From: Anti-WTO Co-ordination
Dear friends and Colleagues, We invite you to a meeting aimed at developing a unified procedure in the planning of the resistance against the World Economic Forum. The meeting is concretely aimed at launching an international alliance with which to collectively organize a mass demonstration against the WEF taking place on Saturday the 27th of January 2001 in Davos. (The 31st annual meeting of the WEF will last from the 25th to the 30th of January 2001)
All organizations and groups who are in agreement with the attached "Platform of Action against the World Economic Forum" are warmly invited to take part in the first international meeting. The meeting will take place within the framework of the counter-conference of the World Social Summit taking place in Geneva at the end of June. During this meeting the "The Call of Bangkok for the Globalization of Social Struggles" will initiate a call to action to be launched during the protest against the UNCTAD (UN Conference for Trade and Development) in Bangkok in February 2000. The meeting will take place on Saturday, the 25th of June in the Usine (4, Place L'usine)
Platform of Action against the World Economic Forum (WEF)
Looking ahead to the World Economic Forum, also taking place in Davos in 2001, and looking in retrospect at this years' determined mass-demonstration in Davos against the WEF, we (the Anti-WTO Coordination of Switzerland) turn to you. We are seeking contact with groups who are likewise involved in developing resistance against the misanthropic and environmentally destructive neoliberal global capitalism. We want to meet together with other groups (from Switzerland and otherlands) to form an actions coalition based on the following three points, taking a common position together in the many forms of resistance against the WEF.
The resistance against the World Economic Forum In 1994, on the initiative of people from the Chiapas Solidarity Movement, and activists from the left-radical and feminist constellation, the first demonstration in against the WEF as well as a rally of Kurdish and Turkish groups took place in Davos. In 1998 the Actions Alliance for Patricio Ortiz came together with the 1994 demonstration and mobilized together with anti-racist and anti-sexist groups, the Kurdistan Center, and the Anti-WTO Coordination for the second time to Davos. In the following two years the Anti-WTO Coordination took the initiative to mobilize the demonstrations again in Davos. In the foreground of the demonstrations numerous campaigns were held to inform a broad public about the schemes of and the meaning behind the WEF.
Last year the "Erklärung von Bern", together with other NGO's, launched "A Public Eye on Davos": a project demanding greater transparency of t he WEF, and demanding more participation of the voices of NGO's who were critical of the polices of the WEF. This year they want to organize a counter-conference in Davos during the WEF meeting.
With last years' mobilization we succeeded in dragging the WEF into view of a critical public, and in unmasking the allegedly amiable Spirit of Davos. This development was strengthened by the emergence of a world-wide network of resistance movements of grass-roots political groups. This network found expression in the world-wide protests against the WTO Ministers Conference in May '98, against the World Economic Summit in Cologne in '99, and in the actions against the WTO Ministers Conference in Seattle, among others.
The World Economic Forum (WEF)
The WEF is shouldered decisively by the economic and political elites of the North. It is sponsored and sustained by the largest Trans-national Corporation's world-wide, like for example, IBM, BP, Amoco, Coca Cola, ABB, Nestlé, DuPont, America Online, Deutsche Bank, etc.. With their world economic concept they are directly or indirectly responsible for war, poverty, dispossession, and hunger. Their economic concept is substantially based on the free and lowest wage-labor of the unscrupulously exploited people of the South, the immigrants here with us, and of women world-wide. This concept leads to the systematic impoverishment of vast arias of the population, and to the destruction of social structures, that until now still functioned. Made invisible, increasing numbers of people are forced to pay for the white-male Management Elites' game of capital and power with mal-nutrition, deprivation of (basic human) rights, illegalization, declining health, and inadequate access to education.
In addition to the congresses and meetings of the ministers and functionaries within the framework of the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank, the WEF serves as an informal rendezvous of the economic lobby, and the political management. There, these so-called "Global Leaders" forge plans for the future of the planet and secure far-reaching deals above the heads of those affected by their schemes. What is staged for the media as the "Spirit of Davos", consists in reality of political and economic arrangements and billion-dollar mega-deals. In Davos, for example, the Uruguay Round under GATT, out of which the WTO was later formed, and the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA were launched.
In addition to the annual meeting of the WEF in Davos, different regional annual summits are held, for example the Southern Africa Economic Summit in Durban, the Central and Eastern Economic Summit in Salzburg, the Asia Pacific Summit in Melbourne, the India Economic Summit in New Delhi, as well as the Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit.
We see our resistance in Davos as part of a world-wide resistance against the unbridled economic system, and all of the institutions of the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank who represent and further develop it. Everywhere around the world increasingly more people refuse to put up with living conditions aggravated through economic policy and join in the resistance against it. Because of this the congresses and the "Economic and Political Managers" must be accompanied by massive police and military operations. This repression is the answer to a critical voice, which refuses to be integrated, and refuses to serve as image improvement for those in power.
With this paper we are seeking a discussion which will lead to a balanced unification of our strengths, and through which a wide variety of forms of resistance can be realized. The goal is, as individuals and groups, to emerge strengthened from this process and to develop an ongoing resistance.
Anti-WTO Coordination, Switzerland, May 2000.
People from different cities in Switzerland formed the Anti-WTO Coordination in 1998. It is the goal of the group, through diverse activities, to denounce the violent anti-social consequences that the WTO policies incur upon the daily lives of millions of people in all regions of the world, and as part of the autonomous movement, to develop our resistance against it.
WEF Davos 2001 | WEF NYC 2002 | PGA