A Call for a National Student Mobilization Against the WEF
From Thursday, January 31st to Sunday, February 3rd 2002 at Columbia University in New York City
1. BACKGROUND ON THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM (WEF)
What is the WEF?
Every year, 1,000 top business leaders, come together to shape the global agenda, while political elites and media luminaries gaze on admiringly. The World Economic Forum (WEF) will hold its annual meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City from January 31st to February 4th 2002. By its own description, the WEF is a special club of elite business leaders, whose annual meeting is the world's global business summit.
What is the WEF's agenda?
At the New York WEF summit, the world's richest CEOs will collaborate with the world's most powerful politicians to set the global economic agenda. Meanwhile, in the halls of Congress, the world's most powerful politicians are collaborating with the world's richest CEOs to expand the "war on terrorism."
The WEF agenda has already led to a world in which every day 19,000 children die in the developing world from undernourishment. While the world's richest 200 people have doubled their wealth in the last five years.
This neoliberal economic agenda has also led to a world in which the U.S. government, spending over $270 million annually on its military budget, supports dictatorships and autocratic regimes, and leads other nations into wars that kill millions of more innocent people. Most recently, this agenda has led the U.S. government into another protracted war, while it attacks the rights of workers, students, and immigrants at home.
It has led to a world where the people of Tuvalu are faced with the possibility of fleeing their island nation if the rise in sea level caused by global warming continues. A world where as many as 50,000 endangered species disappear forever each year, and where 214,000 acres of rainforest - an area larger than New York City - is cut down every day.
What can I do?
It's time to make the connection. The same people who stand to gain from extending the war are perpetuating the global economic conditions that foster terrorism. Capitalism propels war, and war protects capital. U.S. imperialism and global corporate domination go hand in hand.
In the name of democracy, in the name of economic justice, in the name of the global anti-imperialist struggle, and in the name of the Earth, we call all students, activists, rabble-rousers, and concerned citizens to share their ideas, fears, inspirations and tactics. Our "leaders" will never make the necessary changes; it's up to us to do it for ourselves!
Join us to say
-- NO to the War on Terrorism,
-- NO to the WEF,
-- NO to the global economic conditions that foster terrorism,
-- and, YES to a world organized around principles of democracy, equity, sustainability and solidarity.
2. NATIONAL STUDENT MOBILIZATION AND CONFERENCE
What is the outline for the conference?
The four-day conference will comprise of three days of workshops and panels, mostly in the evenings and on Thursday and Friday so as not to conflict with direct actions to shut down the WEF being planned in the city on the weekend.
We expect hundreds of students from all over the nation, from California, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the South and the East Coast. We're in contact with students abroad in Canada, Europe and Asia. Together, and in solidarity with other initiatives against the WEF, we will seek to model the world we wish to create.
What are the workshops, panel discussions and forums about?
-- Legal, media, medical and tactical trainings
-- Forums on the history of the WEF and the policies it promotes
-- Workshops on globalization, labor, sustainable development, and human rights
-- Education about the environmental impact of globalization
-- Speakers on the corporate influences behind US foreign policy decisions
-- Focus on indigenous peoples' right to self-sustainability
And much more, specific topics TBA.
3. HOW TO GET INVOLVED AND FOR MORE INFORMATION
How can I register for the conference?
To cover the costs of the conference, we ask that participants pay a registration fee on a sliding scale from $5 to $10. No one will be turned away from the door due to lack of funds. The collected funds will go towards the reservation of spaces, rental of sound equipment, etc.
You can pre-register for the conference by sending a check or money order to the Columbia Student Solidarity Network. Please email the WEF Counter-Summit Organizing Collective for more information.
Where will I stay?
Arrangements are being made to provide housing for all out of town students. To reserve a space ahead of time, please email the WEF Counter-Summit Organizing Collective for more information.
How will I get to New York?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide transportation to New York. However, many local and regional groups are organizing either group bus or plane trips to New York. We encourage you to use the Anti-Capitalist Convergence Ride Board ( http://www.abolishthebank.org/en/transit.html) to either find or offer transportation. If that doesn't work, e-mail email the WEF Counter-Summit Organizing Collective, and we will do our best to put you in touch with a group organizing transportation from your area.
Where can I go for more information or to help organize the conference?
More information about the National Student Mobilization and Conference will be posted at the Students for Global Justice website. Please check the site periodically for updates.
You can also subscribe to the Globalize Justice mailing list ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalizejustice) for announcements and updates.
To get involved with organizing the conference and outreach to schools, activist groups and communities, please email the WEF Counter-Summit Organizing Collective.
See you at the conference and in the streets, because OUR WORLD IS NOT FOR SALE.
The WEF Counter-Summit Organizing Collective
Last updated on December 16, 2001
add a comment on this article