Global Justice

1 June 2002News

On 1 May hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in a mixture of protest, celebration and commemoration. Trade unionists, environmentalists, social justice activists, peace campaigners, and many other groupings took part in marches, meetings and actions, plus displays of alternative ideas for how to live in the kind of world many of us want to live in.

Here's a few snapshots of some of the bigger and more creative events that took place (report compiled courtesy of…

1 June 2002Review

Jon Carpenter Publishing, 2001, ISBN 1897766629, 239pp, £12.99

“Yet another book on globalisation.” With the recent focus of the mass media on anti-globalisation protests and the success of books such as No Logo (Naomi Klein) and Captive State (George Monbiot), any attempt to plough a similar furrow must expect this sort of greeting.

But this approach assumes that the emerging movements deserve no more than the creation of a niche in the big bookstore chains; a handful of specialist books, rather than a discussion that goes…

1 March 2002News

The second World Social Forum (WSF), attended by an estimated 50,000 people representing hundreds of organisations from all over the world, took place from 31 January to 5 February in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It coincided with the government-to-government World Economic Forum, taking place in New York.

The WSF focused on opposing, and developing alternatives to, globalisation. WSF attenders demanded new workers' rights, agrarian reform, and the government's respect for international…

1 March 2002Review

Katabasis. 0 90487 236 X. £8.95

This manages to be both an utterly charming book, and to convey a serious message. Skip the introduction its fine, but you can get the explanations of Zapatismo from a hundred other places. Maybe go back to it when you've read the stories. Which are marvellous.

Marcos is well-known for his writing, especially the eloquent communiqués which emerge periodically from the Lacandon jungle. These stories are a different breed whimsical, funny, literary. Don Durito de la Lacandon…

1 March 2002Review

How can we prepare for the 21st century without considering the four new contracts proposed in The World Ahead?

Mayor and Bride propose a new social contract. It requires that: the third industrial revolution and its accompanying globalisation work in an ethical manner; a new natural contract to coexist with the environment; a new cultural contract, whereby the intangible treasures of cultures will be enhanced and their conviviality promoted; and finally a new ethical…

1 September 2001News

“Ultimately these Summits must be judged by the benefits they deliver to the world's poor. The result this year was an anti-poor trade plan, nothing on debt and a feeble fund.” Jessica Woodroffe, Head of Policy at the World Development Movement

On third world debt we hoped the G8 would call on the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to cancel 100% of the debts of the highly indebted poor countries (HIPC). Even if we didn't get this “new deal on debt” we hoped for reform of the HIPC Initiative to give more debt relief, to more countries, more quickly. At the least we hoped for assistance for indebted countries suffering from oil price shocks. However we were shocked to find that the G8's final communique promised nothing new…

1 June 2001Feature

It has been said that the Zapatistas had a revolution within a revolution in terms of the role of women and unique gender dynamics. Three activists from Mexico explain why they believe, as a movement, Zapatismo has more than just symbolic feminine qualities.

In this article we present the conjecture that Zapatismo is a feminine movement. It is not feminist: it was not organised mainly, exclusively or expressly for the defence of women's rights, nor was it based on the conventional claims of many feminist traditions. In describing it as feminine we want to suggest not only that women had and have a decisive role in its conception and realisation, but also that they gave it colour and meaning. The orientation and practices of Zapatismo openly…

1 June 2001News

A brief round-up of May Day events from around the world.

London: After all the fuss beforehand, May Day in London was a fairly peaceable affair.
With 6,000 police, threats of tear gas and rubber bullets, and a stated “zero tolerance” approach, parts of central London still ground to a halt. The generally fluffy and colourful band of several thousand displayed creativity and humour in the face of repressive policing. Hundreds participated in a critical mass action in the financial district.
Seoul: About 20,000 workers took to the…

1 March 2001Feature

This excerpt was taken from the introduction to the new US War Resisters League booklet on militarism and globalisation examines both the evolution of the dominant economic system and the roots of the contemporary struggle for economic justice.

The relationship between military violence and economic exploitation is not new nor is it limited to modern capitalist economics. The dynamic was present in the former Communist societies and it was present before industrial capitalism developed.

Many have argued that globalisation began more than five hundred years ago when the Europeans first sent their armies to the New World. The conquest of the Americas (and subsequent subjugation of Africa and Asia) produced fantastic wealth…

1 March 2001Feature

In this comment on grassroots responses to the election of Fox, Gustavo Esteva argues that the people will not be easily appeased.

“On the night of 2 July [2000] Mexico finally became a democracy.” This statement, in Time, expressed the view of the media pundits celebrating the outcome of the elections in Mexico as another step forward in the implementation of the neoliberal agenda.

At the grassroots, the people were also celebrating, but for very different reasons. They had no illusions about the implications of the elections. “For us,” said an indigenous leader on 3 July, “the system is like a snake;…

1 March 2001Feature

With the fall of the PRIafter 75 years in government there is some hope that Mexico may change its military operation in Chiapas and withdraw forces to pre- 1994 positions. In light of possible changes in military posture, combined with the new presidents, commitment to neo-liberal economic policy, Harry Cleaver argues that human rights advocates must shift their understanding of repression in such a manner as to grasp economic as well as police and military based repression.

President Foxs order for a withdrawal of military forces from Zapatista communities should not only be seen as a step in the right direction toward the reversal of the Mexican governments terrorist policies in Chiapas it must also be seen, and appreciated, as a victory for the Zapatista communities that have held out with so much courage during these long years of repression.

Whatever happens next, these current actions, that reportedly include the dismantling of military checkpoints…

1 March 2001Feature

Following investigations by a special unit and whistle-blowing by concerned ANC MPs, a dramatic arms for oil scandal is emerging in South Africa . Terry Crawford-Browne asks what South Africas priorities really are clean water or armaments?

The Defence White Paper released in May 1996 had noted that there is no foreseeable conventional military threat to South Africa, and that the government has prioritised the daunting task of addressing poverty and the socio- economic inequalities resulting from the system of apartheid.

The South African Constitution similarly declares in Chapter 11, Section 198 (a) that: National security must reflect the resolve of South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, to live as equals,…