Northern Italy and Ticino

- the bike convoy "l'Argent ou la Vie?" (Money or Life?) from the German towns of Luechow (departure April 25), Dresden (departure April 23), and Giessen (departure May 2), from Frankfurt (meeting of convoys, and departure May 4). German stopovers of the convoy: Hildesheim, Göttingen, Freiberg, Chemnitz, Gera, Jena, Erfurt, haina, Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Freiburg. Swiss stopovers: Basel, Aarau, Bern, Fribourg and Lausanne (probably also Wittingen, Wehnsen, seesen, Gunkelrode, Saasen, Offenburg, and Burgdorf). Conctact: WIWA Wendland, phone: 49 5862-7460; 49 5842-247; fax: 49 5861-2527; e-mail:

2 pm: Place Neuve, departure of convoy towards the WTO, accompanied by tractors, giant sound system, music bands, a choir of popular songs accompanying from Paris the "Droits Devant!" (Rights Ahead!) movement, etc.

3:30-4 pm: arrival in front of the WTO, rue de Lausanne.

The area will be closed to the traffic.

Setting up of the "village of resistance." Various popular movements that make up the real opposition to WTO policies will be represented: campaigns against the Swiss new labor law, the merger of Geneva and Vaud state hospitals, the authoritarian reduction of social spending (Villiger article), the patenting and manipulating of life forms; campaigns in favor of alternative sources of energy, the defense of precarious or unemployed workers, the reduction of working hours, a positive use of fallow capital (squatters), the survival of peasants and an environmentally respectful agriculture, the rights of refugees and migrants displaced by globalisation, movements of solidarity with the Zapatistas and other indigenous peoples, etc. A mobile public address system will give members of these movements the possibility of speaking to the demonstrators during the party.

Street show by the "Théâtre de l'Ephémère", songs by Michael Buhler, Les Canards des Cropettes, Black Citron, and other bands. Radical Rave show.

Demonstrators are asked to bring a bowl and something to contribute to the collective meal – a free gift in response to the commercial logic that dominates our societies. Peasants of the Swiss Peasants's Union will contribute. Brazier, etc. will be available.

Games will be provided for the children.

This Global Street Party will be just one of 33 around the world organized in protest against the WTO summit.

Sunday, May 17:

10 am to 6 pm: information about WTO, resistance struggles an alternatives. Salle Rouiller, Uni-Dufour, 24 rue du Général-Dufour.

Peasant and indigenous peoples's movements, as well as trade unions from both the North and the South (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Ecuador, Malaysia, Mexico, Corea, New Zealand) will intervene to illustrate the realities of globalization.

Seminary on non-violence, practical training in non-violent techniques of resistance to police repression.

Arrival of "Women for diversity" (USA), who will take part in actions from May 18 to 20.

Monday, May 18 to Wednesday, May 20:

From Monday at 9 am, actions of non-violent civil disobedience against the WTO summit and the celebration of the 50 years of GATT, as well as against the concrete manifestations of globalized capitalism in town (multinationals, fast food restaurants, banks, etc.). The Committee that initiated the referendum against the new law regulating night work organizes a night demonstration against night work. There will also be a silent march towards the WTO of gagged demonstrators, with their hands attached behind their backs, who will try to enter the WTO and stop the conference. They will oppose only passive resistance to police intervention.

Journalists interested in these events should call 344 47 31 or 344 47 59, or e-mail "".

8 pm: Artistic evening and discussion with personalities from the cultural world, thinkers about the stakes of globalisation, actors and artists, organized by the Swiss Association of Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique in conjunction with PGA and other cultural and civic organisations (Théâtre de la Parfumerie, ancienne usine Firmenich, rue de la Gravière). With Michel Buhler and Agnès Bertrand.

Around the world:

Global Street parties are scheduled in Bogota (Colombia), Berlin, Bielefeld, Thuringen (Germany), Nantes, Lyon (France), Birmingham (UK), Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne (Australia), Tel Aviv (Israel), Turku (Finland), Madrid (Spain), Ankara, Istanbul (Turkey), Gothenburg, Stockhom (Sweden), Dublin, Derry (Ireland), Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Berkeley (US), Prage (Czech Republic), Olympia, Toronto, Vancouver (Canada), Athens (Greece), Luxemburg (Luxemburg), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Utrecht (Holland), Turin (Italy), Zurich.

Fishing: beginning of agitation programs organized by the World Forum of Fishing Workers, which exists in 25 countries. The president of the Forum will be in Geneva.

USA: No Trade Day. Militants will block the transport of merchandise by train, truck, and airplane.

Canada: opening of diverse activities of informations, demonstrations, and actions in five Canadian cities (up to May 20).

Dhaka (Bangladesh): demonstration against WTO, IMF, and WB, organised by the Forum for the Unity of Textile Workers.

Peru: beginning of the national meeting of peasants (up to May 20), with protests against WTO.

Colombia: Black communities's day of national action, in conjunction with trade unions and indigenous peoples.

The full program is not yet ready; other activities are planned in Salvador, Nicaragua, Argentina, etc., and the list keeps growing...

M16 Global Day of Action | May98 reports |