November 16, 1999

Subject: Countdown to the WTO meeting in Seattle

Hello everyone

I'd like to draw your attention on the coming World Trade Organization
meeting in Seattle, USA. Those critical negotiations will probably last 3
years and have lasting and very detrimental effects on the people and the
environment of this planet. Just as the People Power and the savvy use of
the Internet succeeded in derailing the infamous MAI agreement (a pact
safeguarding the rights of the multinational corporations) last year, we
need to rally all our forces to defeat the Machiavellian plans by the world
elite to erase the gains of more than a century of struggle by countless
NGOs and selfless individuals to improve the lives of billions of people
and the chances of making it alive and healthy in the next century and

Our future depends on our commitment to sustain this struggle... and win it!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
Subject: Fwd/StopWTORound: WTO's central crime - making big business bigger

The article below on the effects of "global harmonization" of trade
rules at the WTO is from the Guardian 11/11/99.

Ron Rowe -- Chair, Citizens' Alliance of Santa Barbara
(Santa Barbara Alliance for Democracy)
P.O. Box 719
Moorpark, CA 93020-0719
Phone: (805) 581-3250
Fax: (805) 579-3825

Some useful, commonsense arguments here about the flawed economics of
the WTO. It was published in the Guardian of 11 November.

Message sent via ENVLIST
This message originated
From: "George Monbiot" <>

The market is imperfectly responsive to demand. No one sells cars on the
basis that they will run 150 miles to the gallon, even though the demand
is well-established and the technology has been available for years. No
one sells phone lines with the promise that if a fault occurs you will
not be cast, when you try to report it, into a limbo of machines
masquerading as human beings and human beings masquerading as machines,
despite the fact that such considerate service has turned thousands of
mild citizens into psychopaths.

Companies compete, in other words, on limited grounds. The market heeds
some consumer demands - principally low price - but not others. The
bigger a company becomes, the less responsive it is likely to be. If,
for example, the bakery at the bottom of my road decided to alter the
way it baked its bread and I complained, threatening to take my custom
elsewhere, the owners would be mortified. If half a dozen customers
complained, they would go back to the old way of baking immediately. I
have power in this marketplace, because they are not much bigger than I

If I make a similar complaint to a supermarket, I will doubtless be
treated with respect, and perhaps even asked to fill in a form, but when
I have gone, the staff will tap their heads. The superstores are big
enough not to have to worry about me. As businesses grow, their
customers' power becomes blunt and diffuse.

At the end of this month ministers from all over the world will gather
in Seattle to launch one of the most important events since the fall of
the Berlin Wall: a new round of global trade talks. The World Trade
Organisation furiously contests claims that a new agreement will
disadvantage the developing world, threaten the environment and destroy
the regulations protecting consumers and the workforce. We can (and in
subsequent columns, doubtless I will) argue interminably about these
issues, but one outcome of the talks is inevitable, which is perhaps why
it has scarcely been discussed. A new world trade agreement will enable
big business to get bigger.

The purpose of the agreement is to harmonise regulatory standards
worldwide, to render, as the draft text boasts, "the WTO system truly
universal in scope and coverage". This will enable a company currently
trading on one side of the world to sell its product, without
alteration, on the other. In a single global marketplace, transnational
corporations will be able to reap massive economies of scale. Small
companies, trading locally, will be hard-put to compete.

Already in Britain we have witnessed what appears to be the terminal
decline of small farms, shops, filling stations, pubs and publishing
companies. The global harmonisation of standards that has taken place so
far has led to a rush of mergers and takeovers. A new round of talks
will soon make the thunderous deals of the 1990s look like a village
jumble sale. Across dozens of sectors, small business is threatened with

The champions of global trade argue that consolidation is good for the
consumer. Prices, they maintain, will fall as big firms reduce their
costs and smaller ones can no longer shelter their uncompetitive
practices behind geographical barriers. This may or may not be true:
vertical integration and de facto cartels could, in the long run, make
the market less, rather than more, competitive.

