Protest Against the FTAA - Quebec City - April 2001

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Quebec Legal Defense Collective

Montreal Street Medics

THE CALL

Resisting capitalist globalization ...
Mobilizing for Quebec City ...
Creating radical alternatives ...

Next April 20-22, 2001, Quebec City has the dubious honor of hosting the Summit of the Americas, which brings together the 34 heads of state of North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean (except Cuba). Besides the usual scare-mongering about security and terrorism, and empty rhetoric about democracy and human rights, the stated purpose of the Summit will be to put the final touches on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement. The Summit of the Americas meeting will be largest police and security operation in Canadian history, all while the 34 leaders and an entourage of big business elites, technocrats and corporate media enjoy their cocktail parties, gala dinners and public relations spectacles.

The FTAA extends the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to the entire hemisphere, and is to be implemented by no later than 2005. The FTAA is also an extension of the reach of capitalist globalization, aiming to submit health care, education, as well as environmental and labor standards to the so-called logic of the free-market. Negotiated behind closed doors, and imposed unilaterally, the FTAA process is yet another example of the kind of economic violence that aims to suppress the gains of popular struggles of the past, and reinforce the power of cash and cops over our lives.

The demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle announced to the world the existence of an anti-capitalist resistance movement in Canada and the United States. The same spirit prevailed last April in Washington during the IMF and World Bank meetings, and in Windsor last June during the general assembly of the Organization of American States (which initiated the FTAA process). On each occasion, thousands took to the streets to refuse the free market fundamentalism of governments and business. These demonstrations did not emerge from no where, but were the result of many years of collective struggles against colonialism, poverty, police brutality and injustices of all kinds.

Next April in Quebec City, the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (La Convergence des luttes anti-capitalistes, or CLAC, in French) will participate in a large-scale grassroots mobilization against the FTAA. The CLAC, which is based in Montreal, is organizing a Carnival Against Capitalism (which will include teach-ins, conferences, workshops, concerts, cabarets, street theatre, direct actions, protests and more) as well as helping to convene a North American conference in conjunction with Peoples' Global Action against "Free" Trade (PGA). We are hoping to facilitate a convergence in Quebec City of a vast array of people who aim to create a world free of oppression.

The CLAC believes it is possible to radically and creatively oppose imperialism and the capitalist system while at the same time maintaining the spirit of openness that is necessary to develop a diverse and pluralistic resistance movement. The mobilization against the Summit of the Americas is being organized within the framework of a long-term struggle, in the North and South, against capitalist globalization. For its part, the CLAC is committed to participating in the globalization of genuine solidarity between peoples, with the goal of collectively resisting the same root causes of exploitation.

No matter where you live, there are several ways to get involved with the CLAC as we struggle against the FTAA and mobilize against the Summit of the Americas:

* If you want more information about the CLAC, the FTAA or the Summit of the Americas, get in touch. We can provide you with detailed information. As well, don't hesitate to pass on information about your local struggles, and your perspectives on the FTAA.

* If you want to support the actions and/or principles of the CLAC while mobilizing against the FTAA, get in touch with us as well. We are hoping to help contribute to a worldwide anti-capitalist resistance that is creative, effective and as large as possible. Perhaps we can coordinate actions against the FTAA and the Summit of the Americas throughout the hemisphere.

* If you want to organize an information session on the FTAA or the CLAC, send us your requests. We can help prepare workshops, discussions and debates.

* If you live in Quebec, Ontario, the Maritimes or the northeastern United States, members of the CLAC can visit to help with your local mobilization and awareness raising efforts. The CLAC is currently planning organizing visits to these areas, in conjunction with local grassroots groups.

* If you live in Montreal, or you're planning on visiting sometime this fall, the CLAC organizes regular general assemblies which are open to the public (especially people who are in accord with the CLAC basis of unity). The assemblies (until December) will be on September 6, September 26, October 17, November 1, November 21 and December 13. All the assemblies take place at L'X (182, Ste-Catherine East, metro Berri-UQAM) at 7pm. Each assembly is preceded at 6pm by an informational session for people who are new to the CLAC.

However you want to be involved, do get in touch. You can contact the CLAC by e-mail (clac@tao.ca), by phone (514-526-8946 - temporary number) or by post (La CLAC, 2035 St-Laurent Boulevard, 2nd floor, Montreal (Quebec) CANADUH, H2X 2T3).

