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<nettime> Prague-S26 Calls for Action
Peoples' Global Action Secretariat on 28 Aug 2000 19:42:58 -0000


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<nettime> Prague-S26 Calls for Action


At http://www.agp.org/agp/praha you will find the calls to action writen
or endorsed by the current convenors of Peoples' Global Action (PGA) to
mobilise for the next global day of action against capitalism on September
26, the day when the 55th (and hopefully last) Annual Meeting of the World
Bank and the IMF is supposed to start in Prague. Please use them as you
wish. Translations into different languages will soon be added. 

At http://www.x21.org/s26/ you will find many more calls from
organisations and movements from the whole world. At
http://inpeg.org/frontcover.html you will find the general position of
INPEG, the Czech (but increasingly international) platform organising
against the WB/IMF meeting. 

Below you will find short excerpts of the European, Asian, Latin American,
South Pacific and North American calls for S26 (the complete texts can be
found at http://www.agp.org/agp/praha). The Asian call is a provisional
one, a new statement will be developed at the upcoming PGA Asian meeting
in Bangladesh, 15-16 September 2000. 

Please note that the normal PGA email address <pga {AT} agp.org> is not working
since several months, because of the cyber-attacks that the PGA mail
server has been object of (we seem to be attracting too much attention
from the supporters of the global capitalist regime). We are working on a
better security system, but until them please address all correspondance
to the PGA secretariat to the address pgasec {AT} gmx.net

##########################

I. Since the first global days of action against capitalism in May 98
(simulataneous to the WTO summit in Geneva and the G8 Summit in
Birmingham), the global days of action of June 18, 1999 (coinciding with
the G8 Summit in Cologne), November 30, 1999 (during the WTO meeting in
Seattle) and Mayday 2000 have mobilised hundreds of thousands of people in
scores of countries. A new form of international resistance to capital is
taking shape through these global actions. 

People's Global Action Against "free" trade and WTO is again calling for
worldwide demonstrations and actions against the Annual Meeting of the
International Monetary Fund / World Bank (IMF/WB) which will be held in
Prague, Czech Republic. These institutions are key elements of
capitalism's war against the people and the environment of this planet.
Therefore, the Convenors of People's Global Action invite you to respond
to the calls from our friends in Prague and other parts of the world to
action on or around the 26th of September 2000. 

    ------------------------------

II. Summary of the CALL OF EUROPEAN PEOPLE, MOVEMENTS AND ORGANISATIONS

... Some 20,000 representatives of capital are expected to come to Prague
in September to attend the 55th annual summit of the IMF and the World
Bank. This prestigious meeting will be the first of its kind in Central
and Eastern Europe. The delegates will meet to propose a scheme of further
liberalisation of the world economy by defining new loan priorities and
structural adjustment conditions. 

... Within the framework of the Structural Adjustment Programmes, the IMF
and World Bank ... strengthen the position of capital but worsen the
situation of the majority of the world's population. The removal of social
and environmental regulations, and cuts in public spending, result in the
inaccessibility of healthcare and education, sharp increases in living
costs, job losses, unemployment and curtailment of union rights. The
impact on agriculture is especially devastating, since production aimed at
local self-sufficiency is suspended and the countries are compelled to
grow single cash-crops for export, which leads to food shortages and in
some countries even to famine. The impact of the IMF and World Bank
activities on the environment are also devastating - the megalomaniac
projects of the World Bank result in the destruction of local eco-systems
as well as in the forced displacement of millions of people. 

As a result of these policies millions have become refugees. They have no
place to stay in their native countries and are criminalised and treated
with contempt by the very powers which have caused their displacement. We
are opposed to the racist restrictions on immigration across Europe and
defend the freedom of movement of all people. 

... Let's take the Czech Republic - where the meeting will take place - as
one example. In 1990 a Czech government accepted a structural adjustment
programme (SAP) and a $3.9 billion loan from the IMF. From that time on,
all governments implemented, with greater or lesser intensity, policies of
liberalisation, deregulation, privatisation, high interest rates and cuts
in public spending ... real incomes of working class families and
agricultural workers in the Czech Republic have dropped dramatically. The
value of basic social benefits has fallen by 44 percent since 1997 and by
60 percent in comparison with GDP since 1991. Women's lives are becoming
harder and harder as they suffer disproportionately from exploitation,
sexism and unemployment. The environment suffers from becoming a pool of
cheap raw materials for the multinationals. Racism against Roma and Sinti
minorities has increased, as racism is used to divert people's attention
from their real problems. 

