RN: ATTAC uniting anti-globalization forces worldwide


Jan Slakov

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:

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.


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
- 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)


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