From email@example.com Sat Mar 25 06:06:23 2000
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 00:00:20 -0600 (CST)
Vadim Barak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: (en) Czech, Solidarita calls for international protests against IMF/WB conference in Prague 2000
In the days of September 23-30 there will be the 55th annual conference of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. This will be the first action of that sort in Eastern Europe after the collapse of Stalinism. A Czech Social-Democratic government became a guarantee of the action - including its financial costs - and regards it as a symbol that the Czech Republic is a part of the imperialist West. But those 15 000 bankers, economists and financiers, who will come to Prague, will meet to design a scheme of a complete liberalisation of a global economy. And Czech workers and the poor, together with global proletariat, will continue to be among victims of this capitalist globalisation.
In a form of semi-colonies the Czech Republic and other post-stalinist countries took line with developing countries oh the Third world. In 1990 a then Czechoslovak government accepted a structural adjustment programme (SAP) and for this it received from IMF a US dollar 3,9 billion loan. From that time all governments with greater or lesser intensity implement a policy of liberalisation, deregulation, privatisation, high interest rates and cuts in public spending - policy which is in the interests of trans-national corporations formulated by imperialist states in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and which is imposed by IMF/WB on developing countries. Its outcome is a continual impoverishment of the international working class, including its Czech part. In comparison with 1989 real incomes of Czech working class families dropped by 13% (in case of agricultural workers by 28%). A value of basic social benefits was by 44% lower in 1997 and their rate to GDP has fallen since 1991 by 60%. 63% of workers receive lower than average wages. An access of the poor to education and healt care worsened. A role of women is becoming harder and harder as they not only suffer from super-exploitation, but now also disproportionately from unemployment. Environment suffers from becoming a pool of cheap raw materials for the West. Racism against Roma minority has been flourishing, because the rulling class tolerated it as a handy way of diverting ordinary people's attention from their real problems and real enemies.
Because of this neo-liberal policy based on recipes from IMF/WB a crisis transfered from South-Eastern Asia to the Czech Republic in 1997. In the autumn of the same year 100.000 unionised workers protested in Prague against measures prescribed by IMF and a right wing government of Vaclav Klaus to cure the crisis. A threat of escalating class struggle sparked of an collapse of a right wing government and brought the Social-Democratic government of Milos Zeman to the power, because the Czech Social-Democratic Party was rejecting neo-liberalism of IMF/WB and was promising social justice.
However, the SD government has not done anything to immediately avert impacts of the neo-liberal policy and, on the contrary, it accepted this kind of policy for its own. IMF has been advising the government how to attract trans-national corporations' investments to the Czech Republic and WB is designing a plan of cuts on social spending. During two years unemployment has risen from 4% to 10% (500.000 people) and more than 60.000 workers are not paid for their labour or receive their wages iregularly. On the other hand a tiny propertied rulling class (3% of the population) has been developing, which controls a vast majority of a social wealth. Ilegal foreign workers, who were used by capitalists to supress wages of Czech workers in times of low unemployment, are now being deported back to the Ukraine, Russia or Belorussia, where capitalism in the head with IMF/WB left behind it even greater destruction than in our country. In the time when there is, for example, a lack of money for construction of housing for young working class families, the Czech government gave a state guarantee for a US dollar 60 million loan to rebuild a Congressional Centre, where the IMF/WB conference will take place and directly it provided another US dollar 16 million to facilitate the conference. It would be possible to build at lest 3400 of new first-rate flats for this money! But this is not in the interest of either imperialist powers of G-7, which dominate IMF/WB, or the Czech capitalist class. For them their own profits are much more important than needs of workers and the poor.
The Czech Republic is thus only another in the series of IMF/WB's successes. These are the successes for local and foreign capitalists, but for workers and the poor of the Third and the First world and for their environment they mean a total disaster. The capitalist globalisation is just a continuation of neo-colonialism, where imperialist states and their trans-national corporations suck an enormous wealth out of the Third world (including post-stalinist Eastern and Central Europe) and force their own workers to compete with workers of developing countries - ie. anti-social neo-liberal policy, which is used over here on the periphery, is implemented also in metropolitan countries. Thus in the years 1990-98 a total Third world debt risen from US dollar 1.66 trillion to US dollar 2.2 trillion. One billion of people all around the world is unemployed (ie. 30% of population). More than 4 billions of people live from a daily income less than 2 dollars. 17 millions of children die every year because of easily curable diseases. One third of inhabitants of the Third world will not reach the age of 40. 250 million children in developing countries have to slave for trans-national corporations to support their families. Meanwhile in EU unemployment is rising up to 10%. There are 50 millions of people living in poverty and 5 million of the homeless in EU. There are 30 millions of people in USA suffering malnutrition. And in the same time the 200 richest people of the Earth have bigger properties than combined incomes of 41% of the world's population.
This situation can not be changed by anything less than a global and internationalist revolutionary movement of workers and the poor, which will eliminate the capitalist system itself, because it is this system, what is responsible for social and environmental disasters of today. Nevertheless, it is worthy of organising protest to shut down IMF/WB and to cancel the Third world debt. For it is only through mass direct actions and practicing direct federalist democracy and autogestion of class struggles that such a revolutionary movement can be created. And an international mobilisation against flagships of the capitalist globalisation - IMF/WB - can be besides day-to-day class struggles on social and environmental fields can be an important means of growth of global proletariat's global self-organisation and self-consciousness. And it is primarily in a struggle, where an Anarchist alternative of a global stateless federation of libertarian socialist regions can assert itself.
We are Solidarita, a small group of Revolutionary Anarchists (Platformists) from the Czech Republic. Together with other Anarchist groups from our country we has initiated an anti-capitalist Campaign against IMF/WB and prepare for protests against the September conference. We believe that Seattle 1999 has to be continued, enlarged and deepened in Prague 2000. That is why we seek to build the Campaign against IMF/WB that would stand on the principles of direct action, direct federalist democracy and anti-capitalism. We call on unionised workers to bring their unions for the September 23 Day of Action to shut down IMF/WB and to stage a general strike on September 23. Some of our members are involved - but with critical reservations and only from practical purposes of voicing the Anarchist alternative and coordinating actions with a wider movement - in the Initiative Against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000, which is a technical tool for co-ordinating protests, exchange of information and for organising an international counter-summitt. We are also taking part in organising May Day 2000 against IMF/WB and the globalisation of capital in Prague and we are mobilising for this event. Now we call on you, class struggle anarchists, libertarian communists, revolutionary and radical unionists, anti-authoritarian (non-leninist and non-stalinist) revolutionaries from all over the world to join the September 23 International Day of Actions to shut down IMF/WB and subsequent protests. We call on you:
We ask you to join our resistance against IMF/WB in Prague 2000!
In solidarity Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists - Solidarita
1. We are looking for class struggle anarchist speakers for the broader counter-summitt. Please, if your organisation is interested in sending a speaker, let us know. We have to know in advance his/her name and and a topic he/she will be discussing.
2. Prague has not enough accomodation capacities to absorb 15.000 bankers and expected 20.000 protesters. We will try to book as much capacities in hostels as possible through the Initiative Against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000, but it will surely be insufficient. We suppose that a lot of protesters will have to stay in camping places. So, please, let us know how many of you will be coming to Prague. It would be better if you bring with you camping facilities (tents, sleeping bags etc.). Moreover, financial possibilities of the IAEG - Prague 2000 will be very limited, so it is possible that some of you will have to pay for your stay yourself.
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