Last updated: 6.Nov.2001 - midnite
Hell No to the WTO!

All out for Nov. 9!

  On Nov. 9th representatives of world capitalism gather at the Doha, Qatar meeting of the WTO.  They'll formalize new agreements related to world trade while remaining divided on several issues.  But whatever is agreed upon or not agreed upon, they will further attack the world's working people and their environment.  Millions know this, and on that same day, masses of people all over the world will rise up to denounce the WTO and its predatory neoliberal policies. In Seattle several groups are organizing a 11 a.m. protest at SCCC (Broadway and Pine).  We urge you to attend.    

  The international movement against the WTO includes various political trends with contradictory ideas and slogans.  A very pervasive one (which the main Seattle Nov. 9 organizers uphold) promotes "fair trade" as a solution to the problems of capitalism.  It’s main source is the AFL-CIO officials. From their narrow and conservative viewpoint they raise the issues of workers’ rights, labor standards, and environmental protection, but rather than emphasizing that such reforms can only be won or defended through developing the class struggles on the particular issues, they seek market solutions enforced by their own government and/or the WTO itself(!): "fair trade" rules.  Naturally those capitalists whom the rules favored would fatten themselves while those whom the rules went against would suffer losses or be wiped out entirely.  And the workers in industries forced under by the new rules would be unemployed (and especially if they're "foreign" workers, the AFL-CIO leaders care little about this).  Still, it would be a great thing if the WTO, World Bank, IMF, etc., were forced to make their capitalist brothers who employ sweatshop labor with no rights, atrociously ruin nature, etc., to either pay higher wages, grant their workers the right to organize, stop polluting, etc., or go out of business.  But such forcing could only be done by a much more powerful movement than the anti-globalization movement is today.  And to have the necessary militancy and resolve it would need the consciousness that the higher worldwide labor and environmental standards for which it was fighting could never overcome the fundamental economic laws of the capitalist system of production.  These laws dictate that the working class must be beaten down and the environment ruined.  To overcome them capitalism must be overcome.  The AFL-CIO’s "fair trade" slogan undermines the development of such a consciousness.  We should struggle to develop it.  While organizing resistance to the brutal effects of neoliberal free trade we should raise that the ultimate issue is not free trade vs. "fair trade", but no trade, that is a different world economy, one planned by the masses of people, one that’s in control, one that doesn’t require money, markets and trade at all.

  The WTO is dominated by the big imperialist powers who use it as a tool to legally enforce world trading agreements which work in their interests.  But imperialism means domination (economic, cultural, political and military), and the WTO is just one of its tools.  While the gentile U.S. and British trade ministers cut their deals in Qatar U.S. and British armed forces will be continuing their cruel and cynical destruction of Afghanistan.  No one knows how many hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people will ultimately die as a result.  But the ends justify the means according to imperialist philosophy.  And the underlying ends revolve around defense of oil profits, ensuring political arrangements in the Middle East and South and Central Asia are not upset, etc.  Bin Laden is a terrorist and the Taliban represents medieval thugs, but this "war against terrorism" is based in "grander" aims than just putting down some upstarts in the terrorist game.  Meanwhile, from Rome to Washington the capitalist politicians are struggling to link the movement against imperialist globalization and the WTO to "terrorism".  Thus it's only natural that on Nov. 9 there will be slogans raised against the U.S. campaign of terror against Afghanistan.  The anti-war and anti-WTO movements both confront avaricious imperialism.

  Come to the November 9 protest and help build the movement against imperialism!

Seattle Anti-imperialist Alliance -- November 6, 2001