World Bank cancels Barcelona meeting... but the protests still go ahead

The World Bank was supposed to be holding a "summit against poverty" in Barcelona, Spain, between June 25th and 27th. Worried about the prospect of mass demonstrations against its policies, the WB finally decided to cancel the meeting. However the protesters are still going ahead with their demonstration against the imperialist policies of the WB and the other international financial institutions. We publish here a leaflet produced by the Spanish Students Union (SE) in preparation of these protests (the leaflet was printed before the WB decided to cancel the summit).

The World Bank was supposed to be holding a "summit against poverty" in Barcelona, Spain, between June 25th and 27th. Worried about the prospect of mass demonstrations against its policies, the WB finally decided to cancel the meeting. However the protesters are still going ahead with their demonstration against the imperialist policies of the WB and the other international financial institutions.

We publish here a leaflet produced by the Spanish Students Union (SE) in preparation of these protests (the leaflet was printed before the WB decided to cancel the summit), and also "Six questions and answers about globalisation", an educational leaflet also produced by the SE.

Fight against capitalism

With the ideas of revolutionary marxism

Millions of youth are opposed to the living conditions this society offers us. Obviously we are not referring to the sons and daughters of the capitalists or the landowners; their most worrying problems are what model of car they are going to get, what luxurious resort they are going to spend their holidays at, or what private university they are going to attend.

It is the sons and daughters of the workers that have to pay the price of living in a capitalist society which is based on exploitation and where a minority of privileged people use, to their own benefit, the resources we create with our work. The youth is part of the class which is exploited under this system: the working class.

Our main problem is that we have no future. Unemployment, casual labour, the high price of housingÉ all these prevent us from leaving our parents' homes. A million youth are unemployed and the few who find a job end up working in conditions of overexploitation, or in the modern slavery of Temporary Work Agencies. Long hours for low wages and always under threats such as "don't complain or your contract will not be renewed" and "there are a thousand others like you waiting to take your job". The new reform of the labour law which the PP government wants to pass will mean further attacks on our conditions, making it cheaper for bosses to make workers redundant. Under these conditions it is nor surprising that thousands of workers die every year in workplace accidents and most of them are young workers.

At the same time the right wing PP government is committed to destroying state education. The logic behind this seems to be: "why should we invest in the education of working class youth if, at the end of the day, most of them will be unemployed or in low skill casual jobs?". Thus we see an increase in the number of students in each classroom, thousands of students with no places in the new Professional Training courses, and a State University which is increasingly elitist and expensive.

The capitalist system is to blame

Similar policies are applied all over the world. Capitalism is a global system. So-called economic globalisation, presented by the media as modern and progressive, is nothing more than the domination of the world by a few multinationals, condemning three quarters of the world's population to poverty. The consequences are clear, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to leave their countries and emigrate looking for a job and decent living conditions. But when they arrive in the West they are faced with racist laws such the recently pass Law on Foreigners in Spain. As a result of such policies and laws they end up as modern day slaves, with no basic rights (no right to meet, to organise nor to strike) and at the mercy of the capitalists who are ready to exploit them. A society which denies elementary rights (a job, a place to live, quality education, a good health service, decent pensions) to an increasing number of people, is not only unfair, it is also in crisis.

The existing wealth should be used to put an end to world poverty and take humanity forward. Instead it is accumulated by a parassitical elite which uses it in stock exchange speculation and other such wasteful operations. The wealth of the 225 richest people in the world equals that of 47% of the world's population (2.5 billion people). The three richest individuals on Earth (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the Sultan of Brunei) own as much wealth as the 48 poorest countries on the planet.

On June 24 the World Bank is meeting in Barcelona. Let's show them our anger.

Next June those responsible for this situation, together with their representatives, will have one of their regular meetings in Barcelona, a meeting of the World Bank, which dictates their economic policies around the world. Thousands of youth and workers will be there, as we were in Seattle, Prague and Nice, to show our opposition to the system.

Together with other organisations, the Students' Union is organising the demonstration on Sunday 24 against this meeting and what it represents. We call on you to participate and to organise committees against capitalist globalisation in order to prepare debates, public meetings, actions, and organise transportation to Barcelona., etc.

We understand that the best way to fight against the capitalist system is through the day to day struggle to improve our conditions of study, and our working and living conditions. Today young people in Spain have plenty to struggle against: the privatisation of the education system, the growing state repression, the Temporary Work Agencies, the latest reform of the labour laws, etc The only guarantee of success is to link up these struggles with the need to transform society.

Thus we must participate in demonstrations like the one on June 24th but we must also organise in order to conduct the day to day struggle.

Students Union - Sindicato de Estudiantes
http://www.arrakis.es/~s.estudi
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Reina Amalia 6 baixos esq.
08001 Barcelona
Spain