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(en) Banglades, Dhaka, [Copied from: caravan99] PGA Conference 7-14/sept/2003,Bangladesh - Caravan 1-24 July 2003

From Andreas Rockstein <anro0002@stud.uni-saarland.de>
Date Tue, 25 Feb 2003 15:42:31 +0100 (CET)


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Call for PGA Asian and Gender Conference  7-14 September 2003 in  Dhaka, Bangladesh
 and
Caravan in South -East Asia  1-24 July 2003
  Rationale:
  The global campaign against capitalist globalization is on the increase.
 There have been already many significant demonstrations, resistance,
 movements, protests and many forms of non-violent direction action taking
 place in  different parts of the world. All of these actions are anti- imperialist
 in  character. Various types of networks built all over the world are playing
 an  important role in this connection. 
 
 PGA (People's Global Action) is one of them that is completely against
 'Free' trade and WTO. PGA is the only network that has a clear and  concrete
 stance against the undemocratic and dominating institution, the WTO. It is
 totally  against  the WTO and it thinks that WTO cannot be negotiated with at all
 as  it is illegal and undemocratic. It believes in local alternatives to the
 WTO  that would be viable and where people would be the main focus of all
 activities. The PGA network is stronger in the west than in Asia. But the
 imprudent  policy of the WTO will affect Asia more, since most of the countries in
 Asia  are poor and agro-based. That's why, it is important to hold a PGA
 conference  in Asia that will expedite the building of PGA process.
 
  The proposed conference is of importance in this sense that the WTO is
 planning to make new destructive agreements on Investment, Competition and
 Government Procurement in the next round in Cancun, Mexico to be held on
 November  2003. After the failure of Seattle and Doha Ministerial Meeting
  the WTO is going to hold it 5th ministerial in order to have expected
 results.
  In order to impose many their decisions they had a mini-ministerial of
  rich countries that are actually dominating the WTO in Sydney, Australia
 this   month. The PGA conference will have a good chance to discuss on the
  continued conspiracy of the WTO and to take strategy towards Cancun.
  
  Moreover, women in Asia in many respects bear the brunt of the  capitalist
  globalization process. They are losing their jobs and being deprived and
  persecuted in many ways. Apart from that, women are the victims of  extreme
  discrimination and violence. So, the gender discussion will be given the
  highest priority in the conference and there will be a session dedicated
  to gender issues such as violence against women, unequal access to land,
 loss   of access to common property, discriminatory treatment to women in
  society, etc.
  
  Activities of PGA in Asia: So far, two major activities have taken place
  in the Asian continent. The second International Conference of PGA was
 held   in 1999 in Bengalore, India and the first South Asian Regional
 Conference
 of
  PGA in 2000 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Besides, different grassroots
 movements
  take part in different action/activities of PGA performed in Europe,
  America and Latin America. Now is the time to consolidate the PGA
 process
 in Asia
  into an active, sustained and living process of solidarity and mutual
  support between peoples' movements in Asia.
  
  Globalization process in Asia: In most of the Asian countries, the
  capitalist globalization process has been taking place for a long time.
  After all, reform activities under the so-called Structural Adjustment
  Programs started in these countries in the 1980s. However, globalization
  formally started here since the early nineties with the introduction of
 a
  free market economy of which sum and substance are trade liberalization,
  privatization, etc. Because of this policy all the countries encounter
 severe poverty,
  unemployment, displacement of people, an increase in discrimination
  between rich and poor, destruction of industries and agriculture. Almost
 all
  countries of Asia had signed up to the GATT agreement except Vietnam.
 The
  big country like China that could play a crucial role to delegitimise
 the
  WTO took membership one year ago. Now they are formally and legally
 bound
  to perform all sorts of reform activities suggested by the imperialism,
 by
  so-called donor agencies like World Bank/IMF, and the WTO. The peoples
 of
  Asia are, however, subject to a range of other domination aside from the
  process of capitalist globalization and the institutions that enforce
 such
  processes. For example, unequal access to resource and forms of physical
  violence are not only the result of capitalist globalization, but also
  because of more locally derived social, political and economic
 structures.
  People's movements involved in the PGA process do not only reject
  capitalist globalization, they also reject all forms of domination while
 espousing an
  organizational philosophy based on decentralization and autonomy.
 
