ATTAC Weekly newsletter - Wednesday 16/05/01

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International Trade & WTO - 1
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1- With Harvard Sit-In Victory, a Movement Continues
After twenty-one days inside the President's office at Harvard University, living wage activists have emerged victorious. Here's why their sit-in not only shook the campus, but signaled an important win for progressives across the country who are fighting globalization battles on the home front.

2- Genoa - Mobilizations are on Their Way
An European meeting was held in Genoa May 4 and 5. The mobilizations are starting all over Europe and movements foresee a larger scale demonstration than the one in Prague or Nice. All the details about where to find information.

3- Good Haven$
June 9 in France actions will occur around Tax Havens in Andorra and Jersey. These are actions are part of a campaign around this issue and the Tobin Tax launched for the year 2001.

4- Good Haven$ - Jersey is scared
The Jersey authorities are getting frantic when they have learned that we are planning a demonstration on their island. Police from Scotland and a special law are on the menu on their side. Pleased but surprises by their over-reaction, it seems that already the message is getting somewhere.

5- Tobin Tax - Steps Forward
In Argentina, parliamentarians are putting forward a discussion to implement the Tobin Tax as a regulation tool but also as a way to finance debt relieve. In Europe, the Belgium government that will head Europe after Sweden in July seems to go forward on the feasibility study that we have asked.

6- Plan to Dump Toxic Waste in Africa
Free trade is never fair trade. The new plans for Africa (certainly not development) is to dump 29 million tons in 11 countries. After being the colonies, after being the forgotten continent on the world agenda, Africa would become a trashcan. Certainly some plan to develop economy and well-being of millions of Africans.

7- ATTAC Spain has been created
Although for a year now ATTACs have existed in diverse Provincias like Catalunya, Madrid, Andalucia, Leon and so on. formally the association didn't exist nationally. A reunion a month ago started ATTAC in Spain.

1- With Harvard Sit-In Victory, a Movement Continues

By Mark Engler

After twenty-one days inside the President's office at Harvard University, living wage activists have emerged victorious. Here's why their sit-in not only shook the campus, but signaled an important win for progressives across the country who are fighting globalization battles on the home front.

Just a month ago Harvard administrators considered the case of living wages permanently closed. A report they commissioned last year recommended, conveniently enough, against raising the pay of many janitors and dining hall workers above poverty levels, promoting instead a small expansion of benefits. University President Neil Rudenstine saw no need for further discussion. So when more than forty students stormed the offices in Massachusetts Hall with a demand that all university workers receive $10.25 an hour plus health insurance, his response amounted to a genteel version of "we will not negotiate with terrorists."

All that has changed. On Tuesday, May 8, the activists, having extracted impressive concessions from the administration, exited the building to greet hundreds of cheering allies. Their three-week occupation drew supporters from throughout the Boston community, attracted national media attention to the plight of those exploited by the world's richest university, and put discussion of economic injustice at the center of campus life.

In the end Harvard agreed to a settlement that, while allowing it to avoid total capitulation, substantively yields to the student demands. The University is instituting a moratorium on sub-contracting and it will immediately address the issue of health care benefits. Additionally, Harvard has committed itself to expedite contract negotiations with the Hotel and Restaurant Employees (HERE, Local 26) and with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU, Local 254). Harvard is willing to make pay increases for custodians that result from these negotiations retroactive -- raises will take effect as if they were granted to coincide with the end of the sit-in.

The agreement does not immediately set a single living wage minimum for all workers. Instead, a faculty-led committee with strong worker and student representation will collectively determine and recommend a final salary. This gives Harvard some wiggle room. But, as Amy Offner, a leading activist in the campaign, explains, "It's an agreement that will implement a living wage in six months to a year if it's done right -- and we're going to make sure it's done right."

The campaign certainly has the power to do so. The sit-in won because it mobilized support from well beyond its student activist core. Workers staged massive rallies, community members came to sleep out in the imposing tent city that sprouted in Harvard Yard, and newly energized students committed themselves in ways normally unthinkable at semester's end. "Once it got going," Offner says, "people came out of the woodwork to put in fifteen-hour days in support of the campaign."

By showcasing the growing push for Living Wages nationally, the sit-in highlighted an important example of how the forces combating corporate globalization at major trade summits can fuel campaigns to win the same fight at the local level. Indeed, it is the type of coalition that formed around the Living Wage issue that gives the Harvard protest a wider significance from a social movement perspective. The sit-in demonstrated the vitality of a unique student-labor alliance that has formed in past years.

