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<nettime> "Mobilization Against Corporate Globalization:" -- Round II

Promised as a sequel to Seattle, The Seattle II, emceed by Michael Moore,
the author of Roger and Me and the TV Nation: 

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------


Here is some timely information on the next round of public protests
against Corporate Globalization. If you did not see Seattle I coming, now
you have a chance to prepare for Seattle II, the sequel. And you even have
in the first article all the needed elements to explain - if you care to
do so or if you are allowed by your boss to do so... - why there should be
massive public resistance to current globalization efforts underway. 

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

The article below was excerpted from Z magazine

"Mobilization Against Corporate Globalization:" -- Round II

by Mark Weisbrot

The demonstrations against the WTO [World Trade Organization] in Seattle
were probably among the most effective protests in modern American
history.  The sequel - on April 16 in Washington, DC, at the IMF/World
Bank spring meetings - may have an even greater impact on the world. 

The main reason that these demonstrations can be so effective is that U.S.
is brought to bear when protest reaches a certain CRITICAL MASS. [emphasis

The point was brought home when President Clinton made his speech
endorsing the concept of labor rights enforceable by trade sanctions, the
day after Seattle protesters made good on their promise to "shut down the
WTO."  That speech effectively ended the millennium round of WTO
negotiations, at leas for some time. 

And it did more than that.  Hand-wringing by the world's financial and
economic elite dominated the World Economic Forum in Davos a month later. 
"Those who heard a wake-up call in Seattle got the right message," said
Clinton.  Others expressed similar views -- they had discovered that they
would have to make some concessions to the opposition if they were to
proceed with their project. 

These pronouncements represent an important development, but not because
any substantive reforms are on the agenda.  Clinton's plan for including
labor rights in the WTO would take decades to implement -- anything that
far off in the future can hardly be taken seriously enough to be called
reform.  Indeed, the WTO is not set up to regulate trade in the interests
of the environment or labor, and it would surely be scuttled before it
took on responsibilities so completely alien to the goals of its creators. 

The globalizers' new willingness to talk to their opposition is important
because it represents an impasse in the process, and one that they have
now been forced to come to terms with.  THIS SHOWS THE POWER OF A UNITED
OPPOSITION, AND WHAT IT CAN ACCOMPLISH if it continues along its present
path. [e.a.]

Now another wake-up call has been scheduled, this time directed to the IMF
and the World Bank, with large-scale protests planned for April 16 (See
www.A16.org)  The Fund and the Bank are many times more powerful than the
WTO, in that they actually dictate the most important economic policies
adopted by more than 50 countries.  The DAMAGE THAT THESE INSTITUTIONS DO
IS INCALCULABLE. [e.a.] Their programs have caused and worsened economic
crises, and toppled governments.  (Lacking a sense of irony, the Fund
actually tried to claim credit for helping to bring down Suharto in
Indonesia; which they did do, in their own roundabout way, by wrecking the
economy to the point that the country became ungovernable).  They have
exacerbated unemployment and poverty, and perhaps most harmful over the
long run, they have helped to prevent most of the underdeveloped world
from pursuing the economic strategies that they would need to pull
themselves out of poverty. 

But the same relations that make the IMF the most powerful institution in
the world are also the source of its vulnerability.  Its POWER RESTS ON
be denied credit from the WORLD BANK, other multi-lateral agencies, and
often private sources as well.  If the IMF is subjected to the kind of
PUBLIC CRITICISM that followed the Seattle protests, THIS AGREEMENT WILL

Readers of this magazine do not need to be reminded of our government's
long and sordid history of destroying scores of movements or governments
that were dedicated to democracy or national economic development.  But
the violence that Washington has used to snuff out these flames of hope --
from Sandino's Nicaraguan resistance in the 1930's to Haiti's first
democratically-elected government in 1991 -- is their last resort.  The
IMF is the CIA and Pentagon of international finance. 

Moreover, the Fund is also by far the most powerful and damaging adversary
of the labor movement in the United States.  For all the reasons that
labor opposed NAFTA and the WTO, the IMF is even more threatening to the
direct needs and interests of American workers. 

