Globalisation refers to the worldwide phenomenon of technological, economic, political and cultural exchanges, brought about by modern communication, transportation and legal infrastructure as well as the political choice to consciously open cross-border links in international trade and finance. It is a term used to describe how places and human beings are becoming more intertwined with each other around the world economically, politically, and culturally. Although these globalisation links are not new, they are more pervasive than ever before.
List of protests against Globalisation
(The following information is extracted from http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/FreeTrade/Protests.asp
- January 2001 and August 2001 saw national strikes resulting from IMF-prescribed adjustment policies
- Up to 80,000 protested against the IMF, in May 2000.
- Over 7.2 million workers support a 24 hour general strike in defiance of the new IMF-prescribed labour laws, June 2000.
- July and August 2001 saw at least 100,000 people protest at further IMF-related measures that would lead to large pay cuts.
- December 2001, saw two days of violent protests at further austerity measures, and economic meltdown that brought down the government. 16 people are said to have been killed.
- During the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, there have been various protests to do with globalisation issues.
- September 11, 2000 saw from 10,000 to 30,000 protestors in Melbourne at the World Economic Forum. There were subsequent protests on other days with turnouts in the mid thousands.
- A wave of protests have started at different events related to aspects of current forms of globalisation
(protests in April 2000 led to some bizarre media coverage.)
- As reported by the World Development Movement (WDM), “[a] referendum asking whether Brazil should discontinue IMF reforms is backed by more than a million people. Organised by the National Council of Bishops and Jubilee 2000, the ‘unofficial’ referendum is a marked success.”
- The WDM report continues, that on “7 September , to mark the end of six days of voting and Brazil’s Independence Day, a demonstration draws thousands of protesters under the banner of Cry of the Excluded. All the main cities in Brazil are “crammed”, say reports, with more than 100,000 people in Sao Paulo. The Government had previously called the [above-mentioned] referendum “stupid” and an isolated project undertaken by “minorities”.” (emphasis added)
- To coincide with the annual World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland, where multinational corporations get to meet, and have access to world political leaders, Porto Alegre in Brazil, at the end of January 2001 saw a World Social Forum meeting attended by over 10,000 people. The goal was to discuss alternatives to the current forms of globalisation.
- February 2002 saw even more than 2001, with some 51,000 people turning up at Porto Alegre.
- July 2001 saw police themselves protest and strike for over 12 days in some regions. Troops were deployed from a resulting breakdown of law and order. Some 30 people were killed.
was the center for protests on the Free Trade of the Americas. It represented protests from throughout the Americas. (See this site’s section on the FTAA for more.)
- August 2000 saw 15,000 workers go on protest and strike regarding IMF’s loan conditions requiring further opening up of the economy and cutting back on social provisions and jobs.
- In August 2001, thousands of small farmers across the country protest at impact of food imports and lack of help from government.
in March 2000, 10,000 people protested at IMF-prescribed policies of privatization, and faced police brutality in the process.
(World Bank and IMF meetings in Prague, end of September, 2000)
- Estimates vary from 20,000 protestors to 50,000
- As with other places, heavy security response and police brutality was in effect, as predicted.
- Protests in other regions of the world coincided with this — for example, in the U.S. in all 50 states, there were protests — not that the mainstream media would have described it in much detail.
- The Prague protests disrupted the IMF and World Bank meetings enough to end the meetings a day early.
- The IndyMedia Center Prague has much more detail.
- Marches at the beginning of 2000, saw over 40,000 indigenous people protesting US and IMF-prescribed reforms (resulting in 35,000 military personnel and police being deployed).
- 10,000 protested, also in January, at the fear of dollarization of their economy (which became reality in September, 2000)
- There was even a coup attempt that month.
- Numerous strikes, protests and uprisings occurred throughout the first half of 2000 due to IMF reforms. Numbers were in the tens of thousands. (On one occasion, 30,000 doctors were part of a protest).
- The dollarization and other US/IMF-prescribed policies have left many problems in their wake and protests etc are sure to continue.
