rn> Anti-Globalization in Korea, Argentina, & India.


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 20:02:08 -0800
To: •••@••.•••,•••@••.•••
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: S. Korean rally against reforms
Mime-Version: 1.0

Sunday, 19 November, 2000, BBC News

S. Korean rally against reforms

               Samsung workers want to stop the closure of the
               unprofitable commercial vehicles division
               South Korean trade unionists have pledged to
               put up a "strong struggle" against the planned
               privatisation of state-owned firms and
               corporate restructuring.

               Up to 20,000 members of the country's largest
               trade union demonstrated in the capital Seoul,
               chanting slogans like "Oppose the
               government's unilateral restructuring which kills
               only workers" and "Fight to stop the sale of
               state companies".

               Experts say that 200,000 jobs or more might
               be axed as South Korea's conglomerates are
               forced to close down their loss-making

               Creditors estimate that
               52 large firms are "not
               viable" anymore,
               crushed by huge debts
               they took on during
               expansion plans that
               never got anywhere
               because of the Asian
               financial crisis three
               years ago.

               Brink of collapse

               Among the firms on the
               brink of collapse is
               Daewoo Motor, which recently was declared
               bankrupt, putting at risk the jobs of 17,000

               Ever more dramatic would be the collapse of
               Hyundai Engineering, a company that employs
               about 200,000 people. A profitable sister
               company, Hyundai Motors, has promised to
               help - for now.

               In the past, banks or the government used to
               bail out struggling firms. But struggling to cope
               with their own huge debts, they have decided
               to cut the losses and force the closure of
               loss-making companies.

               One of the firms forced out of business is the
               commercial vehicle division of Samsung Motors.
               After failing to sell it to an investor, the Seoul
               government decided to close the plant.

               'All-out fight'

               The leaders of the Federation of Korean Trade
               Unions (FKTU) say workers have so far made
               all the "sacrifices" for corporate restructuring,
               and demand that the government "should
               guarantee lives of workers laid off as a result
               of such reforms".

               FKTU president Lee Nam-Sun said: "The
               government will face an all-out fight unless it
               accepts our demands to safeguard our rights
               and livelihood".

               A week ago, a similar demonstration had ended
               in clashes with the police, leaving 300 workers
               and officers wounded.

               This time round, the protesters were met by
               about 10,000 police officers, deployed to make
               sure the workers would not try to storm the
               National Assembly. The demonstration ended
               with just a few minor scuffles.

               'Power' struggle

               The marchers were joined by workers from the
               Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), a
               state utility that could soon be broken up and
               sold to foreign investors.

               Struggling with debts of about 30 trillion won
               ($26.3bn), the firm is in no position to finance
               an ambitious programme to nearly double
               current energy production by building 106
               power plants.

               The government hopes to split the firm into
               five units, that can be sold on to foreign
               investors with the necessary financial muscle.

               Kepco workers, however, fear massive job
               losses and argue that a privatisation will result
               in soaring energy costs for consumers while
               money leaves the country.

Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 19:37:12 -0800
To: •••@••.•••,•••@••.•••,
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fwd: Anti cap conference...

We are organizing the first anti-capitalist meeting in
Argentina. The coming weekend Teresa Terminassian (IMF)
arrives to our country. She is here to guarantee the
privatization of social welfare, to guarantee the cuts to
state and education budget, and to make sure that labor
precarization is passed upon workers. Meanwhile, a few days
ago a brother was killed by police at a road blockage in a
northern province. Workers were demanding jobs and the
government responded shooting real bullets. Next Thursday
and Friday the union federations are calling for a 36 hours
national strike, to repudiate the killing of the brother and
against the IMF economic measures.

The capitalists get ready to continue their looting and to
guarantee the policies of multinational companies; the
workers and the peoples are getting ready to resist and to
defend their rights. Dozens of roads blockages all around
the country show what the situation is like. We choose the
side we are on. We stand along workers to fight against the
rotten and murderer capitalist system. We want to struggle
beyond frontiers, all youths and workers together against
the IMF, the World Bank and the big companies that rule and
destroy our planet.

This call is urgent today; the future of the whole continent
is being played; if the IMF plans move ahead it will cost us
thousands of lifes.

We call all the brothers from around the world that are
being organized and fighting for the same banners as we are,
to support the struggle we are commited to.

