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[ox] Fwd: (ftaa-l) Radicalize This! An anarchist view in Quebec City/wahlkampf in Wien

wie ihr vielleicht wisst, soll die NAFTA auf ganz Amerika ausgedehnt werden. 
im April findet in Quebec ein wichtiges treffen in diesem zusammenhang statt. 
die vorbereitungen laufen bereits auf hochtouren und wer sich dafür 
interessiert, findet im folgenden artikel auch einige adressen.
PS: der wahlkampf in Wien hat heute begonnen, wer kümmert sich darum, daß es 
zum beispiel keine unwidersprochenen rassistischen äußerungen oder plakate 
gibt? wenn ich mich nicht irre, gibt es eigentlich gesetze gegen zb. 
"verhetzung", "öffentliche beschimpfung", "aufruf zu verbrechen" (wie z.b. 
die forderung menschen zu beseitigen). wird sich unser "justizminister" darum 
kümmern, oder? am Donnerstag gehen die menschen (nicht die wähler ohne stimme 
- sie haben sie ja abgegeben, auch nicht die konsumenten, verbraucher ohne 
geld, oder die verwerteten ohne wert) dieser stadt spazieren. menschen, die 
ihre stimme noch haben, sollten sie rechtzeitig gebrauchen - selbst!
wir dulden keinen rassismus!

----------  Weitergeleitete Nachricht  ----------
Subject: (ftaa-l) Radicalize This! An anarchist view in Quebec City
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 14:13:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Nicolas Lefebvre <nicolasphebus>
To: ftaa-l

Building the Resistance to the FTAA and Summit of the

(The following article is to be appear in the upcoming, and premiere,
issue of "The Northeastern Anarchist", the journal of the Northeastern
Anarcho-Communist Federation (NEFAC). You can visit their website at

by Nicolas Phebus

QUEBEC CITY -- In April 2001, the Organization of American States (OAS)
will sponsor in Quebec-city the third Summit of the Americas, a meeting of
34 heads of states that is scheduled to discuss "continental integration".
The proposed "integration" is in fact an extension of NAFTA --the infamous
North American Free Trade Agreement-- to all of the Americas except Cuba.

     Just as the organizers are already on the ground trying to sell the
Summit to the local population, so is the opposition already crystallized
and active in most social fields. Since we guessed readers don't need
another article telling them how capitalism and the proposed Free Trade of
the Americas Agreement (FTAA) are bad and destructive, this article will
try to present who's working on the ground in Quebec to organize the

The "Official Opposition": The Bureaucrat's "People's Summit"

     As anyone following the global protest movement would have guessed,
this Summit of the Americas will also have a counter-summit organized by
the mainstream union federations and big NGO's. Several networks have been
working on this for years. There is the continent wide "Social Alliance"
which is composed of most "free" union federations (such as the AFL-CIO
and Canadian Labor Congress) and bigger NGO's (such as the Sierra Club).

     In Canada, the main coalitions are "Common Frontiers" in
english-speaking Canada and "RQIC" in Quebec (Quebec network on
continental integration). These people busied themselves trying to gain a
place around the negotiation table and their main objective is to have a
"social clause" in the agreement that will defends social and worker's
rights. In general, on grounds of realism, they argue, like the AFL-CIO
and Quebec FTQ, that globalization is a phenomenon that can't be opposed
and to which we must adapt. For some of them, the fight is already lost.

     This is not all, however, as some unions and smaller NGO's as well as
most student unions have been organizing in a local coalition for months.
This coalition is called OQP-2001 (Operation Quebec Spring 2001 in
english). This coalition aims to organize non-violent protests to expose
the Summit and FTAA. The OQP-2001 coalition could have been really
interesting as it soon adopted a clear anti-FTAA position, however it also
ruled early on against direct democracy and refused to have a sovereign
general assembly and chose a group based structure instead. This move
annoyed many locals, as it gave power to professional activists (such as
union bureaucrats) and group representatives instead of the actual
activists who do the work. As the months went by, the most conservative
elements won a wave of votes that bind the coalition to strict
non-violence, a clearly reformist agenda and forbid it to collaborate with
any groups that don't adhere to a strict non-violent platform. In fact,
this was only a small part of a much larger fear campaign aimed to
marginalize "radicals" and "peace loving-rock throwing anarchists" (as one
local Montreal "activist" once put it).

The Radicals

     Where do anarchists fit in all of this? Well, at first, the
Quebec-city based NEFAC affiliate 'Groupe Anarchiste Emile-Henry' was a
member of OQP-2001, but soon left (shortly after the vote against direct
democracy). And, to be fair, it took us a while before we kicked our ass
and move onto something else.

     In Montreal, however, things where a little bit different and moved
much faster. As there was no local organizing going on, three local
anti-authoritarians launched a call a year before hand to form a coalition
to "bring the spirit of Seattle to Quebec-city in April". After a few long
meetings, the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) was founded. It's core
principles are in total contrast with most other anti-globalization
groupings. First, it's radically democratic, second it's anti-capitalist,
non reformist and radical, and, what's more important, it respects a
"diversity of tactics". The work done by la CLAC is fairly impressive.
First off, most of it's meetings are attended by between 50 and 100 people
and it has a core of about 30 activists, maybe more. Second, it already
have proved, on the ground, that it can mobilize a fairly large number of
people. For example, in October, it mobilized between 700 and 1000 people
to protest the G20 meeting in Montreal (see elsewhere in this magazine),
and also organized some huge popular education days. The one I attended in
December had about a dozen workshops and was attended by about 150 people,
maybe more (it was hard to count as there were always workshops going on
and people arriving all day long).

