Free trade or slave trade? How the EU's free trade agreements in Colombia and Peru reward human rights abuses, destroy livelihoods, promote land grabbing and strip governments of their sovereignty to regulate capital flows.
The neoliberal FTAs pursued by the EU with Colombia and Peru threaten to exacerbate human rights abuses - which include killings of trade unionists, forced expropriations of indigenous people from land, and environmental destruction - for the sake of corporate profit.
South Africa is playing a significant role in supporting and extending the power of the World Trade Organisation, a new system of global government. This not only entails South Africa surrendering its own policy-making rights and space, but also means bargaining away the South African peoples’ democratic rights to determine their country’s internal economic, environmental, social and cultural policies.
Call to all the social networks and organisations, trades unions, political forces and civil society movements to join the Peoples' Alternative Summit in defense of peoples' sovereignty, human rights, participatory democracy, labour rights, the rights of women and indigenous peoples, social justice, the defense of the environment in the face of climate change, and the establishment of peace.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".
Today, just as faith in deregulated markets has evaporated in the nightmare on Wall Street, so too is the long reign of market fundamentalism (or neoliberalism) ending in the development arena. And, a debate over the best route to development has returned.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
Dark Victory reveals the roots of rising poverty and inequality in the South in a sweeping strategy of global economic rollback unleashed by the US to shore up the North's domination of the international economy and reassert corporate control.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.