Unions have nurtured connections with student activists as part of their resurgence under the national leadership of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. Through the Organizing Institute, the AFL-CIO has worked to recruit a new generation of organizers, and has enlisted thousands of student activists and young workers in "Union Summer" internships since 1996. UNITE, the garment workers' union, invested heavily in the fledgling anti-sweatshop crusade, providing institutional support which helped that movement explode to prominence.

Labor's investment has paid off most visibly in a wave of building occupations that have taken place on campuses. Over the past two years, anti-sweatshop campaigns have produced sit-ins at the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, SUNY-Albany, the University of Wisconsin, Wesleyan, and the University of Kentucky. Last year, a seventeen-day building occupation at Johns Hopkins addressing janitor's wages foreshadowed Harvard students' takeover of Massachusetts Hall.

The Harvard Living Wage campaign was initiated by a student group called the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM), an organization that was a clear product of the Labor movement's outreach. Several of the members that founded the group in 1997, as well as three of the students inside the administrative offices during the sit-in, were Union Summer alumni.

While Harvard represents one of the first major battles around this issue that was based on student mobilization, unions have long been at the fore of the rapidly growing Living Wage movement. A first major victory took place in Baltimore in 1994, where community and labor activists won a wage ordinance mandating higher pay for low-wage workers under public contracts. Since then, over fifty Living Wage measures have been adopted in cities across the country. Currently progressive coalitions are fighting for ordinances in seventy-five additional cities.

Like with their outreach to students, support for Living Wage struggles is part of the revitalized Labor movement's strategy to connect with a larger progressive community. Bruce Nissen, Program Director of the Center for Labor Research at Florida International University and a veteran of several Living Wage battles, argues: "For the national AFL-CIO, this is part of building a much stronger union presence in the community -- creating a labor movement that benefits the general welfare."

That's why during the Harvard sit-in the AFL-CIO sent in top retainers to help broker the deal with the administration, why President John Sweeney stood among the VIPs present at a huge rally last week, and why Labor leaders returned to campus to cordially hold the door for protesters leaving Massachusetts Hall.

The enthusiasm at the top levels of Labor organization only hints at the tireless investment of local unions in community-based drives. In the case of Harvard, dozens of campus workers spoke at demonstrations and gave testimonials to the press. Members of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE, Local 26) vowed publicly that they would not accept any settlement that included disciplinary censure of the students.

Although Living Wage measures initially targeted local governments, new laws seek to affect a wide range of sub-contractors, as well as businesses receiving tax abatements. The student actions at Johns Hopkins and Harvard were unique in expanding the fight to take on individual private employers. Harvard, sitting atop a massive endowment of almost $20 billion, proved a particularly good target: students effectively attracted media by contrasting the university's privileged mystique with its miserly treatment of low-paid workers.

Similar to the way in which globalization protests have sparked unlikely "red-green" alliances between workers and environmentalists, the Living Wage campaigns have pulled together impressive coalitions on the domestic scene. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the Coalition for the Homeless led the wage fight in Chicago; hotel workers, Greens, and renters' rights activists united in Santa Monica; interfaith groups, Gray Panthers, social service providers, and third party advocates have joined elsewhere.

Some notable Living Wage campaigns have started using civil disobedience and mass action tactics to leverage political change. In addition to the university sit-ins, the Chicago campaign mobilized impressive crowds of 15,000 for its marches. And HERE workers were arrested after blocking traffic in actions that were a part of the Santa Monica campaign.

The sit-in at Harvard will help to make campuses leading locations for the expansion of the Living Wage movement. Student-labor alliances have only strengthened after mass demonstrations like Seattle, where the two constituencies have taken to the streets together. The interaction of these groups could not be more significant, especially for globalization activists seeking to ground themselves in local campaigns.

In large part, the success of the protests at large trade summits can be measured by the extent to which people who are energized and inspired by the large-scale events commit to combating abuses of corporate power taking place "in their own back yards." Organizers working to encourage action around such issues as sweatshops, organic farming, welfare reform, prison expansion, and demilitarization are all striving to make the connection between community and international affairs.

