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Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.

Rick Fielding 21 Apr 01 - 01:21 PM
Big Mick 21 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM
RichM 21 Apr 01 - 04:43 PM
Rick Fielding 21 Apr 01 - 05:26 PM
catspaw49 21 Apr 01 - 05:55 PM
simon-pierre 21 Apr 01 - 06:03 PM
Mark Cohen 21 Apr 01 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,sophocleese 22 Apr 01 - 12:34 AM
simon-pierre 22 Apr 01 - 12:37 AM
catspaw49 22 Apr 01 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,sophocleese 22 Apr 01 - 12:53 AM
SeanM 22 Apr 01 - 01:54 AM
DougR 22 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,Spike 22 Apr 01 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,SeanM, lost cookie 22 Apr 01 - 04:10 AM
Owlkat 22 Apr 01 - 04:47 AM
MandolinPaul 22 Apr 01 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,willie-o 22 Apr 01 - 08:38 AM
RichM 22 Apr 01 - 09:55 AM
Rick Fielding 22 Apr 01 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Old Folkie 22 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM
simon-pierre 22 Apr 01 - 01:48 PM
MAV 22 Apr 01 - 02:15 PM
Metchosin 22 Apr 01 - 02:54 PM
Penny S. 22 Apr 01 - 03:10 PM
flattop 22 Apr 01 - 03:41 PM
MAV 22 Apr 01 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,VAM 22 Apr 01 - 04:22 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 04:30 PM
Metchosin 22 Apr 01 - 04:51 PM
flattop 22 Apr 01 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,VAM 22 Apr 01 - 04:56 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 05:07 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 05:13 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Apr 01 - 05:24 PM
MAV 22 Apr 01 - 05:26 PM
DougR 22 Apr 01 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,kendall 22 Apr 01 - 06:07 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 06:17 PM
MAV 22 Apr 01 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,VAM 22 Apr 01 - 06:53 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 07:07 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 07:40 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
flattop 22 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
flattop 22 Apr 01 - 08:29 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 09:23 PM
Sorcha 22 Apr 01 - 09:33 PM
CarolC 22 Apr 01 - 09:41 PM
Wotcha 22 Apr 01 - 10:40 PM
MAV 22 Apr 01 - 11:23 PM
Sorcha 22 Apr 01 - 11:35 PM
Big Mick 22 Apr 01 - 11:50 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 01 - 12:22 AM
simon-pierre 23 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM
catspaw49 23 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM
Big Mick 23 Apr 01 - 12:37 AM
Sorcha 23 Apr 01 - 01:05 AM
Owlkat 23 Apr 01 - 03:14 AM
CarolC 23 Apr 01 - 03:35 AM
Metchosin 23 Apr 01 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Greg F. - remote compr. 23 Apr 01 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,kendall 23 Apr 01 - 10:29 AM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 01 - 12:55 PM
Jande 23 Apr 01 - 03:12 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 01 - 03:56 PM
Sorcha 23 Apr 01 - 04:12 PM
Sorcha 23 Apr 01 - 04:14 PM
CarolC 23 Apr 01 - 05:33 PM
mousethief 23 Apr 01 - 05:39 PM
Jim the Bart 23 Apr 01 - 06:29 PM
catspaw49 23 Apr 01 - 06:39 PM
CarolC 23 Apr 01 - 07:20 PM
Greg F. 23 Apr 01 - 08:11 PM
CarolC 23 Apr 01 - 08:14 PM
Greg F. 23 Apr 01 - 09:10 PM
CarolC 23 Apr 01 - 09:33 PM
Greg F. 23 Apr 01 - 09:49 PM
CarolC 23 Apr 01 - 10:07 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM
mousethief 24 Apr 01 - 12:39 AM
CarolC 24 Apr 01 - 01:09 AM
Troll 24 Apr 01 - 08:51 AM
kendall 24 Apr 01 - 09:13 AM
Big Mick 24 Apr 01 - 09:27 AM
Jim the Bart 24 Apr 01 - 10:53 AM
CarolC 24 Apr 01 - 02:06 PM
mousethief 24 Apr 01 - 02:15 PM
CarolC 24 Apr 01 - 02:33 PM
Jim the Bart 24 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM
CarolC 24 Apr 01 - 06:45 PM
DougR 24 Apr 01 - 07:21 PM
Big Mick 24 Apr 01 - 10:01 PM
flattop 24 Apr 01 - 10:40 PM
CarolC 24 Apr 01 - 10:53 PM
Big Mick 24 Apr 01 - 11:02 PM
simon-pierre 24 Apr 01 - 11:12 PM
Troll 24 Apr 01 - 11:16 PM
catspaw49 24 Apr 01 - 11:26 PM
CarolC 24 Apr 01 - 11:39 PM
MAV 24 Apr 01 - 11:43 PM
Big Mick 24 Apr 01 - 11:59 PM
simon-pierre 25 Apr 01 - 12:10 AM
Jim the Bart 25 Apr 01 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Paul S 25 Apr 01 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Paul S 25 Apr 01 - 01:39 PM
Don Firth 25 Apr 01 - 01:44 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 01 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,petr 25 Apr 01 - 10:02 PM
Metchosin 26 Apr 01 - 01:49 AM
simon-pierre 26 Apr 01 - 01:59 AM
CarolC 26 Apr 01 - 03:00 AM
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Subject: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:21 PM

As most of us probably know, the "Summit of The Americas" (minus Cuba) is taking place in Quebec City this weekend. The numbers of protesters seems to be growing and apparently last night's first meeting was delayed by an hour or so. The newspapers are running pictures and descriptions that seem quite similar to those familiar ones from Seattle. Lots of tear gas, anger, and the kind of determination that makes you realize that the sixties style of activism can renew itself when people get pissed off enough.

Our friend Marilyn has been making regular reports through CityTV, and was coughing a bit from the tear gas. My memory goes back to that absolutely horrid film footage from a while ago of cops RUBBING pepper-spray into young protesters' eyes. That was the angriest I've ever been in my life.

Do any Mudcatters have friends who've gone to Quebec this weekend?


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM

Actually, Rick, I was asked to attend but had other committments. One of the trade groups I am a delegate to has a number of people there. I will get a full report in the next month, I am sure.......

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: RichM
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 04:43 PM

In Memory of Canadian Democracy 1867-2001.
Born: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1867.
Died: Quebec City, Quebec, 2001.

:(


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 05:26 PM

I think even if I'd been pro-status quo all my life, the sight of those kids trying to rinse the gas from their eyes would make me question at least SOME of my values. I've become pretty cynical over the years but this is pretty energizing.

Kudos for Canadian television for not censoring anything. The talking heads are trying to maintain a "mainstream professional" approach, but you can see that they're no fans of cops in riot gear.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 05:55 PM

I had way too much time to watch this during the morning between tests at the hospital. As is my natural tendency, I saw a bit of humor in some of our recent Canadian threads.........but there is no joke to be made here. I fear that all protest has become so violent and I fear that the violence is now viewed as necessity by all involved.

Odd Rick, I find it both energizing and depressing at the same time and it leaves me with a peculiar kind of angst.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:03 PM

As I lived in Québec, I was there last night with maybe 4000 persons. It was relatively pacific, until some people tried to shut down the wall, as they did in the afternoon, but they failed this time. After that, it was gas, gas and gas. Despite of that, the atmosphere was almost cool, between fiesta and rage.

Today, I was at the big walk, very pacific, organized by the unions and other group. There was between 30000 and 60000 persons, depending where you take your information (!). But in the old city, many thousands people continued to protest under the gas, and it seems not so cool today. They closed the Congress Center for the second time, a little victory.

All this must not cover the message: we do not want the FTAA - as stated the People Summit of America, who closed yesterday. It's just a weekend, but the work remains very big, and must be done after the Summit, with everyone.

This site will direct you to some information and others site written in a better english...

Simon-Pierre


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:08 PM

For some background (admittedly one-sided but nonetheless chilling even if only part of it is true), try this article on The Quebec Wall. I had my own chance to tangle with a small part of the agro-industrial complex a couple of years ago when my ex-wife and I helped to block the construction of a cobalt-60 powered food irradiation facility on this highly seismically active island. We were met with vituperative slander in the newspapers, death threats against our children, and other pleasant stuff. It's difficult to talk about this without sounding like a crazed conspiracy theorist. The problem is, the conspiracy is really out there, and it's winning.

And to pacify those who think this kind of discussion doesn't belong on a pristine folk music site (as if folk music has nothing to do with the real world...), I refer you to Si Kahn's song, "Who's Watchin' the Man Who's Watchin' the Man Who's Watchin' Me?" (Sorry, but some of the recent "Guest" comments have just finally pissed off even this even-tempered island boy.)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,sophocleese
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 12:34 AM

Thanks Rick for starting this thread. I haven't heard any news today as I've been mewed up in a conference all day. My sleeping quarters while in Toronto for the weekend are my brother's while he is in Quebec. I'm too wiped at the moment to think much except that if I wasn't at the conference I'd be at the summit. I became a Raging Granny on Tuesday in a small march on our local MP's office as we supported a highschool student delivering a petition arguing against the FTAA.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 12:37 AM

I'm "back from the front", to speak like they do at television... I returned there to see a friend who lives in the "hot quarter", but it was a mistake. They shot tear gas since 12h00 PM, and twelve hours later it's not finished. Several thousands people, who mostly have gas masks, still resist, so I don't understand why the police is shooting even more gas - you cannot breathe in a whole quarter. Residents need googles to go outside. It must be criminal. I didn't go where I wanted to - I just went to the closest friend, crying and coughing, wondering how to get back home. We heard helicopters and shootings, while outside some little fires burned, and always anti-riot tear gas.

The 10h00 pm o'clock news were revolting. They presented the fighting outside, and then what happened inside the wall, with the presidents and their clique, completely disconnected of what was going outside. They had a "gala" tonight, where big-shot canadians industrials were also invited - but not the media!!! So we cannot know who were those happy few priveliged who did exactly what we are fighting.

The wierdest thing is that they kidnapped Jaggi Singh, who belongs to this organisation I think. Hell! What's that country, were you can be kidnapped by the police when you're not saying what they want??? (for more information, you can watch this site again - there's at least a text in french).

I'm happy of the large activism that rose, but this night it was too much. Tomorrow, I'll wash the dish and listen to folk music.
Maybe Woody Guthrie:"We'll work in this fight, and we'll fight till we win".

Simon-Pierre


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 12:40 AM

Disturbing report S-P....but thanks for bringing it here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,sophocleese
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 12:53 AM

Thanks simon-pierre for letting us know. I'm a little worried about my brother but hope to hear from him tomorrow.

I felt sick yesterday when I first heard about the tear gas and I feel numb now.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: SeanM
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:54 AM

I've always thought of tear-gas as the true 'riot gas'. Once the police fire it, no matter how peaceful things were before, you've got a riot.

