cj#1018> Chossuvosky: SEATTLE AND BEYOND: DISARMING THE NEW WORLD ORDER

1999-11-25

Richard Moore

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Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 14:05:41 -0500
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Subject: Michel Chossuvosky:Disarming the NWO

        SEATTLE AND BEYOND: DISARMING THE NEW WORLD ORDER
by

Michel Chossudovsky

Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of The
Globalization of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, Third
World Network, Penang and Zed Books, London, 1997.


In preparing the Seattle Millennium meetings, Washington in consultation
with Brussels and the WTO in Geneva, is set on weakening and dividing
social movements and citizens' groups which have converged on Seattle from
all over the World. Meanwhile, local organisers are busy --together with
the FBI and the Seattle Police Department (SPD)-- in carefully planning
"security arrangements" for the official venue. An extensive police
apparatus has been set motion. Special Forces from the FBI, the CIA and
other federal agencies will be on the scene. "Trouble-makers" are to be
held at bay, well equipped riot police are on hand including Gang Squads
and SWAT teams of the Tactical Operations Divisions which constitute the
"more militarized components" of the police force.1 Everything has been put
in place to keep the Citizens' Summit physically removed from the
Ministerial Conference. As in previous counter-summits (Rio de Janeiro,
Madrid, Copenhagen, Beijing, etc.), the intent is to ensure that the
numerous protest meetings, teach-ins and mass rallies do not obstruct or in
any way threaten the legitimacy of the official venue. In Seattle, the
holding of parallel sessions by NGOs requires formal "accreditation" with
the Seattle Host Committee chaired by Microsoft's Bill Gates and Philip
Condit of The Boeing Company.

Several months ahead of time, the WTO and Western governments had called
for a "dialogue" with selected civil society organisations in setting the
agenda for the Millennium Round. "Partner NGOs", namely those "we can
trust" were provided with funds to travel and organize their respective
"teach-ins" in Seattle. Already last year, the WTO had announced a plan for
"an on-going collaboration with partner NGOs" while emphasising that the
WTO "recognizes the role NGOs can play to increase the awareness of the
public in respect of WTO activities".2 Similarly, the European Commission
had underscored its "commitment to transparency and openness in trade
policy-making".3

Carefully screened "partner NGOs" were invited to participate in a number
of preparatory "issue-specific" events. The European Commission held
several rounds of consultations with selected consumer, labour,
environmental and development organisations with a view to "to improve the
transparency of WTO meetings" including public access to WTO documents and
the creation of an WTO "information ombudsman".4 In the words of (former)
European Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan: "A Millennium round of trade
talks should not just benefit business. We can and should ensure that
Consumers and the environment also gain. The Commission has today opened a
dialogue with a wide cross-section of NGOs as it believes transparency and
openness are essential if a new round is to reap its full benefits. NGOs
are crucial partners in preparing for the negotiations that lie ahead." 5

THE COUNTER SUMMIT

Controlled and financed by official donors and research foundations, the
hidden agenda is to install a "politically correct" Citizens' Summit,
namely to ensure that the various teach-ins and public rallies in the
streets of Seattle conform to the dominant "counter discourse". The latter
consists in pressing for the inclusion of token environmental, labour and
human rights clauses, "poverty alleviation" schemes as well as
"institutional reforms" without defying the central role of trade
liberalisation.

The partner non-governmental organisations have, in this regard, already
committed themselves not to question "the legality" or legitimacy of the
WTO as an institution. Accredited NGO participants have been invited to
mingle in a friendly environment with ambassadors, trade ministers and Wall
Street tycoons at several of the official events including the numerous
cocktail parties and receptions. In turn, an (official) "WTO Sponsored NGO
Symposium" is to be held for chosen NGO participants one day before the
launching of the Ministerial Conference, with carefully worded opening
statements by WTO Director General Mike Moore and US Trade Secretary
Charlene Barshevsky.

In other words, the ploy in Seattle (supported by a lavish public relations
campaign) is to carefully diffuse an international mass movement directed
against the WTO and the powerful business syndicates which lie discretely
in the background. "Criticism yes, that's democratic", but the "free
market" system must prevail, the legitimacy of the institutions --including
their Geneva and Washington based bureaucracies-- must not be challenged...
In return, the official conference will accept to embody on behalf of the
"accredited" labour and civil society organisations, various token
environmental and other concessions in their main resolutions with a view
to providing a much needed "human face" to the WTO.