The Living Wage is another example of an issue making that connection, and it is a crucial one. Students publicizing the drastic inequalities present on their increasingly corporate campuses go far in asserting that poverty wages are unacceptable -- at home or abroad. Universities subcontracting maintenance and security jobs to low-paying firms respond to the same impulse that motivates the Gap to have clothing made in Salvadoran sweatshops. Confronting this injustice, the growing Living Wage movement forms a vigorous part of the grassroots resistance to globalization's "race to the bottom," wherein CEO salaries skyrocket while those at the bottom of the labor market struggle to survive.

Taken as a whole, the wage measures that have already been passed represent some of the most tangible progressive gains of the past decade. The campaigns are at once pragmatic -- concretely benefiting the working poor -- and visionary -- suggesting what Left coalitions can accomplish as groups begin to unite and force change.

It wasn't an enlightened epiphany that made university officials see the justice of paying its workers decent wages. It was power. The students' civil disobedience forced a reconsideration of the Living Wage issue, and the community's amazing solidarity made putty of the administration's once inflexible bargaining position.

One thing is sure: the lesson won't be lost on students at other campuses who, along with community and labor allies, will be looking to turn one successful sit-in into a persistent challenge to economic injustice.

-- Mark Engler is an independent writer and activist from Des Moines, Iowa. He has previously worked with the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in San Jose, Costa Rica, as well as the Public Intellectuals Program at Florida Atlantic University.

2- Genoa - Mobilizations are on Their Way

By Attac Newsletter

An European meeting was held in Genoa to prepare for the mobilizations in July. In fact women movements will meet June 15 and 16 and build an important event that will make Genoa during these two days the World Capital for Civil Rights Movements and Women Policies.

Besides this important gathering ahead of the G8 meeting, all of the mobilizations will happen during the third week of July. Starting the 15, the Genoa Social Forum will be the counter-summit. On the 20th civil disobedience day to stop the G8. On the 21st large scale demonstration.

The European meeting held on the 4 and 5 of May was a very positive one. Although no visibility because of the Italian election results about the exact organizations was really possible. Movements from all over Europe gathered together to plan the demonstrations and they were representing a very broad coalition. So far the figure of demonstrators that are awaited is largely above the one for Prague or Nice especially from Germany, Great Britain, Greece, of course Italia, and so on. In Spain mobilizations around the World Bank meeting in June (25 to 27) forbid the Spanish movements to discuss the number of activists that will make the trip to Genoa. For them all it will be the consequence of the success or not of their mobilizations. But we can expect their presence to be largely visible in Italia.

As far as information and participation a mailing list exists to able organizations only to discuss the preparation. If your organization is not part of this list you can contact Italian movements or send a message to to present your organization, your name, and all details you'll find useful. A website is already working at:
About affinity groups, propositions and suggestions around the demonstration of the 20th, you can contact Leyla at A discussion list will certainly be organized and a website also especially devoted to this.

In any case we hope to see you all soon under the Mediterranean sun in Genoa.

3- Good Haven$

By ATTAC France

Saturday 9, national day for mobilization against tax havens.

Within the context of its fight against a corporate globalization which has the Danone lay-offs for stock market convenience as an ordinary consequence, ATTAC is asking for concrete steps against the hegemony of financial markets, and among others, the establishment of the Tobin tax and the out-lawing of tax havens.

Here is the target of the campaign "2001. Europe, Tobin now" for which June 9 will be a very important moment. This day will indeed mark the launching of a series of actions, entitled Good Havens and aiming for fiscal havens located in Europe.

Local committees of the Midi-Pyrénées region and some of Aquitaine and Languedoc-Roussillon, coordinated around the initiative from ATTAC-Ariège, will launch this day an initiative against the Andorra Principality. We invite you to get into contact with is you live in this region.

On a larger scale, June 9 will also be marked by a national action, which has been imagined by the local committees of Britain and Normandy against another tax haven: Jersey. This action results from a call, not only from ATTAC-France but also from some of its founding members, CFDT Banques, CGT Finances and SNUI, supported by ATTACs from other European countries: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Poland, Switzerland. The goal is not to condemn more particularly this one or this one micro-state or territory, but rather, through two concrete cases, to denounce an international financial system which rests on the existence of urban area where law and order have broken down. Each citizen is personally affected by the consequences, as much as it is demonstrated by documents of the campaign "2001. Europe, Tobin immediately ", our banks directly contribute to the development of tax havens. We must recall them, wherever we are.

ATTAC thus invites all of you to participate in large numbers to those initiatives, the kick-off of a series of actions planned in France and Europe all along Year 2001. In France, they will lead to a national mobilisation on the beginning of December. It will be the opportunity for introducing in the public debate analysis and propositions of ATTAC in the prospects of the elections of 2002.

