We are all terrorists now

pms laflame at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 8 07:51:32 PDT 2001

Over two hundred delegates attended the meeting: activists from Bangladesh, Maoris from New Zealand, ecologists from Russia, anti-privatisation campaigners from South Africa, tribespeople from Papua New Guinea, coca farmers from Bolivia, human rights activists from Chile and many more. The list is a long, remarkable and insistent piece of evidence pointing towards the real story behind this movement: that its energy comes from the Global South, the developing world where global capitalism's sharp blade falls, far beyond the horizons of its beneficiaries in the West.

The forces ranged against us

Theirs are the stories that explain the rage against the machine currently flooding across the world. That rage is the reason why this movement is not going away. Where is it going instead? Two forces are at work in the wake of the Manhattan murders which will make it much harder for our voice to be heard. http://www.opendemocracy.net/forum/document_details.asp?CatID=98&DocID=703 One is the repression of dissent. For example, it took less than a week after the bombings for George Bush to announce that NGOs, could be front groups for terrorism. Governments in the West are already discussing measures which may come to prove Benjamin Franklin's maxim: those who are willing to forfeit liberty for security will have neither. Meanwhile, here in Bolivia, activists have been searched by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, detained by Interpol and threatened with deportation for daring to attend the PGA conference, while the local governor has announced to the press that we are a gathering of terrorists.

These are the first shots being fired in a war not against terrorism, but against dissent. Can we expect to see terrorism used as Joe McCarthy used communism - a catch-all term to round up all and any who oppose the interests of the powerful, and particularly the interests of the US? It seems a real possibility. And since this movement has demonstrated, at Seattle, Prague, Genoa and all over the developing world, that it has the power to disturb the rulers and connect with the people, it will surely be one of the first targets in the witch-finders' sights.

The second force at work is one which, far from silencing the movement, will likely increase both its determination and its numbers. You can see it in the pages of the Western, and particularly the US, press over the last few weeks. The driving forces behind the expansion of corporate globalisation have decreed that what the world now needs is more of it.

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