Dear RN list, Oct. 28 With this posting you will get a brief introduction in English to one of the most important progressive and anti-corporate globalization forces in the world, ATTAC (or L’Association pour une taxation des transactions financières pour l’aide aux citoyens/the French Association for the Taxation of Transactions towards Aid to Citizens). As you will see, it came into being in June of this year after the publication of an editorial in _Le Monde diplomatique_. _Le Monde diplomatique_ is now available in English to subscribers of _The Guardian Weekly_ (Send e-mail inquiries to <•••@••.•••>.) It is also available in an impressive number of languages (Italian, German, Spanish, Greek, Arabic, Japanese and Portuguese). Its circulation has doubled over the past 10 years, quite a feat given that many newspapers are struggling to survive. _Le Monde diplomatique_ is in the process of weaning itself off of its dependence on its parent newspaper, _Le Monde_. Currently, 40% of its capital is owned by the paper's journalists and by its readers (represented by the association of The Friends of _Le Monde diplomatique_). As its director, Ignacio Ramonet, states, the paper is committed to providing the kind of communications network and information that makes democracy possible: "News is still a fundamental part of the healthy functioning of society. Democracy is an impossibility without a good communications network. It is information that helps the human race to live as free beings." Worth a look, no? (To see the English/French web site: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/) all the best, Jan PS Thanks are due to César Roberto Magellan, who has joined the team of journalists who will contribute to the Brazilian edition of _Le Monde diplomatique_. Thanks to him, I can provide you with the URL above. ************************************************************************* From: "Laurent JESOVER" <•••@••.•••> To: "ATTAC (liste International)" <•••@••.•••>, <•••@••.•••> Cc: "ATTAC (Bureau)" <•••@••.•••> Subject: ATTAC Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 11:20:21 +0100 Dear Jan, Thanks again for your interest in ATTAC. You'll find herewith for the Renaissance network a little presentation of our NGO. If you want further information please feel free to contact me again or the office : •••@••.••• or the international working group : •••@••.••• , depending on what type of information you might need. I hope that this mail will be helping you. Hope to hear from you soon. Laurent @@@@@@@@@@ ATTAC : It is just a question of – together – re-appropriating the future of our world. You'll find herewith the press release issued just after the first national meeting in France in La Ciotat October 17th and a presentation of the NGO. Of course for further details on our activities I invite you to visit our website http://attac.org/ . Nevertheless here are the latest updates. - growth in France : ATTAC is represented with local groups in 39 departments - growth worlwide : ATTAC is constructing links and relationships with other organizations in the world to work together toward common goals. Furthermore, in 6 countries ATTAC is developing reuniting organizations, citizens etc. * BRAZIL : a national meeting will be held by the end of the month. Contact : •••@••.••• * QUEBEC : the construction of the association is starting to take place. Contact : •••@••.••• * SWITZERLAND : mainly in two cities Geneva-contact : •••@••.••• and Fribourg. * BELGIUM / ITALY / SPAIN : the birth of a structure might be fast... for further information, please contact: •••@••.••• . (same address for other countries as well) 1- PRESS RELEASE The first national conference of ATTAC (the French Association for the Taxation of Transactions towards Aid to Citizens) brought together more than 1500 citizens from all of France - and Europe- The meeting was convened in La Ciotat to discuss the effects of financial globalization and the ways to fight them. The debates dealt with the international financial crisis, the direction of the proposed 1999 French financial law and the further development of the association. This first conference was attended by many unions (CFDT,CGT, FSU. Groupe des Dix etc.) and associations (Comites des citoyens, Medecins du Monde etc.) They underlined the urgent need for new approaches to the regulation of international financial transactions, fighting the dominant 'free-market' approach. ATTAC plans to meet very soon with Dominique Strauss-Kahn and present its proposals. The association cast light on the connections between financial speculation and the degradation of employment and of democracy. Before separating, the participants had set several dates for further debates and militant actions, including the convening of the "other Davos" to be held at the end of January in Switzerland, in coordination with individuals and movements from other countries. 2- ATTAC ? : http://attac.org/ A group linking citizens, associations, trade unions and newspapers founded ATTAC in France on June 3rd, 1998 around the platform. The idea for this initiative came from an editorial article written by Ignacio Ramonet: "Disarm the markets", published in Le Monde Diplomatique in December 1997. An extract from the editorial: The Tobin Tax, named after the American Nobel prize winner for economics who proposed it in 1972, [would allow] for the modest taxation of all transactions on the foreign exchange markets in order to stabilise them, and at the same time, raise sums of money from the international community. At a rate of 0.1%, the Tobin Tax would obtain an annual sum of about 166 billion dollars, twice the amount needed per year to eradicate extreme poverty between now and the beginning of the century. What ATTAC proposes In France: to reflect, inform, unite, feed the debate, make oneself heard. This demands that a large number of local groups in France, capable of influencing public opinion and elected representatives, make known the economic and social consequences produced by financial speculation and to register ATTAC’s concerns in current events: debates at the national Assembly, European summits, Davos meetings , general meetings of the International Monetary Fund, negotiations on commercial treaties etc. At the international level: to extend the actions carried out in France. Capital flows have no frontiers. By definition, taxing speculation concerns international arrangements. In practically every country there exist women and men, organisations, groups whose concerns – sometimes whose activities – are similar to those of ATTAC. ATTAC’s wish is to be able to reflect, debate and work with them and, taking any differences into account, to achieve as much convergence as possible in all our efforts. Numerous contacts have already been made and will develop. What ATTAC requires The philosophy of laissez-faire and the free market, which tends to dominate the international exchange scene, has nothing inevitable about it. It is possible to impose greater transparency over the movement of capital, over the realities of tax havens. It is possible to impose international regulation, a greater social control over this money, the right by ordinary people to intervene in the financial sphere. In 1972, James Tobin, the winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, advanced the idea of the moderate taxation on all speculative transactions on the foreign exchange markets, in order to permit governments to find margins of autonomous control over economic policy. Since then, this idea has been taken up on numerous occasions. Numerous political parties in the world have proposed this kind of solution.(e.g. in English speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States). In France too, Lionel Jospin in his presidential campaign, Philippe Seguin, the Financial Commission of the National Assembly have all declared themselves favourable to a solution of this type. A resolution moving in this direction was presented to the European Parliament. The debate must therefore grow. This is what ATTAC hopes to bring about by producing information, by organising national, European and international meetings.