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A Day Hopeful and Radiant: The Miami Call to Action (final draft)

by Jes One Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 6:27 AM

This day is called the feast of Crispian: He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. She that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast her neighbours, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:' Then will she strip her sleeve and show her scars. And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'

A Day Hopeful and Radiant: The Miami Call to Action FTAA Ministerial Meetings - November 20-21, 2003 (final draft)

In November 2003, Miami, Florida, is hosting both the eighth round of

the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) trade negotiations and

the eighth Americas Business Forum. Trade Ministers from 34 nations

in the Western hemisphere, and hundreds of their closest

commerce-inclined friends, will descend on this city for a week of

business and pleasure: the business of advancing capitalism’s parasitic

agenda, and the pleasure of getting away with it.

At the Summit of Americas held in Miami in December 1994, 34 heads

of state agreed to construct the FTAA. Since then, business and

government representatives from these countries have been secretly

drafting this plan with the aim of creating the largest free trading block

in the world by 2005. This is to be our region’s principal contribution to

the much-heralded age of globalization.

- Did somebody say “Free Trade”? -

The FTAA expands the corporate free trade policies of the North

American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which applied to Canada,

Mexico, and the United States, to encompass the entire Western

hemisphere. It is an integral part of the logic of capitalist globalization,

generating profits while at the same time accelerating the loss of

workers’ rights, wage decreases, the triumph of corporate agribusiness

over family and subsistence farms, environmental degradation, the

displacement of indigenous peoples and the privatization of public

industries. Alongside the imposition of militarization and natural

resource-focused accords like Plan Colombia, the Andean Regional

Initiative, Plan Puebla Panama and the Central American Free Trade

Agreement, the FTAA is designed to concentrate wealth and power

into a few corporate hands at the expense of everyone else.

- Nosotros decimos No! -

Much has happened since 1994: NAFTA and the Zapatista uprising in

Chiapas, Mexico, arrived simultaneously onto the world stage — the

former to destroy communities for the sake of profits, the latter to

reintroduce Mexico to its indigenous glory and inspire future resistance

across the world. Subsequent years saw a revival and dynamic growth

of popularly organized, independent struggles to resist free-market

regimes and create a humane and egalitarian alternative. From the

courageous efforts of the Landless Rural Workers Movement in Brazil,

to the struggles against public sector privatization in Cochabamba,

Bolivia, and across nations in Central America, to the 2001 rebellion in

Argentina, this June’s uprisings in Peru, and the regional response in

Quito, Ecuador, against the most recent round of FTAA negotiations —

the peoples of the hemisphere speak in a decisive voice of opposition.

And now all eyes are upon us.

- Mobilize for Miami! -

Come to Miami in November, and this is what you will see...Yes, it is a

steaming crock-pot of vibrant cultures and ethnicities, but the division

among classes and races is stark and deep. Yes, it is a tropical hub of

international commerce, but poverty is rampant and social exclusion is

pervasive. Yes, the issues relevant to the lives of everyday residents —

unemployment and underemployment, gentrification and displacement

in working-class communities, unaccountable and corrupt municipal

government, unlawful detention and persecution of immigrants — are

common across the hemisphere, but Miami was also home to the

largest pro-war, pro-Bush demonstrations in the United States

(thoughtfully declaring “First Saddam, then Fidel!”). This is the context

for November. Residents of what is touted as the poorest large urban

center in the United States will foot a good portion of the million it

will cost to host the meetings. Further, they will be asked, for a week, to

patiently bear the militarization of the city’s downtown — miles of

barricades, public transportation and movement restrictions, columns

of roving paramilitary — while the local and international elite go about

the high-stakes business of negotiating details that will impact the lives

of everyone in the hemisphere. This is where we come in.

- 305, take it to the house! -

This is the invitation that you and 800 million of your closest friends

have been waiting for. We, the undersigned groups and loose

associations, are calling for creative, decentralized, autonomous

actions in response to the FTAA ministerial November 20–21, 2003.

Some of the immediate goals:

- Delay, disrupt, and topple the FTAA meetings.

- Bury the City of Miami’s hopes for a flawless ministerial and their

plans to house the permanent FTAA Secretariat.

- Engage in the globalization debate like our excluded brothers and

sisters in the South, so that our actions resonate across the

hemisphere, and we demonstrate that we can and will play a part in

this struggle.

Make no mistake, Miami police chief John Timoney (of Philly RNC

2000 fame) is gearing for a conflict the likes of which this city has

never seen. Expect everything from infiltration and preemptive strikes,

to brutal repression and trumped up charges. It is important that we

begin preparing now, forming tight affinity groups, educating and

mobilizing our communities, and rounding up legal, medic, and media

resources. Out-of-town guests should understand that the activist

infrastructure here is extremely limited; self-sufficiency is key. To that

end, for the benefit of orienting and informing affinity groups well into,

or just initiating, their Miami travel/action planning, beginning in

August we will be releasing monthly statements addressing the progress

in our work, the latest developments in the City’s security plans, and

other pressing concerns. As the lone anti-capitalist, non-hierarchical and

anti-authoritarian elements active in the South Florida mobilization, we

encourage all civil disobedience, direct action, and logistical support

groups to get in touch so that we may begin coordinating our efforts as

best we can and in as timely a manner as possible. Our task: roll out

the welcome mat. Your task: be bold, creative, strategic and


La lucha es larga y ellos son muchos, pero nosotros somos muchos

mas. Siempre seremos muchos mas.

Come to Miami in November. History beckons you. Perhaps paradise


*800 Million vs. 34 Coalition, Miami/Dade County, Florida

*FTAA Wrecking Crew, Broward County, Florida

*Running Dogs of Global Justice, Palm Beach County, Florida

For more information:

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