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Call for action
Against the Hong-Kong WTO Ministerial Conference
(14 -18 December 2005) 10 years of WTO 10 years of plunder and destruction
For the ten years that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has existed, people have been forced to face the disruption of their everyday lives. Its single global market agenda poses a great threat to the diversities of the world. Every country is now facing deregulation of its constitution and laws to comply with WTO requirements. Expansion of monopolies and corporate control through privatization means that access to water, land, seeds, forests, natural resources and energy is a constant struggle for the poor of the world.
This is devastating lives in many ways- for example 50,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide in the past 10 years due to WTO-driven agricultural liberalisation. Therefore, millions of farmers, agricultural labourers, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk and other inhabitants of rural areas are forced to abandon their homes and move into the slums of large cities, in order to work their lives away in exchange for a life of misery, discrimination and oppression.
In addittion to destroying rural livelihoods, WTO regulations are directly increasing climate change and decreasing biodiversity, which is destroying the entire planet’s future. They are also increasing the concentration of wealth and power, and fuelling the exploitation of the workers worldwide, by enabling the free movement of money and merchandise. However, human beings from impoverished countries are deprived from that freedom, and those who try escape misery, by going to the countries that steal their wealth, are subjected to growing racism, violence and exploitation.
The WTO laws also regulate the dismantlement of public services and of many welfare policies, with particularly devastating effects for women, children and the elderly. Finally, they contribute to the destruction of cultural diversity and indigenous cultures by imposing the private property over knowledge and life forms, and by enabling Western media monopolies to expand their power and influence, with terrible consequences in terms of manipulation of information and destruction of human values.
Capitalism is undemocratic by nature and as one of its main driving forces, the WTO is also undemocratic. It is based on undemocratic national governments from all over the world (including in supposedly democratic countries) whose economic policies are dictated by capital. This lack of democracy is shown in part through increasing violence against protests and movements, in the loss of civil liberties, and in the neo-colonial wars of aggression for the control of natural resources, hidden behind the so-called ‘War on Terror’. Therefore, there is a strong need to build up decentralised alternatives from the grassroots.
Oppressed people everywhere must work in solidarity against the manufactured consent of the WTO if we want to see positive change. The WTO is integrally connected to global institutions like the G8, IMF and World Bank, as well as regional integration processes and trade agreements. These are all manipulated by corporations and world superpowers.
. The first Global Day of Action against Capitalism took place in 1998 to coincide with the WTO ministerial conference in Geneva and the G8 summit in the UK. A growing ‘movement of movements’ developed in part out of these mobilizations and it is now more important than ever for them to flourish.
We encourage groups, activists and movements all over the world to be part of this collective effort and to organise decentralised actions (whatever the size, wherever the location) against the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong (14-18 December 2005). This meeting will take place in a corporate fortress isolated by the sea in order to prevent any effective direct action. But we will not let them hide from the realities of the damage they have caused to people all over the world. A diversity of actions could contain the seeds of our future; act as opposition and proposition; resistance and creation.
The struggle against the WTO is now alive all around the world, as it is necessary to resist the implementation of WTO rules at a national level and against capitalism itself at the global level.
Share your stories of resistance to the WTO with the world using Indymedia (http://www.indymedia.org) and other alternative media networks (eg. http://www.all4all.org). We hope to use your stories to create a Peoples’ Global Action bulletin on paper and online in English and Spanish that can be translated into different languages and circulated worldwide to increase mutual knowledge and expand resistance.
Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (BKU All India), KRRS, Shektari Sangathana,Tamilnadu Farmers Association (TVS), Kerala Coconut Farmers Association, Nandi Raitha Samkya, All-Nepal Peasant Association, Nepal Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Assembly of the Poor, Thailand Thai Labour Campaign.