But in all other respects, the disadvantage to the consumer is
clear-cut: the greater the imbalance of power between seller and buyer,
the less responsive to demand the market will be. When a company has one
hundred customers, it listens carefully to what each of them wants. When
it has a million, it responds to the lowest common denominator. This is
why, when people who work outdoors want a pair of boots or trousers that
will last for years, they don't go to the outdoor shop in the high
street, but to the army surplus store, whose products will give them
three or four times the use. The reason is obvious: the initial
purchaser, the Ministry of Defence, wields power in the marketplace. Big
enough to be heard by the supplier, it can fine tune its demand until it
obtains precisely what it wants.

The new mega-corporations enjoy disproportionate power both inside and
outside the market. They use it further to standardise the trade rules
from which they benefit, and to bend the business of the state to their
defence. This is why the CIA was co-opted into staging a mock WTO
meeting in Seattle in August, in the hope of discovering how to crush
challenges to the corporate agenda. This is why, when the Irish prime
minister Bertie Ahern visited the United States last year, he was
lobbied to approve sales of Monsanto's maize not by the US trade
secretary, but by Sandy Berger, the director of the National Security

When a single global marketplace has been engineered, across which
single corporations can roam, we shall find them deaf to our entreaties.
Were we to tell such monsters that we shall take our custom elsewhere,
they will ask us which planet we had in mind. This is the new world
order, of earth-swallowing companies, the leviathans of the 21st
Century, to whom you and I are no more than bobbing plankton. If we do
not resist them now, their new "free trade agreement" will ensure that
consumers never wield power in the marketplace again.

Published in the Guardian 11.11.99

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 99
From: <>
Subject: Confronting Some "Free Trade" Public Opinion Engineers in L.A.

Report from the L.A./Long Beach leg of the "Free Trade" bus tour

*** Fair Trade for People, not "Free Trade" for Corporate Profits! ***

** Defeat the "Dark Side" of Corporate-Military Globalization! **

Commerce Secretary Bill Daley brought his "Free Trade Educational Bus
Tour" to Los Angeles and Long Beach this week to help "educate" us
about the many benefits of corporate globalization. He got a warm
welcome from Fair Trade activists from organizations ranging from
labor unions and environmental groups to the National Lawyers Guild.

Included below are reports from Leone Hankey, Southern California organizer
for the California Fair Trade Campaign, and from the Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times article quotes President Clinton as saying: "I'm
sympathetic with all these negative feelings. But one of the things
that spawns these kind of negative feelings is these folks feel like
they've been shut out. They think the WTO is some rich guys' club where
people get in and talk in funny language, and use words nobody
understands, and make a bunch of rules that help the people that
already have, and stick it to the people that have not. That's what
they think. And so if we're going to change their perception, we've
got to listen to their protests, and bring them into the tent, and go
forward taking these concerns into account."

I think that's a very important statement to take a close look at.
It shows very clearly EXACTLY why our democracy isn't working!

First, the President frames the "negative feelings" of the WTO's
opponents as if they're unfounded. A textbook ploy straight from the
propaganda guidebook. When we look beyond the public relations "spin"
that our media is fed by groups like the corporate sponsors of this
bus tour, we find that the reality makes our "negative feelings" look
optimistic! For instance, in an article in the London Independent in
July, Hilary Clarke wrote:

"I found myself right at the heart of the world's most powerful
organisation during the final phase of the Uruguay Round trade
negotiations in Geneva in 1993. Along with other reporters I was
privy to the deliberations of the world's superpowers. But the
majority of Third World trade ministers had no such access: they were
forced to wait for hours on end in the coffee bar, begging the
emerging journalists to tell them the latest developments in the

And secondly, the President himself stated as clearly as can be that
his concern is NOT to change the WTO and other components of the global
economic system to make them work better for people, but to change OUR
PERCEPTION of how they work so we'll THINK they're working for us!
It's the same strategy that's worked so well to defuse public
opposition -- tell the public what you're going to do to resolve their
concerns, do what you were planning to do anyhow, then tell the people
what a great job you've done to look out for their interests and how
you're committed to serving them in the future. In a recent radio
address, President Clinton boasted of how he and Al Gore had "saved"
California's Headwaters forest! Is it a lie? Or just good Public
Relations? As far back as 1947, Edward Bernays, one of the founders of
the Public Relations industry, called it "the engineering of consent"
and outlined strategies of "mass persuasion" for the "consent engineer"
to follow. What's really sad is that it's working so well!

