Globalisation

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".

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.