One thing that worries me - these are NOT seasoned troops who are trained in minimal force dispersal. I'm basing that partially off the media, partially off of their technique; the troops are low-arcing the teargas, which lets the targets pick up the unexploded canisters and return them to sender. If these people are that inexperienced, I truly worry that someone will panick and start using live ammo...

Good luck to those who have actually thought about their message and wish to make a point. For those only there to cause trouble, I hope they rot in the cells...

"But does is profit him, the right to be born, if he suffers the loss of liberty. Laws were made for people and the law can never scorn the right of a man to be free. We are the people and we shall overcome."

M


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: DougR
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM

So why are so many of you opposed to free trade? Don't understand, but willing to listen. Is the discontent on the part of Mudcatters due to opposition to free trade, or the treatment of those opposed to it?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,Spike
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:23 AM

The older I get the harder it is to see things in black and white. I belong to a tradition which donates to international relief, and development in third-world countries. Why shouldn't NAFTA and other such antidotes to economic protectionism not be applied? We became outraged when Japan employed excise taxes to block American goods, and we objected strenuously. When we object to free trade, we defend the economic barriers which our country has traditionally erected to bar foreign goods from sale in our country. When we do this we forget the lessons of the French Revolution and others in which the impoverished population rose in revolt and destroyed the oppressors. We live in a world community. We can't continue as economic vampires and survive. By using protectionism, WE are the oppressors. It appears "We have met the enemy, and they are us."--Walt Kelly


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,SeanM, lost cookie
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:10 AM

My personal gripe with the current meeting is the general apparent lack of concern over the realities they are creating, beyond the effect it will have on the corporate world.

I am by no means against "free trade", merely against the unreasonable destruction of environmental and humanistic elements of the countries it occurs in. In this matter, I see it as an outgrowth of the movements in the original 'industrial revolution' that resulted in minimum wages and certain quality of worker life and saftey issues - a battle that is by no means over, and by no means futile.

There is such a thing as 'sustainable development', and yes, I fully believe that "corporate profits and success" and "environmental and humanistic concerns" are not mutually exclusive... for this, I applaud some of the protest movements who are trying to find a middle ground - between the monolithic policy wrangling of the "WTO" crowd and the luddites who demand a return to bearskins and flint spears (to cut the broccoli with, I guess).

*sigh*.

Who knows? I'm lost. And at this point, I think the image that is being portrayed is more important to the 'general public' than the reality.

Icky.

M


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Owlkat
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:47 AM

Hi, There are some significant problems with what is referred to as "Free Trade", as percieved by those who don't live in the USA.
First, NAFTA has been mostly put together by American lawyers and legislators with the commercial, legal, and economic bias expected. The wording of the agreements benefit the US the most, and Washington has made extensive use of trade sanctions, threatened and actual legal actions to achieve dominance of American interests over those of other smaller countries. For example, Canadian trade with Cuba has produced a non-stop stream of American legislation threatening us with sanctions if we continue autonomously, to create our own international trade relations free of American interference. Meanwhile Washington continues to trade with and fund some of the most obscenely dictatorial and repressive governments around the globe.
Second, NAFTA strips governments of the autonomy needed to protect the rights of a country's citizens.For example, the agreements grant American companies the right to sue foreign governments for ANY actions taken which could be construed as being detrimental to the earnings of those companies. Translated into reality, an American company in Canada which produces toxic waste and dumps it in the local water supply can successfully sue the Canadian government if complying with environmental standards under Canadian regulations cuts into their profits.
Third, the only country in the Americas supplying the US with the majority of exports is Canada; most of the other nations in the Americas do the vast majority of trade with the rest of the world. NAFTA is being used as a lever to force them to redirect their trade into the US.
Fourth, NAFTA, in the purest sense of capitalism, commidifies EVERY profitable enterprise. Everything is for sale, including all raw materials, water, lumber, real estate, culture, and the media to name a few things, and, I might add, at a price set in Washington.
Fifth, NAFTA encourages runaway industries that locate where the labour is un-unionized and cheap, where safety and environmental standards are minimal to non-existant, and where usually the Government is in the pocket of the ruling elite industrialists. This guarantees disenfranchisement of rights of the people for any redress or addressing of problems caused by foreign-owned industry.
The US has got much industrial power, and a large and well equipped army, with the capability and the will to use nuclear weapons. This, coupled with an aggressive big stick approach to diplomacy has established it as a major imperialist culture in the 21st century.
The WTO summit in Quebec City is open and answerable only to government heads, and industrial friends of those government. They're not listening to the people nor do they care. As Vicente Fox said, "Protesters don't supply jobs to anybody." And that's all that matters. So, there you go.
I agree trade is important, and international trade can be a good thing. But not decided in secret, not administered at the point of a gun, and not acheived by enslavement of foreign national autonomy for only American political and industrial gain.
Happy Sunday
Owl. These are some of the reasons why NAFTA is scarey, and why people are protesting


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MandolinPaul
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 07:57 AM

One thing that is really down-played in the news is that tens of thousands of the protesters are protesting peacefully, and being treated with respect by the police. We often tend to demonize the police when we hear about the frequent abuses of power and people, but we need to remember that there are many more good officers than bad ones.

One picture I saw on the news was of four young guys holding onto a steel fence, and charging at a line of twenty police officers in full riot gear; the guy on the end was swing a broomstick over his head. #1 What do they think will happen when they reach the police? #2 If that line of police officers wasn't there, who would stop these kids from attacking the delegates? Some of you may say that the presence of these officers incites such violence, but I'm not convinced.

Before we assume that the police are totally corrupt, we need to think about who we would call if people were storming our house in this manner.

Not ALL forms of protest are good ones. I applaud all of the people who are protesting peacefully.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,willie-o
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:38 AM

weyyyll Paul, the teargas is not at all discriminatory. It's all originating from one side and all the peaceful protesters and their kids are on the other side...including a bunch of my friends and neighbours.

on my way to work this a.m. I heard a dumb radio report that explained authoritatively that 'police were forced to use tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets against demonstrators'.

Yeah, right. They were forced to shoot at them, and the huge quantities of teargas they are sending indiscriminately are 'an absolute necessity' to maintain order.

This weekends' events are difficult to take in...for latest bulletins, start at indymedia.org. Bookmark for continuing updates. W-O


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: RichM
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:55 AM

George Bush is touting Freedom for all, on CBC radio this morning as I type.
Vicente Fox says protesters don't make jobs.
Jean Chretien the shameful so-called leader of Canada says he DID consult with the people before the summit-strangely he didn't communicate any of the secret proposals to me!
All in all, a shameful display of force, and dictatorial repression.
I am distressed and angry. Doesn't this government realize that all the young people at the demonstrations have family and friends at home? We WILL all remember Jean Chretien and his Liberal bastards.
In spite of the repression shown here and previously in Seattle, we are all moving inevitably toward a total re-examination of the democratic model of governing. Electing a dictatorship every four or five years is an outdated model for citizenship.
Later today, I'll feel better. I'll play at my favorite gig once again for the good people of St Vincent's Hospital, a chronic care facility for the severely disabled.
Have a good Sunday, all.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:35 AM

Hi Doug. I'm sure that many here can explain the problems with "Free Trade" better than I can. I've followed this issue pretty closely for a number of years, and I tend to try and boil things down to some pretty simple equations.

The way I read it, the nomenclature itself distorts the issue. "Free Trade" sounds fair and equitable, and at the very least, doesn't have the "fear factor" built in that terms like "Gun Control", "abortion rights", "Death Penalty" etc. do. However, there are so many crucial and potentially disastrous results connected to this issue, that it draws a wide variety of interested groups. Taking just one of folks' concerns who've been the victims of socalled "free trade".... Many many jobs have been lost. They've flown (very far) South, where safety issues, and living wages are not Government priority.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,Old Folkie
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM

It's interesting to notice how the left and the right have reversed positions.

Back in my day, Pete, Woody, Lee and Cisco were singing about one world/no borders. That was the left. The right was protectionist and believed in closed borders.

Nowadays, it looks like its just the opposite.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:48 PM

To have my position on FTAA, read carefully again what Owlkak said, and specificly his fouth and fifth point. For the lost of autonomy of govenements, check the FTAA chapter on Investment at wtowatch. Also, keep in mind that these texts remains officially unpublic. They were secret, and then finally they accpept to publish them, but AFTER the summit, pretexting that they were not translated in french and portugese yet!!! As an activist said, we would have take them in chinese, these texts.

So our goverments were about to negociate in secret a Free trade agreement that was not known from the public, behind a 4 km wall. Something was wrong...

Being agaist FTAA is not being for closed borders or against "globalisation", whatever this word means. It's just refusing that investors and businessmen makes the law in our countries. Refusing to sell our public education, health care, culture industries, natural ressources and even our water, to private industries. Refusing to accept to be judge by another law court in another country. That's why we protest. This will not happen.

We protested under the banner "Another world is possible", and we hope that this mobilisation will bring another continental solidarity. For more information, please check this out.

And for the police... All the gas they shoot was clearly an attempt to shut down the protest, and not to arrest the so-called "trouble makers", who remains mostly in liberty. There was several thousands peacefully demonstrators who saw their freedom of speech bullied. A friend of mine did a sit-in in the street yesterday, with maybe a hundred peoples, including the NDP deputy Svend Robinson. They were shouting "La police, assis!" ("policemen, sit down"!!), and they were keeping away "trouble makers". Despite of that, after a certain time, the police finally gas them, and my friend been injuried by a rubber ammunition. He is ok, but it's absolutely incredible - they gased a deputy!! This is shamefull. I don't know what's going on actually, but I guess it might be calm, cause people, including me, are tired, and the weather is not so good. But I still hear the helicopters as I'm typing this.

Tomorrow it will be finished, and my old city will return to it's calm and quiet peace. But the work will remains. People's Summit challenge governments to hold a continental Referendum about the FTAA, and they're talking about a day of strike for the First oy may 2002. Stay tuned!

Simon-Pierre
Je pense donc je nuis


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MAV
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:15 PM

The police were charged with the task of providing security for the President of the US, Jack Cretin and other western hemisphere heads of state.

The communist rioters are damn lucky the police were feeling benevolent and only used tear gas (the poor babies) and water cannons on them (they probably needed a shower anyway).

From the Toronto Sun:

CBC's Newsworld provided viewers with the best vantage point of all -- a high, stationary camera overlooking the street where the demonstrators on Friday, without any prior provocation, first breached the temporary security barrier -- sections of chain-link fence with concrete bases.............

For anyone watching, the conclusion was inescapable -- the rioters had started the confrontation and the police had responded with only the force necessary to prevent a breaching of their line, which would have clearly resulted in chaos given the violence of the rioters....

Again and again these spokesmen claimed the police had started the confrontation and had over-reacted, when anyone who had watched the event unfold knew the exact opposite was true.............

That first unprovoked clash by the rioters against the police set the stage for the rest of the weekend and totally justified yesterday's police actions.