So, on to Seattle, and beyond!

Ron Rowe

Date: 13-NOV-1999
From: <>
Subj: BusTour report ...

We had a great Bus Tour Protest the last two days (report follows by
us, and by Seattle Times!) ...

Congratulations to Southern California Fair Trade Network folks for
successfully derailing the Sec. of Commerce's "Free Trade Propaganda
Tour." His bustour of fat cat CEO's like the CEO of Boeing and a PR
flack for the Business Roundtable hit many potholes and was
appropriately greeted by protesters at every turn. We turned his
message of "Trading Globally, Prospering Locally" into a more accurate
message of "Pillaging globally, layoffs locally!" We estimate that
there was a total of at least 200 different people all together
involved in the protest, probably more, and many, many organizations
and labor unions represented, including IATSE, UFCW, UNITE, PACE,
ILWU, AFSCME, HERE (lots of people!), Bus Riders Union, Sierra Club,
Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch, CISPES, Labor Party, Greens,
Alliance for Democracy, SAG, National Lawyers Guild, Steelworkers,
Americans for Democratic Action, Action Resource Center, Ecolink,
UCLA Environmental Coalition, and others. Here are some highlights
(followed by Seattle Times article):

Protesters faced off with Daley as he exited the Chamber of Commerce
luncheon. When Daley whined "you can't blame all your problems on
NAFTA," a Latina organizer with the Grupo Gigante Human Dignity
campaign graphically demonstrated to Daley, "the NAFTA boot is kicking
me in the butt"! after eloquently describing how workers at Group
Gigante, the Mexican owned supermarket chain, make minimum wage and
have to use food stamps to make ends meet.

[Note: As Daley and his corporate companions left the L.A. Chamber of
Commerce to board the bus, they were met by Fair Trade protestors who
had formed a corridor of banners and signs leading from the steps of
the Chamber of Commerce to the door of the bus. The "Free Trade" tour
bus was escorted by Fair Trade activists on its way to its next stop
in Pasadena, and ended up being led through the streets of Pasadena
by the banner-covered Fair Trade van and a caravan of activists' cars
decorated with signs like "Fair Trade, Not Corporate Rule!" A true,
real-life example of "when the people lead, the leaders will follow,"
though that was definitely NOT Secretary Daley's INTENTION! --rgr]

At Sony Pictures Studios we did not see Daley, but a crowd of film
workers and others had the first labor demonstration at that lot in
probably fifty years. Workers coming off shift greeted us
enthusiastically as we chanted "No More NAFTAs! Stop Runaway Jobs!"
and we were shown briefly on eyewitness news Channel 7.

Today in Long Beach we had quite a day! Police and JrROTC(!) were out
in force to make sure we didn't get into the "educational" program
Daley and a bunch of billionaires were presenting to poor and minority
high school students at Poly about how lucky we all are to be making
these CEOs so rich! A local Long Beach resident Brian Young was
arrested because he stepped into school grounds, pointing out that
these are public officials and a public policy debate, and they had no
right to be excluding him from attending an event his tax payer dollars
were funding. The propaganda tour briefly escaped us by getting onto
a boat for a little cruise, since the Longshoremen's union had refused
to meet with them and be manipulated into a "photo-op" rather than
having a serious dialogue on trade, but many protestors greeted them as
they rode up to their hotel lunch with "Daley, Daley what a man!
Exporting jobs as fast as he can!" and a banner stating: "Daley in bed
with criminal corporations--OXY off U'Wa Land" (although I refused to
donate my bed for a little guerrilla theater). Thanks to all for a
great two days. What a way to kick off our countdown to Seattle!


