RN: WTO, the place to go!


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,                   Oct. 20

Well, Paul Isaacs and others see the upcoming WTO summit in Seattle as
utterly crucial. Even for those of us who are not going, we should be
finding ways to communicate to others what is at stake and what we can do to
turn things around towards democracy and sustainability and away from
corporatism, militarism and ultimately, the threat to life on earth.

all the best, Jan

From: Paul Isaacs <•••@••.•••>
To: Jan Slakov <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 00:16:20 -0500
Subject: Re: found your other message

Jan wrote:

>...I wonder if the big effort to protest the upcoming WTO agenda (in
>Seattle) really has much value, given what Ijust said. I think so, still,
>for surely all the activism to explain what the WTO agenda means for the
>EArth and for democracy will help more people to see the need to simplify
>their lives and refuse the corporate agenda. 

Paul: The protest at Seattle will be the most critical possible turning
point since Chamberlain handed Hitler Czechkoslovakia ( sp? ). The corporacy
will either triumph or be defeated, in the sense of gaining or losing
credibility, during this meeting.

Regards, Paul Isaacs
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 15:30:01 +0200
From: jep88 <•••@••.•••>
Organization: st4.tele.dk

The flow of delightful news about tens of thousands
of protesters going to Seattle on N30 gives 
associations to a principally parallel historic
event in 1943.

The corporations (including for instance  that of
the George Bush family) were behind Adolf Hitler
all the way, and especially when he attacked the
Soviet Union.

His and their defeat at Stalingrad became the 
decisive turning point of WW II and taught them to
prefer the more subtl methods that today count not 
millions, but billions of victims (including the
Russians again).

Seattle perhaps could become the turning point of 
the present war. Because of the high level of 
Internet and protest activities here, the 99 % 
corporate mass media monopol may be prevented from 
continuing to hide the corporate conspiracy from 
the silent majority.  

The capitalist corporate system and greed inevitably
will bite off more than it can chew.

The unbelievably vicious corporate agenda now invites
such defeat.

Since all of the media focus will be concentrated on
Seattle, this will be the decisive main battle field.

Everybody that has the opportunity therefore should
go there.

Chartered flights may be required to supplement the
ordinary traffic.

Naturally, all of those who cannot come to Seattle
should open auxiliary fronts all over the world.

Note from Jan: I hadn't heard of the allegations that the Bush family were
involved in supporting Nazism, although it seems entirely plausible.

In any case, it seems the Seattle summit is being percieved by many as
pivotal... As the message from Jep (who I have had no previous
correspondence with) puts it, Seattle "will be the decisive main battle field".

OK. I must say, such language makes me a bit wary. Our whole societal
upbringing tends to push us to see things in adversarial terms, yet progress
is generally best made when we get beyong the us/them polarity.

As Richard wrote in cj #996:

Robert's rules, in typical practice, are about deciding among alternatives.
My central observation, as regards democracy, is that 'decision making' is
the wrong frame for the democratic process.  I suggest instead that the
proper frame is 'problem solving'.  As one argument for this frame shift, I
- with some irony - point to the process that occurs in a typical working
team meeting in a modern corporate setting.

In such a meeting a group assembles to solve a problem (technical,
managerial, marketing, or whatever).  Ideas and knowledge are pooled, via
discussion, and the group moves toward identifying possible solutions.
Suggestions might be rejected, refined, combined, modified, elaborated,
etc, in a process of open discussion and mutual education.  In decades of
work in industry, I _never saw anyone suggest a vote in such a meeting.  It
would be seen as absurd.  How can you possibly solve a problem by voting?
You can only do it by thrashing out the issues.  I believe the argument for
a consensus-like democratic process can be made more strongly by looking at
these kind of models, than by emphasizing the history of consensus, and its
apologists, in the political domain.

JAN: What I am trying to suggest is that we avoid trapping ourselves into
either/or thinking (like voting). On the other hand.... we need to make it
clear to people that there are real choices to be made regarding our future,
and that there ARE alternatives to the choices that our governments seem
prepared to make at the WTO summit.

Now, for people looking for resources on the WTO, this last message gives
you one more suggestion (along with other resources more specifically aimed
at the Canadian context).

all the best, Jan
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 13:05:02 -0700
From: Sid Shniad <•••@••.•••>
Subject: New from the CCPA

October --1999

Dear members and friends of the CCPA (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

From: Bruce Campbell, Executive Director

This is the first of what will be regular update of new publications
from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. A lot of our material
can be freely downloaded from our web site. So check us out at: 

Also, feel free to contact me if you have any comments about our work.


The World Trade Organization: A Citizen’s Guide
by Steven Shrybman  (CCPA/Lorimer)

The World Trade Organization is a global institution of staggering
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World leaders meet in Seattle later this year to launch the so-called
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Murray Dobbin is available to speak at conventions and conferences.


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edited by Brian K. MacLean  (CCPA/Lorimer)

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Raising the Floor: The Economic and Social Benefits of Minimum Wages in

By Michael Goldberg and David Green

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Raising the Floor can be downloaded for free from the CCPA web site.
Hard copies are available for $10.00 each. (bulk orders are available
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Paper Boom: Why Real Prosperity Requires a New Approach To Canada’s
Economy, by Jim Stanford  (CCPA/Lorimer)

Paper Boom provides a devastating exposé of the destructive effects of
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CCPA: Behind the Numbers (BTN)

BTH is a media-fax series of short, (1000 words) numbers- based analyses
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If you are interested in producing a "CCPA Behind the Numbers" you can
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