Once the rioters showed on Friday that they could not be trusted -- despite repeated assurances from anti-Summit leaders that protesters wanted to make their objections to globalization and free trade peacefully and without violence -- the die was cast..............

The rioters were the culprits.

The police deserve praise for a job well done.

Innocent Protesters

The REAL meaning of "Working Families"

They also have a big May Day Protest planned across USA/world.

mav out


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:54 PM

GASSED TODAY(Gassed Last Night)

Gassed today, and gassed the day before.
Going to get gassed again today if we never get gassed anymore.
When we're gassed, we're sore as we can be
'Cause water cannon and tear gas is much too much for me.

They're warning us, they're warning us.
More rubber bullets for the hoarde of us.
Free trade and NAFTA protects your job and sovereignty
And trust the Multinationals to save democracy.

On the news last night and again the night before.
Going be on again tonight if its ever on anymore.
And when heads talk, we're as cynical as can be.
Oh why should Big Business have more rights than me?

They're over us, they're over us.
Free traders make it better, they know more than us.
So trust the Multinationals to keep the air and water clean
'Cause we can't do it on our own.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:10 PM

With regard to the laws which allow a government to be sued if its environmental laws inhibit American profit - how would this be enforced if the government decides not to be bound by a treaty, and does not pay? A common thing with governments. Does the American constitution allow the military to go to war to enforce recalcitrant governments to pay over their taxpayers' money to American corporations?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: flattop
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:41 PM

No self-respecting human being would quote the Toronto Sun, MAV. It's not a proper newspaper, it's a joke. If you took the brains of all their reporters and put them in a fishbowl, you'd probably find fewer IQs than you'd find in the head of a below average blockhead politician like George Bush.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MAV
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:53 PM

Flattop,

No self-respecting human being would quote the Toronto Sun, MAV. It's not a proper newspaper, it's a joke

The New York Times (mouthpiece for the DNC) which is the talking points for all the lazy liberal media outlets in the US is also a joke.

But unlike them, the SUN reported the truth.

Are you implying that the communist rioteers first checked to see if it was ok to violate the perimeter of the secured area?

Perhaps your tv was not operating properly when the communist dupes pulled down the chain link fence and the 100s of police stepped in to fill the breach against 1000s of organized so-called anarchists (what an oxymoron)

You did see the communist flags did you not?

mav out


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,VAM
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:22 PM

But unlike them, the SUN reported the truth.Hey, PRESTO! There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, straight from his arsehole to your ear! The voice of truth. Communists and fellow-travellers.What a fuckwit.

vam over & out


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:30 PM

GUEST VAM,

I'm still in the process of trying to form some opinions about all of this. Do you think posts like yours are going to be much help to people like me? Or do you think posts like that one might possibly alienate me from your point of view?

When I hear language like "fuckwit", instead of actual discussion, I feel inclined to not take the one using that sort of tactic very seriously.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:51 PM

an interesting quote from a world leading proponent of free trade just quoted on CBC's Cross Country Check-Up....."There is a surplus of democracy in the world that is interfering with the free movement of capital".....right...


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: flattop
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:52 PM

I didn't quote The New York Times, MAV. However, if I did, I would quote it knowing that most people, whatever their Weltanschauung, would put it on their list of world class newspapers. They'd probably put it a few spots behind The Times of India, but they'd put it on their world class newspaper list nonetheless. On the other hand, people with good taste would be ashamed to let their dog shit on a copy of the Toronto Sun.

If you have an intelligent idea, and I doubt it, you should be able to express it yourself in less than a half page without grasping at gutter journalism.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,VAM
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:56 PM

That's really quote amusing, Komrade Karol, as MAV would say. Go back and read his posts, apply the same criteria vis a vis name-calling, offensive language, childish oversize letters, puerile scatological humor etc, then tell us why posts like his do not seem to alienate you from his point of view- whatever it is. Kordially yours,

vam over & out


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:07 PM

Well GUEST VAM, you shouldn't assume that everyone who reads this thread has also read the threads to which you refer. As it happens, I have read some of them, and I have seen a vast improvement in MAV's debate tactics over the past few weeks.

However, if your real agenda is to promote your point of view, rather than just have a mud slinging event, you might want to consider the impact your words in this thread might be having on those who, like me, are still forming opinions, but who might not be familiar with MAV from any other context.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:13 PM

...and, I genuinly want to learn what people on both sides of the debate have to say. I don't learn anything from personal attacks. I can only learn about issues when the discussion is about issues.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:24 PM

Saw a clip with Svend Robinson (Canada's only openly Gay Member of Parliament) looking a bit shaky after taking a rubber bullet in the leg. Being the long time activist he is, I doubt that much shocks him, but he seemed genuinely surprised that the RCMP had resorted to that.

Huge surprise to see Sinclair Stephens (former Conservative big-shot) marching, and being so supportive of the protesters. There's no question that a great many "mainstream" folks are pretty ticked off, and making their voices heard.

Something else that warmed my heart was that THE ENTIRE NDP CAUCUS was out marching. This might help in restoring some of the broken trust between them and Canadian Labour.

One interesting little result of the constant TV coverage (on CBC news) this week is that ol' Fidel is probably gonna rake in quite a few Canadian Tourist dollars, that might have gone to Mexico or the Carribean in the upcoming months.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MAV
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:26 PM

Dear VAM,

Like I said, you could have seen it yourself on either the Communist News Network (CNN) or Factual Observations Expressed (FOX).

I'm sure they have archives. The cops just stood there and took it.

They could have called in the military. (Who break things and kill people)

What a clever handle spaw.

mav out

PS. Had I mentioned they were COMMUNISTS???


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: DougR
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:39 PM

I'm with you, CarolC. I do want to know more about this; particularly why those who oppose free trade do so. There have been some good posts. Owl wrote his views very succinctly, I thought. The attack messages do little to claify the situation, and only prove that the writer knows some provocative words.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:07 PM

There are many facets to this problem, but, I can tell you one thing. Nothing scares the ruling elite like mob violence. The thing is, we in the USA have lived quite high off the hog for many years. The combination of demanding unions and corporate greed have raised our standard of living way above where it should be, and now, it is slipping. I feel for the poor bastard who used to work for Briggs & Stratton, Caterpillar, Generous Motors etc, their jobs went south. Why ? so the friggin' money grubbing corporations can make more profit, that why! If the stansard of living in Mexico was rising, and eventually, we were all in the same boat, that would be ok. But, it's not happening. Our manufacturing base has gone south, and although there are more jobs in Mexico, they still are no where near what we had for income because of the "bottom line". GREED!! The love of money is the root of all evil.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:17 PM

SeanM said...

There is such a thing as 'sustainable development', and yes, I fully believe that "corporate profits and success" and "environmental and humanistic concerns" are not mutually exclusive...

I would love to hear more about that.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MAV
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:43 PM

Folks,

Manufacturing in the US is not just merely dead, it is most sincerely dead.

Why did the development of economic freedom in the third world pull most of the unskilled labor jobs out of the US?

The evil twins, mortal enemies of business;

High Taxes! and High Labor!, both of which increase the bottom line and the cost to comsumers.

As the third world are wont to say:

All your manufacturing base are belong to us"

mav out


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,VAM
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:53 PM

Right you are, Karol
THIS is a VAST improvement for the arrogant little gobshite. Before you cannonize the little turd,go read ALL the posts, not just SOME of them and try forming an opinion from a complete factual basis.

You truly want to learn about the sham of 'Free Trade' and the 'benefits' of globalization? Do yourself a favor: log off the Internet, shut down the computer, and take yourself to the library and do some serious reading from reliable sources, instead of wasting your time with garbage posted by morons.

vam over & out roger wilco 10-4, good buddy.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 07:07 PM

I don't need to do that VAM. I can listen to public radio and watch public television. And read what people have to say here.

And MAV's previous posts are not particularly relevant to this discussion. His posts to this discussion are relevant to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 07:40 PM

Oohhh... I get it. I'm a little slow on the uptake today, VAM. I just checked out your link.

There's nothing in that post that is any more offensive than the kind of stuff I saw flying about here before MAV even started posting to the Mudcat. And flung about by some pretty well known Mudcatters, too.

In fact I think it's quite a bit less offensive. Obnoxious, yes, but nowhere near as offensive as 'fuckwit' and 'gobshite'.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

I don't need to do that VAM. You most assuredly do, if you wish to know what you're talking about. If you wish to remain poorly prepared and half informed by all means carry on as you are. Your choice.

vam over & out smokey takin pictures ten four


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: flattop
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

What goes under the label of 'free trade' is more complex than which paper we read and which flag we fly. A number of the issues were touched on when the CBC's Ian Brown interviewed Dr. Ian Angell, a computer science instructor at the London School of Economics, I believe.

The interview is long. I will post it below and hope that it doesn't truncate.

You don't have to agree with his conclusions but I think that Ian Angell identified structural problems in the world trading concept.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: flattop
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:29 PM

In the introduction to the interview Ian Brown summed up Ian Angell's position that the information age is turning most of the world's population into a permanent obsolete underclass.

Brown: Hello. Why do you think job losses and shrinking incomes are permanent? Is it not possible that this is just a long and painful recovery period in the world's economic cycle?

Angell: Well we're entering a new period of economic existence, an information age, and whenever there's a transition from one age to another there's major discontinuities. When the agrarian revolution happened, when the industrial revolution happened, large sectors of the population lost and as we enter the information age, again large sections of the population are going to find themselves losers. The problem is that growth has been decoupled from employment. Now growth is created by as few machine minders. Growth production doesn't require people. It just requires some brains and an automated factory.

Brown: So you seriously believe that this dislocation of workers, this dislocation of the middle class is going to leave part of the population permanently disenfranchised, not just temporarily disadvantaged?

Angell: I'm absolutely convinced of it. Well, I think it's going to take two generations to sort itself out. The expectations of our society will not be realized and it's going to require a total rethink. The population itself is going to have to have a different mind set, a different set of expectations to cope with the different reality, to cope with this information age. I see, for example, the city-state being reinvented. We're going to see hot spots where these elite who have the ability to make a profit from the information age will move together for security. Like the example of Singapore, like Switzerland, these areas, because they have low taxation will attract the world's wealthy.

Brown: Who is in these moneyed enclaves that you're talking about?

Angell: These wealth centers, these hot spots will have very stringent regulations about who's allowed in and who isn't but it can't be part of a nation state because the nation state is a product of the industrial age. In the industrial age the masses were needed. They had power simply by organizing themselves. They were needed for the factories. They were needed for the military. In the information age we have smart weapons and factories are increasingly automated or they can be transferred to where world salaries are low and therefore masses in themselves are no longer powerful. We're going to see in the fallout a rejection, a reaction, a resentment, of the masses. This is what's happening in France at the moment where the lorry drivers are on strike because they insist that they should be paid more but the masses only have labour to offer and they are basically overpriced in the western world. The world labour organization two or three years ago claimed that there were 1 billion people sub-employed on the globe - either unemployed or underemployed. That's almost 20% of the world's population. Now you can't say that labour is valuable when there's 1 billion workers out there who will take on any job at very low wages just to have the work.