The IMF imposes NAFTA-like conditions on countries whenever it can.  Just
as NAFTA made it easier for U.S. corporations to move their operations to
Mexico, the IMF makes it easier for them to move almost anywhere in the
Mexico, so that they are more favorable to foreign investors.  This drives
down wages everywhere, and especially in countries like the U.S., where
businesses can threaten to move when workers try to unionize or demand
higher pay.  It also leads to job losses when these employers actually
move their operations out of the country. 

The IMF also pressures countries to produce for export rather than for
domestic markets.  This can cause a glut of manufactured or agricultural
goods on world markets, driving down prices, encouraging "dumping," and
putting more downward pressure on wages.  Many of the thousands of
steelworkers who lost their jobs over the last two years are casualties of
IMF policies in countries like South Korea, Russia, and Brazil. 

Many union activists are aware of the damage that the IMF does to labor,
and there is a great deal of support for the April 16 actions especially
among those unions who were most strongly opposed to the WTO, such as the
Steelworkers and Teamsters.  The protests will help to highlight these

As the IMF gets dragged into the spotlight, the nature of the discussion
will change.  This is what happened with the WTO:  although much of the
press coverage of Seattle missed the point of the protests, there were
also advances in the way some of the issues were framed.  The New York
Times, for example, ran articles that explained the protesters' point of
view on labor and environmental issues.  The WTO's aggressive attempts to
expand the monopolistic protection of intellectual property rights (e.g.,
pharmaceutical patents), as the WTO does through its TRIPS (Trade Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement, was increasingly
noticed to be inconsistent with its supposed commitment to free trade and
international competition. 

The IMF will be more difficult to defend than the WTO.  While the rich
countries dominate the WTO, power is even more concentrated in the Fund,
which is mainly run by the U.S. Treasury department. 

Currently, the press still treats the Fund as though it were an
international lender of last resort that "bails out" countries in trouble,
encouraging them to adopt "sound macroeconomic policies."  But its
fiascoes on three continents over the past two and half years -- in Asia,
Russia, and Brazil -- have already begun to undermine this myth.  In Asia,
the Fund's major accomplishment was to force the governments of major
borrowers like South Korea and Indonesia to guarantee the debt of private
banks and corporations.  Its macroeconomic policies were anything but
sound, and roundly criticized by prominent economists such as Joseph
Stiglitz (who, not coincidentally, was forced to resign from his position
of Chief Economist at the World Bank last December).  The Fund's
expensive, counter-productive, and ultimately futile attempts TO FIX THE
further questions about its competence. 

Russian ruble and the Brazilian real also raised further questions about
its competence. 

These cracks in the consensus that has shielded the Fund and the Bank from
public criticism will widen after April 16.  Since Washington is the
leader of the effort to remake the world according to the needs of global
It is also possible that the dissension among the developed countries,
which was a significant factor in the collapse of the WTO's ambitious
agenda in Seattle, will increase.  Europe and Japan have long wanted to
have more of a voice in the Fund; at present THEY HAVE VERY LITTLE,
despite having a combined voting power that is formally greater than that
of the U.S.  North-South conflict within the IMF and the Bank may also
widen, as it has within the WTO, with Southern governments increasingly
challenging the colonial nature of these institutions. 

The World Bank has also become the target of a newly launched
international campaign to boycott its bonds, through which it raises 80
percent of its capital.  Organized on the model of the divestment movement
that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa, the movement has already
attracted more than 100 organizations from 29 countries.  "Our intention
is to turn the weapon of denial of funds -- the same weapon the Bank uses
so frequently and with such destructive effect -- against the Bank,"
announced 50 Years Is Enough, the U.S. coalition that has been fighting
IMF and World Bank policies since 1994.  The April protests will also be a
rallying point for this promising campaign. 