  PGA Hallmarks:
  1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all
  trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive
  globalization;
  
  2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination
  including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious
  fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all human
 beings.
  
  3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can
  have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organizations, in
 which
  transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
  
  4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social
  movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize
  respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the
 construction of local
  alternatives to global capitalism;
  
  5. An organizational philosophy based on decentralization and autonomy
  What is PGA in short?
  
  PGA is a tool for coordination, not an organization. PGA has no members
  and does not have and will not have a juridical personality. No
 organization
  or person represents the PGA, nor does the PGA represent any
 organization
 or
  person. PGA will limit itself to facilitating coordination and exchange
 of
  information between grassroots movements through conferences and means
 of communication.
  
  Sustained Campaigns of PGA:
  a.Campaign against state militarism and para-militarism:
 stopwar@nadir.org
  b.Campaign for defense and recognition of self-determination and land
  sovereignty of all people: tierra@nadir.org
  c.Campaign against all privatization: nosevende@nadir.org
  d.Campaign on construction of alternative models to the capitalist
 system,
  based on education and formation: alter@nadir.org
  
  The possible countries to attend the conference: The conference is open
 to
  all people's movements in Asia that support and feel comfortable with
 the
  PGA hallmarks.
  Conference agenda:
  --Identify movements that we can involve in the PGA network in order to
  build a worldwide resistance movement against imperialism.
  --To operationalize the sustained campaigns.
  --How to support other movements in the network? Or work on ways to
  strengthen mutual
  
  support amongst the many struggles of the movements involved in the PGA
  Asia process.
  --Brief presentation of the movements attending the conference
  
  --Discussion of the impacts of capitalist globalization in Asia.
  --The impacts of US militarism in Asia.
  --Workshop on gender perspective.
  --To share experience and alternative visions of economic, political and
  social life.
  
  --Strategy towards next round of the WTO in Cancun, Mexico.
  Focal Issues: The question of land has become a big issue in many Asian
  countries. To take the case of Bangladesh as an example: the people are
  losing their important land properties day by
  day. The people in the rural areas in Asian countries who are losing
 their
  land are gradually migrating to the cities. These people are subject to
  the pressures of capitalist globalization and a number of other forms of
  domination. Because of the so-called green revolution the entire
  agricultural sector has become a losing sector. The peasants are
 extremely
  indebted. They are unable to sustain their farms, have no reproductive
  capacity and have no purchasing capacity Acute poverty, malnutrition,
  pauperization, illiteracy, the push migration, lack of health
  facilities, etc, accompany them. There are lots of common property
  resources that the local big landowners have been enjoying for a long
 time. The Khas
  (Fallow) agricultural and non-agricultural land is one of them. As per
  government land law the landless men and women have greater access to
 this
  land but owing to the bureaucratic complexities they can not gain that
  access. The Khasland occupation movement is struggling against these
  injustices. 
  
  Another focal issue is mineral resource - especially oil and gas. In
 Asia
  this important resource is the main target of US imperialism. In the
 case
  of Bangladesh they are trying to convince the government in the guise of
  different diplomatic initiatives to lease out all the wells to the
 foreign
  multinational companies and to get approval for the export of gas to
 India
  through pipeline. Already the foreign companies have signed a Production
  Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Bangladesh government. According to this
  contract, different companies have been leased out blocks (the entire
  country is divided into blocks for exploration) for exploring and
  extracting oil and gas. In order to make their operation unhindered, the
 US
  administration wants to make a military base on the coastal belt of
  Bangladesh through an agreement called SOFA (Status of Forces
 Agreement).
  Such type of agreement also exists in South Korea. In accordance with
 this
  agreement US military will have the right to enter Bangladesh without
  passport or visa at any time. Even if they commit any crime here, the
  Bangladesh government cannot try them. The people of Bangladesh are
  protesting against this anti-people decision of the government. This
  intensification of militarisation in the region is, of course, not
 unique
  to Bangladesh. In the aftermath of the S11 terrorist attack in New York
 and
  the recent terrorist bombing in Bali the US and its few remaining allies
 have
  already launched a war in Afghanistan and are planning to bomb, invade
 and
  occupy Iraq. In such a context, the issue of militarism has become a
 major
  concern of social movements participating in the worldwide struggle
  against capitalist globalization. By the way all these things are
 completely
  against the human being.
  
