Dear RN list, Of course I am supportive of people organizing the upcoming Washington DC protests, including Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, whose invitation to the protests and teach-ins is below. But I can't help but be surprised that they would assure people they would "have fun". Am I so out of things here in rural Nova Scotia that I missed out on how "fun" these protests can be? I think we must not give up on confrontation AND we must work to prevent violence. ... And so I'm sending you a third message today as well! all the best, jan ********************************************************************* Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2001 20:09:09 -0700 To: •••@••.••• From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••> Subject: September in Washington, D.C. >September in Washington, D.C. >By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman > >This year, at the end of September, the maturing anti-corporate >globalization movement is poised to make history. During the fall meetings >of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, tens of thousands >of people will come to Washington, D.C. to denounce the institutions' >policies, and to challenge the logic of corporate globalization. > >If you can make it to Washington, D.C. for the protests, teach-ins and >cultural events, make the effort. You will learn a lot, have fun, and make >a difference. (A calendar of events is posted at the Mobilization for >Global Justice's website, www.globalizethis.org. Information on a teach-in >for action presented by Essential Action and other groups is posted at >www.essentialaction.org/wbimf.) > >This year's demonstrations and activities build on the success of last >year's April 16 protests against the IMF and World Bank, while promising >to be both broader and more strategically focused. > >The key achievement of A16 was shining a spotlight on the IMF and World >Bank. While people from Argentina to Zambia have conducted mass protests >against the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World >Bank over the last 20 years, the institutions have managed to escape >critical scrutiny in the United States. Unfortunately, however, the IMF >and World Bank are not accountable to developing countries, whereas they >are to the United States and other creditor countries. It is protest and >media attention in the United States that most worries the IMF and Bank. > >This fall's protests against the IMF and World Bank are sure to replicate >and surpass A16 in energy, turnout and media attention. > >They will benefit as well from much deeper involvement of organized labor. >Last year, the AFL-CIO and a number of major U.S. unions endorsed the A16 >rally. This year, the AFL-CIO is devoting substantial staff and financial >resources for the large September 30 rally -- planned in conjunction with >the Mobilization for Global Justice and several other organizations -- and >is making a significant effort to turn out union members. > >Organized labor's involvement marries the institutional influence and >powerful membership of the AFL-CIO and affiliate unions with the energy, >passion, creativity and turnout capacity of the street protestors. The >partnership has the capacity to push forward shared demands of the IMF and >World Bank and to leverage real change at the institutions. > >The Mobilization for Global Justice has crafted four inter-related demands >for the IMF and Bank. These demands follow from priority concerns of Third >World labor unions, debt campaigners, environmentalists and other allies. > >The first demand is for the IMF and World Bank to open all of their >meetings to the public and media, and to make all key lending documents >public. > >Second, the IMF and World Bank must cancel the debts owed them by >impoverished countries, using their existing resources. > >Third, the Mobilization for Global Justice calls on the IMF and World Bank >to end the "structural adjustment" policies -- the standard IMF/World Bank >policy package which calls for slashing government spending, >privatization, and opening up countries to exploitative foreign >investment, among other measures -- that hinder people's access to food, >clean water, shelter, healthcare, education and the right to organize. >Organizers are focusing particular attention on IMF and World >Bank-mandated "user fees" -- charges -- that impede access to primary >healthcare. > >Finally, the World Bank must end all support for socially and >environmentally destructive projects, such as oil, mining and gas >activities, and large dams. > >Each of these demands is specific and achievable. They are connected to >ongoing international campaigns, meaning the energy and attention >generated by the demonstrations will not simply dissipate when the >protesters go home. Some version of each of the demands is under >consideration in the U.S. Congress. > >Over the years, environmentalists in particular have won some important, >though partial, victories at the World Bank. But by and large, the >institutions have remained impervious to criticism. > >In the last couple years, there has been a rhetorical revolution at the >Bank and especially the IMF, with all activities now described in terms of >poverty reduction. But the rhetorical shift forced on the institutions by >the international jubilee (debt cancellation) movement and A16 have not >been matched by comparable changes in policy. > >The convergence of forces around this fall's protests in Washington >contains the potential not to just shine a light on the IMF and World >Bank's abuses, or to win rhetorical concesions, but to galvanize existing >campaigns to limit the power of the institutions, and to begin to force >meaningful changes in the institutions' policies. > >This opportunity may not repeat itself. That's why it is vital that those >who can come to Washington, do. > >Washington, D.C. at the end of September. It will be a lovely place to be. > > >Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime >Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based >Multinational Monitor and co-director of Essential Action, a corporate >accountability group. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The >Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common >Courage Press, 1999). (c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman >_______________________________________________ > >Focus on the Corporation is a weekly column written by Russell Mokhiber >and Robert Weissman. Please feel free to forward the column to friends or >repost the column on other lists. If you would like to post the column on >a web site or publish it in print format, we ask that you first contact us >(•••@••.••• or •••@••.•••). > >Focus on the Corporation is distributed to individuals on the listserve >•••@••.•••. To subscribe to corp-focus, send an e-mail >message to •••@••.••• with the text: subscribe > >Focus on the Corporation columns are posted at ><http://www.corporatepredators.org>.