ATTAC France Translation Jean Pierre Schermann, volunteer translator  If you want to find more details about the Good Haven$ actions, please
refer to the website :
(an English version is now available)

4- Good Haven$ - Jersey is scared

As you will read in the articles below the Jersey authorities are building their own fright. Police from Scotland and a special law to be voted "against the ATTAC activists" are already on the menu. One can wander was is the use and the purpose? Discussing and meeting with them didn't seem to make them change their mind. And if ATTAC was going in Jersey to set the banks in fire?. Well well it seems to be a question in Jersey, and a kind of a laugh for the people that knows us. We can advice the Jersey authorities to get in touch with the Monaco police forces we have already met on December 7 when we try to invade another Tax Havens and ask them to surrender because they were too small a police force compare to the "non-tax-haven" ones all around. Needless to say, they didn't want to surrender. Therefore the demonstration was very peaceful and festive. Photos are available on
But maybe they heard ATTAC and understood "attack".

Police prepare for mass protest

OVER 200 French protesters are coming to Jersey next month to hold an anti-capitalist demonstration, prompting the Home Affairs Committee to try to push emergency legislation on public order through the States.

And plans have already been made by the States police to draft in extra officers and riot gear from Scotland for use if the demonstration turns violent.

Eight officers will be coming from Strathclyde Police to help train Jersey officers in the handling of large and possibly hostile crowds and dozens more officers will be flown in days prior to the demonstration to provide back-up. The French are already booked on board a ferry crossing and belong to 'Attac', who target financial centres around the world. They are the Association for Taxation of Financial Transaction to Aid Citizens and want their representatives to meet the Bailiff.

Even though the police feel it will be a peaceful demonstration, Home Affairs President Deputy Alastair Layzell has ordered a Public Order Act proposition to be drawn up which will be lodged on 15 May and debated at a special States sitting on 29 May in time for Attac's visit on Saturday 9 June.

The act will mirror the one used in the UK which allows police to restrict and control demonstrations and arrest anyone who breaks those laws.

Is Jersey ready for this?

THE anti-capitalist demonstration in the Island planned by French protesters next month is likely to be peaceful, one of the leaders said today.

But Home Affairs Committee president Deputy Alastair Layzell has said that the States police are not over-reacting by setting in place plans to draft in extra officers and riot-gear from Scotland in case the event turns out to be violent.

Deputy Layzell said that he strongly rejected any suggestion of over-reaction it had to be remembered that the Jersey force could not call on assistance from the next county, as in the UK.

The demonstration is planned to take place on Saturday 9 June, two days after the proposed General Election and at the same time as a major anti-nuclear demonstration in the UK.

'If police chief Graham Power had not made the necessary arrangements to bring in extra officers if required he most certainly would not have had them at his disposal at the time of the Attac demonstration,' Deputy Layzell said.

Other contingency plans made by the States police include the cancellation of all police leave on that day.

Deputy Layzell said that Mr Power was trying to match the Island's response with the intelligence he received and could scale down any arrangements if necessary.

5- Tobin Tax - Steps forward

In Europe

Tuesday, May 1, Prime Minister Verhofstadt presented priorities of the future Belgian

Presidency of the European Community to the Consultative Federal Committee for the European agenda. In the afternoon, they were presented to the international Press. There was no room for questions or comments from parliamentaries. The debate was postponed to Tuesday, May 8.

This "note of priorities" is only a selection from the document approved by the Minister Council of December 15, 2001. In this document -"Global thematic approach"-, the Belgian government promises, during the EU presidency, to look into how a study can come down about the opportunity, the feasibility and possible advantages of introducing a tax on movements of speculative capitals. (point 17).

This promise follows the request of the Parliament to take advantage of the opportunity of the EU presidency in order to take an initiative for a better control of international financial movements ( resolution adopted respectively by Deputies on 11.9.2000 and by the Senate on 21.7.2000. This concern has also been expressed by IMF, during its Spring meeting last week, which pleaded in favour of the introduction of measures preventing financial crisis (Argentina and Turkey being the most recent examples). The proposition to introduce a variable tax on every financial currency transactions (the Tobin tax) aims precisely to a better stabilisation of the financial Market.