Brown: What about within a country like Canada, a developed country, if I am computer literate assembly worker or even a member of the service economy? What kind of ...

Angell: Being computer literate is irrelevant. That's like saying, "I can drive a car therefore I can do all the advance jobs that people do driving cars." Computer literate is not at issue. What's important is what you do with it. Being able to play video games and knowing on-off switch is irrelevant. It's knowing how to take information and broker it and make money out of it. That's why most of this nonsense being talked about the internet fails to understand that the basic point at issue is how do you make a profit on it.

Brown: So is there any hope for anybody who is not either a wealthy entrepreneur or a computer genius?

Angell: You don't have to be a computer genius. The computers are becoming semi-transparent now. The ability to know how to work computers is irrelevant. Computer programmers are going to be the grease monkeys of the next century. Look at car mechanics. At the beginning of this century they were paid vast salaries because they were in short supply. I tell my students, 'Don't become computer programmers because you can be bought much cheaper in India.' For example, where the salary of a top quality computer programmer is about a fifth what it is in the U.K. So why buy a British programmer when you can get a better Indian programmer for 20% of the price?

Brown: So you have to become a knowledge broker.

Angell: A broker. You either have to have the knack of identifying problems, have the knack of solving problems, business problems, or brokering between the problem and the solution.

Brown: Why is this class of knowledge brokers necessarily small? Why can't a large number of people, say the size of the current middle class, learn to broker knowledge? What's preventing them?

Angell: That's a good question. See, the idea that, this is the idea... do you mean to say that the vast majority of the population has this capacity?

Brown: Is it impossible that they will develop that capacity?

Angell: Look, I'm talking perhaps 20 - 25% of the population having the ability to do this?

Brown: But at the beginning of the industrial revolution for instance there weren't very many people who were skilled enough to become workers but they did. Their numbers grew.

Angell: Yes but all that happened was that one type of physical labour was changed for another. They moved off the land and they moved into the factories. The skills we're talking about were skills of dexterity. They were not intellectual.

Brown: Governments that are supposedly doing all the right things, cutting deficits, cutting the public service, talking about cutting taxes, are these..

Angell: This is recognition of these trends but they're hoping that they can do these things and still maintain the tax base to survive in the information age. I personally doubt it and we have social systems in place now that are too expensive. There are lots more people unemployed so therefore they're a dead loss. They can't be taxed because they have no money. So they are a drain on the corporate purse. Plato said democracy always ends up in tyranny and the philosophers of the 16th/17th centuries said that democracy couldn't possibly work because ultimately the masses would vote largesse for themselves out of the public purse and that's where we are at the moment. The books just don't add up. So what is going to happen is the thinkers, those with the ability to make wealth in the information age, will all circle the wagons. They will run for cover with people of like minds.

Brown: But isn't there an economic cost for writing of the world's workers? If almost everybody is unemployed who buys the products of the techno-genius?

Angell: Exactly. But again the danger of this kind of thinking is that you are still using the economics of the 20th century in trying to analyze what is happening. We don't know... it's not just that the workers become unemployed, the whole bases of modern economics changes. A lot of the French philosophers say that history is in reverse now and that we will be reinventing old social structures - perhaps in new forms - to cope with these changing conditions which is why I believe the city state can be reinvented as a means of coping with these new economic pressures. The city-state won't be a city-state with walls. It will be electronic.

Brown: In your city-state, as a member of the middle class, who do I work for - clearly some global corporation?

Angell: Not necessarily because the global corporations themselves are products of the industrial age, because now the corporation will not be monolithic. Corporations as we know them are based on the factory metaphor as well, on a hierarchy, on a military metaphor. The organizations of the future are going to be much more network oriented. If you take for example General Motors and Ford, their stock market value is roughly the same as Intel and Microsoft but Intel and Microsoft employ a quarter of the workers that Ford and General Motors employ. That in a sense is part of the transition. The structure of the industry in the information age is a lot more network oriented, a lot more entrepreneurial, rather than rigidly bureaucratic.

Brown: The product is knowledge rather than cars.

Angell: Yeah.

Brown: Neo-conservative politicians with whom I'm sure you're familiar keep telling us that the free market, less government and tax cuts will free all of us to become richer, more creative, more self-reliant. That is the neo-conservative line but I don't hear any of them talking about this bleak future you're sketching out?

Angell: Well, because they're democrats. They couldn't possibly... because their power base depends on fooling the population into believing that the world is fine out there.

Brown: Are you really telling me anything other than the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Is this really what this comes down to?

Angell: Yeah. Yeah. But who are the rich? Rich is not the old definition of rich they are the new rich, the entrepreneurs, the knowledge rich because what's money? One of the things that I'm convinced of is that governments will no longer be able to monopolize the issuing of money.

Brown: So who will issue money instead?

Angell: Anyone who is trustworthy.

Brown: In other words we'll be returning to the trading companies of three four hundred years ago issuing their own currency?

Angell: History is in reverse, yes. Why shouldn't Microsoft issue Microsoft dollars? There was a very interesting quotation, 'The question is not dollar bills but Bill's dollars.' All a company has to do is take its equity and issue 20% of it as a currency. Then you find that if the value of that stock goes up then the value of currency in your pocket will actually go up as well, whereas, you know that if it's government money it's going to go down because they deliberately manipulate inflation. It's never zero. It's never negative. If the currency was run by a company you could have negative inflation. Just by holding money it gets better.

Brown: What if Macdonald's world Corp won't take my Microsoft currency? How do you control that sort of thing?

Angell: Again you're thinking in terms of paper. You're thinking in terms of metal coins. We're talking about an information age. There's no physical structure at all. Everything is just a series of bits. All this fuss in Europe about a single European currency, it's nonsense. They're solving yesterday's problems. Once the money becomes digital it doesn't matter whether there's one currency or a thousand currencies. The transaction costs of changing are minimal. This requires a total rethink of the institutions of the industrial age. You must throw them away. All of your thinking has to be different. When I talk about institutions I'm not talking about clubs. I'm talking about any socio-economic structure that is part of our society.

Brown: Is this a world that you look forward to?

Angell: That's neither here nor there. I'm trying to be an academic. I'm trying to look at it as a cold angel without anger but without warmth. I'm trying to stand back and look at the trends that are out there and see if I can follow them through. I personally would probably end up as one of the losers because most academics are eunuchs. We don't actually do anything. We've read all the books, we know all the theories but in the Harlem of life we don't have what it takes.

Brown: Is there no way we can stop this? Is there nothing we can do to avoid this harsh future you're suggesting?

Angell: Again that question reflects the thinking of the machine age. It's a scientific belief. It's the Judeo-Christian belief that we actually can design the future, that we're in control of this planet. The fact is that we aren't and that our designs come to nothing. What we're going to see is natural selection. Of course we're going to design solutions. Some of them will win and some will lose and the one that wins will be copied. And in about fifty years we'll have another stability, hopefully. But the idea that we can sit back rationalizing away and get politicians of all people to actually come up with solutions is laughable.

Brown: Dr. Angell, I should say thank you but I do it with a heavy heart.

Angell: Well, eat and be merry for tomorrow we die.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:23 PM

It almost sounds like with this model, society would go back to something like a feudal system. Only instead of land being the source of the power elites' access to material resources, it would be knowlege and brokering skills.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:33 PM

Oh good grief, Charlie Brown. I wish we could stick to information from real people (like a lot of the above) and just exclude comments from Guest. I am learning from this thread, and have no content comment to make yet.

Guest obviously has no content comment to make, either, so ingnore it.

I deplore both mobs and violence-----on ANY side.....that's all I will say until the "truth will out." If there is ever truth......


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:41 PM

(My 9:23 pm post above is in reference to flattop's article.)


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Wotcha
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 10:40 PM

Perhaps of more interest is the WTO's role in intellectual property. The WTO administers the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). For those artists who like to make an honest penny from their work -- without having it ripped off by Napster or some CD burning bootlegger -- the WTO is creating mechanisms to do it.
Others might argue that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and its Copyright Treaty and Performance Treaty will help too, but not enough nations have ratified them to do any good yet. Meanwhile we are left with the Berne Convention and other ancient treaties that don't reflect the realities of the digital era. Artists will suffer.
Protest if you must, but know that world trade impacts artists and their ability to earn. The WTO has some good in it somewhere ...
Are the "cops" provincial or national police ...? Might explain their training. Also could be a cause of concern for a "Free" Quebec if their own law enforcement can't control themselves ... The British had a little problem with tear gas in 1969 N. Ireland and that made enemies of the Catholics they were sent to protect ... I see a parallel here ...
Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MAV
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:23 PM

Dear Sorcha,

Prepare to Deplore!

THE TIMES-

MONDAY APRIL 23 2001

Mass bomb scare ploy planned for May 1

BY DANIEL MCGRORY

ANARCHIST groups plan to disrupt emergency services in their campaign of chaos on May 1 by encouraging their followers to make hundreds of bogus alarm calls. They want protesters to create bomb scares at London's main rail and Underground stations, which would swiftly paralyse the capital.

The leaders are also suggesting raising fire alarms in streets choked with protesters. Police are worried about the dangers to genuine emergency calls if the groups carry out their threat, which one senior officer described as "mindless and irresponsible".

Anarchists aka. Criminals

Will it happen in the US?

Remember, you heard it here first!

mav out


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:35 PM

It may happen in the US, MAV, but I doubt it will happen in my town, or even in my state......we are too disorganized.....even if most of the State is Republican.

Actually, we don't even have enough residents to "choke the streets"........well, I take that back. We do. One little old, blue haired lady can choke all of Main Street. For hours. Just getting across it.

And that is the State, dear. All of Wyoming is just one big town with a really long Main Street......we really do have Little Old Ladies (and other things, like turkeys, deer, antelope, etc)crossing our Main Street on a regular basis..........

Good Luck to you MAV, who ever you are and where ever you live. There are too many people in Wyoming.......I just might move to Alaska.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:50 PM

MAV, sometimes when I read your load of shite I just want to laugh. Your remark about high labor costs can be answered with one statistic. In 1980 the average CEO in corporate US made about $22.00 US to every dollar his employees made. Today it is in excess of $440.00 US. You know anyone who has had those kind of increases in compensation? Folks like yourself like to spout the rhetoric that suits your own view of the world. Fair enough. Just understand that folks here don't have too hard a time seeing through it.