There will be other battles in Washington that week, many of whose
participants and leaders are working closely with the April 16 coalition. 
One is the movement for Third World debt relief, which will bring
thousands of people to Washington on April 9 to form a symbolic human
chain around the Treasury, the Capital, the IMF, and the World Bank.  Led
by Jubilee 2000 organizations throughout the world, this movement has been
gathering increasing support for canceling the debt of the world's poorest
countries.  The mobilization this spring will boost this worthy cause as
well.  A word of caution, however:  debt relief administered by the IMF
and the Bank, in which poor countries are forced to submit to years of
"structural adjustment programs" in order to qualify for limited debt
relief, could easily do more harm than good.  This is the current
arrangement under the IMF/WB's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) 
program, and most of the organizations fighting for debt relief in the
global South have gone on record against it. 

The other major battlefront will be over China's entry into the WTO, and
here there is again enormous overlap and joint events with the IMF/WB
protests.  Although there have been concerns raised from within the
progressive community that this opposition not degenerate into
"China-bashing," there is no reason that it should.  There was a solid
coalition of labor, environmentalists, and other progressives against
expanding the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement to include Mexico.  It was
not a struggle against Mexico -- quite the contrary, Mexican trade
unionists and progressives allied with their U.S. counterparts to fight an
agreement that now appears to have lowered real wages and increased
environmental destruction on both sides of the border.  Similarly, this is
not a battle against China, but rather against an enormous and
downward-harmonizing expansion of the WTO.  Business groups are spending
millions of dollars to lobby for this expansion, in the hope that it will
breathe new life into the gravely wounded TWO. 

The weakening of the strangle-hold that the IMF, World Bank, and WTO now
have on economic policy in much of the world will open up new
possibilities for countries to pursue the many paths to economic
development that are currently blocked.  If history is any guide, even one
or two successful examples will inspire many others.  The deathly slogan,
"There is No Alternative," that Washington made the epitaph of the last
two decades may well give way to a new century of hope. 


Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy
Research in Washington D.C. 

SEE ALSO the "Platform for World Bank to Stop Funding Oil, Mining and Gas" 
proposed for endorsement by Friends of the Earth-US and posted at: 


Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000
From: "Andrea Durbin" <ADurbin@foe.org>

Dear Colleagues

Next month, April 16-17, officials at the World Bank and IMF meet in
Washington, DC for their spring meetings. Many organizations and
grassroots groups are organizing large protests and demonstrations to take
place during that meeting. 

Friends of the Earth-US, in consultation with other groups, has prepared
an NGO platform statement that calls on the World Bank to shift out of
financing oil, gas and mining projects and to announce an immediate ban on
financing these projects in pristine, frontier areas.  Over the years, it
is evident that investments in the extractive industries cause significant
and irreparable harm to the environment, the poor, indigenous communities,
and contribute to the crises of global climate change.  All too often,
these projects are associated with human rights abuses and the companies
build alliances with authoritarian governments to protect their corporate

We have developed this platform to call a halt to this kind of financing. 
The statement also calls on public funds to be used for public good, while
recognizing that it may not be appropriate for the World Bank to be
involved in financing these projects either.  What is important is that
civil society sets the development priorities for their country, not by
bankers in Washington, DC. 

We ask for your organizational endorsement and for your assistance in
circulating this statement to other organizations. 

To endorse, please send your name, organization and country to Sara Zdeb
(szdeb@foe.org, or fax 202/783-0444). 

The deadline for replying is April 3, 2000. 

The statement is included below. 

Thanks for your support.

Andrea Durbin
Friends of the Earth-US
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20005
telephone: 202-783-7400, ext 209
fax: 202-783-0444


APRIL 2000

In this era of globalization, there is a growing awareness that
environmental protection and economic development must go hand in hand. 
Nowhere is the incompatibility of environmental destruction and poverty
alleviation more evident than in the World Bank Group's investments in the
extractive industries: oil, gas and mining. As the world's largest
development institution, and one of the major vehicles for economic
globalization, the World Bank now stands at a crossroads: perpetuate
poverty and pollution through extractive industries, or alleviate poverty
through environmentally and socially sustainable development. 