On November 18th we are preparing the first anti-capitalist
massive meeting in Argentina. We look forward to receive
your salutation and support, since its of great inspiration
for us; and also its a first step towards fighting all

Keep up the fight!

Please send your emails to: •••@••.•••

To: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, Suppressed:;
From: Shekhar Krishnan <•••@••.•••>
Subject: IndiaResists! Seminar on Globalisation and India's Environment
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 07:02:51 -0800
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
X-Topica-Loop: 1700029507
Mime-Version: 1.0
X-Sender: •••@••.•••

Tell your friends about IndiaResists!
Subscribing is easy, all they have to do is email

Dear Friend,

Attached is the note on the seminar we are planning on
Globalisation, Liberalisation and India's Environment on
February 15-16, 2001. I would appreciate your participation.
Please let me know if you are interested, and whether you
can present a paper, act as discussant, or participate in
some other way. I would also appreciate your suggestions for
others who can be invited. Please feel free to bounce this
to others. A formal invitation follows.

With best regards,

Carol Upadhya
Department of Sociology, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai
<•••@••.•••>, <•••@••.•••>

UGC National Seminar on Globalisation, Liberalisation and
India's Environment:
Emerging Trends and Debates

Post-Graduate Department of Sociology
S.N.D.T. Women's University
Churchgate Campus, Mumbai 400 020

February 15-16, 2001

Globalisation and liberalisation are being heavily promoted
by international institutions such as the World Bank and by
many liberal economists as the route to economic
development, especially for 'developing' countries. But
these policies, which include freer international trade,
increased foreign investment, deregulation, and structural
adjustment, have come in for sharp criticism from a broad
spectrum of non-governmental organisations and social
movements, as displayed so vividly in Seattle. While
opposition to globalisation has been voiced by diverse
social movements, some of the most prominent critics have
been environmentalists, such that the debate on
globalisation has come to be closely linked with
environmental issues -- a conjuncture that has thrown up new
questions, issues, and research agendas.

In India, liberalisation and globalisation have been among
the most significant and contested developments of the last
decade. The apparent inevitability of globalisation and of a
more market-oriented, open economy has added a new dimension
to the debate on environment and development. Many activists
and intellectuals argue that globalisation, in addition to
aggravating poverty and inequality, can only accelerate the
process of environmental degradation in the country, posing
a threat to the livelihoods of the majority of the people
and to the long-term development and ecological integrity of
the country. According to them, liberalisation policies have
promoted privatisation and commercial exploitation of the
country's natural resources, investment in polluting
industries by foreign capital, growth of export-oriented
agriculture at the expense of sustainable food production,
and loosening of environmental protection regulations.
Activists have also highlighted issues such as the adverse
impact of the new IPR regime on biodiversity and
agriculture, and the ecological destruction caused by export
oriented industries as well as by World Bank funded
projects. This pattern of development, they claim, will only
benefit a privileged few and the corporate sector
(multinational and national), while doing immense harm to
India's ecological base and to the poor by restructuring the
distribution and utilisation of natural resources. On the
other hand, support for the new economic policy has come
from unexpected quarters, and several activists and
intellectuals argue that liberalisation, because of the
accompanying technological changes and economic growth, will
in the long run provide better livelihoods for people as
well as greater environmental protection.

The purpose of the seminar is to examine closely some of the
issues that have arisen about environmental change in India
in the context of globalisation. It will provide a forum for
the presentation and discussion of recent research, advocacy
work and other initiatives by academics, activists,
journalists and others on a wide range of topics, with the
aim of generating constructive debate. Some of the broad
themes that could be addressed at this seminar include:

1) Agriculture, rural livelihoods and food security.

How have the GATT and WTO agreements and recent changes in
economic policy affected Indian agriculture, food security,
the livelihoods of farmers and agricultural workers, and the
rural environment (soil, water)? What has been the impact on
rural ecological systems of the import of agricultural
products, increasing multinational participation in the
agricultural sector and the promotion of agribusiness, and
the shift to export-oriented agriculture in some regions?
MNCs have increased their penetration into the market for
agricultural inputs, especially the seed market, stimulating
sharp controversies over the patenting of seeds and the
introduction of genetically modified seeds. Why have some
farmers' organisations led the battle against MNCs on issues
such as biotechnology and IPRs, while others have welcomed
liberalisation in the agricultural sector? Relaxation of
land ceilings and dereservation of agricultural land in some
states are other aspects of the liberalisation process that
have implications for food security and the rural

2) Threats to biodiversity.

