Strategies for taking the offensive against the domination of free market policies were examined: representatives from the three NAFTA nations stressed the need for transnational unionization as a response to the transnationalization of capital that is one underpinning of neo-liberalism. Activists pointed to the recent General Motors strike that idled the giant corporation’s production plants in the three North American countries as one illustration of the new leverage providers of labor have in a globalized economy. Polemics also raged over a proposal for an international campaign for a six-hour workday to resist the net decrease in employment that accompanies the globalization process. Suspension or renegotiation of Latin America’s foreign debt was forcefully argued, as were proposals for alternative money systems. Ecologists postulated that the globalization of trade presents an imminent threat to the planet’s biodiversity. FINAL CONCLUSIONS from the five workshops were presented at plenary sessions that included intermissions filled by marimba bands, Tojolabal bailables, howling poets, and top Mexico City rock’ n’rollers. The documents will help set the agenda for what Subcomandante Marcos touts as the “Intergalactic Forum On Behalf of Humanity and Against Neo-Liberalism,” which will bring together delegates from similar continental conclaves to be held in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania in coming months. \(The “Intergalactic” is tentatively set for July 27-August 3, in Of all the forum documents, perhaps the most discussed working paper read at La Realidad was submitted by a purported beetle”Durito,” the alter ego with which Subcomandante Marcos has entertained fans for several years in a constant stream of communiques issued from the Lacandon rain forest. “The problem with globalization in the neo-liberal model is that balloons burst,” argued “Durito,” in a document read by Marcos and preposterously entitled “Promising Elements For An Initial Analysis as The First Basis For An Original Approximation Of The Primogenic Considerations In Respect To The SupraHistoric And Overweening Spiral Of Neo-Liberalism In the Decisive Conjuncture On April 6th, 1996 At 1:30 Southeastern Time With A Moon That Looks Like The Pocket Of A Worker In This Age Of The Rise Of Privatizations, Monetary Adjustments, And Other Economic Measures That Are So Effective They Produce Events Such As That Of La Realidad \(first “Because the work we are doing is so serious, we have to take time out to laugh,” Subcomandante Marcos later told forum participants, half apologizing for poking fun at their earnest efforts. “Our job is not to change the world,” Marcos told the inaugural session, “we have a more modest proposal: to build a new world….” In summoning the Mexican people and the people of Latin America and the world to join together against neo-liberalism, the EZLN once again seeks to seize the initiative from the Mexican government and to promote solidarity with its cause on the international front. Much like predecessor unity movements launched by the Cuban revolution, and the continental call for a Latin American debt moratorium in the 1980s, the Zapatista bid to the Americas to resist neo-liberalism will no doubt boost their stock on the international left. But such Bolivarismo does not much endear the EZLN to the Zedillo braintrust, which during the Easter week forum in the jungle dispatched its top negotiators to Europe in an effort to persuade members of the European Parliament that the Zapatistas no longer represent a threat to foreign investment. CLOSER TO HOME, the Zedillo administration continues to pressure the EZLN with displays of military might. Despite the high energies and expectations of the forum in La Realidad, the difficult military position in which the Zapatistas find themselves generated tensions throughout the event. Mexican military convoys appeared on several mornings, slowly advancing up the road that skirts La Realidad, the cannons of their tanks directed at the community. An Army manhunt for six of its deserters startled forumgoers and villagers alike, and military aircraft overflew La Realidad on several occasions. Immigration agents took names and inspected documents of all foreigners entering the jungle for the forum. At the immigration checkpoint near Las Margaritas, an agent of the Center for National Security eralism caravaners. Documents the undercover agent carried identified him as Arturo Acosta Andrata, whose CISEN number is 103-25. Acosta Andrata was also in possession of a ski-mask and a press credential issued by the Chiapas state electoral commisMexico City daily, El Financiero. The presence of the CISEN, a super-secret national security agency that operates under the aegis of the Secretary of the Interior, is a further indication of how warily the Zedillo administration views the Zapatistas’ campaign to unify national and international allies against the neo-liberal model. “Indonesia,” from p. 24 agency of the U.S. government, cancelled a one-hundred-million-dollar, political-risk insurance policy on the mine last October, citing environmental and other problems at the mine site. Under the agreement, OPIC will reinstate the insurance policy, but only until the end of this year. Sources close to the situation said the company will not be allowed to apply for insurance from OPIC beyond 1996; however, as of April 22, Ruth Harkin, OPIC president and CEO, said only, “In our settlement agreement, we did not address ourselves beyond the end of the year.” Freeport also agreed to create a one-hundred-million-dollar trust fund for environmental remediation. The settlement with OPIC is a major victory for Jim Bob Moffett, Freeport CEO, who could underwrite the trust fund from his own pocket. Moffett’s pay package for 1995 alone included cash and stock options currently worth more than 47.6 million dollars \(that is, more than three times his offer to the people whose land contains the pany’s April 30 stockholder meeting with the reassuring claim that the West Papuan unrest has officially subsided, and that the company has settled the contentious insurance dispute. DALLAS DOWNWIND. In yet another instance of the fox guarding the henhouse \(or is it the pig guarding the smokeResource Conservation Commissioner Ralph Marquez has been caught with his butt in the revolving door. According to TNRCC records obtained by the Dallas Sierra Club, Marquez was a member of a 1994 lobbying team hired by TXI \(owners Texas Chemical Council to persuade the TNRCC to weaken regulations on cementkiln incinerators. Now TXI is about to go before the commissioners for a new incineration permit, and the Sierra Club, Downwinders at Risk and other environmental organizations have requested that Marquez recuse himself from the TXI decision. The TNRCC is expected to issue a draft permit for public comment this month, and the Sierra Club charges that after a two-year delay, the commission has omitted promised provisions requiring TXIwhich burns hazardous waste as kiln fuelto meet the environmental restrictions already expected of commercial hazardous waste incinerators. Despite earlier reassurances by TNRCC Chairman Barry McBee, said Sierra Club Vice Chair Rita Beving, “This supposed environmental agency, is perfectly content to let TXI off the hook for the sake of corporate profits.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11
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