For Prime Minister Verhofstadt, this is not a priority. In his May 2 note, the fiscal chapter does no longer mention an initiative at the European level for studying and debate about the Tobin tax. During a meeting between the Dutch speaking and French speaking networks "Action against financial speculation" and the Cabinet secretary M.Coene held on April 24, this latter confirmed that the Government will indeed execute what has been decided during the Minister Council of December 15, 2000, "since this represents the will of the Government majority" He also added that he personally considered "the discussion within the European frame is a waste of time, since the Tobin tax is not the appropriate answer for avoiding financial crisis, the Market mechanism offering the best guaranties for re-establishing financial markets unbalances".

Meanwhile,  defenders of a Tobin tax kind set up strong arguments (supported by works of professors Paul-Berndt Spahn, Rodney Schmidt and Lieven Denys) which demonstrate that a variable tax on currency speculation is technically feasible and that it does not contradict European treaties.

As a complement to the "Global thematic approach" document, approved by the Minister Council of December 15, 2000 and to the "Note of priorities "of May 2, will come a Note of programmation" containing the programme of each Minister, acting as presidents of the European Council (Agriculture, Ecofin, Environment, Development cooperation, Foreign affairs.). These programmation notes will be discussed with The President of  the European Commission Romano Prodi on June 2. Prime Minister Verhofstadt insists about the fact that the three documents must be read in full, if it is desired to execute the Belgian presidency programme during the next six months. The final version of this programme will be presented to the European parliament on next July 4.

The 8 May debate in the Belgian parliament and the discussion in the European parliament on July 4 are two occasions for asking the Belgian government to hold its promise and to propose the debate about the Tobin tax at the European level. We count on the fact that the Minister Council decision of December 15, 2000 must be respected.

Action against financial speculation

In Latin America

An initiative of Argentine Representatives (M Cafiero, G. Cardesa, J.Obeid, C.F. de Kirshner, A.Bravo, A.Castro, M.Ortega, H.Polino, G.Galland, R.Torres Molina, C.Raimundi, J.Vitar, J.Zacharias) aims to raise pressure upon the Republic president about a resolution project aiming to fight the chronic finance instability of the country by the introduction of the Tobin tax which redistribution principles, internationally managed, would firstly reduced the debt of the most deep in debt countries.

Translation: Jean Pierre Schermann, volunterr translator

6- Plan to dump toxic waste in Africa

By Panafrican News Agency (PANA),

7. May 2001

A report on toxic wastes trade and dumping episodes has revealed alleged plans by the US and some European countries to dump 29 million tonnes of toxic wastes in 11 African countries, the local press said in Lagos Monday.

The report released by Nigeria's national co-ordinator of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Waste, Oladele Osibajo, said in addition to the US, the UK, Italy, France and Switzerland planned to dump the dangerous materials in Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Benin, Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

Other African countries listed as possible destinations for the wastes were Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone.

The report said the materials to be dumped comprised industrial and chemical wastes, pesticide sludge, radioactive wastes and other categories of unspecified hazardous wastes.

It, however, noted that some of the African countries listed were collaborating with the US and the European countries with the aim of receiving financial compensation for the wastes to be dumped in their areas.

For example, the report said about five million tonnes of industrial wastes were to have been dumped in Angola by an unnamed European country for two million US dollars.

The Angolan government later cancelled the deal after discovering loopholes in it, the report claimed.

It listed other countries involved in the wastes-for-money deal as Benin, Equatorial Guinea and Congo, which it said was the first country in Africa to officially authorise the dumping of toxic wastes in the country from Europe and the US for a fee.

The plan to dump wastes in all the countries failed after their populations moved against it.

After an embarrassing episode of toxic wastes dump by an Italian company in Nigeria's mid-western Koko Port town in the late 1980s, Nigeria led an international campaign against the practice leading to the establishment of a sub-regional Dump Watch in West Africa.

The Mulindwas communication group

7- ATTAC Spain has been created

ATTAC Spain was created on 30th March, 2001 during the 1st Territorial Conference in Barcelona which was attended by delegations of congress participants and observers from ATTAC Andalusia, Aragon, Canary Islands, Castillo Leon, Catalonia, Galicia, Madrid, Mallorca and the País Valencià (Autonomous Community of Valencia).

