No to World Trade Organisation

Farooq Tariq (general secretary Labour Party Pakistan) reports about the mass protests against the WTO in Pakistan

Thousands of Labour Party Pakistan activists demonstrated on Tuesday December 6 against the imperialist and World Trade Organisation privatisation onslaught. The rally of trade union activists and political workers was supported by the National Trade Union Federation, Women Workers Helpline, Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union and Progressive Youth Front. It raised slogans against US imperialism, military dictatorship and brick kiln bosses, as well as privatisation and the WTO. In a statement LPP chairperson Nisar Shah and general secretary Farooq Tariq said that the WTO is dominated by rich countries and their corporate lobbying groups. Thus the process of negotiations is not producing fruitful results for developing countries. The process is also undemocratic and non-transparent: all the key decisions are being taken in small group meetings influenced by rich countries like the USA and European Union. Earlier, in a press statement, the LPP executive committee, declared: "This institution has been created to protect the expanded interests of global capitalism rather than poor people. In line with the World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank, the WTO is also a global institute of capitalism. The very fundamentals of capitalism are based on the exploitation of labour and the poor, so there is no chance that these institutions can be reformed in favour of the poor. There is an urgent need to seriously think about dismantling the institutions of global capitalism, among which the WTO is one." We appeal to all the civil society groups, political parties, parliament and developing countries to reject the ministerial declaration and demand the demolition of the domes of capitalism. The sixth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation marks the completion of a decade of the neoliberal global trade regime. This meeting is being organised in Hong Kong, a 'safe haven' for imperialist capital, so that the mobilisation of any opposition, as happened during previous ministerial conferences, can be prevented. The Hong Kong meeting will signal yet another onslaught on the people of undeveloped countries, as well as the proletariat and the oppressed masses of imperialist countries. In order to hoodwink the undeveloped countries, the WTO secretariat has proposed the formation of an 'aid for trade' initiative, while rhetoric about "poverty-reduction through trade", "a level playing field for developing countries", etc are also propaganda themes. The Labour Party Pakistan calls for an uncompromising struggle against the globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation agenda ruthlessly pursued by the imperialist powers, by putting forward the revolutionary goal of democratic socialism as the only alternative before mankind. In this we march hand in hand with all those struggling to build an international movement against the WTO. We are not in favour of a reformed WTO - the only solution is the derailment of the whole process. We hope that the anti-globalisation movement will be able to halt the meeting and show solidarity with all those in Hong Kong and elsewhere who oppose the WTO. Let us unite to launch a mighty international movement with the aim of throwing the WTO, like other imperialist agencies and institutions, along with the imperialist system itself, into the dustbin of history.