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Goblins Vs. FTAA

this week the trade ministers of all the countries of north, central and south america (except cuba) will be meeting in toronto for talks on the free trade area of the americas (ftaa). the ftaa aims to extend nafta to the entire hemisphere.

the protests in toronto this week are a foreshadowing of the upcoming wto millenium round meetings in seattle later in november.

the following post gives an idea of what some toronto activists are cooking up. canadian prime minister jean chretien (who is still under the gun for the repression of protests in vancouver during apec 1997) will be speaking at the "americas business forum" (abf) this wednesday at what promises to be an interesting action. the abf is made up of business executives from companies such as monsanto, ibm, ge and gm.

as noted below, the anti-ftaa goblins are also critical of attempts to engage corporate globalization as embodied by the hemisperic social alliance.

-- j


For Immediate Release
Oct. 31st, 1999

Activists Unleash Goblins to Wreak Havoc at FTAA Talks this Week.

Activists opposed to the Free Trade Area of the Americas talks in downtown Toronto this coming week have cast the spell of spells to throw a monkey wrench into the conference. Late Saturday night, hordes of trickster goblins were summoned from the sewers to drive off the evil trade demons and their CEO masters at the Americas Business Forum.

A select group of radical activists gathered on Devils Night to perform this summoning.

We have no choice. The FTAA is not about trade for the peoples of the Americas but a constitution of rights for the corporate elite. The agenda has been set a long time ago, and while groups like the Hemispheric Social Alliance are attempting to interject a social agenda, they are only helping our trade ministers to humanize the face of corporate rule. We call forth the peoples goblins on Hallows Eve to put an end to these corporate negotiations.

Traditionally, goblins have been known for tricks such as rotten eggs, prank phone calls, computer glitches, masquerading, and traffic jams. Among their targets is the Americas Business Forum and the 1000 capitalists it will be bringing to town.

The power of the goblins is great this year. We have no idea what will happen and have no power over them now. Just as our governments have unleashed the demons of the free market and claim no power over their actions, we can not be held responsible for the retribution of the peoples goblins.

The activists claim that the strength of these goblins was due to the power of the people speaking out against the corporate trade agreements. The FTAA, WTO, MAI, APEC, and NAFTA have had many negative impacts all over the world, and includes attacks on squeegee kids, target policing of the homeless, the closure of public schools and hospitals, destruction of indigenous land and their rights, and the erosion of our social structures.

The goblin spell will last until Nov. 5th or until the FTAA negotiations are stopped. Be aware, for where there is a trade minister or CEO from the talks, there is a goblin in the shadows.

For more info: Try to track one of the little green folk down.

Toronto FTAA ministerial November 1999 | OAS Windsor June 2000 | FTAA Quebec April 2001 |