DougR, my conservative friend, the subject is very broad and I could go on and on. Let me just say that we in the Labor Movement here in the States are not generally against free trade as long is the laws are fair. But they are not. They take advantages of countries where workers work under conditions that we wouldn't allow in this country. If it is wrong for a kid who is 14 or 15 to be caused to labor in factories in San Ysidro, CA, what makes it OK in La Mesa, Baja California? If it is wrong for factories in Texas to dump raw chemicals into the groundwater, what makes it OK across the border in Mexico? If we believe that folks who are willing to work should be able to make a fair wage and benefits that allow them to purchase the product they produce (Henry Ford founded this practice), then why would we think that it is OK for brownskinned people in Mexico, or folks in the Pacific Rim or other parts of Asia to not enjoy the same prosperity. The wages paid to workers in many of these plants are not even subsistence wages in their own country. And why should American workers be penalized for having things like overtime after 40 hours? Or decent ergonomic standards? Or workplace inspection and enforcement for saftey conditions? The laws as they have been passed with regard to free trade have only made it free to move product in, some product out, but usually at a huge trade deficit. The objective of free trade laws should be to cause third world and developing countries to improve conditions and wages in a way that creates a new marketplace, not to cause an increase in theirs and a decrease in ours. The practical effect of the laws has been to create the widening of the gap with regard to compensation between the have's and the have not's. And an interesting phenomenon is happening in China already which further demonstrates the intent. Jobs in the industrialized part of China are being moved to Southern China because they can get the labor there cheaper even yet. It is a fact, not disputed by any of the parties to the debate, that Chinese factories employ prison labor, oftimes these are political dissenters. I could go on, but I think you understand where I would come from if we were to go into lengthy discussion.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 12:22 AM

flattop - your article is certainly thought-provoking, and quite disturbing. The thing that saddens me about it is that Ian Angell seemingly has no conception of humanity as having a spiritual nature, or any form of spiritual purpose or any spiritual destiny whatsoever. If that were indeed the case, then all hope of humans achieving a decent and humane social order on this planet would indeed be in vain, and it would just be natural selection that drove events.

That is...survival of the most ruthless, the most greedy, the most vicious, the most well armed, the most wealthy, and the most empty.

Life in such a reality would not be worth living in any case, and I would say to those who envision themselves at the top of such a social order:

"Fine. You can have it. I would much sooner be dead than live in your pitiless notion of a new world order, and I pity you for imagining that being wealthy is what life is really about. Go ahead and pretend you have won. You too shall die, and in a really quite small span of years...just the way us poor folks do who are not on the inside track. Who will mourn your passing? Do the peasants mourn when a tyrant dies? The gravediggers will spit on your grave."

We are all going to die anyway in due time. So why die as a rich tyrant when the opportunity is there to die as a decent human being who treated other human beings as equals, not as serfs? Those who will not share are not fit to rule.

I believe Patrick Henry had a point after all. There may come a time when quite a few people echo his words "Give me liberty or give me death!" Wait for 200,000 in the streets. Wait for 500,000. Wait until the cops and soldiers see their own family members on the other side of the lines. It happened in the Warsaw Pact, it darned near happened in China, and it may yet happen here.

- LH

p.s. This may be an emotional response, but it's an honest one. And, you may say that I'm a hopeless idealist...but the so-called "realists" will be just as dead as me in a mere few decades, won't they? He who dies with the most toys doesn't win anything.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM

MAV, I just wished you were a resident of our town to breath the air (?) this weekend. That you saw the police throw tear gas for more than twelve hour (noon to 3am). That you receid the order to trash your food. That you tried to reach your girlfriend and not been able to do so. That you saw that it wasn't useful at all. Talking to your neighborhood today, wondering how to get justice.
After that, you would never had quote any dumb newspaper.

And you would not bother me with your nightmares and your anarchists.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM

Just to clear something up........I am not VAM. Mav knows virtually nothing and of this you can be sure......But anyone connected with this site knows that Spaw only posts as Spaw and has never resorted to any form of subterfuge. Period.

As far as Mav goes, I have long ago quit trying to have ANY type of conversation with him. He has his own little MAV-World where everything fits and if it doesn't he just squeezes it in there anyway. I am assured he will come back with an entire line of crappola refuting Mick's statement and it will neatly fit into Mav-World.

If you cannot or will not see the bigotry within his words, you are not well versed in bigotspeak and this sad and sorry old shinola about communist plots......................Folks, Mav's IQ wouldn't even equal weak earthquake on the Richter scale. He's not worth the time or effort spent in debating or even listening, except to note that he and his type are there and need to be monitored. They aren't really dangerous unless too many begin to overlook the senselessness of their beliefs and listen to the seemingly pleasant suggestions that are nothing but lures.

Mav, in language you may act so offended at but yet is simple to understand........Have a Coke and a Smile and shut the fuck up. Don't forget your hood on the way........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 12:37 AM

When I grow up, ................. I want to be Spaw.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 01:05 AM

awww, Mick, ya beat me to it!

Thanks, Pat. See ya round, MAV......and clean it up, bud.
(Sad thing is, I know a person in 3D whose name is Mavellic, and he goes by Mav.....even if this is not him, it has probably ruined that friendship for me) MAV, would you like to tell us what State/UK county you are in?

And another question for the REAL MAV--just why do you only show up in the Political/Opinion threads? Are you a musician at all?


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Owlkat
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 03:14 AM

Hi, Wow. This is getting pretty hot. I'm glad to see that. For a number of years I've despaired of people ever getting back the will to get involved in things political, because of cynicism, apathy, and bitterness. Particularily in Canada, we've been slithering further into a rut with every election. Maybe now people will see that they do matter. It is vital to be part of the process.
I know people got injured, and that's bad, but no-one has been killed and that is just a miracle. Now, let's see what ferments out of all this.
Oh, and by the way, we have Commies in Canada, and you Americans don't, so there.Nyah, nyah nyah, nyah nyah. Under free trade, though, you could have some of ours. (They're lots of fun to tease at parties. Especially the Bolsheviks. Or is that the Mensheviks? Or maybe the Trotskyites? Darn,I always get them mixed up.) Cheers Owl.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 03:35 AM

They aren't really dangerous unless too many begin to overlook the senselessness of their beliefs and listen to the seemingly pleasant suggestions that are nothing but lures.

--Spaw

Huh?

Spaw, are you and I posting to the same forum? I have accused MAV of many things, like being a human being, for instance, and being capable of giving a thoughtful response. But I would never accuse him of making seemingly pleasant suggestions.

Anyway, I think you underestimate our ability to think for ourselves.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Metchosin
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 04:37 AM

A number of Canadians have concerns about their government's priorities and the will to regulate its own corporate citizens and banking institutions and their huge profits, let alone regulate multinationals wanting more access to this country. There is also concern with regard to granting of rights and concessions to corporations, which individual Canadian citizens do not possess. The share of federal tax revenues provided by individual taxes has risen from 32% in 1961, to 48% today. The share of federal tax revenues provided by corporate taxes has fallen from 21% in 1961. to just 7%. Also the tax deduction for lobbying expenses by corporations costs taxpayers $50 million each year.

There has been a concerted effort by the government of this country to shift spending priorities and with it, Canadian federal subsidies for our health care system, in order to bring our system in line with that of the US. This was a response to the demand to "a level playing field" as advocated by free trade business interests in Canada and the US, in prior free trade negotiations.

Drugs are now the fastest growing part of the total health care tab in Canada. This is largely due to the excessively high cost of brand name drugs. The real problem in the Medicare system isn't spending on needed medical services, or people abusing the system. The real problem is multinational companies making billions from people's illnesses. In the last decade, spending on drugs has increased by $4 billion.

Canada's Minister of Finance Paul Martin has bragged that, when their planned cuts to social programs kick-in, federal social spending will fall back to pre-1951 levels. Before 1951, Canadians had...
no national medicare system
no national act or funds to support poor people
no national funding or support for post-secondary education or people going to university or college.
Hardly something to brag about by current Canadian standards?.

but not surprising?.Mr. Martin's own companies do not seem to be good corporate citizens with regard to giving back their fair share either. The Honorable Mr. Martin's company, Canada Steamship Lines, registers ships in the Bahamas and Liberia to avoid paying taxes in Canada, higher Canadian labour costs and benefits, and "onerous" regulations regarding working conditions, breaches of which might be reported by a Canadian worker.

Not everyone has been suffering in these tough economic times. Since the last recession... corporate profits have increased (after inflation) by 102%; wages and salaries have increased (after inflation) by just 5%.

From the "Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada 1989-1999"

"On this, the 10th anniversary of the 1989 unanimous House of Commons resolution "to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000", ONE IN FIVE children in Canada lives in poverty - an increase of 463,000 since 1989.

"We should essentially establish the elimination of child poverty as a great national objective, not unlike what we did with the case of the deficit."
Minister of Finance, Paul Martin, November 19, 1998

What has happened since 1989?
The number of:
Poor children, up 49%
Children in families with incomes less than $20,000 (in constant 1997 dollars), up 48%
Children in families experiencing long-term unemployment, up 16%
Children in working poor families, up 44%
Children in families receiving social assistance up, 51%
Poor children in 2-parent families, up 45%
Poor children in lone-parent families, up 61%
and, the rate of -
Low birth weight babies, up 5%
(1989-1996)
Infant mortality (1991-1997), down 14%

Some may be benefiting from free trade, globalization and trickle down economics, but not the most vulnerable in our society.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,Greg F. - remote compr.
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 07:32 AM

I'll break my promise to myself not to respond to the mav-thing only to second 'Spaw's suggestion to him/her/it: "shut the fuck up".

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 10:29 AM

Sorcha, King George 3rd also hated violence. He thought of George Washington as a terrorist. If MAV is who I think he is, in person, he is not a bad sort at all. I disagree with everything he says, but, he sure knows how to stir the pot!


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 12:55 PM

George Washington was a terrorist...from a British point of view. And he wasn't...from a revolutionary point of view. It has ever been so. All things considered, given the factors at the time, my sympathies are more with George Washinton than with King George III, but both of them did exactly what they thought was the "right" thing to do, of course, given their understanding of the situation.

Carol- I think the "seemingly pleasant suggestions" Spaw was referring to were perhaps not so much those that emanate from MAV, but from the political and corporate leaders who concoct the social policies that MAV supports. Suggestions like: "Social services will work much better if handled by private companies." "Wealth will trickle down to everyone else if the rich are given a tax break." And so on....

That type of comfortable lie. It sounds lovely. It leads to disaster. We've had a term and a half of it in Ontario, and it just keeps getting worse out there on the streets and in the towns. And worse. And worse. The Canada of my youth is being destroyed piece by piece in the name of "Free Trade", but there is nothing free about it, except the ride given to the multinational corporations and the drug companies.

And I repeat: Those who will not share are not fit to rule.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Jande
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 03:12 PM

flattop - your article is certainly thought-provoking, and quite disturbing. The thing that saddens me about it is that Ian Angell seemingly has no conception of humanity as having a spiritual nature, or any form of spiritual purpose or any spiritual destiny whatsoever. If that were indeed the case, then all hope of humans achieving a decent and humane social order on this planet would indeed be in vain, and it would just be natural selection that drove events.

That is...survival of the most ruthless, the most greedy, the most vicious, the most well armed, the most wealthy, and the most empty.

