[OPE-L:6915] [OPE-L:405] Peoples' Global Action Against "Free" Trade & the WTO

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sun, 3 Jan 1999 08:31:24 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 13:01:34 +0200
From: Ilan Shalif <gshalif@netvision.net.il>


Actions in Europe - May-June 1999


Several hundred activists from all over the world will come to Europe in
May-June 1999, to participate in actions against the most important
centres of power of the continent (like headquarters of TNCs, banks,
institutions, parliaments, etc), and meet groups from different countries.

The timing of their visit will coincide with two major political events: the
summit of heads of state of the European Union and the summit of heads
of state of the G8 (USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Italy and Russia).
The G8 meeting, which marks the end of the visit, will be the highest point of
the project, and will coincide with other initiatives going on at the same time,
such as actions in financial centres all over the world. The worldwide actions
on June 18th, marking the G8 Summit, will be co-ordinated and discussed in
the email discussion list <J18discussion@gn.apc.org>.

Since this project was originally conceived in India (by KRRS, the biggest
farmers' movement of that country), a large share of the activists coming
will be Indian farmers, but the programme is open for activists from all over
the world and different social sectors to join it. It is anticipated that there will
be about 500 activists from India, and about 100 from other countries.

At the end of this project proposal there is the route of the visit. This has
been put together in consultation with various organisations from around the
world, and was finalised after a European wide coordination meeting in the
end of December. Some small details of tyhe itienary might still have to be changed.

Another important point is that we encourage the active participation in this project
of many groups from the whole continent, and not only from the cities and countries
that will be part of the itinerary. There are different ways in which groups in other cities

and countries can participate; there are more details about this at a later point in this
project proposal.


a) The political contents of the project are (in order of importance):

(1) Global policy-making (with particular emphasis on the push for "free" trade and
economic globalisation), with actions at G8 meeting, EU summit, WTO HQ, EU
commission, several national parliaments, etc.
(2) TNCs and transnational capital, with actions at several TNC HQ, at corporate
lobbies (European Roundtable of Industialists, Europabio, International Chamber
of Commerce, World Economic Forum), and at financial centers (stock exchange
markets, big banks, Central European Bank, etc).
(3) Agribusiness, Green Revolution, Biotechnology, and Patents on Life, with actions
at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the European Parliament and Commission
, Europabio, Cargill, Monsanto, Novartis, Nestle, etc.
(4) 3rd World Debt, with actions at the G8 meeting, private banks (eg the United Bank
of Switzerland), and public institutions (like national parliaments).
(5) Militarism and nuclear issues, with actions at the NATO European HQ and the
monument to nuclear energy in Brussels.

For all these issues, common positions, based on the PGA manifesto
(see: <http://www.agp.org>), will be developed by the activists involved in the programme.
There will be at least two separate statements for the Caravan-one from Indian activists,
and one from European activists. The discussion process should be finished by the end of

b) The main objectives and guidelines of the project are:

(1) Bringing the political contents close to people's lives in all the places where actions
will take place.
(2) Encouraging as many as possible to get actively involved in the preparation and
realisation of the actions and to remain active in confrontational non-violent action
in these issues after the project. In order to have as much direct contact with the local
population and groups as possible, local hosts are encouraged to organise public
events, of the kind that they like (speeches, picnics, parties, etc). Also, meetings with
local organisations are an essential part of the Caravan, in order to take contact and
get to know what is being done at the different cities.
(3) Promoting more contact and co-operation between all the organisations (from
Europe and other continents) involved in the project
(4) Attracting local, national and international media attention on the political
contents of the programme. Strengthening and building up new autonomous media.
Preparing press conferences everywhere is highly encouraged as well as inviting
the media to all actions. There should be local press offices and a central press
office, during the Caravan itself, in permanent contact with the local press offices
and the media spokespersons in the Caravan. We will invite journalists to join the
(5) Preparing the field for the days of action against the WTO during the third
Ministerial Conference in fall 1999.
(6) Promoting non-violent direct action and civil disobedience as tools for political
change. ) All actions have to be non-violent, and respect public property and small
businesses. The actions should also not put foreign activists at risk of being arrested
(unless they want to be).

