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(en) US, Armed with visions... Anarchists descend on Miami FTAA Summit, November 20-21

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 16 Nov 2003 18:43:29 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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posted by Taking Aim
MIAMI, FL - Capitalist globalization will have a name and a face in
Miami this month when Trade Ministers from 34 nations in the
Western hemisphere and hundreds of their corporate conquistador
allies gather for the FTAA Ministerial Meetings. Despite shallow and
slanderous efforts to discredit protesters, resistance in Miami is
growing. Anarchists will be among tens of thousands in the streets to
expose the neo-colonial agenda of “free trade”. Through bold
and creative direct action, coupled with outreach and education
efforts, anarchists and other radicals will add another chapter to the
living history of the global justice movement. Though they may not
label themselves anarchists, many of those challenging capitalist
globalization in the streets across our hemisphere do so in the
anarchist traditions of cooperation, resistance, solidarity, creativity
and mutual aid. It is this spirit that compels us to mobilize against the

As an expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is promoted
by its creators and beneficiaries as a cure-all for the socio-economic
ills of the western hemisphere. From the well-documented social and
ecological fallout after 10 years of NAFTA, it is clear that an
expansion of such an accord, from the perspective of the powerless
and marginalized, can only mean an increase in unemployment
domestically, proliferation of sweat-shop style jobs regionally, cuts
and privatization of social services across the hemisphere,
reinvigorated displacement of indigenous and working class
communities, the exacerbation of economic and social disparities
among classes and races between and within participating countries,
and an increase in the ecological destruction of many of the
world’s most biodiverse ecosystems.

For the vast majority of people in our hemisphere, the FTAA and
globalization symbolize both an old story and the tip of a tragic
iceberg. “Free trade” and the global economic system itself are
justified by an underlying ill-logic of shortsighted profiteering that
sees water, air and human labor as objects to be manipulated and
controlled. Crafted and pioneered in the interests of capital and
financial gain, anarchists see the FTAA as a continuation of the
transatlantic slave trade, European plundering of the Americas, the
colonization of Africa and Asia and the concept of Manifest Destiny
that saw indigenous peoples and wild areas decimated in the taming of
North America’s lands. Capitalist expansion has been a slave
whip and a death sentence slaughtering its way through history.

Social and economic justice movements across the Americas and the
globe are rallying around a common struggle in opposition to this
would-be death sentence. Many at the forefront of this ‘movement
of movements’ have approached the globalization debate with a
total rejection of the dominant social system, using decision-making
structures that empower individuals and respect community
self-determination. By articulating connections between the
accumulation of capital, ecological devastation, cultural genocide, and
military excursions, we continuously broaden our understanding of the
webs of power we face.

The concept of anarchy, literally meaning “without rulers”, is
considered by many to have been the prevalent form of social relations
throughout most of the history of the human species. Modern
anarchist movements are similarly characterized by a faith in the
cooperative nature of humanity, rooted in principles that firmly reject
representations of authority and power in favor of embracing
cooperation over competition, self-determination over government,
equality over race/class status or privilege and consensus
decision-making as opposed to hierarchical structures.

From Gerard Winstanley’s Diggers to the communards of Paris to
the Haymarket martyrs’ fight for an 8-hour day to Joe Hill and the
radical IWW trade unionists in the U.S. to the free speech fights and
groundbreaking birth control campaigns of Emma Goldman to the
various international anarchist brigades that took up arms against
fascism in the Spanish Revolution, anarchists have traditionally
confronted authoritarian governments and economies tailored by and
for elites. In recent times, this analysis has also extended to critiques
of Euro-centrism, gender oppression, commodification of the natural
world, and other forms of exploitation. Anarchist principles of
voluntary cooperation inform the development of sustainable models
for meeting basic needs within our communities. History has proven
these efforts as viable options, a notable example being Spain in 1936.

Today, while excessive attention is lavished on the City of
Miami’s preparation for The FTAA meetings - a city ordinance
restricting free expression, courthouse closures, relocating ships to
other ports, suspending daily activities in downtown and cordoning off
the area south of Flagler Street - the facts suggest that this climate of
fear is intended to incite hysteria and divide the people of Miami.
“This comes as no surprise to those who see the Nation-state as
an occupying force that thrives on turning its subjects against one
another,” says Terra Selvaggia, an anarchist from Ontario,
Canada. Anarchists will certainly be present at the mass mobilization
in a wide variety of roles, including confrontational resistance. But we
are unified by a shared commitment to support local struggles and
show solidarity with the dispossessed of Latin America and the

As people determined to make a statement against the plunder of our
common future courageously square off once again with a deadly
serious, multi-million dollar security apparatus, the visions of a new
world overwhelm our fears of repression. Already this world is giving
way to the values of diversity, sharing and ecological concern, but the
ruling class will not step down without a fight. Wherever they gather
to plot out their path of domination we will be there too, with passion
& solidarity, to storm the barricades of the elite and continue changing
the course of the future.


The Taking Aim media collective consists of anarchists hailing from
various locales, including South Florida. We feel the need to
communicate with the mass media and the public at large because so
much of the coverage around past mobilizations has neglected to
represent our political perspectives accurately, or to show the variety
of activities and organizations in which we participate- from direct,
disruptive confrontation such as toppling barricades and trashing
corporate property to the mutual aid of child caretakers, cooks &
medics for protests as well as creative outreach through various
forms of art, street theater & independent media. We are releasing
this information so that our perspectives may be expressed BY us,

For up-to-date non-commercial news on FTAA and its discontents:


Copied from Infoshop.org

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