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ALCA NUNCA - U.S.-Quito Solidarity Project

Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 Public Citizen, Global Trade Watch

International and National Opposition to the FTAA

Organizations in Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States are committed to fight against the corporate model of globalization expressed in the FTAA, and will instead advocate for new visions for the Americas and Caribbean based on principles of democratic and transparent decision-making, equitable and sustainable development, and protection of the public interest above corporate profit. Find allies and campaigns in your country!



ALCA-NUNCA = Americas Linked, Cooperating Against Neoliberalism and for Unity,Community, and Autonomy

Hyderabad...Seattle...Washington, D.C....Gothenburg...Prague...Quebec City...Genoa...QUITO

*********PROJECT DESCRIPTION*********


On October 31, the 7th summit of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (the FTAA, or ALCA in Spanish) will take place in Ecuador. As the youth of North America don witch and cowboy costumes, a far scarier bunch of middle-aged men, dressed up like corporate executives, will be converging on the capital city of Quito. 34 foreign ministers and secretaries of state from across the Americas are coming to Quito to negotiate the FTAA, an agreement that will extend the NAFTA to the rest of the hemisphere (except Cuba).

The FTAA will give unprecedented power to major corporations and investors, exacerbating poverty and insecurity, and causing widespread environmental disaster. The corporations and investors are hoping that major portions of the FTAA will be finalized in Quito, paving the way for its adoption in only a few years. But many people here in Ecuador have other ideas. This country's powerful social movements are planning to mobilize tens of thousands of campesinos (small farmers), indigenous people, trade unionists, students, and many other groups against the FTAA. And thousands of people from Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and other countries, are coming to join in.

This will be a critical moment for people of the Americas, with all eyes focused on Ecuador. If we fail, the FTAA process will likely take a « great leap forward, » accelerating what amounts to a death sentence for communities from Anchorage to Argentina.

Our success or failture will depend, in part, on our ability to mobilize support OUTSIDE of Ecuador. It will take hard work in the U.S., for example, to make sure that people know what happens here. And if people throughout the continent ensure that « the whole world is watching, » it will be harder for the Ecuadorian government to repress peaceful opposition to the FTAA, a process which already began with the unprovoked arrests of dozens of social movement leaders at 2nd Summit of the Presidents of South America (see ). Finally, activists in North America have ready access to resources that could help enormously in the process of mobilization. It is this possibility–that we can use the summit to create new mechanisms of solidarity and build networks of resistance that span the continent–that is perhaps the most important aspect of this mobilization.

It has become increasingly clear that the only way to stop corporate globalization, (or « neoliberalism » is it is called outside of the U.S.), and to safeguard the alternatives that are being painstakingly constructed by local communities, is through concerted international action. There is no doubt that resistance to « free trade, » and neoliberalism exists in literally every corner of the world. But the effective coordination of that resistance remains a long way off. The CONFEUNASSC-CNC, a powerful national campesino federation that is mobilizing against the summit in Ecuador, views October as an opportunity to take a step in that direction. We are looking for people interested in participating in ALCA-NUNCA, a project that will build connections between grassroots groups in Ecuador and North America, help us learn from each other, and strengthen the mobilization for the FTAA Summit.


ALCA-NUNCA will build direct relationships between grassroots U.S. and Ecuadorian groups fighting neoliberalism, in order to:

  1. Gather resources for the Ecuadorian mobilization against the FTAA (which will directly benefit movements in both countries).
  2. Help North American groups learn from Ecuadorian groups' analyses, experiences, strategies, and techniques, and vice versa.
  3. Build a web of relationships and common experiences that can serve, in the future, as a base from which to launch joint campaigns and to coordinate strategy.


  1. We are looking for groups in Ecuador and North America (primarily the U.S. and Canada) that want to participate. We will join each North American group with an Ecuadorian « sister group. »
  2. Each group will begin by creating a message for its sister group. This message will communicate
    1. Something of the reality in that group's community, and why they are fighting against the FTAA;
    2. A message of solidarity which can be read at a demonstration, forum, or other event during the continental days of resistance planned for October 31 and November 1;
    3. Some questions which that group has for its sister group, which can be answered by email.

    This message can take various forms, including a letter or email, a poster, a video or audio recording, or anything else that is not too hard to transport.
    We ask that all communication be in Spanish, or at least include a Spanish translation. We will try to find or provide assistance for any North American group that has trouble with this requirement. Perfect Spanish is NOT necessary.
  3. Each North American group will raise at least $500 to support the campesino mobilization in Ecuador. These funds will be used to pay for transportation to the Quito protest (buses have become very expensive as a result of dollarization). They will also be used to support four « caravans » which will visit hundreds communities in September and October, giving popular education workshops on the FTAA, Plan Colombia, art and resistance, and nonviolent direct action. The caravans will also build a process of popular dialogue aimed at constructing alternatives to the FTAA, and will recruit for the mobilization in October. This powerful tool will strengthen the internal organization of the CONFEUNASSC-CNC and build a national network of resistance to the FTAA. We are also inviting participating North American groups to send volunteers to join the caravans.
    We can help North American groups figure out how to raise $500. Possibilities include:
    • A raffle;
    • Hosting a fiesta with Ecuadorian food and music and showing a video on the Ecuadorian resistance to the FTAA (which we are currently putting together);
    • Selling Anti-FTAA t-shirts and CD's which have been created by activists in Ecuador;
    • Getting 25 group members to pledge $20;
    • Sending funds from the group treasury;
    • Anything you can think of!

    Obviously, not all North American groups have equal access to resources. Groups which would like to participate but feel that a $500 is impossible or inappropriate should let us know. In the same vein, some groups can and should try to raise more than $500.
  4. We encourage North American groups to organize a solidarity action during the continental days of resistance at the end of October. During these actions, and during the mobilization in Ecuador, each group will read or present the message it has received from its sister group. Each group should also make some kind of record. For example, a photo diary or video diary–that can show their sister group how they mobilize.
    In case the Ecuadorian mobilization faces serious repression, we may ask that North American groups take action, e.g. sending a fax to the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The goal of this process is to build a foundation for coordinated action. For this reason, it is important that the relationships we build last beyond November. We will ask sister groups to continue exchanging experiences and information, and building connections, after the FTAA summit in Quito. We also hope to explore more concrete forms of cooperation in the future e.g. coordinated campaigns.


CONFEUNASSC-CNC is looking for global justice networks, student groups, community organizations, union locals, collectives, environmentalists, environmental justice activists, small and/or organic farmers, food coops, and anyone else who would like to join ALCA-NUNCA (and/or join the caravans).

If you think you might be interested, or have questions, contact:

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