25 Aug 2006

Think Global and Act Local

With the ongoing debate over whether or not the civil society groups should or should not be allowed to protest on the streets of Singapore it seems that the wishes and aims of these organisations have been kept out of the ensuing debate. With the police arguing that protests could be used to further the activities of 'terrorists', the civil society groups deciding to move their protest to Batam, and the WB/IMF asking the police to allow the protests it is probably time to ask what do these groups desire to such an extent to go to such great lengths?

Jubilee South
Call for Global Actions Against International Financial Institutions
For more than sixty years, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank together with their partner regional development banks and export credit agencies, have used international finance capital to exercise control and restructure the societies of the South to serve the interests of global private corporations and the economic and geo-political agenda of the few powerful nations that control these institutions. The resulting effects on people's lives, on communities, on the environment, and on the economic as well as political structures in the South have been profound and over the years have generated numerous resistance struggles against these institutions.

Despite well-documented evidence and countless testimonies to the destruction, displacement and dispossession their policies and operations have caused, these institutions persist in legitimizing their role. In recent years they have declared themselves to be champions of "poverty reduction" and "good governance."

This year, 2006, we pledge to intensify our struggles against these institutions and raise the level of international coordination and concerted action. In particular, we commit to organizing different forms of mobilization and direct action in many countries across the globe during the week of the IMF and WB Annual Meetings, September 14-20, 2006. This will include various activities and actions in the vicinity of their meetings in Singapore.

WE CALL on all people's organizations, social movements, labor movements, women's movements, farmers groups, first peoples, religious and cultural groups, community organizations, NGOs, political forces, and all concerned citizens around the world to join us in mounting vigorous actions that will focus the world's attention on the destruction and human rights violations caused by the IMF and World Bank, the regional development banks, export credit agencies, and the neoliberal global system they enforce.

Our actions will identify issues and articulate demands that reflect the particular impacts of these institutions on each of our countries but will also be united on the following global demands:
[the list below truncated. to read in full click here.]

1. Immediate and 100% cancellation of multilateral debts as part of the total cancellation of debts claimed from the South, without externally imposed conditionalities.

2. Open, transparent and participatory External Audit of the lending operations and related policies of the International Financial Institutions, beginning with the World Bank and IMF

3. Stop the imposition of conditions and the promotion of neoliberal policies and projects.

a. In this 50th anniversary year of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the IFIs end the promotion of privatization of public services and the use of public resources to support private profits.
b. Stop IFI funding and involvement in environmentally destructive projects beginning with big dams, oil, gas and mining and implement the major recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review.
c. Immediately stop imposing conditions that exacerbate health crises like the AIDS pandemic and make restitution for past practices such as requiring user fees for public education and health care services.

As we take to the streets and plazas on September 14 to 20, in Singapore and around the world, we stand united in our call for an end to the destruction visited upon the South by the IMF, the World Bank, the other multilateral banks, and the countries that control them.

We call upon activists to tell us about their planned activities so that we may publicize them, and about the outcomes of their actions.

Maybe it is time we all started to 'Think Global and Act Local'.


Anonymous said...

this is incoherent; what do these demands have to do with acting local? how would an audit help the South?

Matilah_Singapura said...

In coherent is right! As usual, the liberals can't defend the reasons behind the strawmen they created.

for e.g., no one seems to understand how debt is created: debt is created when you have to borrow to cover the deficit generated when you spend (consume) more than you produce.

Countries which are in "debt-shit" got themselves into that position — mainly by financial mismanagement (the democracy voting in some silly economically suicidal plan like a "welfare state"), and aided by corrupt dictators (usually democratically installed).

The people get the govt they deserve and if the govt is profligate, then the people get the debt they deserve.

So, what's all the fuss about these "international bankers"?

AFAIK, they are the saviours of humanity — they can operate outside the silly laws of the territorail states and are not subject to the mob-rule of democracy, and thus they "make things happen" — like commerce, trade and production, without which many quickly industrialising economies would remain Turd Whirled Cuntries.

Power to them! Anarcho capitalism, laissez faire and private property is alive and well!

Anonymous said...

Can 'Jesus' stop smoking for a minute.

Matilah_Singapura said...

What? You don't like reggae music?