Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Making Globalization a Local Issue

Expand Messages
  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo TomPaine.commentary MAKING GLOBALIZATION A LOCAL ISSUE Neil Watkins is coordinator of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28 11:59 PM
      News for Anarchists & Activists:


      Neil Watkins is coordinator of the World Bank Bonds Boycott
      campaign with the Center for Economic Justice.

      This commentary was produced by Sharon Basco.


      The Quebec City mobilization of demonstrators against the
      proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas was the latest in a
      growing protest movement calling for human and environmental
      rights to take precedence over corporate rights.

      Many people first heard about the growing resistance to
      corporate-led globalization in November 1999, at the time of
      the protests against the World Trade Organization's meeting
      in Seattle. But what is behind this new ascendance of
      activism and fervor for street protest?

      More and more people -- especially young people -- are
      learning about the effects of "free trade" policies on
      people and the planet -- and they are taking action. As
      corporations gain power in our increasingly globalized
      economy, working people, the natural environment, and the
      poor are losing out -- both in our own country and around
      the world.

      International institutions and treaties like the FTAA, the
      WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank are pushing a "global race
      to the bottom" wherein corporations scour the world, looking
      to invest in countries with the lowest wages and most
      limited consumer and environmental protections.

      But there's hope that such a scenario can be avoided. Since
      Seattle, protests against harmful global economic policies
      have popped up in every corner of the globe -- from
      Washington, D.C., to Chiang Mai, from Davos to Prague, and
      in Quebec City. But in addition to these raucous
      international demonstrations, activists are increasingly
      acting locally to stop the harmful aspects of globalization.

      One campaign which makes economic globalization a local
      issue -- the World Bank Bonds Boycott -- is picking up
      steam. Modeled on and led by veterans of the anti-apartheid
      movement, the boycott is based on a surprising fact -- that
      the World Bank raises nearly all its money by issuing bonds.
      World Bank bonds are bought by institutional investors like
      city or state pension funds, trade union pension funds,
      university endowments, and others. This gives us a powerful
      tool to exert influence over the policies of one of the
      major institutions that promotes an unsustainable model of
      globalization. Community activists, students, and working
      people across the country are spreading the campaign.

      In just the past few months, the growing campaign to
      pressure the World Bank by committing not to buy World Bank
      bonds has encompassed city councils including San
      Francisco's, unions such as the Communications Workers of
      America and United University Professions, religious
      communities including the Marianist Brothers, and socially
      responsible investors like Calvert Group. This boycott
      challenges the World Bank to drop its harmful lending
      practices known as "structural adjustment" and to cancel
      debts owed to it by poor countries -- or face a growing
      grassroots mobilization not seen since the movement to end
      South Africa's apartheid system.

      The boycott is just one element of a growing movement. It
      includes popular protests and other powerful strategies by
      grassroots organizations in developing countries, as well as
      mobilizations like the one in Quebec City. The challenge to
      corporate globalization is far from over. In fact, it has
      only just begun.

      This is Neil Watkins for TomPaine.com.

      Dan Clore

      Lord We├┐rdgliffe:
      Necronomicon Page:
      News for Anarchists & Activists:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.