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News ::
16 Jun 2003
(forward widely)
[version francaise disponisble - contactez resisteomc (at)]

In the spirit of Seattle and Quebec,
and in solidarity with protests in Cancun, Mexico:

JULY 27-30, 2003 /MONTREAL

**Mobilization Against the WTO Mini-Ministerial in Montreal**

As part of the ongoing struggle against capitalism, imperialism,
patriarchy, and other forms of oppression, people are invited to
converge in Montreal on July 27-30 to oppose the World Trade
Organization (WTO). Mega-demonstrations are planned in response to
a so-called 'mini-ministerial' -- at which an exclusive group of
trade ministers will be conspiring here in Montreal to engineer a
'successful' outcome at a larger WTO ministerial to be held in
September in Cancun, Mexico.

"Mobilization Against the WTO Mini-Ministerial in
Montreal" -- an open organizational assembly process called
by Montreal region activists affiliated with various local
anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-war groups -- has adopted
a basic action plan. This will include direct action disruptions to
the upcoming meeting (possibly a 'shutdown') and an emphasis on
complementing the efforts of local groups dealing with antiwar,
refugee, immigrant, and indigenous struggles. There will be several
days of action, allowing space for various issues, such as a focus on
the pharmaceutical industry's refusal to permit low-cost, life-saving
and life-enhancing AIDS drugs to the global South, on the GATS
(General Agreement on Trade and Services), on WTO agricultural
policies, and more. The events will be kicked off with a
large-scale, popular, child-friendly march on July 27 under the theme
"No One is Illegal". The focus of this will be on the
WTO's links to colonial genocide, militarization and war, as well as
the displacement of migrants (this march follows from the No One Is
Illegal march, of more than 5000 people, last June in Ottawa against
the G8). Other specific events will be announced in future updates.


With 146 member countries, the WTO is the world's most powerful
instrument in controlling international trade. It is a main vehicle
of the 'neoliberal' agenda -- a philosophy in which everything and
everyone is reduced to a commodity to be bought and sold in markets,
with the ultimate goal being a relentless expansion of profits. In
concrete terms, the WTO administers over 20 agreements, facilitates
future trade negotiations, and oversees and enforces trade dispute
resolution - a secret process which allows countries to challenge
each others' laws as violations of WTO rules. Since its inception in
1995, the net effect of the WTO has been to undermine governments'
capacity to implement progressive labour, social, health, safety or
environmental laws, and to jeopardize the rights of peoples to
determine their own futures.

But after being shut down in Seattle in 1999 and forced to hide out
in Qatar in 2001, the WTO process has begun to unravel beneath the
weight of its own illegitimacy. Externally, it is universally
reviled as a symbol of corporate domination; internally, the majority
of its own members are fed up with being shoved around by a minority
of powerful interests. A powerful popular resistance in Montreal
will help to unsteady the WTO so that protesters massed in Cancun can
deliver the knockout blow.


The basis of unity of the organizing assembly ("Mobilization
Against the WTO Mini-Ministerial in Montreal") is the PGA
Hallmarks (see, a set of principles which have
evolved out the struggles in the global south. They are as follows:

1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism;
all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote
destructive globalisation;

2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination
including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious
fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all
human beings.

3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying
can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic
organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real

4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social
movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize
respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the
construction of local alternatives to global capitalism;

5. An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and


A Montreal organizing site will be online soon at at which
updated information will be posted regularly.

Meanwhile info updates in English and French about Montreal-area
organizing against the WTO are available via the
wto-montreal-announce e-mail list which you can join by visiting the
following webpage:

For people coming from out of town needing transportation and/or
accommodations, please see

Contact "Mobilization Against the WTO Mini-Ministerial
in Montreal" at:
resisteomc (at)
or by phone at (514) 409-2049
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