rn- some counter-globalization initiatives…


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:51:13 -0300
From: •••@••.•••
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Zapatistas's 2nd American Meeting in Brazil

Dear friends:

Excuse me if you have by chance already received this message from other

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999
Subject: (en) FZLN,Second American Encuentro,Sept 4
From: •••@••.••• (Chiapas95-english)
To: •••@••.•••

>From The Zapatista Front of National Liberation (FZLN).

To Organizing Committee of the 2nd American Encuentro For Humanity
And Against Neoliberalism

To Organizations and individuals who are being called, from Belem,
across the entire continent, to meet with us in Belem do Pará, Brazil.

To The peoples of the American Continent:

Brothers and Sisters:

We received your Call to the 2nd American Encuentro For Humanity and
Against Neoliberalism, to be held from December 6 to 11, 1999, in the City
of Belem, Pará, Brazil.  The beauty of the text could alone sustain, and be
in keeping with, the abundance of dreams promised by the extremely rich
diversity of Brazilian social movements and their struggles.  By having you
as our hosts, the intergalactics of all Our America will be able to feel at
ease, and we will be inspired to share the experiences, ideas and most
daring intentions for humanity and against (already, in itself, old)

The natural beauty of Belem / Pará, and the struggle of its residents to
socialize it, points to a scenario that augurs a true encuentro of Our
America with itself, that is, a truly wonderful encuentro of those who are
seeking and struggling to make their dreams reality.  Because of that, from
La Realidad to Belem, a dream is drawn:  that of Our America being free,
democratic and just.

It has been three years now since the 1st American Encuentro For Humanity
and Against Neoliberalism, held in Chiapas, Mexico, and we are happy that
Brazil, that country of continental dimensions and great variety of social
struggles, is offering us the opportunity to join together, now in Belem do
Pará, in order to continue the necessary coming together that will allow us
to build, among all of us, the path of a future with peace.

We Mexican zapatistas will be coming to Belem with the conviction that we
will meet everyone there:  social movements and organizations, citizens,
religious, women, homosexuals, lesbians, young persons, unionists,
campesinos, indigenous, blacks, political wings of various shapes, all, in
order to confirm the breadth, diversity and strength of our hopes.

We Mexican zapatistas are now beginning to prepare for our attendance and
participation in the 2nd American Encuentro.  To all of our brothers and
sisters of the continent, we are saying:  let us walk together to Belem. We
are going ready to lend our modest contribution to the common struggle of
Our America.  But we are going, above all, with the intention of listening
to, and learning from, all of your efforts.

To our brothers and sisters of Mexico, we are calling you to build together
a National Promotional Committee for the 2nd American Encuentro For
Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, that will be in charge of the
preparations for the participation of a broad Mexican delegation, open to
any organization or individual who wants to participate in this encuentro.

Together, we shall try to decipher the unknowns of this end of millenium,
we shall share the ideas that move us and inspire us, we shall share and be
inspired by the experiences of resistance and struggle against inequality,
against oppression and against exclusion, battles which our American
peoples fight every day.  And in that way we shall continue to weave the
immense net of all us who are confronting the cynicism of a system which
knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

To our Brazilian compañeros, to our compañeros of Belem do Pará, we are
grateful for your generous willingness to receive - in your enormous house
in solidarity - a continent that, with all its wounds, will arrive willing
to be a dignified and human future.  Be assured that, from this moment on,
we Mexican zapatistas will contribute all of our efforts towards the
success of this effort of American unity.

Liberty!  Justice!  Democracy!


The Zapatista Front of National Liberation (FZLN)

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Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 23:45:12 -0400
From: irlandesa <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FZLN: 2nd American Encuentro
Sender: irlandesa <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••

Originally published in Spanish by the Zapatista Front of National
Translated by irlandesa

Date:   Friday, September 3, 1999 22:03:11 -0500
From:   fzln <•••@••.•••>

To subscribe from this list send a message containing the words
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Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 06:00:37 -0500
To: •••@••.•••
From: Mark Douglas Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
Subject: DAMN: 30-AUG-1999 - 02-SEP-1999: Colombia General Strike

        popular mobilization in Columbia, many groups

Title: Colombia General Strike
Author: various, compiled by <•••@••.•••>, DAMN's labor
Date: 30-AUG-1999 - 02-SEP-1999
Source: <•••@••.•••>, DAMN's labor topic specialist
Reference: Compiled from mainstream and union media sources (Associated
Press, BBC World Service, Reuters, ICFTU, etc.)