     For a time, la CLAC wished to have working links with OQP-2001, but
this was turned down when the latter chose not to be associated with any
groups who were not explicitly "non-violent". Needless to say this annoyed
a number of anarchists and other radical activists. It was decided to
organize two public events in Quebec-city co-sponsored by la CLAC, Groupe
Anarchiste Emile-Henry and Le Maquis (another local anti-authoritarian
collective) and see what happened. In the mean time, Emile-Henry and Le
Maquis chose, as there was no radical opposition to the Summit and as we
were less and less interested to work within OQP-2001, to issue a call to
form an individual based coalition organized around the same principles as
la CLAC. Well, everything went pretty well, more than 100 people attended
both events, and some 75 people chose to be associated with the new group.
The Summit of the Americas Welcoming Committee (la CASA) was founded.

What About Action?

    La CLAC and la CASA have established a fairly close working
relationship, as one would guess. Both groups are proposing a Festival of
Anti-Capitalist Resistance in Quebec-city during the Summit (from April
20-22nd) and a Global Anti-Capitalist Day of Action on the 20th. In
Quebec-city, to insure the "respect of a diversity of tactics" both groups
are advocating, we will propose different spaces so no one steps on the
toes of anyone else. Both groups are also calling for an activist
gathering and "consulta" in Quebec-city in January, in order to get some
feedback from people elsewhere. As for the reformists, no one seems to be
proposing a blockade of the Summit anymore, but rather a traditional
demonstration on the 21th. As you see, we'll have some fun in April...

To get more info, check and

To get in touch with la CLAC, email <clac>, for la CASA, try

The writer lives in Quebec-city and is a member of Groupe Anarchist
Emile-Henry (NEFAC) and la CASA. He can be contacted at

Summit of the Americas Welcoming Committee (CASA) -- Québec City

(CASA : le Comité d'Accueil du Sommet des Amériques)  GOALS AND PRINCIPLES
(unofficial translation from the French)

Next April 2001, 34 heads of state will be meeting in Quebec City with the
goal of creating a free-trade zone that will extend from one end of the
Americas to the other -- the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Accelerating both social and ecological degradation -- these leaders aim
to extend the reach of capitalism, subjecting our lives to the domination
of the commodity economy. In the face of this systematic dispossession of
our political power, resistance is essential. This April 2001, a
"welcoming committee" will be will waiting for them.

In the absence of a grassroots, radical and anti-capitalist opposition to
the Summit of the Americas and the FTAA in Quebec City, we propose the
creation of the Summit of the Americas Welcoming Committee (CASA). This
coalition of individuals, much like the CLAC (The Anti-Capitalist
Convergence in Montreal), comes together on the following principles:

-- Anti-Capitalist

In opposition to the growing tentacles of capitalist globalization, the
Summit of the Americas Welcoming Committee (CASA) aims to create an
anti-capitalist platform for discussion and action. No matter what form it
has taken in history (liberal, statist, mercantile, neo-liberal, or even
"with a human face") capitalism has always been about the domination of
commodities over individuals. Following the logic of profits, the
capitalist system monopolizes all social space, reducing human beings to
simply producers/consumers, much like the environment becomes only a
multitude of resources ready for exploitation.

-- Anti-Patriarchy

From its origins, the capitalist system was founded on patriarchal

domination. Social relationships have been interwoven by this
centuries-old ideology that affects all aspects of our lives. This
ideological system creates a global system of masculine-based tyranny.
When even the existence of the ideology and practice of feminism is more
and more put into question, we reaffirm that only a full understanding of
structural oppression will allow us to envisage a society that is
radically equal.

-- Refusal of Hierarchy

It's clear that that such a project, radically equal, can only come about
in the absence of hierarchical dynamics. We don't just denounce all forms
of servitude and exploitation of individuals, groups and peoples, but we
believe in putting into practice this basic principle within resistance
groups themselves and in our day-to-day activities. Hence, CASA offers a
radical opposition to the Summit of the Americas and similar processes by
organizing in an anti-authoritarian manner. Bringing together individuals,
the Welcoming Committee is structured around a democratic, open and
decisional general assembly. Anyone in accord with the values and
principles of CASA are urged to actively participate in accord with their
respective affinities.

-- Autonomy

Aiming to create as many links as possible, with the goal of strengthening
networks of resistance, CASA is autonomous of all forms of authority
(parties, unions, etc.). We refuse to organize our actions in view of its
eventual mass media impact, which we consider to be a form of
disempowerment and subjection.

-- Non-reformist

It is within the perspective of a radical transformation of society that
CASA adopts a confrontational attitude and rejects reformist alternatives
such as lobbying within the framework of negotiations of free trade
accords. We regard these strategies as not being able to have a positive
impact, and we exclude use of these types of anti-democratic processes.

-- Diversity of Tactics

Respecting a diversity of tactics, CASA supports the use of a variety of
creative initiatives, ranging from popular education to direct action.

In supporting these principles, the Summit of the Americas Welcoming
Committee aims to build a radical and resolute opposition to capitalism,
and to its lackeys who will be meeting in Quebec City to negotiate the
FTAA. The Summit of the Americas will be held in the middle of a Carnival
of Resistance that will converge various social movements, and in which
CASA intends to play an active role. While waiting to see capitalism
crushed by the blows of a new revolutionary movement, CASA intends to
derail the FTAA and unhinge the power of the leaders of the Americas.
Anyone in agreement with these principles, and who wish to prepare a "warm
and thoughtful welcoming," are encouraged to get involved.

temporary e-mail: la_casa2001


| Groupe Anarchiste Émile-Henry (à Québec)  :  |
|  |
| --> A-INFOS, l'agence de presse anarchiste : |
|           (multilingue) |
|           (français) |

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resisting the FTAA and capitalist globalization
mobilizing for Quebec City, April 2001
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[English translation]
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