OQP2001 Manifesto against the Summit of the Americas and the FTAA

OQP 2001 : a yellow street sign with black schematic forms of a man and woman dropping the words NAFTA and FTAA in a garbage can.

Manifesto against
the Summit of the Americas and the
Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

Considering

that neo-liberal globalisation is not an inevitable natural phenomena to simply be accepted by the peoples and nations of the Americas ;

Considering

that the ongoing move towards deregulation and globalisation is the product of a specific political and financial elitist agenda to create Free Trade agreements ;

Considering

that Free Trade agreements are nothing more than charters of rights and freedoms for trans-national corporations and that these agreements place the rights and freedoms of the working people in peril ;

Considering

that in the past ten years Free Trade has increased the profits of the ruling class while impoverishing the working people ;

Considering

that Free Trade agreements give corporations the power to force governments to lower labour standards and environmental protection laws to create a so-called «even playing field » by conforming to those laws of countries with low costs of labour and weak environmental regulations ;

Considering

that Free Trade allows the major financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation to impose uncompromising measures on the countries of the South, forcing these countries into a state of economic instability to the end of better exploiting the natural resources and labour force of the South for the profits of Northern trans-national corporations ;

Considering

that the Free Trade doctrine of privatisation and the dismantling of social services marks the beginning of the end of universal healthcare and education ;

Considering

that the spread of poverty and dismantling of social service supports have and even greater impact on women, lowering their standard of living and violating their rights and freedoms and that this is an intentional move motivated by a right-wing agenda to impede gender inequality ;

Considering

that this neo-liberal globalisation represents values of selfishness, competition and materialism promoting a monolithic consumerist culture and sacrificing cultural diversity, artistic and intellectual potential and the individual human being.

Therefore,
We the citizens of the Americas accuse

We Accuse

the governments of the 34 countries meeting at the Summit of the Americas of acting against democracy as they conduct their Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations behind closed doors, refusing to release vital public information ;

We Accuse

these same governments of violating the rights of the citizen as they abdicate the sovereignty of the individual nation states to the control of non-elected international authorities such as the World Trade Organisation the NAFTA tribunal and the future FTAA tribunal, thus abolishing the concept of nation and with it the concept of citizen ;

We Accuse

these same governments of treason against their own citizens as the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas will steal the collective wealth of the people to line the pockets of trans-national corporations ;

We Accuse

these same governments of attempting to severe ties of co-operation and friendship amongst the people of the Americas and intentionally founding a climate of unhealthy competition between the working people of different countries through the Free Trade Area of the Americas, rather than creating a spirit of solidarity ;

We Accuse

these same governments of acting against gender equality, as the dismantling of public services and deregulation of the workplace inherent to Free Trade agreements takes place at the systematic and conscious exploitation of women, forcing women out of the workplace and into traditional unpaid labour roles, shouldering the social responsibilities of the state in Childcare, support and care for the elderly and also maintaining salary inequity in the name of commercial imperatives ;

We Accuse

these same governments of acting against the environment, as the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas not only favours a development model which has already caused terrible environmental degradation, but actively promotes a completely laisser-faire attitude towards the health of the planet .

We judge the accused to be unfit to lead the negotiations engaging the peoples of the Americas in the Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement.

We therefore call on the 34 governments meeting at the Summit of the Americas to immediately cease their locked-door conversations, to open a legitimate, public dialogue based on the principals of democracy to assess the damages of the last ten years of Free Trade and to act in the interests of the people of the Americas.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE !
GLOBALIZE OUR SOLIDARITY !

Adopted and signed in Quebec city December 13, 2000 by the Coalition Opération Québec Printemps 2001

The official page contains ...

  • the original English version web page
  • the spanish summary
  • the presentation or invitation letter (in French)
  • An article from the newspaper Le Soleil, March 21, 2001: Sommet des Amériques: Un manifeste percutant contre la ZLEA »»»


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