At least 1.5 million union workers, joined by thousands of members of
peasant and grass-roots social organizations, heeded the call for a
nationwide strike to protest against government austerity measures and
free-market economic policies. Students and housewives joined teachers,
health, communications and oil workers and truck drivers in a bid to bring
the country to a standstill. Hospitals, schools and the courts were closed,
and public transport badly disrupted.

The main purpose of the general strike, called by all the Colombian
national trade union centres (CUT, CGTD and CTC) as well as the people's
movements which together form the Comando nacional unitario (United
National Command), is to press home demands on the government for an
economic and social recovery plan which respects the needs of the majority
of the population. The austerity plan for the 2000 budget, drawn up along
neo-liberal lines, and announced by the conservative government of
President Andres Pastrana last week, catalysed the trade union protest, at
a time when the country is facing its most serious economic crisis for 70
years, and more than one third of Colombia's 38 million population already
live below the poverty line.

The draft budget foresees a fall in civil service wages, with the exception
of the lowest paid, an end to index-linking for wages (inflation is
currently at 9%), an increase in the retirement age to 62 for men and 57
for women (as compared to 60 and 55 at present), and a fall in overtime
rates and in redundancy costs.

***Last July, for the first time in its history, Colombia asked the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of 3 billion dollars, now
under negotiation, in order to meet the cost of servicing its external
debt, estimated at 35 billion dollars.***

The trade union and social organisations have published a 41-point list of
demands making a series of concrete proposals to improve the country's
economic and social situation.

The demands also include guarantees as to the respect of the freedom to
form and join trade unions, of human rights and of the freedom of
expression at the workplace.

Schools were closed and mass transit crippled as protesters burned buses in
several cities on Tuesday. In all of Colombia's main cities, demonstrators
hurled rocks at helmeted riot police, who fired tear gas and crouched
behind plastic shields. City officials said protesters burned two buses in
Medellin, and three more in Cali, Colombia's second and third-largest
cities respectively. Tire-burning protesters blocked major roads in some
regions and protesters clashed repeatedly with riot police in working-class
neighborhoods in the south of the capital. Demonstrators blocked several
major highways across Colombia, including a main route through the central
coffee-growing region.

In a nationally televised speech Monday, President Pastrana appealed to
workers to call off the strike, which could complicate talks with the IMF
over a $3 billion loan agreement. He said the strike was
politically-motivated and would only make things worse.

Military sources said they believed Marxist guerrillas could stage attacks
to coincide with the strike and block major highways in a bid to snarl
traffic across the country. Security forces were placed on alert for
possible violence and alcohol sales and firearms have been banned in Bogota
and many major cities from Sunday.

Last Thursday, seven bombs were detonated outside savings and loans
corporations in the capital, causing heavy damage but no injuries.

Military sources suggested the blasts could have been carried out by
Marxist guerrillas in support of the general strike. Trade unions and
leftists suggest that right-wing paramilitaries could be involved in the
bombings in order to precipitate a crisis situation.

For example, last Saturday, two bombs exploded in the northwest industrial
hub of Medellin -- one outside a regional human rights office and another
outside a union building, police said. A third bomb planted outside local
offices of the powerful oil workers' union USO was defused. In the most
serious incident in the capital, gunmen opened fire on Domingo Tobar, an
executive member of the Unitary Workers' Confederation (CUT), the country's
largest labor organization. The attack was close to the offices where union
bosses had been holding daylong talks to plan the indefinite strike.

"Domingo escaped unhurt but his bodyguard was wounded. This was carried out
by the military working with (illegal, ultra-right) paramilitaries," stated
Wilson Borja, head of the public sector workers' union.