- The above-mentioned WDM report provides more detail for 2000, as well as their 2001 report.
- In February 2001, a state of emergency was declared amidst enormous indigenous uprising demanding an end to violence and a repeal of economic policies which have brought the country to the brink of destruction.
saw a four-month strike by the Social Security Union at impacts of IMF-backed privatization plans of the country’s health service, including protests by some 12,000 doctors and workers, as reported by WDM.
in May 2001, saw thousands protest at the Asia Development Bank and its policies, similar to those of the World Bank and IMF.
where numerous IMF-prescribed cut backs and privatizations policies are being protested. In August 2000, thousands of civil servants went on strike for 24 hours disrupting education, transport and health services. The strikers were opposing plans by the administration of President Carlos Flores to privatize the electricity, telecommunications and social security sectors as required by the International Monetary Fund.
- November 30, 1999
- There were some instances in 2000 where there were forced and violent attempts to stop protestors gathering or forming.
- More than a million electricity workers protested for a day in December 2000 against a proposed bill that follows “World Bank prescriptions” to privatize the power sector in India.
- Bhopal in January 2001 saw 150 people were arrested in Bhopal while marching against World Bank and Asian Development Bank policies.
- A WDM report, mentioned above reports that in July 2001 “Ten million state employees go on general strike against privatisation plans and call for a halt to IMF, World Bank and WTO policies. A union spokesperson said that the Government policy of backing globalisation is selling the country to the multinational companies and foreign interests, adding that: ‘This will serve as a warning to the Government against their anti-worker polices.'”
has suffered badly from the global financial crisis that hit in 1997. Since then, there have been numerous protests, both peaceful and violence, many times.
has seen numerous protests, including
- Naples saw 20,000 protestors in March 18th, 2001.
- May Day parades in 2001
- The G8 Summit in 2001, Genoa, saw many protestors turn up. At least one demonstrator was killed by violent police crackdown. Estimates vary from 100,000 to 200,000 protestors.
- Some 2 million protested in Rome, March 23, 2002, for what was initially a labor-based movement and protest but grew to include a protest against political violence as well.
has seen many protests on IMF conditionalities.
too has seen protests on IMF conditions, that have encouraged keeping wages down and suggested making public sector access more attractive to potential buyers.
has seen numerous protests not limited to the following which are just examples:
- At first sounding more like local protests, but actually have a more global aspect to it is, the struggle of the Zapatistas in Chiapas. While fighting for their indigenous rights (against military crackdowns which human rights groups have heavily criticized), they have seen the effects of the current form of globalisation on them very sharply, as this translation from the leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army shows.
- August 8th 2001, saw thousands of farmers (approximately 5000) march in protest of free trade and globalisation’s effects on them and destroying self sufficiency in food production, while instead growing food to be exported instead.
- September 2001 saw Mexico City roads brought to a standstill by protests at tax-increases that burden the poor further.
saw general strikes by health care and education workers towards the end of 2001, at impacts of IMF adjustment policies.
saw protests in August 2001 at World Bank backed structuring programs.
saw protests in July 2001 at World Bank and Asia Development Bank backed policies
has seen many protests on the IMF austerity measures, and violent crackdown as well.
Papua New Guinea
saw a week long protest in June 2001, with the death of at least 3 people and 13 injured. Protests were at IMF/World Bank austerity measures.
has seen protests that have also been met with police violence. IMF reforms are heavily criticized there.
saw protests in March 2001 from as many as 5000 people protesting effects of a mining project operated by a US firm and the World Bank.
- Numerous protests have occured, especially throughout 2000. The above-mentioned WDM report also mentions that “[o]ne of the protesters, Trevor Ngwane, a city councillor from the Soweto township, says, “Many of those debts were used to buy weapons and suppress the people during apartheid. So we are paying twice for it – once with our lives, and now with an inability to fund critical social services. Instead of building health clinics the Government is selling off zoos and libraries to stay in the good graces of the IMF.”
