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Announcement :: Globalization : Organizing
Call to Action Against the International Monetary Fund
25 Jun 2010
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have a well-deserved reputation for being the loan sharks of global capitalism. Both institutions are infamous for forcing poor countries in the global south to ruin their own economies in order to further enrich Western corporations. Nations who decline to borrow money at exorbitant interest rates and then beggar their populations to pay it back (or worse, default on their existing debt), are subjected to trade sanctions that have been described as “the economic equivalent of nuclear war.”
The neoliberal regime represented by the IMF has generated intense, and largely successful, resistance across the world. In Argentina a popular revolt in response to the 2001 economic collapse, caused by strict adherence to neoliberal policies, saw three governments toppled in a month. Piqueteros threw up barricades of burning tires on the highways, workers took over their factories, and “Que se vayan todos!” became the rallying cry for an entire nation. After the passage of NAFTA in 1994, the Zapatistas established their own autonomous territory in the Mexican state of Chiapas that survives to this day, in spite of continuous government repression. In North America and Europe massive protests greeted neoliberal elites at every summit, including Seattle in 1999 when the World Trade Organization meeting was completely shut down. In Barcelona in 2001 the World Bank canceled a summit entirely for fear of protests.

More recently, world leaders have attempted to re-establish neoliberalism under the guise of recovering from the economic collapse that they themselves caused. The IMF has been recapitalized with 1.1 trillion dollars from the G20 group of nations. Employers everywhere are slashing wages, as governments cut social services correspondingly, all justified by calls to “share the pain.” Resistance has intensified accordingly. Wildcat strikes in Bangladesh have periodically crippled the garment industry there, as workers demand safety improvements and back wages. Protesters in Romania have held huge demonstrations against government-imposed austerity measures. The entire country of Greece has been virtually ungovernable since the riots over the police murder of a 15-year old in December 2008. Riots, general strikes and insurrection are common occurrences. Farmers blockade the Bulgarian border with their tractors and banners are dropped from the Acropolis. The announcement in April that the Greek government would be instituting austerity measures as part of an IMF/European Union bank bailout sent 200,000 protesters into the streets in Athens alone.

Here in the US, ground zero for neoliberalism, reaction to the financial collapse has been comparatively muted. Recent protests have not approached the size and intensity of those of the antiglobalization era. The IMF Resistance Network exists to help change that. We are an East coast-based antiauthoritarian group dedicated to organizing demonstrations against IMF and World Bank summit meetings in Washington, DC. The next one is on October 9 – 11 of this year.

You’re all invited. Details will follow shortly.

See you in the streets,
The IMF Resistance Network

This work is in the public domain.
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