A number of processes linked to globalisation have been
identified as being potentially detrimental to India's
biodiversity: the TRIPs agreement under GATT and WTO rules
that mandate the recognition of intellectual property rights
in life forms; patenting of seeds and other genetic
material; biotechnology and the development of genetically
modified seeds and food products; the introduction of new
technology, seeds and export-oriented crops in agriculture;
and the entry of MNCs into the food sector. What are the
specific linkages between these developments and
biodiversity loss in different regions? What may be the
impact of the recently formulated Biodiversity Bill 2000?

3) Privatisation of common property and public resources.

A trend towards privatisation of common property resources
such as water has been observed in several regions; to what
extent is this linked to liberalisation, and what are the
ecological implications? Similarly, environmentalists claim
that forest land is being privatised and commercialised in
the name of  'eco-development' programmes (many sponsored by
the World Bank). What has been the impact of liberalisation
on the utilisation of public goods and the access of the
poor to basic resources such as water, land and forests?

4) Promotion of export-oriented production.

Activists argue that the promotion of export-oriented
production under the new economic policy often focuses on
activities such as shrimp farming and deep-sea fishing which
are not only ecologically harmful but also destroy the
resource base of local people, without providing
compensation. What have been the ecological and social
consequences of such 100 per cent export oriented
activities, especially in the coastal zone? Is the emphasis
on exports in tune with the earlier mantra of 'sustainable

5) Liberalised trade, increased FDI and pollution.

Liberalisation of trade, increased foreign investment, and
the spatial reorganisation of industry are frequently cited
as causes of increasing levels of pollution in
industrialising countries. It is argued that globalisation
allows industrialised nations to adhere to stricter
environmental standards in their own countries while making
profits from the third world (Bhopal being the prime and now
symbolic example). For instance, liberalised trade has
facilitated the export of toxic wastes from industrialised
countries to the less developed world, often under the guise
of recycling. On balance, what has been the impact on air
and water pollution of the increased flow of FDI into India
and of freer trade? To what extent does the push to
implement liberalisation policies and to conform to WTO
agreements take precedence over the enforcement of
environmental laws in India? Or are stricter environmental
standards being enforced to conform to ISO norms and the

6) Privatisation of infrastructure development projects.

The opening of power generation and infrastructure projects
such as road construction to private foreign investment is a
controversial issue, with an environmental angle that has
been highlighted by people's resistance movements such the
one against the Enron project. What is the government's
record on the environmental regulation of such projects
given over to the private sector? Is there a contradiction
between environmental laws and policies and the drive to
attract foreign investment and to develop infrastructure
facilities? The liberalisation of land acquisition rules to
facilitate investment in infrastructure projects and new
industries is a related issue with implications for the
livelihoods of local people and for the environment.

7) Urban environment.

The spatial reorganisation of manufacturing by MNCs through
outsourcing and subcontracting has fuelled the typical
pattern found in developing countries of rapid and unplanned
urbanisation and expansion in the informal sector economy,
resulting in extremely adverse environmental and health
conditions in the cities. Deindustrialisation and the growth
of unregulated 'tiny sector' manufacturing have also
occurred in Indian cities, but can this process be linked
directly with liberalisation? Are there other connections
that can be made between globalisation and the deterioration
in urban environments? For example, recent efforts to ease
Mumbai's traffic congestion and to make the city more
attractive to foreign and domestic capital by building
numerous flyovers and improving roads is a solution that
caters primarily to private vehicles, creating more road
traffic and therefore more air pollution. Similarly, the
rapid development of commercial property without
corresponding infrastructure, slum demolition drives without
rehabilitation of slum dwellers, the complete neglect of
slum redevelopment and public transport projects, and the
emphasis on 'beautification' rather than basic needs such as
water, reflect not just bad planning but a particular vision
of Mumbai as a 'global city'.

We invite papers and presentations on any of the above
themes or other related topics, and we also invite
suggestions for additional themes. Abstracts should be
received by December 15, 2000, and papers by January 31,

Shekhar Krishnan
58/58A, Anand Bhavan
201, Lady Hardinge Road
Mahim, Bombay 16
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