... More than 4 billion people live on a daily income of less than $2. 
About 17 million children die every year because of easily curable
diseases. One third of the inhabitants of the Southern hemisphere will not
reach the age of 40. And 250 million children in so-called developing
countries have to work as slave labour for transnational corporations to
support their families. 

Meanwhile, there are 50 million people living in poverty and 5 million
homeless in the European Union. There are 30 million people in the US
suffering malnutrition... we are witnessing the daily mass murder of tens
of thousands of people and a daily crime against the human right to live
in dignity and happiness. 

We do not think we can oppose this development by lobbying institutions
like the IMF and the World Bank. Rather, we rely upon a movement that has
to be built at a grassroots level, promoting the unity of the many and
diverse everyday struggles against the consequences of a global capitalist
system... We do not think that globalisation can be opposed by the
protectionist policy of nation states. We believe that the alternative is
a society which is not based on profit for a few but on the genuine needs
and desires of everybody, on the principles of solidarity, mutual
assistance and sustainable living, a society which rejects all forms and
systems of domination, discrimination and all forms of oppression... [I]t
is only by mass direct actions, civil disobedience and practising direct
grassroots democracy that such a movement can be created. Resistance must
be as global as capital - and much more creative... Let's change our
future and create a new world! 

[Adopted by the European organisations and movements mobilising for Praha
2000, which includes the Italian Ya Basta! network, Western European
convenors of PGA]

    ------------------------------

III. Summary of the PROVISIONAL ASIAN CALL

In Sri Lanka, the clutches of the WB, IMF and the Trans-national companies
linked to them, increased their stranglehold over the destiny of its
people, since the introduction of the Policy of an Open Economy in 1977. 
Following the conditions laid down by those institutions since then, the
State made drastic reductions in its allocations on welfare services such
as health, education, subsidies for agriculture and so on. 

... As a result, the living conditions of the people rapidly deteriorated. 
For example, the share of the income of the poorest 20 percent in Sri
Lanka declined from 7.5 percent in early 1970 to 4.5 percent towards the
end of 1980... The prescriptions of the WB and the IMF for the last 23
years on the path of development have produced only more poverty, wider
social disparities, violence, an unending war, and damage to the country's
environment.... 

More harmful implications of such development are yet to be introduced.
For example, water tax for the farmers, privatization of the remaining
service-oriented institutions such as the postal service and banks. The
labour laws, which were introduced after long struggles during past
decades to protect the rights of workers are to be liberalised to attract
the investors. 

We stand in solidarity too with the millions of the world's poor both in
the South and also in the North, who are burdened by the "globalization" 
policies and commit ourselves to the international call of protest against
these deadly institutions... 

Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR), Sri Lanka,
Asian convenors of PGA

    ------------------------------

IV. Summary of the CALL TO ACTION FOR THE SOUTH PACIFIC

In September (26-28) the 55th annual meeting of WB/IMF will be held in
Praha, Czech Republic. The Kaupapa of this Hui is to speed up the process
of "freeing the world economy", in other words, more of what we've had in
the last 20 years ... 

... While it may seem that the powers that be in New Zealand have already
voluntarily relinquished economic control to the dictates of the
IMF/WB/WTO, there is still much to lose for us, and especially for our
smaller island neighbours in the Pacific. Recent government reports have
already shown that the economic restructuring of the 80s have failed
Maori.  The economic gap between Maori and non-Maori has continued to
widen. Maori employment was devastated in this time and the disparity in
health has increased, as has our youth suicide and mental health
statistics. ... 

These latest rounds of talks plan future liberalisation of trade through
regulation of government and also by tightening loan priorities to
developing countries. Effectively, more economic blackmail that we have
already seen throughout the commandeering of the South Pacific Forum by
the WTO/IMF/WB. Whereby small island nations are being bullied into
APEC/WTO consistent policies by linking economic reforms with future
economic aid. 

... Therefore, the calls also goes out to all organisations and people of
the Pacific to unite and tautoko this Kaupapa in order to send a powerful
message of resistance to this new wave of global colonisation. 