The undersigned organizations and individuals call on the publicly
financed World Bank Group to phase out of financing destructive oil, gas
and mining projects. The Bank's support for these extractive industries
underscores its record of environmental and social destruction. Oil, gas
and mining projects enable wealthy multinational corporations to extract
resources and profits from poor countries, leaving poverty in their wake.
They fuel global climate change, pollute the environment and lead to
deforestation.  Even worse, extractive industries have further entrenched
corrupt and dictatorial governments, and exacerbated human rights abuses. 

Oil, gas, and mining embody an unsustainable model of economic development
that has failed the world's poor in the 20th century. There is no reason
for the World Bank Group to finance these sectors in the 21st. The World
Bank Group devotes a significant share of its portfolio to extractive
sectors (in 1999, 40% of the World Bank Group's portfolio -which includes
IFC and MIGA - went to oil, gas and mining projects). An environmentally
and socially sustainable approach would include investing in new
industries, clean technologies, environmental protection, job creation and
education. The World Bank Group should establish an immediate ban on new
exploration in pristine, frontier ecosystems (a ban more than 200
organizations from 52 countries called for at the Kyoto climate change
meeting). Finally, we call on the World Bank Group to develop a plan for a
complete phase out of financing oil, gas and mining projects. The
transition away from these sectors should be developed in a participatory
manner, be based on renewable energy-based systems and ensure the
livelihoods of local communities. 

Ten Reasons the World Bank Group Should Stop Financing Oil, Gas, and
Mining Projects in Poor Nations

NOTE: Since the following part is too long to fit into this email, I've
kept only the headings below. To read the integral version and more please
go at: http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/GreenFiles9.htm

1. The Poor Often Pay the Highest Price
2. Indigenous Communities are Jeopardized
3. Leads to Forest Destruction and Biodiversity Loss
4. Toxic Contamination of Communities
5. Negatively Impacts Women
6. Extractive Industries Often Tied to Human Rights Abuses
7. Ties with dictators and corrupt governments 8. Supports Corporate Welfare
9. Extractive Industries Fuel Global Climate Change
10. Increases Debt and Dependency of Poor Countries

Ten Better Examples of Good Development

1. Support education and technical training.
2. Promote healthy societies.
3. Support micro and small enterprise.
4. Build strong agricultural sectors that respond to peoples' needs.
5. Deliver energy to the rural poor.
6. Improve the quality of life in urban areas.
7. Develop productive alternatives to deforestation.
8. Encourage the efficient use of water.
9. Promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development.
10. Immediate Debt Cancellation and Recognition of Ecological Debt.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Subject: Seattle II
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 17:24:02 -0500
From: Richardson_D <Richardson_D@bls.gov>

Hi -- We are writing to ask for your ONE-TIME SUPPORT FOR A MAJOR
Bank.  If you contribute, your name and address will not become part of a
"list." We will not share your name and address with other organizations. 


David Schlein, National Vice President American Federation of Government

Robert L. Clark, Secretary-Treasurer United Electrical, Machine, and Radio

The Alliance for Global Justice is acting as the fiscal sponsor for the
April 16th Coalition.  Please donate on-line at
http://www.a16.org/form_support.html, Or by check, made out to
Mobilization for Global Justice/AGJ, 1247 E Street SE, Washington DC

SEATTLE.  The movement that came to light with the World Trade
Organization (WTO) meetings - the movement all of us have been building -
will have its next big opportunity to demand that people be put ahead of
profits in Washington, DC, the home of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and World Bank, the rule-makers for the global economy. 

WTO head Mike Moore is expected to join World Bank President James
Wolfensohn, new IMF head Horst Koehler, and the Finance Ministers and
heads of Central Banks who make up the governing body of the IMF on
Sunday, April 16.  This is one of the routine high-level meetings
dedicated to making the world safer and more profitable for corporations -
and more dangerous for the planet and its people.  The formal joint
meetings continue April 17. 


TO COME TO WASHINGTON to tell the economic decision-makers that we are not
going to close our eyes to their actions.  Please see the list at
http://www.a16.org.  We know that the injustices of the global economy
were not born with the WTO, and are hardly the sole responsibility of the
WTO.  The IMF and World Bank, more than any other institutions, are the
coercive powers which have shaped the present global economy, and which
gave birth to the WTO in the first place. 

