Mobilizing Against the FTAA: April 20, 2001: The Next International Day of Action, Quebec City

Get ready for the next festival of resistance! Anti-Capitalist Convergence April 18-22. “We all remember the promises that NAFTA would be the beginning of the Pan-American dream of prosperity, democracy, and environmental benefits. However, as Global Trade Watch and other organizations have thoroughly documented in reports since NAFTA went into effect almost seven years ago, the opposite has been true…” -Public Citizen. “These leaders – the official summit delegates – are so illegitimate that a city has to be sealed off to protect them.” -Clayton Ruby. April 20, 2001, G.W. Bush will go to Quebec City, Canada to discuss a trade deal, in your name. But you aren’t invited. Downtown Quebec City will be off limits to anyone without a residency card. -Seth Tobocman. “Quebec City officials say they’ll erect a metal fence that will encircle about four or five square kilometres of the city” -Montreal Gazette.

The FTAA extends the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to the entire hemisphere, and is to be implemented by no later than 2005. The FTAA is also an extension of the reach of capitalist globalization, aiming to submit health care, education, as well as environmental and labor standards to the so-called logic of the free-market.

Negotiated behind closed doors, and imposed unilaterally, the FTAA process is yet another example of the kind of economic violence that aims to suppress the gains of popular struggles of the past, and reinforce the power of cash and cops over our lives.

The demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle announced to the world the existence of an anti-capitalist resistance movement in Canada and the United States. The same spirit prevailed last April in Washington during the IMF and World Bank meetings, and in Windsor last June during the general assembly of the Organization of American States (which initiated the FTAA process). On each occasion, thousands took to the streets to refuse the free market fundamentalism of governments and business. These demonstrations did not emerge from nowhere, but were the result of many years of collective struggles against colonialism, poverty, police brutality and injustices of all kinds.

This April in Quebec City, working families, students, farmers, environmentalists, people of faith, animal rights activists and many others will participate in a large-scale grassroots mobilization against the FTAA.

La Convergence des Luttes Anti-Capitalistes (CLAC) is organizing a Carnival against Capitalism that is to include events in Quebec City and Montreal over the month of April, and which culminates with the Day of Action on April 20. The Carnival will include conferences, teach-ins, concerts, cabarets, workshops, street theatre, protests and direct action.

Operation SalAMI! is headed to Ottawa on April 1 to demand a copy of the secret draft FTAA documents, even planning to blockade the building if necessary. They are sponsoring a convergence (April 17-20), a teach-in (April 20) and a large demonstration – unifying and festive – on the 21st.

The Buffalo Activist Network is coordinating actions at both ends of the Peace Bridge, with street theater, a legal rally and more.

The Vermont Action Network is planning actions, housing, and an independent media center at the border.

The NYC Ya Basta! Collective is preparing a festive convoy to Quebec.

Tijuana-San Diego StopFTAA (Espanol) is coordinating huge border mobilizations from California to Texas (Contacts).

In Kansas City organizers are preparing a Midwest Convergence April 19-22.

And in Seattle/Vancouver the Teamsters and Turtles are together again: Peace Arch Coalition.

Other events are currently listed in 65 cities from Buenos Aires to Thunder Bay: International Calendar.

We believe it is possible to radically and creatively oppose imperialism and the capitalist system while at the same time maintaining the spirit of openness that is necessary to develop a diverse and pluralistic resistance movement. The mobilization against the Summit of the Americas is being organized within the framework of a long-term struggle, in the North and South, against capitalist globalization. We are committed to participating in the globalization of genuine solidarity between peoples, with the goal of collectively resisting the same root causes of exploitation.


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SOA and the FTAA

Author: infomat 101

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