He said he had received a tip-off from within the army that the military
would try to kill him and other union representatives during the labor

According to the Colombian trade unions, 72 trade union leaders were
assassinated last year. In addition to threats from far-right para-military
groups and even guerilla groups on the far-left, trade union leaders are
also subject to degrading treatment by the Colombian police during
arbitrary arrests or the repression of demonstrations, explain the trade
unions. The trade union organisations, led by the United Workers' Centre
(CUT), the Confederation of Labour of Colombia (CTC), and the Democratic
Workers' Confederation (CGTD), have demanded guarantees before the
demonstrations and work stoppage planned for Tuesday. Twelve trade union
activists were killed during last October's general strike, according to
trade union figures.

Colombia's most violent strike in recent memory was in 1977 when 20
protesters were killed in a single day amid widespread rioting in Bogota.

In an act of solidarity with the strike, armed rebels from the leftist
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, took over a hydroelectric
plant near the Pacific port of Buenaventura, refusing to allow some 40
employees to leave, the military said. However, the rebels state the number
is closer to 100. A guerrilla commander, who identified himself as "JJ",
told Reuters by telephone from the power plant near the Pacific coast port
of Buenaventura that FARC rebels would stage other attacks around the
country "to support the workers".

The guerrillas were demanding a reduction in electricity rates -- but their
action did not interrupt service, company president Carlos Eduardo
Sinesterra told Caracol radio.

He said the people being held inside the 360 megawatt capacity plant were
mostly employees and did not specify if they were being held as hostages.
The plant was privatised two years ago and is operated by Colombian power
generator EPSA in conjunction with a U.S. and Venezuelan partner. The FARC
unit remained holed up in the plant Thursday morning.

In other parts of the country, rebels of the smaller National Liberation
Army (ELN) blew up three power pylons in Antioquia province in the
northwest and Cesar province in the north, while demonstrators torched
buses in the regional capital of Medellin.

The strike ended late Wednesday following an upsurge in political violence
that authorities said left more than 65 people dead nationwide. There were
sporadic reports of violence by strike demonstrators around the country,
mostly in and around Bogota, all day Wednesday.

In the end, union leaders agreed to further negotiations with state
officials on a list of demands including an end to the privatisation
programme and a moratorium on debt payments.

Students lobbed rocks and Molotov cocktails at riot police, who responded
with tear gas and baton charges, outside Bogota's National University.

Authorities clamped a curfew on three towns on the edge of Bogota where
police fought pitched battles with looters early Wednesday. But the end of
the strike, which snarled traffic across the nation, promised to return
Colombia to normalcy by midday Thursday

The heaviest death toll from strike-related violence came Wednesday around
the town of Hato Corozal in oil-rich eastern Casanare province.

The military said troops, backed by helicopter gunships, killed up to 50
FARC guerrillas as they tried to flee the town before dawn after a bungled

An army statement said 400 FARC fighters fired gas cylinders packed with
explosives at the police barracks and a bank in Hato Corozal, then tried to
escape when army units surrounded the town.

Among the rebel dead was a guerrilla commander who allegedly ordered the
brutal kidnap-murder of three American activists in northeast Arauca
province in February, the army said.

The FARC, which fields more than 15,000 fighters nationwide, was founded in
the mid-1960s and is the hemisphere's largest and oldest guerrilla group.

In a separate attack, an ultra-right death squad murdered at least 15
peasants in a rural area near the town of Yolombo in northwest
Antioquiaprovince, town mayor Dario Orrego said.

He said the death squad was led by a rebel deserter who returned to the
region to hunt down guerrilla sympathizers.

Orrego said the attack, which came 10 days after paramilitary gangs killed
36 peasants in the northeast, was carried out overnight Tuesday, but the
bodies were not found until Wednesday.

A veritable civil war has raged in Colombia for the last 35 years, with a
death toll so far of 120,000. Parties to the conflict are the army, the
Marxist guerrilla group, the Guevara-inspired "National Liberation Army"
(ELN) and far-right para-military militias.

