1. More protests in NZ
2. Halt terror against the earth
4. Alliance formed to fight economic terrorism


1. More protests in NZ
The Dominion (Wellington) October 8, 2001


More than 1000 Wellingtonians took their place in  Civic Square on Saturday to spell out their feelings on  genetic engineering. People also signed petitions, listened  to speeches and music, and sampled the world's longest  GE-free sandwich, 64.5 metres long and specially baked for  the event. Similar protests were staged in 20 centres  around New Zealand. A hikoi from Kaitaia supporting a GE ban arrived in Auckland to join actions there. It will continue  to Wellington. Capital GE-Free spokesman Edwin Dando said  public concern over genetic engineering could not be  underestimated. "Many New Zealanders want GE kept in the  lab," he said. "This keeps it where it can be managed and  where it can contribute to science and the economy without  contaminating the environment and threatening exports." The Government is expected to announce a decision on New  Zealand's GE status in three weeks.




The Hindu 


NEW DELHI, OCT. 4. The Maharashtra  Government has reportedly given the rights to a lake -  which hitherto was the community resource and a source of  livelihood for the local population - to the soft drinks  giant, Coca Cola, for running one of its several bottling  plants in the country. This is an extension of 'water wars'  and a classic case of 'environmental terrorism' where the  State Government has unilaterally decided to privatise  peoples' resources and hand them over to multinational  corporations for private gain even though the State is a  trustee and not an absolute owner of natural resources,  which belong to the people. This is not an isolated case.  

Globalisation is allowing a handful of corporations such  as Cargill and Vivendi to own and control public land and  water through contract farming, privatisation and  commodification of resources. Corporations such as  Monsanto, Syngenta and Novartis are pirating and trying to  own and control our biodiversity, food, medicinal plants  and knowledge through patents and IPR claims such as the  neem patents, basmati and other rice patents. It may sound  weird but with the September 11 attacks in the U.S fresh in  mind and the threat of a war looming large, 'environmental  terrorism' too is catching up fast as a threat which can no  longer be ignored. Global environmental experts are of the  opinion that military action is actually "not the  appropriate response to the violence of terrorism today".  

Rather, military action threatens innocent lives and  exacerbates social and environmental crises. "Yet, the  finer points seem to be escaping everybody's attention.  

Many ongoing conflicts in the world are over natural  resources and it is time to halt the violence against the  earth," Mr. Simon Retallack of "The Ecologist", London,  told The Hindu here. In town with several other leading  international environment experts for a meeting on  "Globalisation, environment and peoples' survival", Mr.  Retallack said it was essential to break out of the cycle  of violence and chart out a blueprint for peace and  survival. "Environmental sustainability and planetary  health cannot be achieved with the current economic  paradigm," he said, citing several global conflicts over  natural resources such as oil in the Middle East and Central Asia, diamonds in Sierre Leone, land in Chiapas, Mexico.  

 "Globalisation is pushing the earth and its people to a  breaking point and environmental terrorism is threatening  the very survival of every species," he warned. His views  were echoed by a Canadian environment lawyer, Mr. Steve  Shrybman: "Globalisation is pushing States to become police  states for extinguishing peoples' rights and usurping their  resources. International trade treaties are destroying  environment and it is time people realise that it is not a  frivolous debate."

 "Economic globalisation is creating environmental  violence," Ms. Debi Barker, co-director, International  Forum on Globalisation, U.S., said. "We need people to  defend natural resources or else all vital resources will  be monopolised by a handful of global corporations  supported by the WTO rules and IMF-World Bank  conditionalities," she stressed. It is in this backdrop  that the environmentalists are now fighting for new  concepts like "earth democracy" and "earth citizenship".  

 "We are involved with human democracy and have tried to  stop racism, sexism and all other kinds of discrimination,  but are not dealing with specism," said Mr. Satish Kumar,  founder- editor of London-based "Resurgence". "Trees,  mountains and rivers are also citizens of the earth and  have every right to live integrally with a healthy  ecosystem. Peoples' rights to such natural resources are  natural rights and cannot be reassigned or taken away by  the State," he said.


