Anti-globalisation protests in Mali

Anti-globalisation activists gathering in Mali for the World Social Forum face a crowded programme, encompassing issues as various as access to water and debt.

Anti-globalisation protests in Mali


The forum, held each year is in response to the World Economic Forum of political and business leaders in Wwitzerland, "is of considerable importance for Africa because of the extremely grave problems that globalisation has caused on this continent," its national organising commitee said.

It is the first time the gathering has taken place on African soil and the agenda includes free-market globalisation, farming and immigration.

"Africa is ... a sick body because of the plunder by a handful of powerful super nations," according to a document presented to participants in the Malian capital of Bamako.

"If we look today at what is happening in the world, one realises that there is systematic monopolisation of land belonging to the indigenous peasants, wherever they are found," in Latin America, in Africa where the majority of the population survive on agriculture, said Ibrahima Coulibaly, a member of a west African Research Organisation.

Mohamed Haidara, coordinator of Green Africa (Mali), an organisation devoted to sustainable development, is worried about the introduction in Africa of genetically-engineered organisms.

"It starts with our cotton. The day it will turn to the cereals, that will kill the producers and they will be forced to buy their seeds from the American producers," he said.

Immigration was another theme, in that it exposed the "inhuman and shameful treatment" of citizens of the south, pushed out by poverty and conflicts to try their chance for a better tomorrow in Europe.

In France, they take the foreigners to do the difficult work and when they don't want them anymore they get rid of them by having them deported," said a young participant, dubbing the practice "kleenex politics".

Another topic was access to water, a campaign led by the widow of former French President Francois Mitterrand.

"Today there are some 1,5 billion people with no access to clean water in the world...34,000 people die each day due to lack of clean water," said Danielle Mitterrand, calling for the recognition and respect of "the right to free clean water."

The Bamako forum will be followed by similar events in Venezuela, at the end of January, and in Pakistan in Narch before a 10th African meeting scheduled for Kenya in 2007.

Source: IRIB

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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