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actions & protests | economic justice wto hong kong

anti-WTO = anti-War = anti-Empire

Just days before the coming Hong Kong WTO meeting, December 13-18, writers posting here at Portland Indymedia have been presenting the idea that protest of the WTO is pointless and futile in the absence of a real international workers movement.

Coming just days before planned protests in Portland and Seattle, what is the intention of these writers? To discourage anti-WTO protest? Or is it to co-opt anti-WTO anger? To make it appear that only if protesters sign up to follow some revolutionary vanguard, that is the only possible significance of the protest action?

Even the corporate media is taking note of the fact that there will be an international protest, including workers, risking their lives and liberty to be at Hong Kong:

"They will be coming for the Dec. 13-18 summit from around the world -- Pakistani fishermen, Korean farmers and Argentine environmentalists." -- Sylvia Hui, writing for the Associated Press.

Let's get it straight what this protest is all about:

anti-WTO = anti-War = anti-Empire
Some posts here at Portland Indymedia have presented the idea that until there is a real international workers movement, anything done to oppose or protest WTO is a meaningless waste of time.

For example, James Cooke has written: "Saying you are anti-WTO or globilization is amazingly short sighted; what do you plan to replace this emerging global organization with? ... The only feasible anti-imperialistc struggle is an international breach with capitalism."

Cooke has the cart before the horse! To reach an "international breach with capitalism" there must first be a real international workers movement. Why is there no such international workers movement? The answer is that the people of the world have been divided by imperialist war, just as the workers of the world have been divided by the WTO.

What Cooke, and others, gloss over is this: the purpose of the WTO is to act on behalf of global capital to divide the workers of the world and prevent formation of any international workers movement. The WTO is the centralized bureaucratic branch of the empire of corporate globalization -- just as the U.S. war machine is the enforcement branch. That's why to protest/oppose the WTO is to protest/oppose the empire.

SO, let's keep our thinking straight: anything done to oppose or protest WTO will further opposition to the war, and vice versa: anti-WTO = anti-War = anti-Empire!

Cooke's article is at --

"A 'real' anti-imperialist movement"


In a comment at that same place, Marik says --

"You propose to waste massive amounts of time and energy for something which is ultimately, only useful as a symbol. Furthermore, this symbol is attained at much cost to the working class - nothing in it's attainment brings about class consciousness. In fact it promotes a dependency on bourgeois politicians instead of promoting the development of our own organizations , . . I feel this is a major problem. There is way too much emphasis on the short-term goals . . . And this is why the overall workers movement is extremely weak; the movements are in the hands of the liberal reformist strata."

Marik glosses over a very important fact: although there is no real international workers movement at this time, there are economic forces working to create such a movement. For that reason, the WTO exists precisely to prevent the formation of any international workers movement. THEREFORE, action and protest to oppose the WTO EQUALS action to further the formation of the international workers movement.

So, not only is this true: anti-WTO = anti-War = anti-Empire --

BUT ALSO this is true: anti-WTO EQUALS action to further the formation of a real international workers movement.

JUST AS, anti-War EQUALS action to further the formation of a real international humanitarian movement.

JUST AS, anti-Empire EQUALS action to further the formation of a real global economy of, by and for the people of the Earth.

Such protests may be "only useful as a symbol" -- but the symbols are real people in a real world.

Marik also writes: "The WTO and like organizations are going to exist until there is an international workers movement that dismantles them.."

Yes, and until then, we will act to oppose the WTO and like organizations -- because it is only through such action that any real international workers movement will come into being.

We are not mere projections of the future onto the screen of today's events -- WE ARE THE PRESENT MOMENT ! !
8 syllable ditty 09.Dec.2005 08:00



If you and I do not resist
The WTO will still exist!