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(en) <alter-ee> Report from cancun

From hydrozag@poczta.onet.pl
Date Thu, 11 Sep 2003 21:11:58 +0200 (CEST)

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Some activists from Warsaw are participating in actions in Cancun against the WTO.
Yesterday, a farmers activist, Lee Kyung Hae, committed suicide at a demo to
protest the WTO's impact on farmers around the world. This act was tragic and
shocking and it's not clear what effect it will have on the rest of the meetings.
Mr. Lee has been active in the farmer's movement for a long time and dedicated
his life to it. He took part in other international actions earlier this year,
travelling to Switzerland and declaring a hunger strike. At this action in
Cancun, he had made a protest at the WalMart, handing out leaflets to shoppers
and trying to draw attention to the plight of farmers around the world. Right
before he stabbed himself in the heart, he had climbed up the security fence by
the conference center but did not manage to go in. Apparently there are rumours
that the whole Korean delegation at the WTO might walk out today.

Campesinos and others managed to get to the convention center yesterday
despite tremendous police pressure and a crowd of only around 10,000
people. The center is in the hotel zone which is separated from downtown
Cancun and we were not convinced people would be able to get into the
zone. There were security fences there and the crowd got to the fences.
Some individuals managed to get over the fences but apparently people
were getting hit in the back of the head by bricks and stones. There
was some talk about who was throwing the stones. No doubt the police
want people to believe it was the black block, although there was only
a small black block and it turned out they were not in the area at the
time. The campesinos feel that this was done by provocateurs, maybe
hooligans paid by police or even undercover cops and they are not
blaming any other protestors for these stones, but it was the reason
they had to retreat because they were getting injured.

Many different forums are being held, many by liberal and leftist NGOs.
Anarchists, many who are camping in places like public parks and the
baseball stadium, organized themselves into brigades today to go around
the city with leaflets and talk to people. They seemed to be very
concerned about the negative opinions written about them in the media
and were talking about ways to counter them. There were talks about going
around and cleaning the city, keeping the campsites clean and in general
getting contact with the people. Some actions are planned for upcoming

There has been some improvisation as to the organization of actions
and, in general like in all such big actions, the flow of
information is not always too good so it's not always possible to
find out what's happening unless you walk all around the city and
ask dozens of people what's going on. At the convergence center you
can find info but mostly about the big liberal and leftist events.
Despite this, the anarchists are determined to have positive contact
with locals and are a definite presence.

On last comment would have to be on the policy Indymedia has adopted
on wanting to photograph and ID people and make up press badges for
people before allowing them into the Indymedia Center, ostensibly
for security reasons. We haven't been able to find people who can
explain the rationale behind that, except that it's for "security"
and we got some strange looks that we can't understand this policy.
In any case, it gives us the creeps, so we're keeping away from the

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