The Millennium Round meetings also purport to replicate the habitual
parallel "People's Summit" which now constitutes an integral component of
successive World venues. Repeated almost annually since the 1992 Rio
Environment Conference, the People's Summit while providing a forum for
critical debate, has over the years largely become "a ritual of dissent"
which largely leaves the official Summit unscathed.

The parallel P7 ("People's P7 Summit") at the G7 meetings in Cologne in
June 1999, for instance, was put together in consultation with the host
organisers of the official Summit, generously funded by the Heinrich Boell
Foundation which is an arm of the German Green Party controlled by Foreign
Minister Joschka Fisher. The structure of the Cologne P7 was geared towards
deflecting debate on controversial issues including the "humanitarian
bombings" of Yugoslavia... Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people from all
parts of Europe had gathered in the streets of Cologne under the umbrella
of the Jubilee Campaign. Their petition to unconditionally erase Third
World debt had been signed by more than 17 million people. World leaders
respectfully paid tribute to the Jubilee initiative, responding with empty
rhetorical commitments on debt reduction for the World's poorest countries.
The substantive proposal of the Campaign had been casually dismissed.

In Seattle, many of the accredited NGOs representing specific interests
(eg. environmental, labour, human rights, women's organisations, etc) will
be putting forth separate demands. There is evidence that several of the
key NGOs have been infiltrated by Western intelligence agencies. The
Counter-Summit is to be fragmented into a "mosaic" of secluded events
focussing on separate and distinct policy issues. The hidden agenda is to
enable each of these separate venues "to do their own thing" in a semblance
of "people's participation": the goal of the Seattle organisers is to mask
the truth, prevent the development of a mass movement, suppress real
democracy and uphold the authority of the institutions of the New World
Order.

In turn, the AFL-CIO joined by trade union bosses from around the World,
has called upon the WTO to "enforce minimum labour standards... in the
global market". Caving in to Washington's demands, Labour's buzz-word is to
"make the global economy work for working families".6 A carefully drafted
petition urges the Ministerial Conference to adopt "trade and investment
rules [which] protect workers' rights and the environment".7 The overall
legitimacy of the WTO and of US trade policy is not in question. In turn,
the AFL-CIO has been put in charge of the organisation of a mass rally
which usefully serves the purpose of deflecting the international protest
movement on the streets of Seattle...

In Seattle, the big divide will be between those who are genuinely opposed
to the New World Order and those "partner" civil society organisations
which have all the appearances of being "progressive" but which in fact are
creatures of the system. Often funded by their respective governments, they
form part of a politically correct "Opposition" which acts as "a
spokesperson for civil society". But who do they represent? Many of the
"partner NGOs" and lobby groups which frequently mingle with bureaucrats
and politicians, have few contacts with grass-roots social movements and
people's organisations. In the meantime, they serve to deflect the
articulation of "real" social movements against the New World Order.

This does not mean that "dialogue" with the WTO and the governments should
be ruled out as a means of negotiation. On the contrary, "lobbying" must be
applied vigorously in close liaison with constituent social movements. The
underlying results and information of these negotiations, however, must be
channelled with a view to reinforcing rather than weakening grass roots
actions. In other words, we should not allow "lobbying" to be conducted in
an isolated and secretive fashion by organisations which are "hand picked"
by the governments and the WTO.

A MORATORIUM ON LIBERALISATION NEGOTIATIONS

More than 1200 groups and organisations from more than 85 countries have
called for a "Moratorium" on further liberalisation under WTO auspices
including the holding of an "Audit" to be undertaken on the impacts of
globalisation. Their consensus statement ("Statement From Members of
International Civil Society Opposing A Millennium Round"): "oppose[s] any
further liberalisation negotiations, especially those which will bring new
areas under the WTO regime, such as investment, competition policy and
government procurement. We commit ourselves to campaign to reject any such
proposals. We also oppose the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. We call for a moratorium on any new
issues or further negotiations that expand the scope and power of the WTO.
During this moratorium there should be a comprehensive and in-depth review
and assessment of the existing agreements. Effective steps should then be
taken to change the agreements. Such a review should address the WTO's
impact on marginalised communities, development, democracy, environment,
health, human rights, labour rights and the rights of women and children.
The review must be conducted with civil society's full participation. The
Statement constitutes an important step in challenging the official Agenda.
It is based on a carefully worded consensus of a large number of individual
organisations.