From: "Rob Wheeler" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999
Subject: [delegates] GPA Article in Intl Herald Tribune

Dear Friends of Passem,

Here is a commentary published in the International Herald Tribune, written
by at least one of our ardent supporters - Andy Strauss. While Andy and
Richard quite persuasively make the case for an elected People's Assembly,
there is also strong support within MPAN to at least begin with an Assembly
that is more representational than elected and to ensure that we include
means for NGOs and other civil society organizations to fully participate.
This was forwarded by Simon Burrall, Executive Director of One World Trust
in the UK. Thanks Simon,

Rob Wheeler
MPAN Coordinator


From the International Herald Tribune of Tuesday, October 5, 1999 - page 8

Globalization Needs a Dose of Democracy
By Richard Falk and Andrew Strauss

The economic and political problems of the last year have driven home just
how reliant the world has become upon effective international solutions to
what would previously have been considered regional or local problems. A
foreign reserve shortfall in Thailand triggered an economic crisis in
emerging markets that very possibly would have engulfed the whole of the
world economy if not for extensive intervention by the IMF. Human rights
crises in tiny Kosovo and in East Timor were seen as having profoundly
destabilizing implications and as
calling for significant military responses by NATO and the United Nations.

Because of the urgent demands of a more interconnected, globalized world it
seems inevitable that the international order will play a significantly
enhanced role in the next century. There is, however, no structure in place
to ensure that this order will be organized along democratic lines. In fact,
despite the increasing importance placed on democratization of domestic
governance, almost no attention has been devoted to ensuring that this most
fundamental political value is applied to the increasingly important global
dimensions of our politics.

Accepting the challenge to extend democracy beyond its familiar link to the
state does not tell us how this might best be done. We believe that the most
promising innovation would be a worldwide grassroots campaign to establish
the first Global Peoples' Assembly. To many this idea must seem fanciful.
Certainly it seems unlikely that most governments would support a proposal
that would threaten their monopoly in the global arena. But governmental
reluctance need not be decisive.

Globalization is creating a nongovernmental global civil society composed of
nongovernmental organizations, transnational business, labor, media,
cultural and religious institutions and networks, and cosmopolitan
individuals with extraordinary wealth and influence. This numerically small
yet highly visible globalized citizenry now has the capacity, perhaps with
the help of some forward-looking governments, to organize such an assembly.
If, as the democratic principle asserts, political authority ultimately
resides in citizens, then the citizenry has the right to found its own

How could we proceed to bring this assembly into being? Perhaps the most
effective initial move would be to issue an appeal endorsed by moral
authority figures (religious leaders, Nobel Peace Prize laureates) that
calls on the peoples of the world to bring about such an assembly. If
well-executed, this appeal would probably succeed in raising needed
organizing funds.

As a second stage, meetings could be arranged throughout the world with the
goal of forming a citizens' committee that could organize and administer
global elections. A voting formula based upon one person, one vote would
probably be acceptable and fairest. Elections could then be held, monitored
by respected observers.

Along the way many stumbling blocks would of course arise. Global voter
roles would have to be generated. A system of campaign finance and other
election rules would need to be established, and attempts to manipulate or
undermine elections would have to be effectively guarded against. Some
governments would undoubtedly not allow elections to occur in their
countries. As a result, these societies would initially be unrepresented, or
temporarily represented by a selection process carried out among citizens in

There is little reason to believe that logistical and political problems
could not be solved by sufficiently dedicated participants. The innovation
of a global assembly seems far less radical than was the bitter historical
struggle waged for centuries against royal absolutism to establish
parliamentary bodies representative of the citizenry.

Once established, the assembly would play a modest role at first. But if it
achieved a respected presence over a period of years, it would begin to
influence governments and media. At this point it could seek formal
inclusion within the United Nations system. Until this point is reached, the
assembly would have an international legal status similar to that of such
nongovernmental organizations as the Red Cross, Amnesty International or the
International Olympic Committee - but with one big difference. It could lay
some claim to represent all the peoples of the world.

As the only such body, it would have the potential to become influential
long before receiving formal recognition. Parliament in England, after all,
began as an informal advisory body whose influence as the sole
representative of the people gradually achieved potency. In our own time,
the increasingly powerful, directly elected European Parliament existed for
many years as a largely symbolic representative of the peoples of the
European Union.

