Second conference of Peoples' Global Action against 'Free' Trade and the WTO
The second PGA conference will take place in Bangalore (India) from the 23rd to the 26th of August 1999. It will be preceded by roundtable discussions (from the 20th to the 22nd) and accompanied by two rounds of study trips to areas of struggle in Southern India (15th-19th and 27th-31st August).
The main objective of the second conference of PGA will be to start an open debate between social movements and activists about:
- what functions a tool for international communication and coordination like PGA should fulfil
- how the network should operate In its fifteen months of existance, PGA has been functioning mainly by the initiative of relatively few movements and activists, although it enjoys the support of many more. Now it is time to
- look back at the achievements and failures of this period,
- analyse how things have been done (and not done) in the first phase of this process,
- rethink what kind of international communication and coordination is wished/needed by those who identify themselves with the network, and
- discuss how to improve the PGA process to get it closer to what we want it to be.
Of course, this debate will take place on the basis of the four hallmarks of the PGA:
Another important aim of the conference is to prepare the global resistance to the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which will take place in Seattle (USA) from the 29th of November to the 3rd of December 99. This conference is expected to mark the starting point of a new round of negotiations (the so-called Millennium Round) aimed at expanding the powers of the WTO regime, strengthening the private property over life forms, accelerating the destruction of the peasantry due to the liberalisation of agricultural trade, and inserting a MAI-like agreement into the WTO regime. Diverse groups and organisations in the USA are now preparing a caravan of representatives of movements from different continents just before the WTO conference, to raise awareness about these issues (contact PGA_Seattle99firstname.lastname@example.org for more details).
- rejection of global capitalism and its regulating mechanisms, such as the WTO;
- a confrontational attitude towards them - neither lobby nor reformism;
- a call to non-violent direct action, civil disobedience and the construction of local alternatives by local communities;
- an organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy.
Finally, the conference will revise the PGA manifesto and elect a new convenors' committee.
The roundtable discussions before the conference will serve different purposes: meeting movements and activists working in the same issues, elaborating proposals for changes in the manifesto, discussing the latest developments in the 'anti-globalisation networks' etc. The study trips before and after the conference will offer an opportunity to get to know the struggles of the Adivasi (indigenous peoples of India), to meet farmers' movements opposing the caste system, biotechnology, 'free' trade and environmental destruction, to visit the fight against big dams and multinational corporations, to support Adivasi women squatting a US bank, etc.
There is the possibility to travel to the PGA conference for a reduced price if you make up your mind quickly. Some examples of the best rates that we have found until now are (for a return trip to Bombay, flying in August and with an open date of return):
- from Frankfurt, Rome, Paris or London for DM 750 to 825 (US$ 400 to 445); from most other European capitals for around DM 920 to 1000 (US$ 500 to 540);
- from NY, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington etc for about US$ 990; from Toronto, Ottawa, LA, San Francisco etc for about US$ 1090. (the rates for other continents are unfortunately higher - excepting Asia and the Pacific, where the rates are quite variable).
If you arrive just before the first session of study trips we will also arrange for you the transport from Bombay to Bangalore as well as visits to farmers' organisations on the way.
To obtain more information please visit www.agp.org or send an empty email to email@example.com and you will get automatically a comprehensive set of information on the conference, the roundtable discussions, the study trips, the flights to India, the participation fees, etc. (If this does not work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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