Life in such a reality would not be worth living in any case, and I would say to those who envision themselves at the top of such a social order:

Sorry for the longish quote, but it was a ways back in the thread and deserves repeating IMHO.

In response to it... at last! LH, you've put your finger on something that frightens me about all this: The lack of voices from individual people on both sides of this issue regarding the fact that living as humans is not about being ruthless, but about being *moved* in one's guts by the joys and sufferings of our "neighbours" (in the Gospel sense of the word).

In discussions like this, and when I see things like riots and secret wool-over-the-eyes decision-making by our gov't leaders.

Someone else above quoted, "love of money is the root of all evil", but that is not the whole truth. Fear is the root of all evil, IMO. For example fear of deprivation leads to greed. (love of money is a form of greed) But this can be countered through love. If you love someone you will not be greedy with them no matter how much you fear. If you can be "moved in your guts" as Ivan Illich says, by another human being, your fears will be pushed aside.

What I find difficult about that is that fear can't just be turned on and off like a tap, through will power. But "being moved in one's guts" can do it.

I personally thank those who protested, though not the ones who used violence. I'm sorry for the way it turned out. I'm personally too battle-scarred to go through any more of those "peaceful" protests myself. But I am thankful that there are people who are willing to protest the secrecy and unerhanded tactics, and the things that affect thenm as individuals, for those are the things that affect me, too.

Thankyou, Rick for this thread.

Thankyou Flattop for the CBC article.

Thankyou CarolC for your insistence on being able to make up your mind without the namecalling, etc...

And thankyou LH, for helping me find my own voice on this subject. Sometimes the only effective response is an emotional one.

~ Jande


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 03:56 PM

You are most welcome. Life is not easy, but it can be made beautiful.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 04:12 PM

OK, Alex. You got me on that one......


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 04:14 PM

oops--wrong thread......sorry.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 05:33 PM

Thanks Jande.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: mousethief
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 05:39 PM

Babe. I got you babe.

Oops wrong thread.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 06:29 PM

For more information about the issues behind the protests I suggest going to the Nation on-line. You will find quite a few articles covering different aspects of the "Free Trade" issue.

My 16 year old son has been reading and reporting on Orwell's "1984" lately, and I have been reintroduced to that amazing book. The one problem with Orwell's vision, was that it foresaw totalitarian states dictating the lives of the citizen-workers. What we are moving rapidly toward is corporate dictatorship; a world in which corporations are so large and pervasive that they are no longer responsible to any national authority. Where is the freedom for individuals when their laws and governments become irrelevant?

People like Mav have shouted "communism" for so long when they want to scare the children that they don't realize that the totalitarianism represented by Russia, Cuba and China is no longer the boogie man. That vision of hell is in retreat. But, change Orwell's language just a little, change Big Brother to Bill Gates, and you have a hell for the new millenium. And NAFTA and the FTAA just lay the groundwork. One hemisphere, united in our consumerism, spurred on by the profit motive, with eyes fixed securely on the bottom line.

Remember that one of the control mechanism's in Orwell's vision was the manipulation of language by the power elite to frame every discussion and control of every situation, regardless of the underlying reality. We're seeing it in our political discussions all the time. It's at the heart of the "Free Trade" question. There is nothing free being offered here, folks. There is just the accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of those at the top of the pyramid and the degradation of the quality of life for the rest of us.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 06:39 PM

Reading along here .... Carol, I did not direct anything at you and it has never been my province or anyone else's to make up your mind for you. You're a big girl and you can do it yourself.

As to name calling....to one and all...Mav has been playing that game since he arrived here. No, he isn't as grphic as I am, but I (and others) find the "Union Thug" and "Commie Pinko" stuff to be equally vulgar as he (or others) may find "pissant little shithead" which I haven't used yet........Oh what the hell, I'll use it now......That's a decent description of Mav.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 07:20 PM

I would ask anyone who wants to respond to this post to please read it in it's entirety before responding.

Bartholomew, you hit on some stuff that I've been thinking about since before Reagan took office. I understand the disconnect between what is being said, and what is actually happening. And I think we can draw a further parallel between the 1984 scenario and what's going on now if we think of consumerism as the 'drug' that serves the purpose of pacifying the masses.

But my understanding of the economic model under which we operate now is that it is based upon, indeed dependant upon, growth. That in order for any business entity to survive, it must grow. This is a finite world. Each of our countries has a finite population. According to this economic model, if businesses are to survive and be able to provide jobs, new markets must be established.

I understand that the treaties in question do not necessarily serve that purpose. But what I hope to learn is what kinds of alternatives are available to us.

SeanM said...

There is such a thing as 'sustainable development', and yes, I fully believe that "corporate profits and success" and "environmental and humanistic concerns" are not mutually exclusive... for this, I applaud some of the protest movements who are trying to find a middle ground - between the monolithic policy wrangling of the "WTO" crowd and the luddites who demand a return to bearskins and flint spears (to cut the broccoli with, I guess).

Clearly, what may have worked in the past no longer works for anyone now. Not for the workers, and not for big business, either. It seems that we have to develop a new economic model that can be sustainable in the long run. The one under which we operate now is clearly not sustainable in the long run.

So where do we go from here? How do we balance both sides of the equation? How do we insure the economic survival of the entities that provide the jobs we need, while at the same time protecting the interests of the workers, the environment, and the ones who don't hold the reins of power?

I would sincerely love to be able to read some thoughtful responses to these questions.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 08:11 PM

Bartholomew: Well and succinctly put! Hear, hear!

Carol, it works just fine for big business, they continue to report record profits. You don't see Dick Cheney applying for public assistance, do you? What is out of joint is they are no longer willing to accept a reasonable profit, they now feel entitled to make a usurious profit. See the notes above on exec. salaries, for example. And the consumer & employees continue to get screwed.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 08:14 PM

Greg, it's not working for big business because the people are demonstrating that they don't want it any more. Business can't operate in a vacuume.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 09:10 PM

Sorry, but you lost me there, Carol, I'm afraid. Say What? :-)

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 09:33 PM

I'm saying that, although it may look like things are working for big business at the present time (as reflected by the statistics to which you pointed), I don't think that state of affairs is sustainable. The growing number and intensity of demonstrations such as the ones in Seattle and Quebec being an indicator of this. As well as the damage that is being done to the environment.

So my question is... granted that the economic model, or state of affairs, that exists at the present time is unworkable in the long run, with what do we replace it?

What system, or economic model, can we put in it's place that will be sustainable?

I sincerely believe this is a choice that we will have to face eventually, if not right away. So what do we do about it?

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 09:49 PM

Been a long time since I took any economic theory, Carol, so I'll bow out to the more fully informed, but if I recall correctly you've stumbled onto the inherent contradiction of the capitalist system: that there can be infinite expansion when natural resources, labor and consumers are finite entities. Good luck!

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 10:07 PM

I know. And thanks.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM

The host of the radio show after mine came in tonight with quite a bit to tell of his experiences of being tear-gassed in Quebec on the weekend. The Police mixed pepper-spray into the water they were shooting from the water cannons. That's a new one to me. What was new to him was that the tear gass cannisters were being aimed at the people themselves.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: mousethief
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:39 AM

Sorry, Carol, but I don't see that Big Business gives a rat's ass about either the protesters in Seattle/Quebec, or the damage they are doing to the environment.

The whole POINT of the protesters is that if they are stymied by environmental or labor laws in one country, they will just declare a "free trade" zone to include some other country without such laws, and move their production there. Until labor and environmental laws are universal within a "free trade zone," then the whole idea of "free trade" must be seen for what it is: a clever mantra covering up corporate greed and irresponsibility.

Until we can "level the playing field" not just between firms but between the environments and workforces of the various nations within a so-called "free trade zone," it will continue to be a mockery of the word "free" and a mockery of the nations and peoples being duped into such arrangements.

I'm all for true free trade, in which every firm must pay the WHOLE cost of their business -- granted, it will be passed along to the consumers. So be it. Until it is reckoned and paid in full, the consumers will not be held responsible for their reckless spending habits.

Which is what "reckless" means, right? Without reckoning. It's long past time for the day of reckoning. May it come swiftly.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 01:09 AM

Sorry, Carol, but I don't see that Big Business gives a rat's ass about either the protesters in Seattle/Quebec, or the damage they are doing to the environment.

--mousethief

I agree with you about that. I think you might be making my point with the following statement...

Which is what "reckless" means, right? Without reckoning. It's long past time for the day of reckoning. May it come swiftly.

I'm wondering if maybe the outcome is no more in the hands of Big Business than it is in the hands of the protesters. Many revolutions have occured in spite of the best efforts of the power elites. But... I'm wondering if changes are going to happen with our conscious participation, or just whether we like it or not.

And, I have to admit, I don't know how to think about the idea of protesting things we think are problems unless we have some kind of workable solution in mind. It seems like we need to have a workable alternative to offer if we're going to tell people to do things differently.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Troll
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 08:51 AM

Carol, thats the mature thing to do and it requires some thought and study. It's much more fun to tear down than it is to remodel.

troll


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: kendall
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 09:13 AM

You cant remodel a rotten building.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 09:27 AM

Carol, I love your heart and desire to see things from both perspectives. Same with Alex's "levelling of the field" comments. But this doesn't take a massive rethink, nor does it require a rebuild. The solutions are fairly easy to see.

First off, I reject completely and finally this notion that somehow we have to provide more rewards for the "job creators". The Entrepreneurial advocates have foisted a perception that somehow if we don't continue to enhance the rewards for risk taking that they will go elsewhere because they have this God given right to make ever increasing amounts of money. And if we just continue to let them do so, with fewer people making ever larger amounts that it will somehow benefit the rest of us. We have seen this before in the turnings of the great wheel. It has been called by a number of names. We have seen it in the paternalistic aristocracies, and in the era of the Rockefellers. And it is pure, unmitigated bullshit. The greatest economic engine the world has ever seen was created by passing laws that protected the average persons health, the environment, and giving these workers the ability to organize for their betterment. In doing so, the marketplace was created that the world tried to emulate. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on perspective, the political structure caused monied interests to be able to hijack it and weaken these selfsame organizations and start the gap in earnings to widen in ways that would make John D. Rockefeller to gush with envy. That gap has widen by a multiplier of 200 in 21 years.

So that's my criticism/analysis. What are my solutions. It goes like this. First off, a perceptual piece. Passing common laws between countries is not the same as taking over the countries. We call them treaties. This philosophy requires people between countries to desire a common economy, with the benefit of bringing the partners up to, or above the level of the economy you are trying to emulate and improve. This means that if we just take Canada, Mexico, and the USA, we must analyze what makes it work, who has the most beneficial laws to make that work, and then incorporate them into a treaty. I am saying that labor laws should be roughly the same with the same rights. I am saying that environmental laws and targets should be the same. I am saying that Equal Employment Opportunity Laws should be roughly the same. In this manner, workers are not penalized for having safe workplaces, free of environmental hazards, and with a democratic voice in the negotiations on their working conditions, rates of pay and hours of employment.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 10:53 AM

I don't think a new model is needed, just an adjusting of the current model. What we are seeing is capitalism unbridled, which is what the "reagan revolution" was all about. And it's a bill of goods. It's built on a very well told lie: that corporations create wealth and improve the quality of life. The carrot is a BMW and stock portfolio for every worker; the stick is the plant shutdown.