ILLEGALITY OF THE WTO

Yet this important Statement in demanding a "Moratorium" on further
liberalisation negotiations, fails to question the legitimacy of the WTO as
an institution. And indeed this issue should have been included explicitly
in the Statement.

The Marrakesh Agreement of 1994 constitutes a blatant violation of
fundamental social, economic and cultural rights. The stakes in Seattle are
fundamental and cannot be addressed with a compromise Statement which
tacitly accepts the legitimacy of the WTO as an institution. The WTO was
put in place following the signing of a "technical agreement" negotiated
behind closed doors by bureaucrats. Even the heads of country level
delegations to Marrakesh in 1994 were not informed regarding the statutes
of the World Trade Organisation which were drafted in separate closed
sessions by technocrats.

"The Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral
Trade Negotiations", was signed by ministers in Marrakesh on 15 April 1994.
The Final Act is a "technical agreement" which instates the WTO as a World
body. "The WTO framework ensures a "single undertaking approach" to the
results of the Uruguay Round - thus, membership in the WTO entails
accepting all the results of the Round without exception."

Following the Marrakesh meeting, the 550 page Agreement (plus its numerous
appendices) was either rubber-stamped in a hurry or never formally ratified
by national parliaments. The articles of agreement of the WTO resulting
from this "technical agreement" were casually entrenched in international
law. In other words, the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement which instates the WTO as
a multilateral body, bypasses the democratic process in each of the member
countries. It blatantly derogates national laws and constitutions while
providing extensive powers to global banks and multinational corporations.
These powers have in fact become entrenched in the articles of agreement of
the WTO.

In other words, the process of actual creation of the WTO following the
Final Act of Uruguay Round is blatantly "illegal". Namely a "totalitarian"
intergovernmental body has been casually installed in Geneva, empowered
under international law with the mandate to "police" country level economic
and social policies, derogating the sovereign rights of national
governments. Similarly, the WTO almost neutralises "with the stroke of the
pen" the authority and activities of several agencies of the United Nations
including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Moreover, the articles of WTO are no only in contradiction with
pre-existing national and international laws, they are also in at variance
with "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights". Acceptance of the WTO as
a legitimate organisation is tantamount to an "indefinite moratorium" or
repeal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Moreover, apart from the blatant violation of international law, WTO rules
provide legitimacy to trade practices which border on criminality,
including "intellectual piracy" by MNCs, the derogation of plant breeders
rights, not to mention genetic manipulation by the biotechnology giants,
the patenting of life forms including plants, animals, micro-organisms,
genetic material and human life forms under the TRIPs agreement.

In the sphere of financial services, the provisions of the GATS provide
legitimacy to large scale financial and speculative manipulations directed
against developing countries which are often conducive to the demise of
country-level monetary policy.

And the WTO Dispute Settlement Procedures upholds the legitimacy of these
various manipulative procedures...

THE BALANCE SHEET OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DESTRUCTION

Amply documented, humanity is undergoing in the post-Cold War era an
economic and social crisis of unprecedented scale leading to the rapid
impoverishment of large sectors of the World population. National economies
are collapsing, unemployment is rampant; Wall Street banks are "taking over
countries" one after the other;  regional wars have erupted along strategic
gas-oil pipelines and often behind the various "insurgencies" are powerful
corporate interests which coincidentally are also lobbying for trade
reform... In most countries the standard of living has collapsed...

This Worldwide crisis of the late twentieth century is more devastating
than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has far-reaching geo-political
implications; economic dislocation has also been accompanied by the
outbreak of regional conflicts, the fracturing of national societies and in
some cases the destruction of entire countries. This crisis is by no means
limited to the developing countries. In Europe and North America the
Welfare State is being dismantled, schools and hospitals are being closed
down creating conditions for the outright privatisation of social services.
By far this is the most serious economic crisis in modern history.