The reason that the Seattle mobilization was so effective was that labor
stood with the direct action folks, if not alongside, at least near by. 
The result was a story that could not be relegated to the back pages or
the cutting room floor.  The purpose of April 16 is to re-unite this
coalition.  Therefore the AFL-CIO together with the American Federation of
Government Employees (AFGE), United Electrical Workers (UE), United Steel
Workers (USWA) and the central labor councils of Washington DC, San
Francisco, and San Jose, are sponsoring a legal Rally and March for Global

A week of activities is being planned, including Sunday April 9, Jubilee
2000/USA mobilization for debt cancellation Wednesday April 12, AFL-CIO
lobbying day against China most favored nation Saturday April 15, Latin
America/Caribbean Solidarity Conference Sunday April 16, Two Main Events: 

Legal Rally and March for Global Justice Direct Action for Global Justice

The schedule for the direct action will not be final until April 15. The
Legal Demo will assemble on The Ellipse, between the White House and the
Washington Monument, at 11:00 AM on April 16, 2000.  The tentative
schedule is 11:00 Music and cultural events 12:00 Speakers, with a song or
two 1:30 March 3:30 Return to Ellipse, more talk, a few songs. 5:00
Disperse to numerous receptions and SpokesCouncil April 18 11:00 - 1:00
Rally on the Ellipse

Invited speakers include Members of Congress Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia
McKinney, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, AFGE President Bobby Harnage, UE
Secretary-Treasurer Robert L. Clark, Michael Moore, Amy Goodman, DSA's

Horace Small, TransAfrica's Randall Robinson, Philippines Freedom from

Debt leader Matet, India's Vanetta Gupta, South Africa's Dennis Brutus,
Kensington Welfare Rights' Cheri Honkala, and Public Citizen's Ralph

Please donate on-line at http://www.a16.org/form_support.html. 

Many of the organizations that played leading roles in organizing the
Seattle demonstrations -- Direct Action Network, the Ruckus Society,
Global Exchange, Rainforest Action Network, and others -- are organizing
for April 16 in Washington.  Caravans are being planned from as far away
as the West Coast and even from Winnipeg, Canada.  Experienced activists
from dozens of organizations have formed the Alliance for Global Justice
coalition with 10 working groups (e.g., communications, logistics,
outreach, labor, more being are added all the time) that have been meeting
regularly and making concrete plans. 

AND IMF PROGRAMS and stand in solidarity to demand an end to the
devastation they cause not only in the global South, but also here in
America.  Our partner organizations around the world have challenged these
destructive policies in the streets for years.  Time and again they have
asked us what we in the U.S. are doing to help them.  The strong showing
made in Seattle on behalf of the world's victims of savage corporate
globalization gave a new impetus to the movement for economic justice -
both here and abroad. 

Please donate on-line at http://www.a16.org/form_support.html. 

The events in Seattle continue to reverberate through the corporate
boardrooms and the halls of power.  PRESIDENT CLINTON, speaking to the
heads of the world's richest transnational corporations in Davos,
Switzerland told them, "We cannot pretend that globalization is just about

The Washington Post in its coverage of Clinton's Davos speech opined: 
"Clinton's remarks seemed designed as a reminder that these fears - even
expressed in unwelcome and sometimes violent ways, as they were in Seattle
- have a legitimacy that deserves attention in the world's executive
suites and government ministries."  Of course the violence was almost
entirely police violence, but the Washington Post and the New York Times
are the keepers of "official reality," and in official reality it is
always the protesters who are violent. 

It is vital that the rulers of the world's economic system understand
clearly that Seattle was not a one-shot event and that now they can return
to business as usual.  They must understand as well that the WTO, in
itself, is not the issue.  The issue is the rules that promote profits
over the needs of people and the environment. 