The global assembly could usefully contribute to the creation of planetary
norms by expressing views on critical issues of global policy. Not only
could such an assembly be a vehicle for championing social justice, it could
greatly contribute to the development of a more peaceful global order.

Representatives from different countries and civilizations would convene in
a climate of civility to advance mutual interests and discuss differences.
Interest groups trying to influence the assembly would coalesce across
national lines. The normal parliamentary business of delegates working to
build social consensus on issues would encourage the development of
universal values over more parochial concerns and beliefs. A more democratic
world, in which individuals and groups are less likely to perceive their
rights as threatened, is a world more likely to be at peace.

The rise of global civil society at this auspicious dawning of a new
millennium gives us the opportunity to participate in creating a democratic
system in which governmental power, domestic and international, is derived
directly from the consent of the governed. Given a global peoples'
assembly, the grander project of a democratic form of global governance
could proceed with considerable confidence.


Mr. Falk is the Albert G. Milbank professor of international law and
practice at Princeton University. Mr. Strauss is an associate professor of
international law at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington,
Delaware. They contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.


Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999

Hi Jean,

I don't know if you've heard about this but one of the forums planned
for Seattle that I don't think has gotten as much attention as it
deserves is the forum on "The WTO and the Global War System". I've
been seeing some interesting cross-over lately between the peace and
global economic issues, particularly since Kosovo, and an increasing
recognition of the linkage of these issues (which is the motivation
behind my design for the "corporate-military globalization target"
T-shirts -- I think I sent you some info on that recently too, and I
could mail you a color copy of the design if you're interested if you
send me your mailing address...) I think this is a vital area that we
need to look into more deeply and be more aware of the ties between
global economics, the corporate system and military operations (as well
as the way it's all portrayed to us in the media!)

We need to come together in solidarity for humanity and global justice
and against the ongoing corporate-government war against people that
our "leaders" are waging locally, nationally and globally. As "Refuse
and Resist" so clearly expresses it, "It's All One Assault"!

I'll include the announcement for the "Global War System" forum below.

Best wishes,

Ron Rowe

"For globalism to work, America can't be afraid to act like the
almighty superpower that it is....The hidden hand of the market
will never work without a hidden fist - McDonald's cannot flourish
without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the
hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's
technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and
Marine Corps."

-- "What the World Needs Now," Thomas Friedman, New York Times, March 28, 1999

"If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes
our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key...
That's what this Kosovo thing is all about."

-- President Bill Clinton (see "The Case Against Intervention in Kosovo" by
Benjamin Schwarz & Christopher Layne, The Nation, April 19, 1999)

"... I want to quote two lessons taught by the faculty of Georgetown
University's School of Foreign Service when Bill Clinton and I were
students there in the mid-1960s. ... When we were second year
students, Professor Ello began his course on international relations
by saying that 'the study of international relations is akin to
studying the rules of the game among Mafia families.' And, in our
last year, international law Professor O'Brien repeatedly emphasized
that 'International law is what those who have the power to impose it
say it is.' "

-- Dr. Joseph Gerson, Director of Programs, American Friends Service
Committee, Seoul, South Korea, June 26-27, 1999

Date: 15-OCT-1999
From: <> "Intl Network on Disarmament and

Forum on peace and disarmament announced to coincide with the Seattle
WTO ministerial:

The WTO and the Global War System
Sunday, November 28th 1999
Hildebrand Hall, Plymouth Congregational Church
1212 6th Avenue (at University), Seattle
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM

This public forum is being organized by peace groups from the U.S. and
Canada, and will examine how the World Trade Organization and economic
globalization prevents efforts to promote peace and human security. The
result is a global war system which drives the arms race and uses
military power to defend corporate interests around the world.