In a large number of developing countries, the services economy and banking
are already in the hands of foreign capital, peasant economies have been
devastated as a result of the dumping of EU and US grain surpluses.
Genetically modified seeds produced among others by Cargill and Montsanto
(together with carefully engineered farm inputs produced by these same
agribusiness conglomerates) have been forced upon farmers throughout the
World often leading to mass poverty and the fracture of rural economies,
not to mention the contamination of the food chain derogating the rights of
consumers Worldwide.

In turn, international agribusiness is intent upon driving the family farm
into bankruptcy. This process is by no means limited to developing
countries: up to 30 percent of grain farmers in Western Canada are on the
verge of bankruptcy specifically as a result of the enforcement of WTO
provisions concerning farm subsidies by the Canadian government. And if
this is happening in Western Canada which constitutes one of the World's
most resourceful "bread baskets", what will be the fate of farmers in other
regions of World?

CHINA'S ACCESSION TO THE WTO

The terms of China's accession to the WTO agreed upon in bilateral
negotiations with the United States barely a few weeks before the
Ministerial Conference in Seattle, spells havoc in a country of more than
one billion population. It will devastate China's agriculture; it will
trigger a deadly wave of bankruptcies of State enterprises leading to mass
unemployment. The provision of "national treatment" to Western banks could
potentially precipitate the fracture of the entire structure of Chinese
State banking...

The Chinese authorities fully aware of the ramifications, have attempted in
a publicity stunt to convince Chinese public opinion that "the benefits
from the agreement would justify the job losses and bankruptcies it will
cause".8 In the words of China's chief WTO negotiator Mr. Long Yongtu "a
nation cannot develop and become strong without a sense of urgency and a
sense of crisis."9

ANALYSING AND EVALUATING THE NEW WORLD ORDER

In the face of global economic and social devastation, is an (official)
"Audit" really required as put forth in the "Statement From Members of
International Civil Society" to ascertain what is happening? Some of the
NGO critics --including the trade unions-- involved in the dialogue with
the WTO argue that there are both "positive" and "negative" impacts of
trade liberalisation. This position is ambiguous: the devastating impacts
of "globalisation" are already known and documented, the NGO community has
already produced a wealth of critical analysis and research. Moreover, the
audit proposal accepts the legitimacy of the WTO, it presupposes that there
are mistakes and "lets talk and put this system on hold" for a few years
"while we re-evaluate".

Do we need an Audit to ascertain "whether or not" the World is in crisis?
And by whom will this Audit be performed and for whom? The key "partner
NGOs" have already positioned themselves to undertake the relevant
commissioned background studies. Many of the organisations which signed and
endorsed the "Statement" were unaware that the Audit with part of the
"Dialogue" with the WTO and Western governments. And these research
contracts performed "sector by sector" in a "politically correct" fashion
according to pre-established guidelines set by the funding agencies will
take several years to complete.

The conduct of an Audit has already been accepted by the European Union in
its consultations with the NGOs. Former European Commissioner Sir Leon
Brittan, on behalf of the European Union had in fact proposed in 1998, "the
commissioning of a study on the impact of the new Round on sustainable
development" (European Commission, op. cit). In other words, the Audit is
also part of the official agenda of the Seattle Round. In the meantime,
while the Audit is being conducted, economic, social and environmental
destruction will continue unabated.

THE MILLENIUM ROUND IS ALREADY "DE FACTO"

What happens to the World system does not depend solely on the results of
the Millenium Round. We must understand that in many developing countries,
many of the clauses of the Millenium Round are already a "fait accompli".
The are part of the "conditionalities contained in ad hoc loan agreements
with the IMF and the World Bank. Under the structural adjustment programme
as well as in the context of the IMF sponsored "bailout agreements" (eg.
Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Brazil), developing countries have already
committed themselves to many of the propositions contained in the Millenium
Round.

Moreover, the hands of Third World delegates to Seattle are tied, the vote
of most of the trade ministers from developing countries at the Seattle
Ministerial Conference is controlled by Western creditors. It is unlikely
that much opposition will be voiced from the official delegations from
developing countries.