  Objectives of the conference:
  --Build a strong network of PGA in Asia
  
  --Start a sustained consultation process among the movements in Asia.
  --Establish a strong solidarity among Asian people.
  
  --Build consensus about the role of imperialism as well as the
 WB/IMF/WTO.
  --Build mobilization on gender issue.
  
  Schedule: The conference will be held from 7-14 September 2003. The
 caravan
  will start in South East Asia on 1-21 July 2003.
  
  Venue: Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  Logistics: As the grassroots movements in Asia are facing severe
 financial
  crisis, the delegates from the movements in Asia will be provided with
  ticket costs, food and accommodation. Invited persons from Europe and
  America will not be given ticket costs. It would be covered by
 themselves
  but food and accommodation would be provided.
  
  
Badrul Alam, PGA Asia Convenor, with delegates of all movements
participating in the PGA process in Asia.
  
 
  CONFERENCE AND CARAVAN APPLICATION FORM
 
 PLEASE SEND ALL APPLICATION FORMS TO PGA-ASIA@CUPBOARD.ORG.
 
 (please fill in as much as possible. please leave answers blank if
 necessary. 
 food and accommodation will be provided. accommodation will be basic. you
 will not have your own room. there will be a female sleeping area and a
 male
 sleeping area).
 
 1. Name of Group/ Social Movement:
 
 
 2. Brief Description of group/social movement and the work it does:
 
 
 
 3. Number of Participants from the Group (max 2)
 Conference only:
 Caravan only:
 Conference and Caravan:
 
 
 4. Gender of Participant(s):
 Conference only:
 Caravan only:
 Conference and Caravan:
 
 
 5. Please indicate whether participants are leaders or from the social
 base
 (involved in struggles at the neigbourhood/village level). (Delegates of
 all
 of the Asian movements present
 at meetings at the 3rd International conference in Cochabamba agreed each
 movement should send one participant from the social base). 
 
 
 6. If participating in the caravan, please indicate which caravan route
 the
 participants will follow?
 
 Route One:From Bangkok to Jakarta.
 Route Two: From Bangkok to Penang. 
 Route Three: From Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta.
 Route Four: From Kuala Lumpur to Penang.
 
 
 
 7. Which Languages can the participants work in?
 
 
 
 8. Are you able to raise funds for the caravan and conference? If so, how
 much
 would you hope to raise?
 
 
 9. What are the visa requirements for the relevant countries for the
 participants of your group (please indicate whether visa is automatic on
 arrival, or,
 where not, how long the visa takes and how much it will cost?
 Thailand: Length of Time:                  ; Duration:            .
 Malaysia: Length of Time:                  ; Duration:
 Indonesia: Length of Time:                ; Duration:
 Bangladesh:Length of Time:               ; Duration:
 
 
 10. What is the cost of the cheapest return ticket for your movement's
 delegate(s)  to reach:
 Bangkok:
 Kuala Lumpur/Penang:
 Dhaka:
 
 
 Questions Relating to the Caravan:
 
 11. Are there any specific groups that you would like to meet with?
 
 
 
 12. What should the caravan achieve?
 
 
 
 
  Questions relating to the Conference
 
 
 13. Would you like to/ be able to contibute to a e-mail discussion list on
 the following issues prior to the conference?
 
 14. Would you like to organise any workshops? If so, what would the title
 of this workshop be?
 
 
 15.What are the issues concerning which you would like to attend
 workshops?
 
 
 16. How do you think movements might work together after the conference?
 
 
 17.Do you have any dietary requirements?
 
 
 Please send any materials that your movement would like to have included
 in the Caravan Reader and the Conference Reader (The Conference Reader will
 be the same as the Caravan Reader but will include information on the
 caravan)
 
 18. Would you be able to help document the caravan or conference or both?

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