October 9, 2001 [shortened]

BANGALORE: The controversy over the Karnataka  government's proposed biotech park shows further signs of  snowballing, with opposition party leaders questioning  Chief Minister S.M. Krishna's long-term vision'' on the  issue. Reacting to Krishna's latest statement unilaterally  rejecting the University of Agriculture Sciences' (UAS)  offer of 31 acres for the BT park, opposition leaders on  Monday told The Times of India that neither the CM nor  those promoting the park had any clear idea about it. The  CM, the agriculture minister, the IT secretary and the UAS  Vice-Chancellor have each come up with a different  statement. What are we to believe about this (ad)venture?''  Legislative Council opposition leader K.H. Srinivasa JD(S)  wanted to know. Srinivasa said no practical assessment had  been made about the extent of landneeded to host such a  park. If the CM wanted to ape Andhra Pradesh CM N.  

 Chandrababu Naidu and have a 500-1000 acre park, he should  have at least sent a team to find out what Naidu has  actually done there. Otherwise, why limit the park to 1,000  acres? Why not 3,000 acres or all the acreage available in  and around Bangalore?'' he asked. Srinivasa regretted that  Krishna had considered the unruly events leading to the  shifting of the BT park out of the UAS campus as an  eye-opener'' and a blessing in disguise.'' Do we need such  incidents to open his eyes? None of the major, basic issues  about the park have been answered, so this new stand of his  has no credibility,'' he maintained.


4. Alliance formed to fight economic terrorism
Pumalag 2- PAMBANSANG UGNAYAN NG MAMAMAYAN LABAN SA LIBERALISASYON NG AGRIKULTURA secretariat office 82-C Masikap St. Extension, Central District, Quezon City telefax 922-09-77
October 10,2001
Press Release

An alliance of peasant groups, fisher folk organizations, national minority associations, land reform advocates and government employees unions was launched this morning to fight economic terrorism under the US-led World Trade Organization.

At the press launching of Pambansang Ugnayan ng Mamamamayan Laban sa Liberalisasyon ng Agrikultura (Pumalag2), organizers vowed to launch campaigns and mass actions against the WTO.

The group is composed of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Pamalakaya, the national minority group Kamp, peasant women association Amihan, Kadamay,  NFA-Employees Union, National Federation of Sugar Workers and National Federation of Employees in the Department of Agriculture. Rep. Satur Ocampo and  Rep.Crispin Beltran of party list Bayan Muna are individual members  of Pumalag2.

In a press statement, Pumalag2 told the Macapagal-Arroyo government that the WTO was one of the biggest crimes done against humanity in the name of corporate interests and super transnational profiteers. "We reiterate the rural people's call to President Arroyo-get agriculture and the Philippine economy out of WTO, "organizers said.

Pumalag2 lambasted the government for avant-garde and anarchic importation of cheap imported agricultural products from foreign countries. It said the massive influx of transnational garbage inflicted economic pains among peasants, fisher folk and local producers as monopolies took advantage of the one-sided treaty to make more profits.

Pumalag2 Convenor and KMP national chair Rafael Mariano dared President  Arroyo to  certify a bill that would abrogate the WTO treaty, stop US economic terrorism and prevent further backlash in the economy. "Congress is hereby tasked to score a giant kill against WTO. President Arroyo must stop playing the real monopoly's game, " he said.

Mariano said the impact of WTO and liberalization of agriculture on peasants' livelihood is worse compared to World Trade Center tragedy. "WTO is the grandmother of all tragedies that would kill many generations, unless the Arroyo regime makes a decisive decision in favor of ordinary people, " he stressed.

For his part, Pamalakaya chair and Pumalag2 Convenor for fisheries Rodolfo Sambajon said the formation of anti-WTO alliance signaled the peasants' political preparedness to fight the evils and terrorism of WTO in the streets and battle over public opinion. " Let's discuss the issue on whether we will continue or renounce our membership and engagement in the WTO. The Filipino peasantry is willing to face the Arroyo regime in a national debate," Sambajon dared.

The first Pumalag was formed in mid-1994 at the height of the Senate deliberation on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. KMP and Pamalakaya were instrumental in establishing Pumalag. The groups led mass actions against the trade pact. In 1995 the Philippine Senate ratified the agreement and the country became member of the WTO.

Pumalag2 said the country lost $ 3.5 billion dollars from 1995-1999 due  unfair trade relations and practices under the WTO. Prior to the Philippines ascension to WTO, the country enjoyed a net surplus of $ 1.6  billion in trade.

The Philippine government promised to create 500,000 yearly jobs for the agricultural sector, but Pumalag estimates bared that over 1 million jobs were lost since 1995. In fisheries sector, jobs lost accounted for 182,000, the biggest in recent years. #

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Peasant Movement of the Philippines