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corporate dominance | economic justice | imperialism & war


mass demonstrations called in new york city outside of the annual meeting of the world economic forum: january 28-february 4

saturday, february 2: mass march and rally

This meeting includes political leaders and hundreds of representatives of the world's biggest transnational corporations, banks and media conglomerates, from Chase-Manhattan to GM to Siemen to AOL. It represents the world economic and military structures that have impoverished people throughout the Third World and inside the United States. It is these corporate and banking elites and government officials who are promoting the war against the people of Afghanistan. They will derive huge profits from the sale of military weapons of mass destruction under the rubric of combating "terrorism." They seek to consolidate their hold over the oil-rich Caspian region and the Middle East.

Since September 11, hundreds of thousands of workers from the airline industry, the hotel and restaurant industry and more have lost their jobs. Unemployment and mass layoffs are now sweeping through all sectors of the U.S. economy. The corporate and banking elites which dominate the U.S. government have crafted legislation and emergency aid to bail out corporate investors and insurance companies, while providing absolutely no assistance to working people who have lost their income and are now facing evictions, foreclosures and deepening poverty. Hardest hit have been the lowest paid workers, especially those in the service sector.

It is obscene that these modern day corporate robber barons and the government officials who do their bidding will hold their celebrated annual meeting at the Waldorf in New York City while hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are being forced onto the unemployment lines. New York City officials will roll out the red carpet for the rich and powerful while working and poor people go without a guaranteed income, health care or a roof over their heads.

Since its inception in 1971, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum has become the world's global business summit. Gathering to address key economic, political and societal issues, over 1,500 of the world's leading citizens from business, government, media, religion, academia, and the arts make the annual pilgrimage to the Forum. Harvard University (www.ksg.harvard.edu/alum/honors/1999aaa.html)
The World Economic Forum's meetings are invitation-only and closed to outsiders. The WEF closely vets media attendance at its forums. Most journalists from the major media institutions are only allowed access to selected events and are thus dependent for copy on WEF-vetted releases. Alternative media outlets are routinely denied admittance.

This elite, member-based institution is funded largely by 1,000 or so multinational corporations, which pay as much as $300,000 a year for the privilege. Not surprisingly, the agenda at the Forum's annual meeting has reflected the postwar Western consensus in favor of free markets and open societies. Time Europe
The WEF is a ruling class caucus. It is a forum for developing elite consensus on the most important issues of the day--what type of economic policy should be advocated and implemented? What stance should be taken on major geopolitical issues? What response should be made to critics of these policies?

Unlike, say, the International Chamber of Commerce, the WEF is not a business lobby group or representative confederation but rather a focus for elite dialogue. In the last five years, the WEF has become the most important site for discussion between the world's major political and business leaders on how to drive the process of "globalization", and how to sell it.
As the Forum's web site puts it, there is a "club atmosphere which prevails during the Annual Meeting [which] creates the most propitious environment for business networking and for the acquisition of first-hand information on the latest trends in business, management, culture, economic and political domains." What this means is that the forum is where the schemes that lead to atrocities like GATT and the WTO are actually hatched. The latter for instance, originated from an informal gathering of trade ministers that the Forum hosted in the early 90's.

The WEF does occasionally allow a small number of critics from non-government organizations. At Davos 2000, it allowed seven such people in, and in 2001, a total of 36 NGO representatives were in attendance. However, as one such attendee, Focus on the Global South's Walden Bello put it, "There were unstated rules for the NGO representatives present: they had to be civilized and respectful of 'diverse' views and above all grateful they were invited. The discordant voices on the left...were given their brief opportunity to exercise free speech and the bandwagon rolled on."

For years the World Economic Forum has conducted it's planning of the world economies from Davos, Switzerland. After years of direct action, like that which is planned in New York, they were forced to leave. New Yorkers and all others must tell them that their undemocratic, secret and closed meetings which have global repercussions but are held accountable to no one are not welcome here as well. The World Economic Forum is" funded by the contributions of 1,000 of the world's foremost corporation " according to its own bio and serves only the interests of those corporations, regardless of the social repercussions. Tell corporate rulers of the world that their exploitation of the third world, destruction of the environment and hijacking of elections is unacceptable.

Join us at the Waldorf Astoria
in Midtown Manhattan and
demand social justice!!

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