The forum will examine these areas:
1. WTO and economic globalization
2. Weapons corporations and economic conversion
3. Nuclear weapons and their abolition

Susan George, Transnational Institute
David Korten, Positive Futures Network
Alice Slater, Abolition 2000/Global Resource Action Center for the
Steven Staples, Int'l Network on Disarmament and Globalization

Martin Fleck, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Local Organizing Committee:
Northwest Disarmament Committee (USA) and End the Arms Race (Canada).
International Affiliates:
Abolition 2000 Working Group on Corporate Issues
The International Network on Globalization and Disarmament

Admission is free. For information, contact (206) 547-0952 or


From November 29th to December 3rd, representatives from the 134 member
nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will convene in Seattle
to discuss world trade and investment to set the ground for a new round
of international negotiations. In the short time since it was created
following the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations in 1995, the WTO has
quickly assumed the position of the most important multilateral
institution in the world.

The WTO's power goes far beyond promoting free trade - it sets limits
on how governments may participate within or regulate national
economies on behalf of their citizens, thereby undermining democracy
and national sovereignty. It employs a secretive dispute panel with the
power to impose punitive trade sanctions on nations which refuse to
change their laws to conform to the demands of the WTO's trade rules.

In many respects, the WTO has marginalized the United Nations and has
become the main venue for international relations and diplomacy.
Nations outside the WTO clamour to become members of the club. The rise
of transnational corporations with their enormous economic and
political power has put the so-called "corporate agenda" of
liberalization, deregulation, and privatization at the top of the world
agenda. Meanwhile the United Nations can only dream of the power and
influence of the WTO.

The WTO's agenda of promoting unfettered capitalism at the expense of a
government's ability to control its economy for the benefit of its
people contributes to poverty, human rights violations, environmental
degradation - all of the root causes of war.

International trade and investment agreements rely upon the classic
notion that the nation state's only legitimate role is to provide for
the external defence and internal security of the nation and its
citizens. So while social programs, public services, and environmental
regulations - vital in providing human security in the modern world -
are undermined by trade agreements, government actions for "national
security" reasons are exempted from the agreements' restrictions. Thus,
while limited in many policy areas, governments are free to spend
public monies on weapons, armies and internal police forces.

The result is the creation of the "global war system." In the
industrialized economies of the north, military spending in many
countries is on the rise again - ten years after the end of the Cold
War. Billions of tax dollars are slashed from social programs to be
spent on new weapons, many of which are then sold around the world.

In the emerging economies of the south, corporations demand weak labour
and environmental standards to extract natural resources or build goods
destined for northern markets. The economic interests of transnational
corporations are protected by the technologically advanced militaries
of their allies in northern governments. And occasionally, "cruise
missile diplomacy" is used against a non-conforming nation.

However, citizens' organizations and trade unions are resisting the
attack on the public domain and democracy. Non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and organized labour are planning a parallel
international gathering of people outside the WTO meeting in Seattle.
This gathering will strengthen the international network of activists
and organizations working to promote peace, human rights, workers'
rights, and sustainable development.

International Network on Disarmament and Globalization
405-825 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1K9 CANADA
tel: (604) 687-3223 fax: (604) 687-3277

To subscribe to the e-mail list, send an e-mail to
SUBSCRIBE mil-corp "FirstName LastName" <>
as the first and only line in the message body.


From: European Commission, Trade DG <>
Sent: 09 November 1999
Subject: Latest European Union developments for WTO Seattle Ministerial

This is a message from the European Commission Trade Directorate-General,
which is in charge of the European Union's trade policy worldwide.

The European Union has initiated and is backing the launch of a new round
of trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation Conference in Seattle
at the end of this month. You will find a great deal of new information
about the EU's position at our special new round website on:


Trade before freedom


The European Union has agreed on Commissioner Pascal Lamy's
negotiating mandate for the ministerial conference of the World
Trade Organisation (WTO). The mandate may be summed up as agreement
to an all-round liberalisation of trade, but with some restrictive
clauses concerning respect for cultural diversity, the
precautionary principle and dialogue with the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) on minimum social standards. In other words,
free trade remains the rule and derogations the exception. The
dismal legacy of five years of trade deregulation since the 1994
Marrakesh accords should be enough to call the principles of the
WTO into question. Europe refuses to do so, even though millions
are mobilising in Seattle and around the world.

Read article at: