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(en) US, Chicago FTAA Consulta Report update: National Call Out For a One Hour Work Stoppage and School Walkouts to Oppose the F.T.A.A.

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 23 Oct 2003 10:14:18 +0200 (CEST)


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Over the weekend of October 11 and 12 a consulta, or conference was called
in Chicago by people and activists aiming to shut down the ministerial
meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. During the course of the
consulta a motion was placed on the floor for discussion about creation of a
national call out for a one hour work stoppage and school walkouts to take
place on November 20th, the day most rallies and direct actions would be
taking place against the F.T.A.A. meetings in Miami.
The purpose of the call out is multi layered:
1.) To introduce a alternative method of direct action to deepen the
economic costs of capitalism's trade agreements that at the same time would
not mean direct confrontation with prepared and resourced police and riot
squads in Miami.

2.) To build dialogue and discussion within the movement against neo-liberal
agencies (the W.T.O. I.M.F. World Bank etc...) and their trade agreements
(G.A.T.T., N.A.F.T.A., the F.T.A.A. etc...) around larger and more effective
organizing efforts in a long term sense.

3.) To highlight the political differences between the failing policies of
liberal/electoral movements and union bureaucracies and the anticapitalist/
direct action movement in an ideological battle among workers, students and
the poor.

4.) To build for the one hour work stoppage and school walkouts in
communities, workplaces and schools in a way that would further our
movement's links, test our ideas, and deepen our roots among the larger
working class.

The proposed call out was written up by a member of the Chicago Direct
Action Network - Labor Group on Saturday night of the consulta for debate,
discussion and agreement on the following day. At the Sunday session the
text was put to the full consulta which then consensed to calling for a one
hour work stoppage as well as school walkout on the day of November 20th, in
opposition to the F.T.A.A.

We are calling on all upcoming consultas against the F.T.A.A., as well as
individuals, unions, political organizations, neighborhood and community
groups, school and city councils, and any and all groupings of people
potentially effected by the F.T.A.A. to include the call out in their
organizing and discussion around actions to oppose the F.T.A.A. We feel that
it is a important step forward for our movement and for the times that it
faces now.

Any and all endorsements and reports of organizing around this call with be
logged for regular updates and sent to everyone expressing interest in the
efforts to broaden and build the most serious movement possible against
these newest faces of capitalism. D.A.N. Labor will facilitate the initial
compilation of these efforts, but we are hoping to get help as the endorsers
grow.

Please contact us with any of your questions, concerns, ambitions, work and
victories as soon as possible. Thank you in advance.

D.A.N. Labor

Text of the call out:

CALL FOR WORKPLACE AND SCHOOL ACTIONS TO SHUT DOWN
THE FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS - NOV. 20, 2003

November 18th - November 21st of this year governmental ministers and
delegates from the around the western hemisphere will assemble in Miami
Florida to discuss the implementation of what they are calling the Free
Trade Area of the Americas. Joined by bankers, C.E.O.s, Wall Street barons,
and the elite of global financial control, the goal of the Miami discussions
is to extend N.A.F.T.A.. beyond its current confines to engulf all of North
and South America.

For hundreds of millions of people in Mexico, the United States and Canada
the effects of N.A.F.T.A. have already been nothing short of devastating.
Millions of jobs have been eradicated, environmental protections and work
safety laws have been attacked, unions have been sold out and wages and
benefits have been slashed across the board. Social services, including
education, health care, housing and mass transportation have come under
attack as well, and valuable funding for students, workers, and even
veterans have become shackled and drained internationally.

If these are the impacts of N.A.F.T.A., a three nation trade agreement, what
will happen if the language of that same agreement was strengthened and its
authority widened to an entire hemisphere? An offensive against the working
and poor people of the world is the ambition of the Free Trade Area of the
Americas and the ministerial meetings in Miami.

We of the Chicago Consulta To Shut Down The F.T.A.A. stand sharply against a
world run by C.E.O.s, global financiers, corporations and their agents in
government. On November 18th - November 21st we will join with tens of
thousands of workers, students, indigenous people and immigrant communities
to shut down the F.T.A.A. ministerial meetings in Miami. We will also join
in solidarity actions in cities across the hemisphere calling for the same.
Our goal is not a kinder and gentler Wall Street but a world run
democratically by the people that sweat, bleed, struggle, and sometimes die
to create its wonders, keep its wheels running, and to feed, cloth and
shelter its people.

>From the working class streets of Chicago, we feel that it is time we had an
offensive of our own. We know from the years of protest and struggle in the
past that the ministers of ³free² trade will not listen to reason or moral
appeal. It is now the time for a true and powerful initiative to be pushed
forward by the millions of people this newest and harshest agreement seeks
to steal everything from!

We, the Chicago Consulta To Shut Down The F.T.A.A. call for the following:
- A national one hour work stoppage and mass student walk outs to take place
on Thursday, November 20th, to be organized by the grassroots efforts of
workers and students.

- Solidarity actions: Work slowdowns and the wearing of black arm bands to
our workplaces and schools on November 20th in defiance of the F.T.A.A., and
as a show of global solidarity amongst workers, students and the poor.

- Mass flyering of our communities, schools and workplaces around the issue
of capital dominated trade agreements and their specific impacts on our
lives.

- The initiation and participation in protests and actions against the
F.T.A.A. locally, and joining the mass mobilization in Miami November 18th -
November 21st.

- The spreading of this initiative through the endorsement of individuals,
communities, unions, schools, workplaces and political organizations.

If they will not listen to our votes or appeal, they will heed our actions
- Chicago Consulta To Shut Down The F.T.A.A.

For endorsement, questions, information, or to report a planned action at
your workplace or in your school, contact Direct Action Network - Labor at:
(773) 377 - 5001 x3175 email: DANLabor@pobox.com or post 2642 N. Emmett Apt
3, Chicago IL. 60647

This outreach would include the upcoming consultas against the F.T.A.A.,
list serve and websites, but would also mean taking the text of the call
into workplaces, communities and schools. Sought after endorsement would
include individuals, unions, political organizations, neighborhood and
community groups, school and city councils, and any and all groupings of
people potentially effected by the F.T.A.A.

We are calling on all individuals unions and political formations to include
the call out in their organizing and discussion around actions to oppose the
F.T.A.A.


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