In the mid-eighties there were huge criticisms caused by the liberal policy carried out both by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. There were, especially in the United Kingdom, a lot of strikes and manifestations against the neo-liberalism. However, Margaret Thatcher, answering to an interview about these criticisms, asserted: “There is no alternative.” By these words, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom claimed that liberalism, a political doctrine “favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate reform” (www.askoxford.com), was the only political doctrine able to lead the countries and their economies. We can think that this sentence was said in a particular context in the eighties since at that time the Soviet Union (and communism) was still an enemy. Yet one decade later most of the developed countries economies are ruled by this kind of economy. Furthermore the main international institutions have applied neo-liberalism to the developing countries through the “Washington consensus”, which is a set of ten commands such as the liberalization of the market, the liberalisation of the financial market, privatizations and deregulation…As a consequence all the economies around the world are ruled by liberalism, and the phenomenon of globalisation has emerged from it. What is globalisation? It is hard to give a unique and complete definition because it is a very versatile word. I would like to concentrate on a more economical one: according to the Encyclopaedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org wiki/Globalisation), globalisation means a huge freedom of trade, increasing commercial and industrial links between the different parts of the world, a loss of sovereignty for the State concerning its economy and the spread of capitalism.
[...] That is why the proponents of the alternative movement are highly critical towards the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) because of their support to neo-liberalism. According to the leader of ATTAC, the alternative movement does not want to play a troublemaker role only, or be an “itching powder” for the ruling parties. They want to be a “human emancipation” movement. They want to settle a new global order; that is why the slogan of the entire movement is now “Another world is possible”. [...]
[...] The slogans during those demonstrations were for example: Shut it down! Capitalism? No thanks! WTO? No! WTO? The first big mobilization was on June, 18th 1999 in some cities around the world. The protest in Eugene, Oregon, USA turned into a mini-riot because of local anarchists. The second mobilization was huge and known as N30 for November, 30th 1999 in Seattle. The demonstrations were aimed to block the entrance of the delegates of the WTO. Two marches were organised and a lot of incidents with the Police. [...]
[...] One of the main problems to solve is to decide whether or not to keep the huge diversity of the movement: one leader of ATTAC, Pierre Khalfa asserts that in order to have a strong political role in the world the movement needs to be more homogeneous; on the contrary Francisco Whitaker claims that by keeping diversity it will make a difference with the other movements, it will also be is more democratic. In the following years we will be able to see the chosen way. [...]
[...] Some people refused to believe that the liberalist globalisation is the only way for the world because developing countries were weakened by the structural adjustment policies, advocates of the Human Rights, ecological proponents since 1999, the malcontents are becoming more and more numerous, the opposition of this globalisation is becoming more and more organised: they are know nowadays as the “alter globalisation movement”. At the beginning they were called “anti-globalists”; yet they are not against the globalisation but against the liberalist globalisation. [...]
[...] That is why they decided with the help of Bernard Cassen (president of the newspapers Le Monde Diplomatique) to create an opposition stance to Davos a World Social Forum and to organize it symbolically on the same dates as the Davos' Forum. With a Forum, the movement wanted to go beyond the manifestations and organized a forum where concrete responses to globalisation could occur. The aim of the World Social Forum is the following:” The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where groups and movements of civil society opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism, but engaged in building a planetary society centred on the human person, come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. [...]
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