AFL-CIO PRESIDENT JOHN SWEENEY, also in Davos, told the corporate
big-wigs, "Understand the message of Seattle ...  It was a call for new
global rules, democratically developed.  Workers North and South marched
together.  And the many different voices made one clear statement:
Fundamental reform is needed."  On April 16 we will let them know that
fundamental change does not mean renaming their programs or other public
relations scams.  Fundamental reform means rules that empower the people
of the world to make the decisions about how they live their lives - not
the transnational CEO's or their purchased political leaders. 

Sweeney also warned them, "If the global system continues to generate
growing inequality, environmental destruction and a race to the bottom for
working people, then it will generate an increasingly volatile reaction
that will make Seattle look tame." 

Sweeney's prediction is actually a description of events going on right
now.  We are not much aware of them because they do not often get
mentioned in our media.  The Zapatista uprising in Mexico, the recent coup
in Ecuador, the civil war in the Congo, the turmoil in Indonesia, and the
threat of the U'Wa people to commit mass suicide, are all expressions of
the social explosion that has arisen from the desperation caused by the
policies of the World Bank, IMF, and their corporate directors. 

We are posting this message because WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT, BOTH MORAL AND
MATERIAL.  We need to know that you support this movement and these
actions.  And we need your financial contributions to make it all
possible.  We need to raise at least $50,000 between now and April 16. 

Publicity and outreach cost money.  We need a stage and sound system,
phones and office space. We need transportation subsidies for students and
the disadvantaged. Many organizations are donating staff, copying, phones,
postage, etc. to the effort, but it is not enough.  We need your help. 

paving the way for corporate profits - all the while claiming to work for
development and poverty reduction - must be put on notice: The people
power demonstrated in Seattle will not die.  We demand global economic
justice for all.  Now! 

multinational corporations to plunder resources, devastate ecosystems,
exploit workers, and require policies that prioritize their profits are
made in meetings of Finance Ministers, Treasury officials, and Trade
Ministers.  Although the officials making these decisions represent
governments, many of them formally democratic, their blueprint is one of
corporate empowerment.  They just assume the people will accept that
greater profits for corporations will mean a better future for us all. 

Vancouver, Birmingham (UK), Cologne, Geneva, and most recently and
importantly Seattle have shown that many, many people do not accept this
logic.  This April we will continue to bring this message to the
decision-makers as they convene on US soil, making sure they understand
that resistance to their agenda is truly global. 

We need your support, both moral and material.  We need to know that you
support this movement and these actions.  And we need your financial
contributions to make it all possible.  We need to raise at least $50,000
between now and April 16.  Publicity and outreach cost money.  We need a
stage and sound system, phones and office space.  We need transportation
subsidies for students and the disadvantaged.  Many organizations are
donating staff, copying, phones, postage, etc. to the effort, but it is
not enough.  We need your help.  And please show up on April 16.THIS NEW
Three weeks before the event, we are all pitching in.  We urge you to
support this landmark event in the history of the worldwide movement for
economic justice by helping to support the many added expenses involved
with this mobilization. 

PLEASE PLAN TO COME TO WASHINGTON IN APRIL!  We'll be putting together a
week of teach-ins, training, and popular actions in advance of the big
protest on April 16. 

Sunday April 9, Jubilee 2000/USA mobilization for debt cancellation
Wednesday April 12, AFL-CIO lobbying day against China most favored nation
Saturday April 15, Latin America/Caribbean Solidarity Conference Sunday
April 16, Two Main Events:  Legal Rally and March for Global Justice
Direct Action for Global Justice

The Alliance for Global Justice is acting as the fiscal sponsor for the
April 16th Coalition.  Please donate on-line at
http://www.a16.org/form_support.html. Or by check, made out to
Mobilization for Global Justice/AGJ, 1247 E Street SE, Washington DC

Your donation is tax deductible.  Please be as generous as you can for
this one-time request. 

In Solidarity,

David Schlein, National Vice President American Federation of Government

Robert L. Clark, Secretary-Treasurer United Electrical, Machine, and Radio

P.S.  To stay informed on the organizing efforts -- and to get further
involved -- subscribe to our e-mail listserv by sending a blank message
from your account to a16-international-planning-subscribe@egroups.com or
visit the coalition website at http://www.a16.org. 

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