THE ANTI-CAPITALIST CONVERGENCE
LA CONVERGENCE DES LUTTES ANTI-CAPITALISTES (CLAC)

Basis of Unity (translation from the French)

1. The Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC in French) is opposed to capitalism. We fundamentally reject a social and economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and exchange. We reject a system driven by an exploitative logic that sees human beings as human capital, ecosystems as natural resources, and culture as simply a commodity. We reject the idea that the world is only valuable in terms of profit, competition and efficiency.

2. The CLAC also rejects the ideology of neo-liberalism, whereby corporations and investors are exempt from all political and social measures that interfere with their so-called "success".

3. The CLAC is anti-imperialist, opposed to patriarchy, and denounces all forms of exploitation and oppression. We assert a worldview based on the respect of our differences and the autonomy of groups, individuals and peoples. Our objective is to globalize our networks of resistance to corporate rule.

4. Respecting a diversity of tactics, the CLAC supports the use of a variety of creative initiatives, ranging between public education campaigns to direct action.

5. The CLAC is autonomous, decentralized and non-hierarchical. We encourage the involvement of anyone who accepts this statement of principles. We also encourage the participation of all individuals in working groups, in accord with their respective political affiliations.

6. With regards to the Summit of the Americas (April 2001) and the negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the CLAC adopts a confrontational attitude and rejects reformist alternatives such as lobbying which cannot have a major impact on anti-democratic processes. We intend to shut down the Summit of the Americas and to turn the FTAA negotiations into a non-event.

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La Convergence des luttes anti-capitalistes (CLAC)
The Anti-Capitalist Convergence
La Convergencia de las luchas anti-capitalistas
A Convergencia das lutas anti-capitalistas
<clac@tao.ca> -- 514-526-8946
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FTAA and Quebec City News and Photo Wire

Zapatista Bloc

Radical Cheerleaders Unite!

FTAA Field Guide

A20 in Miami!

On April 20, 2001, there will be an action in Miami, Florida in solidarity with the FTTA actions in Quebec. Activists across the state of Florida have planned localized actions of solidarity in their own communities and we hope they move forward. At the same time, anyone who is interested in participating in a unified Florida action is welcome to come down to Miami. Please forward this message to your contact lists to spread the word.

For more information, contact rodentuprising@hotmail.com

h4>BACKGROUND ON THE FTAA

The Free Trade Area Of The Americas and The Threat To Social Programs, Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice In Canada And The Americas
The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), currently being negotiated by 34 countries of the Americas, is intended by its architects to be the most far-reaching trade agreement in history. Although it is based on the model of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it goes far beyond NAFTA in its scope and power. The FTAA, as it now stands, would introduce into the Western Hemisphere all the disciplines of the proposed services agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) - the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) - with the powers of the failed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), to create a new trade powerhouse with sweeping new authority over every aspect of life in Canada and the Americas.

PROPAGANDA

Flyer: Call to Carnival Against Capitalism

EVENTS

Quebec City Spokescouncil: March 24-25
Aiming to coordinate actions in April, and especially the Carnival Against Capitalism on April 20 (the opening day of the Summit of the Americas), the Summit of the Americas Welcoming Committee (CASA) of Quebec City and the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) in Montreal invite representatives of affinity groups opposed to the FTAA and the Summit of the Americas to meet on March 24-25 in Quebec City. This will be the first of ongoing spokescouncils leading up to the April 20 Day of Action in Quebec City.

Anti-FTAA Border Action Caravan
Community activists in Kingston, ON. would like to invite all FTAA opponents to take part in a border action caravan the day before demonstrations at the Summit of the Americas conference in Quebec City. We encourage all of those either organizing locally or traveling to the Summit of the Americas to fight against international capital every inch of the way.

Revolutionary Anti-Capitalist Offensive, Spring 2001

On the weekend of April 20th to 22nd the ruling elites of the Americas will gather in Quebec City to discuss the implementation of the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) and, to a large extent, the future of us all. The FTAA represents essentially an expansion of NAFTA to include the entire Americas region. The objective? To further clear the way for laws allowing corporations to sue member nations when they feel a government measure impedes “free trade,” to further attack the already fragile social safety systems we have, to pave the way for possible privatization of schools, hospitals, and all other social services, and to further consolidate the dictatorship of capital in the Americas.
Read more...

 

An Anarchist Statement against the FTAA (and capitalism in general)

On April 20th, heads-of-state from every country in South and North America and the Caribbean (except for Cuba), along with delegates from many of the world's wealthiest corporations, will meet in Quebec City, Canada in an attempt to finish negotiations regarding a trade pact called the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Accompanying them will be over 5,000 riot police, secret service agents, undercover agents, private cops, and other armed personnel-- amounting to the largest police mobilization in Canadian history.
Read more...

