From Wed Dec 11 07:30:21 2002
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 22:58:25 -0600 (CST)
From: Weekly News Update <>
Subject: Forum, 12/12 NYC: Worker Repression & US Military Aggression
Article: 148196
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

The Hidden Hand Behind ‘Free Trade’: Worker Repression and US Military Aggression

The Global Sweatshop Coalition, Forum description, 21 December 2002

to take note of the role of US military aggression in establishing the footholds of US corporate expansionism. This “War for Oil,” camouflaged as a war against terror, highlights the spread of corporate globalization partnered with the military's big stick to push through openings and policies favorable to US based multinationals.

Whether through outright invasions to seize control of the Middle East's oil reserves or through negotiated “Free Trade” agreements to establish sweatshops and “privatize” state run monopolies, the common objective is to bust open markets for US corporations to pillage the resources of oppressed and dominated nations. That is why those who mobilize against the war are aligned in their struggle with those who battle exploitation, repression and corporate globalization.

In 1991, a US-sponsored coup overthrew Aristide's government in Haiti, precisely because Aristide's government was deemed not to be favorable enough to the globalization agenda of the IMF, the World Bank and the USAID. After a 4 year embargo, Aristide was brought back by 24,000 US marines, but this time in full compliance with the New World Order doctrine. And even though an impoverished country such as Haiti has little left to offer other than its cheap labor force, it has been made into an example of compliance: denial of labor rights, repression of unions, starvation wages, Free Trade Zones, privatized industries, and open markets. Recently, union organizers have been murdered and arrested as part of systematic campaign of worker repression. And US forces stand poised again to intervene in Haiti, as US troops are being stationed on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In Colombia, union workers who bottle Coca Cola products have been kidnapped, tortured and murdered. The largest Coca Cola union in Colombia has asked for an international campaign against Coke to stop the violence against workers, which has included a half-dozen murders at one plant alone in the mid-1990s. Reports of these crimes sparked a historic lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company and their Colombian bottler by the International Labor Rights Fund and the United Steelworkers of America on behalf of the Colombian union. In recent years, hundreds of Colombian unionists have been murdered by paramilitaries throughout Colombia in a systematic campaign of union repression. Meanwhile, Plan Colombia is calling for increased US military involvement and funding.

Join us in this forum as organizers from Haiti and Colombia will speak out on these issues and call for international solidarity for all workers struggles.

Sponsored by the Global Sweatshop Coalition and the Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network, (212) 947-7744,