- In August 2001, the Congress of South African Trade Unions claimed over 5 million workers participated in strikes against privatization plans pushed forward by the IMF.
- During the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, at the end of August 2002 to beginning of September, there were many protests each day, ranging from 15,000 to 40,000 people, on all sorts of issues related to globalisation and development.
- October 2000 has seen over 20,000 protest about globalisation at an Asia Europe meeting.
- May and June 2001 see 20,000 to 50,000 people protest at various restructuring plans encouraged by the IMF.
- November 2001 also sees such protests at work conditions.
- A nation-wide strike resulted when 31,000 metal workers and chemical employees staged a four-hour strike on May 22 2002. Workers demanded a shorter working week, improved working conditions, and an end to government crackdown on union activities. The strike was coordinated in response to the IMF’s announcement that it might upgrade its 5% economic growth prediction for the country.
- March 16, 2002 saw some 500,000 people protest in Barcelona against issues relating to corporatisation and globalisation in Europe.
- At the Davos meeting in 2000 the mainstream media was urged to spread the message of free trade. Numerous protests and violence was seen.
- At the beginning of 2001 similar events occured. However, in Brazil, to conincide with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, a World Social Summit has held, which didn’t get as much attention in the mainstream, but drew huge crowds from all over the world, (as mentioned above in the Brazil bullet point).
- September 2000 saw protests where the IMF was pressing for higher energy prices, wage “control” and tax reform.
- March 2001 saw thousands protest at government, IMF and World Bank bailout plans.
has seen many protests throughout the years, including the June 18 campaign (mentioned below), the protests on May Day, in 2001, etc.
has also seen many protests.
- Some have made international news such as the Seattle protests against the WTO in 1999 and the Washington D.C. protests against the IMF and World Bank policies in 2000.
- There have also been other protests throughout the various U.S. cities which have been less mentioned.
- In February 2002, New York saw some 5,000 to 15,000 protestors converge on the World Economic Forum.
- April 2002 saw more protests in D.C. against IMF and World Bank policies and U.S. militarism in the wake of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. Estimates range from 75,000 to 200,000 protestors. In contrast to the April 2000 violence, there was little in April 2002.
On 27 February 1989, structural changes imposed by the IMF were followed by a popular uprising (the caracazo), but was put down with 4,000 dead.
Recent G8 Summits
The June 18 campaign in 1999 was another highly publicized event, with biased media reporting. This was another international protest, where many major cities in the world on the same day saw large protests. In fact, as this report shows, the June 18 protests occurred all over the world, including:
- Basque country
- Czech republic
- South Africa
- South Korea
Note that in many of these countries, the protests were in numerous cities.
May Day protests, 2001
saw many May Day protests around the world, including numerous cities in the following countries, as the previous link, and this little interactive guide reports:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States of America
2001 WTO Ministerial Conference
With the 2001 WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar where a new round of neoliberal free trade talks are negotiated, there have been protests around the world. In Doha itself there has been limited protests because of repressive laws. (You can see this site’s section on Doha for more details about the talks itself.) Summarizing from Protest.net, protests have occurred in at least the following places:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
IMF & World Bank protests
As Global Exchange reports (in September 2001), “Since 1976, at least 100 protests against [International Monetary] Fund and [World] Bank policies have occurred in dozens of countries around the world … Clearly, ordinary citizens are outraged with the institutions’ policies. The continued adoption of those policies reveals the democracy disconnect fostered by the IMF and the World Bank.” They further provide just a partial list of some of those countries in order of year, where protests have occurred since 1976. That list is reproduced here:
(If anyone can format this, got an headache now…)
New World Order
|Aug 1981||Sierra Leone|
|Apr 1984||Dominican Rep.|
|May 1985||Haiti||El Salvador|
|Aug 1985||Costa Rica|
|Jan 1987||Zambia||Sierra Leone|
|Feb 1990||Ivory Coast||Niger|
|Feb 1997||South Africa|
|Mar 2000||Costa Rica|
|May 2000||South Africa||Turkey||Argentina||India||Malawi||Russia|