Many developing countries have accepted in the context of agreements signed
with the Bretton Woods instititions to liberalise trade, deregulate capital
movements, privatise State public utilities, dismantle social programmes
and provide "national treatment" to foreign investors in a large number of
economic activities including services, banking, procurement, etc. These
provisions are often coupled with a "bankruptcy programme" under the
supervision of the World Bank with a view to "triggering" the liquidation
of competing national enterprises. An "enabling free market environment" is
implanted (without recourse to WTO clauses pertaining to "effective access
to markets"), national producers are brutally displaced and destroyed,
countries are casually recolonised...

Wall Street bankers and the heads of the World's largest business
conglomerates are indelibly behind this process. They interface regularly
with IMF, World Bank and WTO officials in closed sessions as well as in
numerous international venues. Moreover, participating in these meetings
and consultations are the representatives of powerful global business
lobbies including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), The Trans
Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) (which brings together in its annual
venues the leaders of the largest Western business conglomerates with
politicians and WTO officials), the United States Council for International
Business (USCIB), the Davos World Economic Forum, the Institute of
International Finance representing the World's largest banks and financial
institutions, etc. Other "semi-secret" organisations --which play an
important role in shaping the institutions of the New World Order--
include the Trilateral Commission, the Bildebergers and the Council on
Foreign Relations.

FINANCIAL DEREGULATION

To top it off, "perfect timing": the deregulation of the US banking system
was approved by the US Senate barely six weeks before the Millennium Round
meetings in Seattle. The new legislation favours an unprecedented
concentration of global financial power. In the wake of lengthy
negotiations which concluded in the early hours of October 22nd, all
regulatory restraints on Wall Street's powerful banking conglomerates were
revoked "with a stroke of the pen". Under the new rules ratified by the US
Senate and approved by President Clinton, commercial banks, brokerage
firms, hedge funds, institutional investors, pension funds and insurance
companies can freely invest in each others businesses as well as fully
integrate their financial operations. The legislation has repealed the
Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, a pillar of President Roosevelt's "New Deal"
which was put in place in response to the climate of corruption, financial
manipulation and "insider trading" which led to more than 5,000 bank
failures in the years following the 1929 Wall Street crash.10

In other words, a handful of financial conglomerates will gain effective
control over the entire US financial services industry. Coincidentally
these same Wall Street financial giants are also the main beneficiaries of
financial services' deregulation under the General Agreement on Trade in
Services (GATS) which provides "national treatment" to Wall Street's giants
in banking, insurance, brokerage services, actuarial services, etc. The
GATS is almost "tailor-made" to meet the standards set under the new US
financial services legislation. The financial giants oversee the real
economy Worldwide, they are creditors and shareholders of high tech
manufacturing, the defence industry, major oil and mining consortia, etc.
Moreover, as underwriters of the public debt, they also have a stranglehold
on national governments and politicians. Ultimately, they also call the
shots on trade reform in Seattle.

Moreover, the clauses of the defunct MAI which was to provide "national
treatment" to foreign banks and MNCs (leading to the dislocation of
municipalities and local governments) is also in the process of becoming a
"fait accompli". The financial conglomerates are now fully integrated with
the insurance companies. In turn,  the latter oversee and control the
multinational health care providers which are actively lobbying in Seattle
for the deregulation of public health care under the GATS. The institutions
of the Welfare State are to be scrapped. The struggles of the entire
post-war period are to be erased.

The Worldwide scramble to appropriate wealth through "financial
manipulation" is the driving force behind this restructuring of the global
financial architecture of which the new US banking legislation and the
"Seattle Round" are an integral part. In concert with the WTO, the US
legislation favours the elimination of remaining barriers to the free
movement of finance capital. In practice it empowers Wall Street's key
players including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, J. P, Morgan, Deutsche
Bank-Bankers Trust, etc. to develop a hegemonic position in global banking
overshadowing and ultimately destabilising financial systems in Asia, Latin
America and Eastern Europe... and this process is ongoing irrespective of
the actual outcome of the Millenium Round.

THE SPECULATIVE ONSLAUGHT

In turn, financial deregulation in the US allows speculative trade to
prosper Worldwide in a totally permissive environment. In turn, the
Millenium Round by calling for the deregulation of capital movements will
provide greater legitimacy to speculative trade thereby empowering Wall
Street to extend its global financial domain.

