Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 13:12:01 -0500
From: Bob Olsen <>
Subject: MAI Port Elgin 7 Nov, 97
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 10:59:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Elsie Dean <> (by way of (Bruna Nota))
Subject: Signing onto MAI Statement

Port Elgin Declaration (summary)

By Tony Clarke, 7 November 1977

The first International Symposium on Corporate Rule took place November 2-7, 1977 at Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada. The delegates included 85 people from Asia Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. This is a summary statement prepared by the chair of the Symposium, Tony Clarke, which was unanimously endorsed (with a few modifications) by the delegates.

It was publicly presented as the Port Elgin Declaration November 7 before an audience of close to 2000 people at the opening of a Global Teach-In on Challenging Corporate Rule which took place at the University of Toronto, November 7-9, 1977

For the past four days, we have been meeting here at Port Elgin on the shores of Lake Huron in Canada—campaign organizers, front-line activists and policy analysts—from all over the world, from different societies and cultures, from different economic and social sectors, but sharing a common concern about the ever growing power of corporations over governments and peoples, and with a common resolve to fight for democratic control over our economic, social and environmental future. We came together to deepen our understanding of the global system of corporate rule: how corporations have subverted true democracy in some countries and reinforced brutal autocratic regimes in others, how they have exploited workers, pillaged resource, ravaged the environment, weakened labour laws, and widened the gap between rich and poor with particularly devastating effects on women and children, how they have enshrined the goal of maximizing profits over all human, cultural, social and ecological needs, and how they have seized control over the reins of public policy making in all our countries.

We came together to consolidate our efforts to expose and confront corporate rule in all its forms. Many of us have been involved for years in battling the depredations of individual companies in our respective regions—sometimes losing sometimes winning—and these grassroots struggles must be continued and supported.

AT the same time, we see the need to develop a new Citizens' Politics to challenge corporate rule in all our organizations and sectoral activities. This new Citizens' Politics must be grounded in a reassertion of the fundamental human and democratic rights, and indeed the inalienable rights of the Earth itself.

The ultimate goal must be to give the world's peoples the sovereign right to govern themselves as they wish and deserve to be governed. To that end, we pledge to take the following steps to forge and equip a global movement to challenge corporate rule:

1) by redesigning our existing campaigns and developing new anti-corporate campaigns—in forestry, mining and energy, in food textiles and electronic, in health care, public education, and the media/communications industry—to unmask and confront the system of corporate rule that dominates the lives of
2) by mounting a series of new campaigns in the coming year focused on four major targets that are mechanisms of corporate rule the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), the Financial Casino, the World Trade Organization (WTO), plus the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)
3) by building a global network of information providers to share research findings on corporations and corporate rule in accessible ways and forms that will enable grass-roots groups to develop more effective community-based campaigns for challenging corporate power and authority.
4) by launching an International Day of Resistance Against Corporate Rule each year, aimed at targeting and exposing the operations of specific transnational corporations at local, national and international levels, utilizing a variety of direct action tactics, including civil disobedience,
5) by developing an ongoing vehicle to help facilitate follow-up action on all these fronts, and to build new solidarity networks between groups actively engaged in sectoral campaigns and social movements, in order to advance the struggle for democratic rights against the global system of corporate rule.

Bob Olsen, Toronto :-)