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(en) US, Miami, FL - A Day Hopeful and Radiant: The Miami Call to Action FTAA Ministerial Meetings - November 20-21, 2003 (final draft)

From s f s b <sfsb@graffiti.net>
Date Thu, 17 Jul 2003 08:56:09 +0200 (CEST)

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

In November 2003, Miami, Florida, is hosting both the eighth round of
the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) trade negotiations and
the eighth Americas Business Forum. Trade Ministers from 34 nations
in the Western hemisphere, and hundreds of their closest
commerce-inclined friends, will descend on this city for a week of
business and pleasure: the business of advancing capitalism’s parasitic
agenda, and the pleasure of getting away with it.

At the Summit of Americas held in Miami in December 1994, 34 heads
of state agreed to construct the FTAA. Since then, business and
government representatives from these countries have been secretly
drafting this plan with the aim of creating the largest free trading block
in the world by 2005. This is to be our region’s principal contribution to
the much-heralded age of globalization.

- Did somebody say “Free Trade”? -

The FTAA expands the corporate free trade policies of the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which applied to Canada,
Mexico, and the United States, to encompass the entire Western
hemisphere. It is an integral part of the logic of capitalist globalization,
generating profits while at the same time accelerating the loss of
workers’ rights, wage decreases, the triumph of corporate agribusiness
over family and subsistence farms, environmental degradation, the
displacement of indigenous peoples and the privatization of public
industries. Alongside the imposition of militarization and natural
resource-focused accords like Plan Colombia, the Andean Regional
Initiative, Plan Puebla Panama and the Central American Free Trade
Agreement, the FTAA is designed to concentrate wealth and power
into a few corporate hands at the expense of everyone else.

- Nosotros decimos No! -

Much has happened since 1994: NAFTA and the Zapatista uprising in
Chiapas, Mexico, arrived simultaneously onto the world stage — the
former to destroy communities for the sake of profits, the latter to
reintroduce Mexico to its indigenous glory and inspire future resistance
across the world. Subsequent years saw a revival and dynamic growth
of popularly organized, independent struggles to resist free-market
regimes and create a humane and egalitarian alternative. From the
courageous efforts of the Landless Rural Workers Movement in Brazil,
to the struggles against public sector privatization in Cochabamba,
Bolivia, and across nations in Central America, to the 2001 rebellion in
Argentina, the June uprisings in Peru, and the regional response in
Quito, Ecuador, against the most recent round of FTAA negotiations —
the peoples of the hemisphere speak in a decisive voice of opposition.
And now all eyes are upon us.

- Mobilize for Miami! -

Come to Miami in November, and this is what you will see...Yes, it is a
steaming crock-pot of vibrant cultures and ethnicities, but the division
among classes and races is stark and deep. Yes, it is a tropical hub of
international commerce, but poverty is rampant and social exclusion is
pervasive. Yes, the issues relevant to the lives of everyday residents —
unemployment and underemployment, gentrification and displacement
in working-class communities, unaccountable and corrupt municipal
government, unlawful detention and persecution of immigrants — are
common across the hemisphere, but Miami was also home to the
largest pro-war, pro-Bush demonstrations in the United States
(thoughtfully declaring “First Saddam, then Fidel!”). This is the context
for November. Residents of what is touted as the poorest large urban
center in the United States will foot a good portion of the $16 million it
will cost to host the meetings. Further, they will be asked, for a week, to
patiently bear the militarization of the city’s downtown — miles of
barricades, public transportation and movement restrictions, columns
of roving paramilitary — while the local and international elite go about
the high-stakes business of negotiating details that will impact the lives
of everyone in the hemisphere. This is where we come in.

- 305, take it to the house! -

This is the invitation that you and 800 million of your closest friends
have been waiting for. We, the undersigned groups and loose
associations, are calling for creative, decentralized, autonomous
actions in response to the FTAA ministerial November 20–21, 2003.

Some of the immediate goals:
- Delay, disrupt, and topple the FTAA meetings.
- Bury the City of Miami’s hopes for a flawless ministerial and their
plans to house the permanent FTAA Secretariat.
- Engage in the globalization debate like our excluded brothers and
sisters in the South, so that our actions resonate across the
hemisphere, and we demonstrate that we can and will play a part in
this struggle.

Make no mistake, Miami police chief John Timoney (of Philly RNC
2000 fame) is gearing for a conflict the likes of which this city has
never seen. Expect everything from infiltration and preemptive strikes,
to brutal repression and trumped up charges. It is important that we
begin preparing now, forming tight affinity groups, educating and
mobilizing our communities, and rounding up legal, medic, and media
resources. Out-of-town guests should understand that the activist
infrastructure here is extremely limited; self-sufficiency is key. To that
end, for the benefit of orienting and informing affinity groups well into,
or just initiating, their Miami travel/action planning, we will be releasing
monthly statements addressing the progress in our work, the latest
developments in the City’s security plans, and other pressing
concerns. As the lone anti-capitalist, non-hierarchical and
anti-authoritarian elements active in the South Florida mobilization, we
encourage all civil disobedience, direct action, and logistical support
groups to get in touch so that we may begin coordinating our efforts as
best we can and in as timely a manner as possible. Our task: roll out
the welcome mat. Your task: be bold, creative, strategic and

La lucha es larga y ellos son muchos, pero nosotros somos muchos
mas. Siempre seremos muchos mas.

Come to Miami in November. History beckons you. Perhaps paradise

*800 Million vs. 34 Coalition, Miami/Dade County, Florida
*FTAA Wrecking Crew, Broward County, Florida
*Running Dogs of Global Justice, Palm Beach County, Florida

For more information: www.stopftaa.org
or contact: n20@hushmail.com

*The above groups abide by the PGA Hallmarks**. We are prophets
against profit, informal and committed to bringing forth the adolescent
dream of social upheaval and revolution insofar as it will advance the
realization of the new world we carry in our hearts (which is growing
as we speak).
** [Ed. Note: Antiauthoritarian anticapitalist for direct action]

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