Institutional control over the channels of speculative trade provides the
US and EU financial giants with the tools to manipulate currency and stock
markets and impair the role of central banks. The ultimate objective is to
take control over the reigns of monetary policy and oversee financial
markets all over the World. In the 1997 Asian crisis alone, more than 100
billion dollars were confiscated in a matter of months from the vaults of
Asia's central banks; similar speculative assaults were carried out in
Russia in 1998 and in Brazil in 1999. Derivative and option trade including
the "short selling" of national currencies were behind these assaults
leading to massive debt default and financial collapse. Well documented,
the IMF played a key role in facilitating the speculative onslaught on
behalf of Western and Japanese financial institutions.

In a cruel irony, the use of these deadly speculative instruments  was
formally legitimised in the Fifth Protocol of the General Agreement on
Trade in Services (GATS) in the immediate wake of the Asian crisis. Totally
disregarding the impending dangers, the GATS protocol negotiations
coincided chronologically (October 1997) with the climactic meltdown of
stock markets all over the World.


WAR AND GLOBALISATION

And War is also part of the Millennium Round. What happens to countries
which refuse to deregulate trade and foreign investment and provide
"national treatment" to Western banks and MNCs? The Western
military-intelligence apparatus and its various bureaucracies routinely
interface with the financial establishment. The IMF, the World Bank and the
WTO --which "police" country level economic reforms-- also collaborate with
NATO in its various "peacekeeping" endeavours, not to mention the financing
of "post-conflict" reconstruction under the auspices of the Bretton Woods
institutions...

At the dawn of the Third Millennium, War and the "Free Market" go hand in
hand. War does not require a multilateral investment treaty (ie. an MAI)
entrenched in international law: "War is the MAI of last resort." War
physically destroys what has not been dismantled through deregulation,
privatisation and the imposition of "free market" reforms. Outright
colonisation through war and the installation of Western protectorates is
tantamount to providing "national treatment" to Western banks and MNCs in
all sectors of activity. "Missile diplomacy" replicates and emulates the
"gunboat diplomacy" used to enforce "free trade" in the 19th Century. The
US Cushing Mission to China in 1844 (in the wake of the Opium Wars) had
forewarned the Chinese imperial government "that refusal to grant American
demands might be regarded as an invitation to war."11 The "Seattle Round"
purports to "peacefully" recolonise countries through the manipulation of
market forces, --ie. through the "invisible hand". It nonetheless
constitutes a form of warfare.

More generally, the dangers of war must be understood. War and
globalisation are not separate issues. The citizens' campaign against the
WTO must be integrated with the anti-war movement against the bombing of
sovereign countries by the US and its European allies.

DISARMING THE NEW WORLD ORDER

The WTO created from a "technical agreement" (Final Act of the Uruguay
Round) provides entrenched "legal" rights to banks and global corporations.
In turn the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement sets up procedures --including
manipulative Dispute Settlements-- which are now conveniently embodied in
international law but which blatantly violate the rights of citizens all
over the World.

Under WTO rules, the banks and MNCs can legitimately manipulate market
forces to their advantage leading to the outright recolonisation of
national economies. In other words, the WTO articles provide legitimacy to
global banks and MNCs in their quest to destabilise institutions, drive
national producers into bankruptcy and ultimately take control of entire
countries.

Moreover, the Agreement formally instates a "triangular division of
authority" between the WTO, and its sister organisations the IMF and the
World Bank in a system of "global surveillance" of developing countries'
economic and social policies. This means that enforcement of IMF-World Bank
policy prescriptions will no longer hinge upon ad hoc country-level loan
agreements (which are not "legally binding" documents). All the main
clauses of the IMF's deadly "economic medicine" will eventually become
permanently entrenched under the Seattle Millenium Round. Countries will
not only be "bonded" by external debt, they will be permanently "enslaved"
by an international body controlled by the World's largest business
syndicates. These WTO articles will set the foundations for "policing"
countries (and enforcing "conditionalities") according to international law.