The first tenet is that corporations crate wealth. What corporations do is take resources and turn them into product. They convince you that you need the product and then lend you the money to buy it. Now you have no choice but to work for them, at their terms, to continue to feed your habit. How long before we once again "owe our soul to the company store"?

The second part of the lie is that corporations improve the quality of life. How has bad air, water that must be filtered to be drunk, and nearly constant noise translate into an improved life? Corporate boards have only one directive: maximize profits. In order to fulfill that directive, they will seek out the cheapest labor (there goes your job), sneak by with the cheapest acceptable level of quality and craftsmanship, and pass as many costs of doing business (routine environmental degradation, waste cleanup, catastrophic accident reparation) on to the state (that's us) as possible.

We as individuals and citizens have two possible means to influence corporate decision making - market forces and government intervention. But when businesses reach a certain size market forces are marginalized; multi-national corporations can control the markets. And as for government, they have played along, Republicans more and Democrats slightly less, since FDR was forced to clean up the last great corporate meltdown. Can you see where NAFTA and the FTAA fit into this picture?

Big Mick's post above has a lot of meat in it. Our dominant culture is running as fast as it can toward the very thing we as individuals fear the most - complete subservience to and dependence on some anonymous Big Brother. Except this time he looks just like Dilbert's pointed-haired boss.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 02:06 PM

Ok, Big Mick. I don't have any argument with your criticism/analysis. Your solutions sound good to me. The problem I see is this... we're operating within a capitalist system. As you've said yourself, big business has most of the capital. And with this capital, big business can, and has undermined any attempts to make things more economically equitable.

It's their football and they've made it clear that they are perfectly willing to take their football and go elsewhere. Passing laws to make big business to play fair hasn't worked. Big business will always find a way to get around the laws. Or prevent them from being made in the first place.

Bartholomew backs up what I'm saying with the following paragraph...

We as individuals and citizens have two possible means to influence corporate decision making - market forces and government intervention. But when businesses reach a certain size market forces are marginalized; multi-national corporations can control the markets. And as for government, they have played along, Republicans more and Democrats slightly less, since FDR was forced to clean up the last great corporate meltdown. Can you see where NAFTA and the FTAA fit into this picture?

So it seems to me that, if we are going to continue to operate within a capitalist system and at the same time create the equitable scenario that you have described, it will be necessary for big business to come to the conclusion that it is in their self interest to cooperate. Maybe there is a way for us to help them come to this conclusion. How might we do that?

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: mousethief
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 02:15 PM

In what way, Carol, is it in their interest to cooperate? Isn't it rather in their interest to just ignore us "little people" and do whatever they damn well please? Until the "little people" actually start voting with their pocketbooks -- refusing to buy goods made in sweat shops, for example -- THEN it will be in Big Business's interest to take us seriously. They will always do what brings the biggest buck. It's u to the the consumers, through their buying habits/patterns, to change where the bucks lie. Are we up to the challenge?

What we can do, then, is try to educate and "move" our fellow consumers (emotionally) to do what is right.

It's a big job.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 02:33 PM

Thank you, Alex. You have restated my question for me, and you have provided part of the answer.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM

Voting with your pocketbook is good in principle, but having that vote count becomes more difficult when corporations are as big and diverse as they are today. You may think you're doing something good by ignoring a certain brand of paper towel that you heard was made from trees harvested in a rain forest, to buy one in a package labeled "made from re-cycled paper". The reality is often that the same corporation owns both brands and sells them (and a whole lot of other stuff you wouldn't even guess) under a different product name. Either way, they have your money (and your "vote")

Here is a snippet of an article by Bill Moyers. It was taken from the Nation online (believe me, the Nation is not my only source of information, it just seems to be on the money about this).

From "Journalism & Democracy":
My worldview was really shaped by Theodore Roosevelt, who got it right about power in America. Roosevelt thought the central fact of his era was that economic power had become so centralized and dominant it could chew up democracy and spit it out. The power of corporations, he said, had to be balanced in the interest of the general public. Otherwise, America would undergo a class war, the rich would win it, and we wouldn't recognize our country anymore. Shades of déjà vu. Big money and big business, corporations and commerce, are again the undisputed overlords of politics and government. The White House, the Congress and, increasingly, the judiciary reflect their interests. We appear to have a government run by remote control from the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute. To hell with everyone else.

This is not a statement against "business" or "capitalism", per se. It is about the excesses that result when too few have too much. Mr. Moyers admits that his view may be prejudiced. Take it for what it's worth. I happen to share this prejudice. I would rather attend to human need than to corporate greed.

Have a wonderful evening.
Bart


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 06:45 PM

So Bartholomew, do you have any ideas about what can be done to correct this situation?


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: DougR
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 07:21 PM

Mick, thanks. You ably, as you so often do, verbalized your position very clearly and very well. I found little to disagree with.

Big business is driven by profits. Investors in those companies demand it of boards of directors,and operating officers. Are most CEOs overpaid? Yes, I think so. But as long as the stockholders are happy with the job they do, they will continue to draw huge salaries. The stockholders are less concerned about employees filling lower level jobs, and as long as there is an ample labor pool, I doubt there will be any changes.

I don't know how much is accomplished by protestors such as those we saw in Canada over the weekend. They get a lot of press, but I doubt they make much impact in board rooms of corporate America. An effective, well organized boycott of the purchasing of products I believe would. Depending upon how you view it, unfortunately, or fortunately, the protestors are not well enough organized, I believe, to mount an effective boycott.

If people were aware of the awful working conditions, low wages, etc. of workers in foreign countries that produce so much of what we buy in this and other countries, I think they would think that it was pretty terrible. I doubt very much that those same folks would stop buying those goods because of it though.

And Carol, I don't believe there will be any major changes in the economic system in the U. S. As others have pointed out, it would require that "big business" do a 180 where profits are concerned, and that's just not going to happen.

My thoughts anyway.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 10:01 PM

Yeah, Doug, I probably agree that they don't make much difference in the Board Room, but where they do make a difference is in the court of public opinion. When Nelson Mandela was just another black man in a jail, corporate interests and the South African government cared less. When folks around the world started protesting and calling public attention to him, opinion started to change. In the USA, activists caused disinvestment and withdrawal of funds from portfolios that were found to have South African holdings. Soon this reached the boardroom. Now I don't want to overemphasize or underemphathize the importance but it is the radical that provides the seeds of true change. Look at the Vietnam protestors. Real public questioning of that war started as the campus radicals, street radicals, clergy radicals started to protest............they were called traitorous and worse, but coupled with the pictures coming home, public sentiment started to change. I am proud of this generation that seems to have just the right amount of cynicism mixed with their desire to do right. I applaud their actions. As to the rioters, that happens in all struggle. You always have those who are in it less for ideological reason than for their own desire to raise hell.

CarolC, I will tell you what I advocate in halls and rallies when I am the speaker. I speak of our legacy of struggle, of the old fights and how proud I am to be the "spiritual" descendant of those who fought for change. I speak to how hard it is to see the enemy today as compared to them. This is an age of competing realities. And I advocate that we embrace old values to see through the fog. I don't believe that you can bring corporate America to do the right thing on the strength of or the morality of our arguments. They are creatures of the bottom line. That is OK, it is their place in the food chain. But what we can do is to go back to tactics that worked. We can embrace diverse groups with common interests. Those that want rampant capitalism, unfettered by moral oversight have made many enemies. Environmentalists have had differences with Labor for years, but they certainly have much to gain by joining together to defeat this. Small manufacturing, while certainly not a big fan of Labor, must be concerned about the loss of contracts to countries that compete unfairly. The point is that we must, as activists, continue to use every venue to point out what is wrong. As individuals, we must do what many of our parents didfor us. We must advocate on behalf of what is right. We must teach our kids, talk to our neighbors (now there is a novel concept, he said with tongue planted firmly in cheek), and demand of our relatives and friends. The point is that I don't believe that you can engage in dialogue with corporate interests until you have forced them to the table. This can only be done, as history testifies to, by making it more expensive for them to ignore you than it is for them to deal with you.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: flattop
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 10:40 PM

I might say that you are a hopeless idealist, Little Hawk, but you might send those killer bunnies after me.

Why don't you gather a group of spiritual stone throwers for the next trade summit. Insist that no one can trade in frivolous, unsatisfying and unnecessary goods, that degrade the environment, at prices that undermine our health care, education, and welfare systems, before they make strenuous spiritual improvements.

The transcript that I posted doesn't capture the tone of Ian Brown interviewing Dr. Ian Angell. The tone was tragi-comic. They both knew that they were dealing with a grim subject. Angell was not recommending his vision as much as he was pointing out patterns in our modern technological world. I posted the interview because it suggested specific problems of implementing 'free trade' that might be glossed over in a more abstract discussion.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 10:53 PM

So, Big Mick, it sounds like your answer to this question of mine...

So it seems to me that, if we are going to continue to operate within a capitalist system and at the same time create the equitable scenario that you have described, it will be necessary for big business to come to the conclusion that it is in their self interest to cooperate. Maybe there is a way for us to help them come to this conclusion. How might we do that?

Is this...

This can only be done, as history testifies to, by making it more expensive for them to ignore you than it is for them to deal with you.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:02 PM

Yeah, Carol, in my overly verbose way, that is what I am saying. But it is not as simple as it sounds. To do this requires that we create a perception of the problem that is overwhelming in its urgency. This is the basis of civil action in a our society. Because of the cocoonish nature of our society, we have to shock people out of their state of ambivalence. This causes the reaction that is reflected in the bottom line. Simple statement, but like the pennywhistle, it is not hard to play, but very difficult to play well..............where the hell did I come up with that analogy???????............LOL.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:12 PM

Yeah, thanks Mick for your thoughts on radicals - and your support. I guess I am one, but I was at the point where I didn't anything, because I was tired to see demonstrations where we were at max two hundred, and often for limitate goals - students who wants more money in education; syndicate who protect their rights, etc. It is noble, but what we saw this weekend is a huge raising of people - mostly youth, as I thought it was impossible only two years ago - with very globals views. It is a struggle for democracy, for the earth, for a global solidarity, against the FTAA, but also and most of all against the merchandizing of the world. This is a little idealist, but we need thoughts that transcends our concretes purposes.

This weekend galvanised me. Now I know I can't stay home - I must return "on the front", to continue the struggle, even if events like this may not reappears. I know we're right.

