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(en) Call for PGA Asian and Gender Conference

From dr.woooo@nomasters.org
Date Tue, 11 Feb 2003 04:14:57 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> http://www.agp.org  
Call for PGA Asian and Gender Conference (application form below) 
7-14 September 2003 
Dhaka, Bangladesh 

and Caravan in South -East Asia 
1-21 July 2003 

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 
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 
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 

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 
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 

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 ommunication. 
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 

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 
 --Establish a strong solidarity among Asian people. 
--Build consensus about the role of imperialism as well as the 
--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. 


(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: 
Kuala Lumpur/Penang: 

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 

16. How do you think movements might work together after the 
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 

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