Foundation for an Independent Aoteoroa and Aoteoroa Educators, PGA
convenors for the South Pacific

    ------------------------------

V. LATIN AMERICAN CALL

Millions and millions of Latin American women and men have been condemned
to increasing poverty by the programs imposed by the IMF and World Bank.
In our countries, the governments unquestioningly execute their structural
adjustment programs and globalising policies which seriously damage the
economic, political, social and cultural life of our peoples. 

Globalisation, the new name given today to the capitalist savagery and
pillage which began for our peoples in 1492, assassinating millions of
indigenous people and transforming the blacks into merchandise, has
brought misery to the countrysides, growing destruction to the environment
and ecosystems, the displacement of the population towards cities and less
fertile lands, a reversal of land reforms, the privatisation and
deterioration of public services such as health, education and water,
growing unemployment, flexibilisation of labour and the transformation of
public services, common goods and of the traditional knowledge and
livelihoods of our peoples into merchandise for capital. 

Geneva, Seattle, Washington, Davos, Bologna mark the path of resistance,
an international resistance to capital, which is growing all around the
world.  In the name of that resistance and ofits hopes and dreams, we call
to all the men and women of Latin America to demonstrate and act against
the General Assembly of the International Monetary Fund / World Bank,
which will meet in Prague, Czech Republic, on the 26th and 27th of
September. 

Latin America has a long history of resistance to all the forms of
savagery and domination. Today, we are all called to unite our struggles
and actions against the common enemy of our peoples. From the cities,
fields and forests, villages and neighbourhoods, factories and offices,
from the houses, streets and farms, the voices and actions of all Latin
Americans who want a future for their sons and daughters will grow ever
stronger - voices and action born of dignity and of the long history of
rebellion of our peoples.. 

Movimiento de la Juventud Kuna, Panama; Confederación Única Nacional de
Afiliados al Seguro Social Campesino - Coordinadora Nacional Campesino ,
Ecuador; Federacion Nacional del Trabajo, Nicaragua; Organizacion Negra
Centroamericana, Honduras. Latin American convenors of PGA. 

    ------------------------------

VI. Summary of the CALL FOR A DAY OF ACTION AGAINST CAPITALISM ACROSS
NORTH AMERICA ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2000 in Solidarity with the Mass Action
during the IMF/World Bank Meeting in Prague

We live in a time where progress is defined by the powerful. Instruments
are used to achieve these ends under a system that was founded on the
maniacal destruction of native cultures. Value has been defined as that
which benefits investors. After five hundred years of colonialism in the
Americas the beast continues to evolve. Where bombs and military force are
not required other instruments of control have been invented. 

Canada and the U.S were built on the racist foundations of occupation and
lying to the first people of this land. From the residential schools and
reservation system the occupiers attempted to eliminate the many nations
of peoples that existed in these Americas. A terrible holocaust has not
silenced their stories... This tragic chapter of history has not ended but
has entered a new phase. The new colonialists leave no stone unturned. 

... Capitalism has become a religion. One is not to question this
religion, but accept that only money and profit are things of value.
Everything is to be driven by competition as if life were a game with a
select few winners and many losers. Elections are nothing more than
theatre and meaningful alternatives are obscured by the bright lights of
Disneyland. 

Under the guise of "consultation" they choose with whom and under what
circumstances they will meet. Public relations take on many forms. 
Co-option is the name of the game. But no amount of pretense will answer
the question: How can the IMF begin to serve the interests of humanity
when it maintains and promotes a system based on the most selfish of
values? 

... We call on people everywhere to commit to the call by Peoples´ Global
Action for decentralized autonomous actions around the world on September
26. Join with people around the world in solidarity with actions directed
against the IMF/World Bank and global capitalism. 

The day will be organized as a decentralized and informal network of
grassroots groups that employ non-authoritarian, democratic forms of
organization, and seek to effect change directly through their own action. 

If you or your group plans to join this day of action, please let others
know as soon as possible, to facilitate networking and communication.
There are several international mailing lists available for open
discussions and co-ordination. A public international contact list is
regularly posted to these lists in order to facilitate decentralized
networking. To have your contact information added to it, please contact
resistance {AT} x21.org <mailto:resistance {AT} x21.org> indicating (a) the country
and location in which you plan to take action, plus any other information
you see fit, for instance (b) the name of your group, coalition or
yourself, (c) the events or actions being planned, (d) your land address,
(e) your email address, (f) your telephone number, (g) fax number or (h)
website. 





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