ATTAC, whose aim is to give back to citizens the power to make decisions, proposes the creation of democratic mechanisms to control and regulate markets and the international financial system, such as using the tax known as the "Tobin Tax" to tax speculative transactions on foreign exchange markets and abolishing tax havens. Another of its aims is to stimulate and reinforce the development of active, well-informed independent public opinion worldwide. ATTAC considers that the current situation - where, in order to consolidate and increase the power and wealth of a tiny minority, a large majority must suffer the destruction of nature and poverty, risk and insecurity - is both unacceptable and unfair and must not be allowed to continue.

Last weekend ATTAC, the international movement initiated in 1997 by Ignacio Ramonet, Director of Le Monde Diplomatique, was formed at the national level in Barcelona. Its first Territorial Conference or Constituent Congress is the fruit of an agreement that brings together a variety of Spain's civic associations with the aim of promoting the objectives of the international ATTAC movement.

ATTAC defines itself as an international movement for the democratic control of financial markets and their institutions, with the purpose of giving citizens back their decision-making capacities and preventing democracy from being worn down by the world's financial powers.

Since its beginnings, this international movement has put itself forward to reinforce, inter-connect and coordinate contributions internationally from any partners that recognise themselves in its platform. Pluralist, it is enriched through the diversity of its members as a means of favouring common action.

In accordance with its original objectives, the aim of the organising principles set out in the Articles or Charter of Association is to guarantee that it follows its civic goals and avoids any other misguided aims.

In this way, it refuses all types of subsidy, whether public or private, that could compromise its independence. Terms of office are limited to a maximum of 2 years with no possibility of re-election. Professionalism is also excluded, a further way of preventing the creation of an internal group that could turn the movement away from its goals for its own ends. Plurality of representation in public office or party political organisations is banned too, to avoid public confusion as to its identity and aims.

The means to be used are in accordance with these aims, so that they always strive towards citizen awareness and participation or, the equivalent, towards creating a public opinion that is properly informed of the problems and their possible solutions. In this way, citizens do not have to resign themselves to accepting the mono-minded dogmas imposed by the economic powers' blackmailing.

In the same way, to remain consistent with its own aims, when faced with the institutionalised violence of the oppressive state control imposed by the solutions offered by the financial powers and the institutions that protect them (IMF, WB, WTO, OECD), ATTAC refuses the use of any form of violence to solve these problems and advocates the principle of non-violence as means of action.

Andalusia, national headquarters of ATTAC Spain

The national Coordinating Bureau will have a secretariat or administration and correspondence office using an alphabetical rota. ATTAC Andalusia is responsible for this and will set up ATTAC Spain's headquarters in Malaga (Ateneo de Málaga, C/ Compañía, nº 2, Malaga, Spain) with the website: http://www.local.attac/org.andalucia.

José Vidal-Beneyto with ATTAC

Once ATTAC Spain's Constituent Act and Articles or Charter of Association, Manifest and Programme of Activities for the coming year approved, Professor Vidal-Beneyto, President of "Les Amis de Le Monde Diplomatique" (Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique) and Director of the College for Higher European Studies in Paris, gave a Conference entitled "Globalisation and Citizen Resistance".

In a speech that was both lucid and moving, our comrade Vidal-Beneyto told us of the 'havens' providing resistance to the ultraliberal onslaught of the last few decades. "Militant movements for an alternative globalisation such as ATTAC", he poetically ended his speech, "are for many the very last 'safe haven' But, dear Luis (referring to the President of the Conference's hosting Association), no-one is going to push me away from this haven". For him, these movements are the free space in which there is an opportunity for the Left wing, a place where one can build one's ideas and one's own being.

Professor Vidal-Beneyto spoke to us about these resistance movements, emphasising the role of women throughout the world. Commenting on Pepa Roma's book "Thwarting Globalisation", he spoke to us about the Plaza Mayo mothers. He also spoke of the Russian and Serb mothers who, defying the dangers, demand the end of the unjust and utterly useless wars that snatch their children from them; of the young girl saved from prostitution in Thailand and taken to Paris and her fight against child prostitution; and of many other women who spearhead resistance in so many places in the Third World and throughout the whole world.


ATTAC Spain will have a Support Committee which will bring together scientists, writers and well known critical intellectuals. It will be presided by José Vidal-Beneyto. As announced by the Professor, "it will be composed of around 100 personalities such as José Saramago, Ignacio Ramonet, Juan Goytisolo, José Luis Sampedro, Rosa Regás, Joan Martínez Alier, José Manuel Naredo, Carlos Berzosa, Francisco Fernández Buey and Arcadi Oliveras.

Translation: Amanda Galbe, volunteer translator