Archive for globalization

Call to Action for the Spring 2011 IMF/WB Meetings

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Government, Immigration & Borders, Indigenous, Police State, Prisoner Support, Revolution with tags , , , on January 27, 2011 by Ⓐb Irato

On April 16, 2000 upward of 20,000 anti-globalization protesters descended on Washington, DC to resist the destructive neoliberal policies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. On the heels of the stunning victory in Seattle on N30, hopes were high that the A16 demo would shut down the meetings and once again show the world the power of bottom-up, horizontal resistance.

A16 didn’t turn out to be another Seattle, but the worldwide struggle against neoliberalism was largely successful nonetheless. The relentless pressure of mass demonstrations at every summit meeting, coupled with ever more militant resistance from the residents of the affected countries, left the so-called Washington consensus in ruins. IMF capitalization plummeted in the following years as more and more poor nations opted out of the financial straightjacket of exorbitant interest rates and austerity measures demanded of IMF loan recipients.

Today, the tentacles of neoliberalism are encircling previously exempt populations in Europe and the US, as international bankers demand their speculative losses be made good by people already on the verge of destitution. In countries like Greece and Latvia, massive cuts in social services are forcing millions into poverty, in order to repay the IMF the billions that went to bailing out casino capitalists. In other countries, like the US, neoliberals wreak their havoc without middlemen, but the results are the same. Here in Washington, DC, home of the IMF and World Bank, school budgets are being slashed, homeless shelters closed, city employees laid off, and Metro fares raised, all to make up budget shortfalls caused by rescuing multi-billion dollar banks from their own greed and stupidity. DC is also the target of an invasion by Wal-Mart, who plans to open four stores here in 2012. This is the same Wal-Mart that received millions from the World Bank for energy projects in Haiti and Mexico.

The rest of the world is not taking this lying down. In Greece, strikes and protests are near daily occurrences, to the point that the economic disruption may be costing the government more money than they save through austerity measures. Students in England have rioted in response to tuition hikes, destroying the lobby of the Liberal Democrat party headquarters and attacking Prince Charles’ car – with him inside it. A spontaneous, leaderless revolt in Tunisia has driven one president into exile, and the transition government is already falling apart.

Here in the US we live at the heart of the capitalist empire. More than any other people in the world, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to derail the imperial machine. This year the IMF and World Bank will once again begin their spring meetings on April 16. The IMF Resistance Network invites all enemies of neoliberal capitalism to join us in the streets of DC to fight for a just and free world.

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Beyond the Local/Global Dichotomy: On Summit Demonstrations, Solidarity Actions and the Necessity of Consistency

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Immigration & Borders, Indigenous, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2010 by Ⓐb Irato

A Position Paper From the IMF Resistance Network

The problematic aspects of summit demonstrations have been made clear. In the current climate of action in antiauthoritarian circles we have run into a little bit of a bind, both conceptually and practically. Militant demonstrations at the sites of trade summits have done a lot to break the image of the “Washington Consensus” as well as mount actual destabilizations in the functioning of the apparatus of the State in certain areas for periods of time. But summit demos have become something of an abstract anarchist threat that comes to take up a lot of energy and only engages for a short period of time, only to see that energy dispersed after the last dumpsters are rolled back down their respective alleys and the last windows replaced.

But we want to push beyond the absurdities of the recent debates around large scale confrontation. The absurdities of claims to our addictions or speculation about the psychological motivations beyond confrontation aside, we need to move beyond understanding our actions within the borders of spatial divisions of local and global. If we can say one thing about capitalist globalization it is that these divisions have been eliminated and have become part of global commodity flows.

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