We are publishing two articles on recent anti-capitalist demonstrations in Europe, one in Barcelona (about which we have already published an earlier article) and the other in Salzburg, Austria, where once again the police used brutal methods to repress the demonstration. This is now becoming a regular feature of these demonstrations. The authorities are attempting to criminalise the movements and have even gone as far as using agents provocateurs (policemen dressed up as demonstrators) who instigate violent conflicts in order to give the police the excuse they need.
On Sunday June 24 about 50,000 people (according to the organisers, or 20,000 according to the media) participated in a demonstration through the centre of Barcelona (Spain) against the World Bank. The World Bank summit against world poverty was originally scheduled to take place in Barcelona on June 25th to 27th, but WB officials decided to cancel it for fear that the protesters would prevent them from using it as a propaganda event. Instead they decided to call a "cyberconference".
On Sunday, 1st of July, the World Economic Forum (WEF) started its
European Summit in Salzburg, Austria. The list of the 1000 members of
the WEF is something like the "who's who" of the biggest and most
powerful corporations like McDonald's, Monsanto, Nike, Shell, Coca
Cola or Microsoft.
The movement against globalisation and the world institutions of capital, which was sparked off by the December 1999 demonstrations against the WTO summit in Seattle, has put its mark the world political arena. But are the ideas circulating within this movement up to the tasks the movement faces. How do we fight capitalism and globalisation. Roberto Sarti, from the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello, provides an in-
Global warming is arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity. Yet US president George W. Bush appears largely oblivious to the problem, denying the evidence that is growing at an alarming rate. Regular reports from the 3000 scientists involved with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been issued over the past number of years. Over this period their refined climate model has consistently increased the projected effects of global warming. So why is President Bush in a state of denial? Colin Penfold looks into the interests of the multinational corporations that underly the present impasse.
There is a view fashionable in the media that the world is being taken over by huge multinational corporations, accountable to no one. This allows the argument against globalisation to be depoliticised, reducing it to single issues of "ethical trading" and "codes of conduct", and inviting its co-option. Above all, it misses the point that state power in the west is accelerating. (We are republishing this article with the permission of John Pilger, August 20, 2001)
In this article, Dario Salvetti, a supporter of the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello, who actively took part in the Genoa demonstrations analyses the limits of the movement and draws a balance sheet of what should have been done. We believe that the lessons drawn should be taken on board internationally and applied in the future.
What exactly is globalisation? The problem with trying to pin it down is it's not so much a theory, more a buzzword. The general idea is that the whole world is being opened up to world capitalism. All the old barriers are coming down. Capital flows will bring a transfer of technology to the poor countries - which soon will be rich! Mick Brooks looks at the different meanings of globalisation and explains them from the standpoint of Lenin's theory of imperialism.
Within a few day tens of thousands of workers and young people will come from whole over Europe to Brussels to protest against the EU, capitalist globalisation in Europe and the rest of the world and the new war in Afghanistan. These demonstrations are the next stage in the cycle of mobilisations started in Seattle and which culminated in the 300.000 strong demonstration in Genoa. The European trade unions have announced 70.000 participants on the 13th of December. The next day on Friday 14th of December the European wide network of NGO's, Attac etc. have announced some 30.000 people for "Global Justice and Global Peace". Erik Demeester from the Editorial Board of Vonk/Unité the Belgian Marxist paper for labour and youth looks briefly at what's at stake in these protests.
The recent gathering of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre showed clearly how the anti-globalisation movement
is becoming more and more dominated by career politicians, and groups and organisations that do not really represent
the millions of youth who look to this movement for an alternative to the capitalist system. The capitalist class
internationally is using a dual tactic. On the one hand, where they feel it to be necessary (as in Genoa) they use
the most repressive and brutal methods to try to crush the movement. On the other hand they try to corrupt the movement
and direct it away from radical anti-capitalist ideas.