the Disillusioned kid: Junk the WTO
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Junk the WTO

For those of you who don't know, tomorrow sees the commencement of the Sixth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. As we've come to expect over the last few years, this meeting will not pass without resistance and activist groups, trade unions, NGOs and political organisations are organising a week of actions, meetings and performances to express their rejection of the neo-liberal order. That week kicked off yesterday with a large rally which snaked its way through the streets of Hong Kong to the Central Government Offices. Migrant workers, many of them from Indonesia, and famers were particularly, but, occasional Dk lurker and drinking partner, Pranjal was also there. He also writes that the offices of the Coalition of Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Organisations (KOTKIHO) were raided by police the day before the rally, ostensibly because they had information on people remaining in Hong Kong illegally after their visas had run out and of reports of a second raid.

Police intimidation of protesters has been accompanied by extensive mass-media scaremongering (which Pranjal has blogged about at some length in the run-up to the conference). This sort of thing is familiar to anyone who has had any involvement with the so-called "anti-globalisation" movement. Remember the stories about the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service asking for 20,000 extra pints of blood in preparation for the G8 Summit in July? Or the "Mayday poison threat to Dublin" concocted by a "sinister anarchist group" in 2004? At such times, the media go out of their way to demonstrate their subservience to the powers that be, but the impressive turn out at yesterday's rally (or any of the other events they have sought to cast aspersions about) demonstrates that people are capable of seeing through the propaganda.

Those of you wanting to find out more could do worse than checking out Pranjal's blog. Alternatively, try the Junk WTO blog which looks pretty good. Z-Net have a primer on the WTO (along with the IMF and World Bank) for those of you trying to work out what all the fuss is about.

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