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World Social Forum: Call For Mobilization Against The FTAA And WTO

21 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min - 23 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min GMT

Tegucigalpa, 17-1-2003
Towards a strong mobilization against the FTAA and WTO in favor of food sovereignty and other basic demands of our societies
Via Campesina hopes that the World Social Forum (WSF) will be a powerful event that leads to the dynamic articulation of forces against neoliberal policies and helps strengthen mobilization against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Via Campesina mobilizes against FTAA and WTO The liberalization of markets, the destruction of public services and the privatization of natural resources through the policies of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, WTO, FTAA, NAFTA and other free trade agreements are devastating the lives of millions of citizens. These policies have led to increasing poverty and misery in the countryside causing the forced displacement of rural peoples to the slums of our big cities. This is a neoliberal trade policy that destroys our capacity of agricultural production and that has as one of it’s main objectives the elimination of the peasantry and the concentration of the production into big units under industrial control. It is crucial that we put a stop to these policies, we must articulate another way, another perspective.

Peoples’ food sovereignty, a viable alternative In agriculture we must prioritize food production for local markets as the key viable solution to eliminate poverty and misery in rural areas. To resist neoliberal policies we must demand food sovereignty and our right to exist and to produce our food. We must protect ourselves against cheap imports, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and patenting since these are instruments of control used by transnational corporations. We must strengthen the recuperation of our land and seeds so that we can put in place farmer and peasant based food production.

For a World Social Forum that strengthens our resistance In Porto Alegre, Via Campesina hopes to strengthen our mobilizations against WTO and FTAA. We must confront our governments and demand that they stop signing agreements that go against our interests. During the WFS we need to engage in direct actions and mobilizations against cheap imports that destroy our food production. One of our key demands is agrarian reform. If we do not have land and control over resources to produce we cannot make a living in the countryside. We want to strengthen our work with other movements in defense of farmer seeds and access to natural resources. Important initiatives have already started and we hoped to strengthen them in Porto Alegre.

Let’s make the World Social Forum a site for active and dynamic participation that contributes to action for change. This must be a lively Forum that allows social movements the space to articulate and strengthen their struggles.

How to contact Via Campesina delegation in Porto Alegre: Place where we stay: Convento dos Capuchinos Rua Paulino Chaves, 291 al lado de la Parroquia Santo Antonio Barrio Santo Antonio (close to the Partenon and the Avenida Bento Goncalves) By email: srimst@uol.org.br with copy to nico.verhagen@t-online.de By phone: Tel: 0055-51-223 2800 (please ask for the direct line) To receive all information from the Via Campesina delegation during the World Social Forum please subscribe to our newsgroup by sending a blank message to: ViaCampesinaPortoAlegre-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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21 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min GMT
23 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min GMT
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