 

NEW YORK CITY

Teach-in on the Free Trade Area of the Americas

What Next for the Movement Against Globalization?

During the last three years, representatives from 34 countries have been working in secret on plans to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is another example of the free-market funda-mentalism that has created a global race-to-the-bottom threatening the environment, families livelihoods, human rights, and democracy. Once again a sweeping "free trade" agreement is in the works that puts com-mercial interests above all other values. But the FTAA is not going unopposed. In Quebec city on April 20 & 21, protesters will be telling the heads of the 34 governments that we have had enough of their free market that puts profits before peoples' basic needs. Come to this teach-in to learn about the FTAA and whyyou should make sure that you, your family, workmates and friends are in Quebec to say NO to the FTAA.

Speakers
Mike Davis, author (City of Quartz and Prisoners of the American Dream) and activist Sam Lubke, International organizer for UNITE! Sharon Ann Lynch, Global Treatment Access Campaign Representative from the Vieques Solidarity Committee Tom Lewis, ISO & Eyewitness report from Porto Alegre

Tuesday March 27, 7pm
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square
South

Directions
Take A, B, C, D, E, F to West 4
Take 6 to Astor Place
Take N, R to 8 Street
For Info 212 894 3747 x4994

Sponsored by
NYC Coalition to Stop the FTAA

Anti-FTAA in Washington, DC

Weekly Meeting

The Washington, DC anti-FTAA coalition, now redubbed the "Mobilization for Global Justice," meets on Wednesday nights, 7-9 pm, at the SEIU building (1300 block of L St. NW)

April 20: Anti-FTAA Demo at Chamber of Commerce

In Solidarity With Protests in Quebec City

Tens of thousands of working people will march in the streets when leaders meet behind closed doors to negotiate the FTAA in Quebec City. But who will be behind these closed doors? Corporate lobbyists who have incredible influence--and use it to further trade policies that put corporations before people. Expose the U.S. Chamber of COmmerce for the corporate front they are.

5:00 pm, 1615 H St., NW
Washington, DC
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Across from Lafayette Park

April 29: Cancel the Debt Now!

Remember the Spirit of A16

The World Bank and the IMF are having their spring meetings here in D.C. Before the big mobilization for their fall meetings, give them a warning! Cancel the Debt! Countries in the Global South are being crushed by massive debt. They are sending so much money to the World Bank and IMF that they have no money for education, health care, and other social services. It's time for 100% Debt Cancellation.

3:00 pm, 18th and Penn. Ave, NW
Washington, DC
Across Penn. from the World Bank building

Flyer for April 20 and April 29 Actions (PDF)

LINKS

Policy: We will not link to anti-FTAA actions or campaigns that include protest rules or "points of unity" that disallow civil disobedience, swearing, direct action, or property destruction.

A20.org
The Anti-Capitalist Convergence
La Convergence des luttes Anti-Capitalistes
La Convergencia de las Luchas Anti-Capitalistas
A Convergencia das Luttas Anti-Capitalistas
SF-IMC : FTAA Special Coverage
Vermont Action Network
Zapatista Bloc

Midwest Anti-FTAA Convergence
Kansas City, April 19-22, 2001

CONVERGE!

Do you feel alone, do you feel afraid around others, do you feel like no one knows you, do you feel like you have no control in your life, do you see things that are wrong in the world but feel you can't change them? It's time to confront the things that are hardest to confront.

Come talk about life, fear, love, happiness, bicycles, art, why everyone hates school and work but keeps going, why you have no control over your life, why food costs money, why you feel alone in a protest of 20,000 people, and why is everyone in the goddamn bar and what's the FTAA got to do with it?

Converge! Come to the midwest convergence in Kansas City, April 19-22, 2001 to protest the FTAA and start the discussions on how to really build a movement for liberation. Expect food, housing, workshops, discussions, puppet making and more. The convergence space will be open April 19-22nd. On Saturday, April 21st we will bring the midwest together for a rally and other actions against the FTAA. If you can't go to Canada, we need you in KC.

For more information: http://convergekc.tripod.com/ or sun_org@hotmail.com or (816) 931-6734.

If you forward this to 10 people then it might actually begin to create a movement that will get your ass off the fucking internet.

BUFFALO, NY

The Buffalo Activist Newtork has worked fevorishly to get our FTAA web site back online after a two week technichal battle. The site is finally online and newly updated!

Check it out at www.a22buffalo.org

Please check out the site, especially if you are considering to come to Buffalo. We now have a new housing registration page, a ride board where you can post whether you need a ride or you can provide one, and an afinity group information page. There is also information about receiving our free newspaper and other resources are availble such as flyers and various FTAA packets.