Yours
Simon-Pierre


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Troll
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:16 PM

During the Viet Nam protests, boycotts were suggested. To the best of my knowledge, none were ever mounted.
Why?
In the case of one where I was personally involved, the answer from the university students to whom it was suggested was " It'll take too long. We want the war stopped NOW!" In other words, they didn't want to do anything that required a commtiment for any length of time.
So what's the answer? I don't know but I do know that you'll have a helluva hard time getting a boycott off the ground.

troll


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:26 PM

Struggle continues and for Carol, I can find no answer. Complete revolution won't happen and in politics and business, once methodology is established the players rarely make a difference. In the ways they can though, each must voice to the best of their ability what they believe to make the method work. For every unscrupulous CEO we need ten workers to organize those who make his profits so easy and at the expense of common folk. We need to stop giving over our rights to corporations and we need to make all accountable. Undoable? Perhaps....but it takes time and commitment from all in any way they can.

There may be no real difference in pols, and in this last election we heard much about the lack of choices. Looking at the summit meeting and the record profits now being claimed by the Oil companies, I am not alone in feeling that our government is no longer here to keep an eye on things, but to enable those who would rape the environment and screw the working man. Things will take longer and the fight will be harder, but even now we are seeing more people energized. Maybe in the long run it works out.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:39 PM

By the way, Big Mick, I understood your pennywhistle analogy. I gave up even trying to play the damned things after I took lessons and saw and heard them being played properly.

I guess I'll just stick with accordions. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: MAV
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:43 PM

Dear Big Mac,

In 1980 the average CEO in corporate US made about $22.00 US to every dollar his employees made. Today it is in excess of $440.00 US.

So what, here's the problem with your statement. A job is worth what it's worth. The CEO usually works long hours (in many cases they founded or helped found the company) and deals with big operational problems and can likely do most labor functions in the company.

Conversely, the worker cannot change places with or do the job of the CEO.

You know anyone who has had those kind of increases in compensation?

Yes, stockholders in NASDAQ companies who cashed out near the top. You could too if you had a portfolio, that's the whole point.

Folks like yourself like to spout the rhetoric that suits your own view of the world. Fair enough. Just understand that folks here don't have too hard a time seeing through it.

Folks like me are well connected with the blue collar world and live in the highest taxed, most liberal rural state in the union.

We have seen the ravaging effect of companies leaving by the droves due to unreasonable union demands and unreasonable tax policies. They have relocated......practically anywhere else.

My main beef is not just with labor unions (who's membership is about 20% in the private sector) but with the overpaid, do-nothing, non-essential GOVERNMENT UNION BUREAUCRATS.

One example is the state liquor stores who have unionized shelf stockers who make $30,000 a year(far above the state median income and way above the comparable private sector and appropriate wage). They sell nothing but booze and have very little business, just the local drunks.

The largest employer in the state is THE STATE, with about 10,000 such examples of artificially high paying jobs, all confiscated from the paychecks of the 800,000 or so lower paid (on the average) private sector wage earners.

Labor unions artificially set the price of labor and promote mediocrity in performance. They hold workers back by opposing cross training and forcing a company to pay them more than they are worth. There is no incentive for self improvement and they also have no ablilty to rise to the top since they are also held back.

They are basically practicing Marxist principles.

I've worked in a shipyard and have seen my tax dollars at work. All you had to do was show up on time and keep your mouth shut. Actual work was optional and working hard could cause you to have a problem.

You fools can work for a labor union if you want, but I will continue to work for a business.....Oh wait.

mav out

PS. Simon-Pierre doesn't seem to like you so-called anarchists mucking up his country. I apologize to you sir on behalf of the "American" troublemakers.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:59 PM

I sure am glad you are here, MAV. You make it so I don't have to prove my point. You do it for me. Sure would like to see you come up with something other than trite, overused, rhetoric planted in your brain by those who profit from it. I would do battle with you here, but it would be too easy. But I will leave you with a parting thought. Those of your ilk fancy themselves as rugged individualists, with knowledge given them by God. How does it feel to know you are really a pawn of people who love having you around? They love it when you spout this so they can continue to pick your assets, and your soul clean. Here............have a fresh Pepsi........don't forget to smile...........must impress the big boys.........maybe they will drop you a stock tip..........and with all your excess income from having to work two jobs and still no health insurance.......you can invest.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 12:10 AM

"PS. Simon-Pierre doesn't seem to like you so-called anarchists mucking up his country. I apologize to you sir on behalf of the "American" troublemakers."

In fact, it was the massive gas and the pepper I didn't like. I was very happy to talk with all these Anglo-Canadians and Americans. The only true anarchist troublemaker I saw was a guy named "W" - and you bet you need to apoligize!


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 11:37 AM

Carol -
Big Mick's posts have been terrific. I, too, am a "spiritual descendant of those who fought for change". I am proud to say my sons are already showing signs of continuing the struggle. But you have asked for suggestions on how to correct the situation. And there is no "magic bullet"; there is only incremental change; and it begins with making people aware that there is a problem.

That is the importance of the protests in Seattle and Quebec; the people putting it all on the line there are trying to expose the problem. Unfortunately, it's a protest against a deeply entrenched power elite. It's a protest against the DOMINANT CULTURE and it's being spun to suit those who benefit most by the status quo. Like the protests in the 60's, they cannot be ignored and they will have an effect.

On a practical level, what can we who are not protesting do? I can only suggest two things:

1.Get political.
Talk about the problems. Write your representatives. Support candidates who are committed to initiatives that will help to make things better. Go to town meetings. Work on your local school board. We missed a huge chance in the last election, but there is another election right around the corner.

Stop playing their game; and their game is commerce.First and foremost refuse to buy in to consumerism. Boycott, by all means, companies that don't have enough sense to understand that they, too, live in this world. Keep "making it more expensive for them to ignore you than it is for them to deal with you".

Quit buying stuff you don't need. Stop going places in your car when you can walk or ride a bike. Refuse to buy a big old SUV. Recycle, even when it is inconvenient. Conserve energy.

Christians talk about being a living witness to the truth. This is the same thing. Be a zealot for a better world. Make yourself, and your children, and your sister's and brothers, and your neighbors and your co-workers into a pain in their ass.

I know. This is a "David and Goliath" approach. How can such small tactics succeed against such "Big Business"? Well, you start where you're at with what you got. And you have to believe it will work.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 01:04 PM

You're all a bunch of pinko fatheads.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 01:39 PM

... but seriously folks. Mav does make a point. If you are going to risk all of your assets, credit rating, pension plan, and ability to collect unemployment insurance to start up a business, and then it grows to become a success, you deserve more compensation than the likes of me, who works nine-to-five and leaves his work at work.

Mav's point about unions asking for more than a job is worth, is HALF right. Maybe it isn't the guy stocking liquor store shelves for $30,000 who is overpaid; maybe the guy stocking Wal-Mart shelves for $16,000 is grossly underpaid. My biggest problem with unions is that there aren't enough of them. Retail and restaurant employees work horrible hours, under disgusting conditions, for starvation wages ... and almost none of them are unionized.

According to any economic principles I've learned, opening trade barriers always causes upheaval. Union jobs will leave Canada for smaller countries. But as more jobs are created in Mexico, unions will eventually be formed, the standard of living will increase, and less companies will find it worthwhile to uproot and move to Mexico. Unfortunately, this will all take time - just like it took time for our factory workers to organize and improve conditions. If all trade barriers were lifted tomorrow, this entire process would probably be complete in about 40 to 50 years, and there would be some very rough patches between now and then.

That's all.

Commie freaks.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 01:44 PM

Conversation with Margaret Mead:

Question: "But how can such a small group of people make a difference?"

Margaret Mead: "That is the only thing that has ever made a difference."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:26 PM

Bartholomew, I think you make some good points about how to change our lifestyles to make a difference. As far as my own lifestyle is concerned, however, I'm afraid you're preaching to the choir.

I don't even have a car. I never buy anything I don't need, because I don't have any money. I usually can't even buy things that I do need. If I simplified my life any more than it already is, I would starve to death.

I don't pour toxic chemicals down my drain, either. I don't even use toxic chemicals. I hardly ever buy clothes that are made in sweatshops because I almost never buy clothes.

I do communicate to my representitives, and whomever else needs to hear what I say.

And I attempt to engage people in meaningful dialogue in places where it might make a difference. Like right here in the Mudcat for instance.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 10:02 PM

FTAA agreement 34 members 33 suckers

one of my friends summed up the Nafta agreement 10 years ago. Our resources (canadian) Their labour (mexican) and in those days I was in favour of Free Trade but it doesnt really exist.

The latest round in the softwood lumber industry demonstrates this. Since the agreement has just expired the american lumber industry if fighting to impose high tarrifs under the presumption that Canadian lumber (specifically in the West coast is subsidized by artificially low stumpage fees) what they dont say is that those companies are required to build and maintain roads and to replant the trees they harvest. The main reason that they are competitive is that the Canadian lumber industry upgraded their mills whereas the US didnt. The low Canadian dollar is another reason. The canadians know they could win this in court but it might take years and it may be easier to give in.

to people like Mav and others who see the protesters as anarchists or fools I offer some examples of the new world order. One US company contracted to build a toxic waste dump in Mexico (got permission from the Government and everything) but when the citizens of the nearby town fought and stopped the wasted dump the company sued the local municipality. This is the new world order.

when Methanex a canadian company that makes products out of methane had a spill of its gasoline additive MMT in california. The state of california banned the use of MMT in gasoline. Did Methanex apologize for the spill? No it is suing the state of California for millions of dollars in lost profits under the Nafta agreement.

the courts that rule on these trade agreements are essentially secret tribunals, with no media coverage or public scrutiny. It is essentially power shift away from govts.

the FTAA did try to include a democracy clause - but why not include labour standards, environmental protection as well.

The most significant political developments in the last 1/4 of the 20th century has been, globalization, with IMF the WORLD BANK etc and other organizations that started around the end of wwII going taking on roles they were not intended for. all of which leads to power redistribution.

but individuals can do something, in North Vancouver a grade six class discovered a rare species of tree frog that was not known to exist this far south but they stopped a large property development from bulldozing a forest and creeks and forced them to protect large areas of land.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: Metchosin
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 01:49 AM

Today a major Canadian bank that I deal with announced on the news a proposal for Canada adopt the US dollar to stablize Canadian currency fluctuations; tommorrow I am closing my account and credit card there (piddly as it is) and moving it to the Credit Union.


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 01:59 AM

Bartholomew, you said it. Thank to you folks to tell what I can't do in english. What was the most ignore by the medias is WHY we protested, and how much we were doing that. It wasn't about concrete economics at all. We were strugglin' against the merchandising of our world, against the depletion of the earth, for a new solidarity between us from north & south - and for a brief moment we knew it was possible. The public response was terrible. We've been insulted everywhere - but... can I say this? I just think they don`t understand. Worse, I think that the public opinion is secretly with us...


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Subject: RE: Quebec City Protest of Free Trade.
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 03:00 AM

Please post further discussion on this thread...

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=33649&messages=1


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