c) Logististics and funding:

1) The travel within Europe will be in restored buses that have been renovated
by activists sympathetic to the aims of the Caravan. All labour will be
voluntary, including the drivers of the buses. Not all of the participants
will be in the same place at the same time. There will be side trips, involving
smaller numbers, which run in parallel to the main route of the tour. This way
the participation is broadened throughout Europe.
2) The accommodation can take place in squatted houses, private houses, sports
halls, churches, farms and similar places. If it takes place in big rooms (e.g.
basketball courts or churches) the rooms should be separated by sex.
3) The food will be provided by the local hosts in co-operation with a mobile
kitchen collective. Most of the Indian participants are vegetarian, and they will
bring their own spices and be in the position to cook their food if some basic
raw materials (rice, lentils, etc) and pots and pans are provided locally.
4) The travel expenses to Europe are borne by the organisations or activists
from other continents (or by funders that they might find).
5) All the expenses during the caravan itself will be paid for from Europe for
the 600 invited activists from the South and Central and Eastern European
countries. Participants from Western Europe, North America and other rich
countries are encouraged to participate, but will have to arrange and pay for
all their own accommodation, transport, and food.
6) The funding for the costs during the caravan will be raised both by the
European co-ordinating group, which is based in Leiden, Netherlands, and
also in a decentralised manner by local groups involved in the Caravan. All
involved local groups in Europe will make efforts to raise money to cover
their local costs (eg food, accommodation, publicity etc), and will also be
expected to make an effort to contribute to the central costs: costs of buses,
European Co-ordination office, and media work, although this will also be the
task of the European coordination office.

d) Process and Participation:

1) The idea for the Caravan originated in India, but has been discussed, and
approved as a PGA action, by the Convenors Committee of the PGA.
The Convenors' Committee is made up of the following organisations:
Black Communities' Process (Colombia), Canadian Union of Postal Workers,
Committee of Female Workers of El Salvador, Confederation of Education
Workers of Argentina, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador,
Maori Independence Movement (Aoteoroa - New Zealand), National Alliance
of People's Movements (India), Reclaim the Streets! London (UK), Rural
Organisation for Mutual Help (Mozambique), Socio-Ecological Union
(federation of more than 200 groups in different countries, mainly in Central
and Eastern Europe).

2) At least four preparatory meetings will be held in Europe to discuss the
project. The first one was held from the 30th of October - 1st of November
in Cologne, Germany, the second one was in Leiden, Holland, on the 19th and
20th December, and the third one will be in Bern, Switzerland, on the 20th and
21st of February. There will also be several preparation meetings in India, for
Indian activists involved in the caravan. Besides these meetings, all local hosts
are encouraged to send one person to the 2nd PGA conference in Bangalore,
which many of the Indian participants (and maybe also other non-European
participants) of the project will be attending. A co-ordination meeting will
take place there since it will be the only occasion when a substantial number
of participants and hosts will meet before the programme starts.

3) For the groups and persons who live in the cities that are part of the schedule,
being involved in this project means to organise:

(1) accommodation and food (see above),
(2) local actions and meetings and other activities.
(3) local press work in co-ordination with the other press offices (see above).
(4) fundraising

Since all these tasks are a big burden for one single local organisation, local
welcoming committees with different organisations, collectives and indivi
duals are being formed all across Europe.

4) Groups and persons from places which are not in the draft schedule can
also participate in the programme, no matter whether they live in Europe
or other continents, and their participation is very much encouraged. There
are at least five forms of participation that are possible:

(1) Spreading information about the project.
(2) Encouraging local people to join the programme at least during some time.
Food, accomodation, and transport costs for Europeans will have to be borne by
themselves, since it is unrealistic to arrange these things.
(3) Inviting a part of the group to visit your town for some days (even if there
are no major centres of power to do actions at).
(4) Organising fundraising events for the project (parties, etc) and spreading
the call for donations.
(5) Organising actions during the G8-meeting (18-20 June 1999), which is
the highest point of the programme. (To join the list discussion list about the
actions during G8-meeting <J18discussion@gn.apcd.org>, send an e-mail with
“SUBSCRIBE J18DISCUSSION <your address>“ to the address

e) Programme of the project:
This itinerary was developed and finalised in a participatory manner in
European wide co-oordination meetings. There will be two main routes
about the equal size, and one additional sidetrip of one bus visiting
some Eastern European countries. Further details, including specific
actions and meetings, will be finalised by the end of February.

