Martin Khor

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Martin Khor

Battle in Seattle

According to Issue 88 of the International Socialism Journal, the "starting point of any account of the new anti-capitalism has to be the Seattle demonstration." Seattle was the result of the coming together of a whole number of previously disparate groups of people. Each began to understand that gatherings like that of the World Trade Organisation represented a threat to the things in which they believed. Luis Hernandez Navarro, a journalist on the radical Mexican daily La Jornada, describes those present: 'Ecologists, farmers from the First World, unionists, gay rights activists, NGOs supporting development, feminists, punks, human rights activists, representatives of indigenous peoples, the young and not so young, people from the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia'.2 What united them, he says, was rejection of 'the slogan "All power to the transnational corporations!" present on the free trade agenda'.

There was a large element of spontaneity to the protest. Many people simply heard about it and decided to get there. But more than just spontaneity was involved. Many protesters arrived as members of local groups who had been preparing for many months for the event. And the fact that the event was a focus at all was a result of the combined efforts of a core of activists who saw the WTO as the common enemy of the different campaigns. This had involved the best part of year of intensive organisation for the event, with groups getting in touch with each other through the internet. But behind that lay a longer process of propagandising. Noam Chomsky, supposedly an anarchist, is quite right to stress this element of organisation: 'The highly successful demonstration at the World Trade Organisation provides impressive testimony to the effectiveness of educational and organising efforts designed for the long term, carried out with dedication and persistence'.3 Paul Hawken talks about 'thought leaders' who motivated many of the protesters:

Martin Khor of the Third World Network in Malaysia, Vandana Shiva from India, Walden Bello of Focus on the Global South, Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, Tony Clarke of Polaris Institute, Jerry Mander of the International Forum on Globalisation (IFG), Susan George of the Transnational Institute, Daven Korten of the People-Centred Development Forum, John Cavanagh of the Institute for Policy Studies, Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, Mark Ritchie of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Anuradha Mittal of the Institute for Food and Development Policy, Helena Norberg-Hodge of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, Owens Wiwa of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, Chakravarthi Raghavan of the Third World Network in Geneva, Debra Harry of the Indigenous Peoples Coalition Against Biopiracy, José Bové of the Confederation Paysanne Européenne, Tetteh Hormoku of the Third World Network in Africa.[1]

IPS connection

In September 14-16, 2007 the International forum on Globalization and the Institute for Policy Studies presented a "teach in" at the The George Washington University Lisner Auditorium.

Co-sponsors were The Nation Institute, Global Project on Economic Transitions, Progressive Student Union at GWU, Sierra Club, Greenpeace.

Confronting the Global Triple Crisis-Climate Change * Peak Oil * Global Resource Resource Depletion and Extinction.

Speakers at the Ingredients of systemic change workshop were;

Global Progressive Forum, Brussels 2009

Progressives from all over the world are getting together in Brussels on April 2-3, 2009 at the Global Progressive Forum to discuss how to create a better globalization for people[3]

17.30-19.00 Workshop 2: Making Trade work for people (Hemicycle)

References

  1. Chris Harman, Issue 88 of the International Socialism Journal, Autumn 2000
  2. http://www.ifg.org/events/Triple_Crisis_Speakers.pdf
  3. [http://www.globalprogressiveforum.org/fr/node/168, GPF newsletter, President Bill Clinton at GPF Brussels 2009 Lundi, Février 2, 2009 - 00:00]