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Friday, February 22, 2008

From Resistance to Alternatives. Historical overview by Éric Toussaint

CADTM has published a paper by Eric Toussaint (whom I worked with during my Jubilee days) on globalisation and resistance, worth a look at. Here's a snippet:

Clearly, the living conditions of a significant part of the population are deteriorating, as much in highly industrialized countries as in other parts of the world. This deterioration affects salaries, employment, health, nutrition, the environment, education and access to culture. It affects people’s fundamental rights too, whether as individuals or communities. The decline is also evident in ecological equilibrium and in relationships between States and citizens, with the large powers resorting to military aggression. The United States is not the only aggressor; it has allies in Europe, where several countries participated in the aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some are still actively participating today. And then there is state terrorism exercised by the Israeli government against the people of Palestine, and the Russian authorities’ intervention against the Chechen people.

Signs of barbarity surround us every day

Goods, services and capital flow freely across the globe, but people from impoverished countries are blocked from going to wealthy countries. It is a form of contemporary barbarity to grant complete free circulation to capital and goods and to deny it to human beings.

In Western Europe and in the United States, it is particularly deplorable to see how asylum seekers are denied justice.

It is especially disgusting to hear many political leaders, including on the left, give credit to the idea that we cannot accommodate all of the world’s suffering and therefore it is acceptable for countries of the North to massively refuse asylum and to collectively turn away or bar entry to anyone not benefiting from this right. This type of barbarity leaves asylum seekers stranded at the European Union’s borders. Consider the people killed by firearm while trying to climb over EU-erected barriers in the Spanish enclaves in Morocco in 2005. Consider the thousands of people who lose their lives trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar or attempting to reach the Canary Islands. This situation is obviously not limited to Europe. It is also happening along the Rio Grande at the southern United States border.

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