From Mon Oct 22 18:13:23 2001
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 17:23:57 -0700
From: <Tom_Childs@Douglas.BC.CA>
Subject: (global-l) Globalisation Update: 17 October 2001 (fwd)
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Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 22:31:30 +0100
From: Chris Keene <>
Subject: Globalisation Update: 17 October 2001

Globalisation Update

By the Anti-Globalisation Network, 17 October 2001

Much has happened since the last Globalisation Update in early September. The terrorist atrocities in America could spell the end of globalisation, or they could spell the end of the anti-globalisation movement.

Many anti-globalisation activists have become involved in the campaign to try to prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in the US being avenged by the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, either as a direct result of bombing or starvation brought about by the inability to deliver sufficient food aid in a country already stricken by three years of the worst drought in living memory, and decades of civil war because of the bombing.

According to James Harding in the Financial Times of 10 October “The movement has come to a stop. In public, activists say this is just a respectful pause. In private, however, some campaigners are asking whether the anti-globalisation movement itself will prove to be a victim of the attacks on America.”

We must make sure that these words don't become true; it would be an even greater tragedy if our democracy, our public services, our human rights, our environment, were to be killed off by corporate rule because of the deaths in America.

But the proponents of globalisation are already, opportunistically, seizing on this dreadful massacre to push their own agenda and attack anti-globalisation activists. The neo-fascist prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, has already claimed similarities between the terrorists and those opposing globalisation saying that while the former had tried to provoke a violent reaction from the West the latter had tried to make it feel guilty for its economic policy—there was a “strange unanimity” between them, he said, both were the enemies of Western civilisation.

Robert Zoellick, the US Trade Representative, has tried to use the attack and its consequent support for President Bush to get a bill on Trade Promotion Authority passed by Congress. Trade Promotion Authority (formerly known as “fast track”) would give the President's Administration power to negotiate new international commercial agreements, with Congress having only a yes-or-no vote on the final product. First in line is the controversial 34-country “Free Trade Area of the Americas” (FTAA). American anti-globalisation activists are carrying out a vigorous campaign to try to prevent Trade Promotion Authority being passed.

Chris Patten, former Conservative MP and now a European Commissioner, was on BBC Radio 4's ‘Any Questions?’ programme saying that the way to defeat terrorism was to defeat poverty, and the way to defeat poverty was, surprise, surprise, “more globalisation”, specifically a new round at the WTO. Fortunately, ‘Any Questions?’ has an audience phone-in, ’Any Answers?’ immediately afterwards, and I was able to get on this to point out that the major reason for the terrorist attack was probably US policy in the Middle East, and that globalisation didn’t decrease poverty, it increased both poverty and inequality, quoting the study carried out for the World Bank showing that trade liberalisation led to an increase in income for the richest 60% of the population, but a decrease for the poorest 40%.