In other words, we must act in relation to the original "iniquity" and
"illegality" of the Final Act of the Uruguay Round which creates the WTO as
a "totalitarian" organisation. There can be no other alternative but to
reject the WTO as an international institution, to imprint the WTO as an
illegal organisation. In other words, the entire process must be rejected
outright.

And this means that citizens' movements around the World must pressure
their governments to withdraw without delay and cancel their membership
with the WTO. Legal proceedings must also be initiated in national courts
against the governments of member countries, underscoring the blatant
violation of domestic laws and national constitutions.

In other words, the citizens' platform in Seattle and around the World must
be geared towards disarming this economic system and dismantling its
institutions. We cannot postpone our struggle and "wait a few years" in the
context of an "Audit" and meanwhile the World is consumed and destroyed. We
must act now. We must question the legitimacy of a system which ultimately
destroys people's lives.

We must challenge politicians and international officials, we must unmask
their insidious links to powerful financial interests and eventually we
must overhaul and transform State institutions removing them from the
clutch of the finacial establishment. In turn, we must "democratise" the
economic system and its management structure, challenge the blatant
concentration of ownership and private wealth, disarm financial markets,
freeze  speculative trade, arrest the laundering of dirty money, dismantle
the system of offshore banking, redistribute income and wealth, restore the
rights of direct producers, rebuild the Welfare State.

Concurrently, we must also build the conditions for a lasting World peace.
The military-industrial and security apparatus which sustains these
financial interests must eventually be dismantled, which also means that we
must abolish NATO and phase out the arms industry.

We must combat the "media lies" and "global falsehoods" which uphold the
WTO and the powerful business interests which it supports. We must combat
the "false consensus" of Washington and Wall Street which ordains the "free
market system " as the only possible choice on the fated road to a "global
prosperity".  This consensus is now shared by all political parties
including Social Democrats.

To achieve these objectives we must restore a meaningful freedom of the
press. The global media giants fabricate the news and overtly distorts the
course of World events. In turn, we must break the "false consciousness"
which pervades our societies, prevents critical debate and masks the truth.
Ultimately , it precludes a collective understanding of the workings of an
economic system which destroys people's lives. The only promise of the
"free market" is a World of landless farmers, shuttered factories, jobless
workers and gutted social programmes with "bitter economic medicine" under
the WTO and the IMF constituting the only prescription. We must restore the
truth, we must reinstate sovereignty to our countries and to the people of
our countries.

The struggle must be broad-based and democratic encompassing all sectors of
society at all levels, in all countries, uniting in a major thrust workers,
farmers, independent producers, small businesses, professionals, artists,
civil servants, members of the clergy, students and intellectuals. People
must be united across sectors, "single issue" groups must join hands in a
common and collective understanding on how this economic system destroys
and impoverishes. The "globalisation" of this struggle is fundamental,
requiring a degree of solidarity and internationalism unprecedented in
World history. The global economic system feeds on social divisiveness
between and within countries. Beyond Seattle, unity of purpose and
Worldwide coordination among diverse groups and social movements is
crucial. A major thrust is required which brings together social movements
in all major regions of the world in a common pursuit and commitment to the
elimination of poverty and a lasting World peace.



NOTES


1. The latter frequently position snipers at key positions. See Paul Richmond,
"An Assessment of the Police, What to expect during the Seattle Ministerial
Conference", http://forward.to/walkout, September 1999.

2. WTO Press Release, Ruggiero Announces Enhanced WTO Plan for Cooperation With
NGOs, 17 July 1998.

3. European Commission Press Release, "Commission and NGOs hold dialogue on the
Millennium Round", Brussels, 17 November 1998.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. See AFL-CIO, Make the Global economy Work for Working familiies,
http://www.wslc.org/wto/index.htm, Ocotber 1999.


7. Ibid.

8. Financial Times, London, 17 November 1999).

9. Quoted in Financial Times, op cit.

10. See Martin McLaughlin, "Clinton Republicans agree to Deregulation of US
Banking System", World Socialist website, 1 November 1999.

11. Quoted in Michel Chossudovsky, Towards Capitalist Restoration, Chinese
socialism after Mao, Macmillan, London, 1986, p. 134).



C Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, 1999. All rights reserved.
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Attachment Converted: c:eudoraattachseattle1.rtf
 Michel Chossudovsky

    Department of Economics,
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