Globalisation


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This is a letter we have received from Portugal regarding the Spanish authorities turning back buses of Portuguese demonstrators bound for the anti-EU summit demonstration Seville, in violation of international treaties, and the Spanish Civil Guard beating up two members of the Portuguese parliament!

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This is a report of the massive demonstration in Seville to protest against the European Union summit. The very militant mood of the demonstrations reflected the anger of the youth against the policies of the right wing in Spain and internationally. Despite the propaganda campaign of the government, which was aimed at scaring people off and turning them against the anti-capitalist mobilisations, the balconies were full of people shouting words of encouragement and saluting with their raised fists. By Julio Cruz, from the Spanish Marxist paper El Militante.

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Bruce Boon looks at the darker side of the World Cup: the working conditions of the workers, including child and forced labourers, who make footballs and other merchandise for FIFA and the multinational sponsors of the tournament. He also looks at the sham codes of conduct that these companies draw up with the help of NGOs to show that their workers are actually treated well.

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The anti-war mobilizations in Washington DC, San Francisco, and elsewhere were the first mass protests against government policy since September 11. Many groups were represented, but all of them had one thing in common - opposition to the so-called War on Terrorism. The anti-globalization, anti-war, and labor movements need to unite under a working-class leadership to fight for a socialist solution to the problems facing working people in the US and internationally.

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The "Battle in Seattle" announced to the world that even in the "belly of the beast", there is outright opposition to the policies of imperialism. Around the world, subsequent meetings of the IMF, World Bank, G8, and NATO have been met with a rising tide of militant protest and increasingly ruthless repression by the ruling class. But the attacks of September 11 cast a shadow over the movement in the US - anyone voicing opposition to the policies of imperialism was considered unpatriotic and even a terrorist - "you're either with us or against us!" Now, on April 20, the first major protest event against the "war on terror" is being held in...

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Over the weekend of March 15-16 we have witnessed the biggest mass demonstrations seen in Spain for years. Several demonstrations have been held in Barcelona against the EU summit that was being held there. On Thursday about 200,000 trade unionists marched and on Saturday half a million people took to the streets. These were protests against bourgeois policies in the whole of Europe, and against capitalist globalisation. This is an eye-witness account of the dramatic events that took place in Barcelona.

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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.

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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...

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The World Trade Organisation has recently held its summit. Their aim was to skulk in Qatar in the Gulf of Arabia, as far as they could get from the 'teamsters to turtles' coalition against all that is wrong about capitalism. An important part of their agenda has been the General Agreement on Trade in Services - GATS, due to come into by the end of 2002. But what is GATS and why do we need to fight it?

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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the body representing the world's richest 30 countries, has predicted that this year economic growth would be as low as 1% and would be only 1.2% next year. At the same time, capitalist economists forecast that global economic growth this year and next would be the worst for 30 years. The great economic recession of the early 21st century is under way.

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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.

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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.

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)


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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.

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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- depth analysis.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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Three huge demonstrations (particularly for a city with only half a million inhabitants) took place during the EU summit in Gothenburg. 10,000 marched against president Bush on Thursday 14 June, 20,000-25,000 against EU/EMU on the Friday and 10,000- 15,000 against the policies of the EU on the Saturday. These was the largest demonstrations in Gothenburg since the big strike and lockout of 1980. It also reflects a growing discontent amongst young people and workers.

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On July 21, some 200,000 people are expected to turn out in Genoa (Italy) for the anti-G8 demonstration. Massive police operations have been set in place and a general state of tension has been created around this issue. We are publishing the latest article we have on this question, sent to us by the Editorial Board of the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello.

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In July of this year the G8 summit is going to be held in Genoa, Italy. Similarly to Seattle, Prague and Nice, Genoa will be an important gathering for all those who want to protest against the "status quo". We are publishing an appeal from comrades in Italy raising the question of the role of the working class in the struggle against imperialism and globalisation.

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This is an educational leaflet produced by the Spanish Students Union (SE) about the movement against capitalist globalisation.

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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).

Opposition to globalisation has spread rapidly across the world, as more and more recognise the awesome power of the giant corporations that straddle the globe and the carnage they leave in their wake. From Seattle to Prague, from Nice to Quebec, hundreds of thousands of workers and youth have forcefully demonstrated against the World Trade Organisation and the various international summits that defend the power of global capitalism. But how can we effectively challenge the forces of imperialism and globalisation?


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The ECOFIN - all the Finance Ministers of the EU member states - held a meeting in Sweden's third largest city, Malmo, in the early part of May, which was met with a countre-demonstration, similar to the many demonstrations around the world againts the IMF, the WTO, World Bank, etc. The police used brutal methods to break up the demonstration.

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As everywhere else in the world, workers and labour activists in Jakarta demonstrated on the occasion of international workers' day, the 1st of May. Several unions (of which most prominent were the FNPBI, SBSI, SBJ and Gaspermindo) and student activists (some 5.000 people) gathered at the National Monument, Monas, in Central Jakarta. Also present were a few representatives of the ILO and the American union AFL-CIO (in Indonesia called ACIL's). Of course, the state also sent some 2.000 representatives, armed with guns.

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We received an eye-witness account from one of the London May Day protesters. It shows how the police behaved in keeping several thousand demonstrators, against their will, in a square with no facilities and with no explanation as to why this was happening. It is an example of the use of police measures which go against basic democratic rights of people who wish to demonstrate on the streets of Britain's cities. Using the excuse that there were some demonstrators, undoubtedly a small minority, intent on using violent methods, the police used this opportunity to establish a dangerous precedent.

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