Date & Place Where Caravan will go 2. Route + Additional sidetrip
Sat 22 May *Arrival in Amsterdam,Netherlands.
Sun 23 May-Thu 27 May *Meetings and actions around the Netherlands (whole Caravan).
Thu 27 - Sat 29 May *Meetings and actions in Belgium. *Part of the Caravan to London.
*1 bus meets Geld oder For Mother Earth Peace Camp. Leben Caravan, Germany.
Sun 30 May *Travel to France, re-unification of mainroutes in Paris. *Berlin.
Mon 31 June-Tue 1 June *Meetings and actions in Paris. * Meetings and actions in
Wed 2 June *Travel to Italy, arrival in Milan. *Part of the Caravan to Cologne, Poznan, Poland.
Germany, for the EU summit (Thu 3 June-Fri 4 June).
Thu 3 June *Meetings in Milan. *Meetings and actions in Czech Republic.
Sat 5 June *Actions in Rome. *Meetings and actions in Northern France.
Sun 6 June *Anti-globalisation meeting in Verone. *Meetings and days of rest in Munich,
Mon 7 June *Actions in Milan.
Tue 8 June *Travel to Switzerland, re-unification of the whole Caravan in Geneva.
Wed 9 June *Action and meetings in Geneva.
Thu 10 June-Sun 13 June *Meetings and Actions in Switzerland. * Part of the Caravan to Southern
Mon 14 June *Re-unification of the whole Caravan in Basel, Germany, with actions and meetings.
Tue 15 June-Wed 16 June *Travel through Southern Germany with meetings and actions on the way.
Thu 17 June *Arrival in Cologne, Germany.
Fri 18 June-Sat 19 June *G8 Summit in Cologne (June 18, international day of action against the
centers of
Sun 20 June *Depart from Amsterdam.

DRAFT LIST OF ACTIONS (There may still be substantial changes)

1. Shell Headquarters (Netherlands)
2. European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) (Belgium)
3. EU Commission (Belgium)
4. Europa Bio (Belgium)
5. Monsanto Headquarters (Belgium)
6. NATO (Belgium)
7. Monument to Nuclear Power (Belgium)
8. Food and Agriculture Organization (Italy)
9. Milan Stock Exchange (Italy)
10. World Trade Organization (Switzerland)
11. World Economic Forum Headquarters (Switzerland)
12. Cargill Headquarters (Switzerland)
13. Nestle Headquarters (Switzerland)
14. Novartis Headquarters (Switzerland)
15. United Bank of Switzerland (Switzerland)
16. Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (France)
17. International Chamber of Commerce (France)
18. European Union Summit (Germany)
19. G8 Summit (Germany)
20. European Central Bank (Germany)

This list of actions is still only a framework to work with. The definitive list
will be put together in dialogue with the local welcoming committees that are
going to prepare the actions and organise food and lodging. All actions have to
be in line with the objectives, political contents and positions of the project.

For more information about the Caravan please contact
PGA Caravan c/o POBOX 2228, 2301 CE Leiden, NL
Tel/Fax +31-(0)71-517 3094 (phone first to send fax), E-mail:
Web page: <http://stad.dsl.nl/~caravan>


Also, one more time,
it is maybe good to point out, that people from the
rich western countries have to pay and organise everything for
themselves, and for the people outside Europe there are only very
limited amount of spaces, so we have to keep to somekinds of quatas
according to different areas, movements, gender etc... But everybody who
is able to organise their travel, accomondation and food themselves is
very wellcome to join in !