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Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 15:57:13 -0300
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Este es periódico de Attac en lengua inglesa.  Notar que su contenido
difiere del periódico en francés.

Weekly newsletter - Wednesday 09/08/99



1- French Farmers Fight Globalization
2- The Toronto Dollar Project
3- Resolution on Trade and Liberalization and its Impact on Human
4- News from a liberal business model
5- Rendezvous with ATTAC

__________ French Farmers Fight Globalization

What's the difference between Roquefort cheese and Coca-Cola ?  Well,
er ...

However, there's one difference which has far-reaching implications,
and - as recent events in France have shown - explosive potential.  It
is expressed by Philippe Folliot, mayor of the tiny village of St
Pierre-de-Trivisy, centre of production of the ewe's milk from which
the famous cheese is made: "Roquefort is made from the milk of only
one breed of sheep, it is made in only one place in France, and it is
made in only one special way", explains Mr Folliot.  "It is the
opposite of globalization. Coca-Cola you can buy anywhere in the world
and it is exactly the same".

He could have said much the same of McDonald's restaurants.
McDonald's has been the target of a wave of protests by French farmers
against sanctions imposed on a slew of luxury French food products,
ranging from Roquefort cheese to foie gras.  The sanctions were
imposed by the World Trade Organisation (dutifully relaying
Washington), in retaliation for the European Union's decision to ban
imports of US hormone-treated beef.

If the tiny village of St Pierre-de-Trivisy reacted to the sanctions
by a 100% "tax" on Coca-Cola sold at local functions, as a symbolic
protest against the US-dominated process of globalization, the radical
farmers'union, the Confédération Paysanne led a protest on a different
scale, when hundreds of its militants in the Aveyron region of
South-West France demonstrated in front of the new McDonald's
restaurant building site in Millau. The trade-union protest gave an
early French send-off to the international campaign, due to take place
from October 12th to 17th, against the Millennium Round  (an MAI
"clone" whose well-aired objective is to bring all human activities
under the control of the transnational corporations).

A disturbing aspect of the union protest in Millau was the reaction of
the French authorities, who have in the past tolerated far more
disruptive and even violent assaults on French institutions without
any legal action being taken. In contrast, the demonstration targeting
McDonald's, as a symbol of US-dominated globalization, gave rise to
the imprisonment of five leading unionists, in three different
prisons, with family visits forbidden them. As the Confédération
Paysanne is a founding member of ATTAC, this organization has been
very active in getting support for the five unionists.  The latest
news is that McDonald's, no doubt alarmed by the ruckus among French
farmers and their supporters, has dropped charges against the
protesters, and the Court of Appeal in Montpellier is expected to
decide to release them.

09/07: Jose Bove has accepted to be released on bail paid for by
French and American farmers, various organizations, ATTAC being one,
and agricultural companies from Aveyron.  The golden arches of
McDonalds are indeed spanning the globe but they are also spawning a
solidarity of mounting resentment to globalization.


__________ News from a liberal business model

>From the Bureau of International Labour and the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities

Americans worked 2000 hours  in 1997 (a 4% increase per year since
1983) or, in other words, two weeks more per year than, for example,
the Japanese.  Every other nation is seeing a decrease in the amount
of time spent working.Salaries between 1977 and 1999

- 10% of Americans (the poorest) have seen their salary decrease.
- 60% of Americans have seen their salary increase by 8% (less than
0.5% per year)
- 20% of Americans have seen their salary increase by 43%
- 10% of Americans have seen their salary increase by 115% (more than

Figures based on after-tax and taking into consideration inflation.

In 2000, 2.7 million Americans with the highest salaries, will earn as
much income (after taxes) as 100 million poorest Americans.The average
annual salary in 1977 was $10,000; in 1999, it is $8,800 after taxes
and taking inflation into consideration.

And in Europe, it's the English who are spending more time at work
with also the greatest salary disparity...

__________ Rendezvous with ATTAC  (omitido por razones de espacio)


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