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(en) US, Minnesota, FTAA, Racism, and Civil Liberties

From MN.Anarchist Collective <mnacollective@yahoo.com>
Date Mon, 8 Sep 2003 07:20:55 +0200 (CEST)

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To look at the state of civil rights in the US today one
does not have to go far to look at the US prison population. We have
reached over 2 million people in our prisons and that is more per
population than anywhere in the whole world. That is 702 prisoners per
100,000 population. And this population remains disproportionately
racist. 1 out of 8 black men from the ages of 20-35 were behind bars
last year as compared to 1 out of 63 white men. Also 28% of all black
men will be behind bars at sometime in their life. This r acism is
blatant and institutionally systemic. To look at one area of the
institutionally systemic problems of racism we turn to free trade

The FTAA (Free Trade Area of Americas) is one of the most far-reaching
global trade negotiations of all time. The trade ministers hope to have
the FTAA completed and running by the year 2005. The FTAA is
essentially a mix of the horribly impacted NAFTA with the teeth of the
WTO. The trade ministers hope that all of the western hemisphere will
sign on excluding socialist Cuba. Making it the largest free trade zone
in the world.

What the free trade pacts essentially do is they lower or
eliminate trade tariffs (a type of border tax on imports and sometimes
exports), and try to eliminate non-trade barriers (such as national
health care, welfare, environmental laws, and etc.). The free traders
argue that this would increase domestic jobs in the export industries
based on being able to lower prices in the other countries (because of
the non-tax) and thus being able to sale more widgets to them. In
theory that would work out fine and in fact, if you hear these pro-free
traders talk, that is the line you will hear constantly. What they
leave out is that they can also export jobs for lower paying wages in
other countries, such as under NAFTA in Mexico along the borders in the
maquiladoras where the workers get paid a measly (as of 1999) $1,292.32
a year.

Corporations and multinational corporations were given the
status of “corporate personhood” around 1886 and thus were given the
same inalienable rights as the normal “real” human citizen. This is
completely artificial in nature, as they wouldn’t recognize any other
grouping of people as a personhood, such as a political or community
group. Before and during the NAFTA negotiations it was made clear by
both presidents Bush the first and Clinton that the trade negotiations
were about products and services, not people. That a corporation, who
has a “personhood”, has been given the status of Supreme Being and that
they and they alone can jump borders when ever they feel like it. But
both presidents made it clear that this does not extend to immigrants
and that they would not become legalized even though products can move
freely, assuming that they are more important than people.

The FTAA has been called NAFTA on steroids. It intends to
crumble all last reaming vestiges of welfare nets, environmental laws,
all nationalized utilities (such as water works), and reach into all
other aspects of where the multinational corporations can find some how
to make some type of profit. In Canada they are trying to privatize one
of the worlds best healthcare systems. Under NAFTA the United States
has lost more than 7 million jobs. By these trade negotiations the
corporations have forged their institutionally systemic racist views
even further by wage exploitation, horrible labor rights, and focusing
the trade negotiations on the widgets and s ervices and profits, leaving
out the two most important elements: the environment and human rights.

Minnesota Anarchist Collective

website: www31.brinkster.com/mnacollective/main

email: mnacollective@yahoo.com <mailto:mnacollective@yahoo.com>

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