INDEPENDENT NEWS

A Protester Reflects On S26

Published: Thu 28 Sep 2000 12:55 AM
What a crazy few days it's been.
What will I take home from Prague? Will it be the thumbs up and waves from Prague citizens from their balconies as we marched by? Was it the Czech people who left their apartments and came filled the street when the armoured personal carrier went by? Was it the fifteen delegates that tried to leave the conference centre by foot and were turned back by people linking arms? Was it the old man that shook my hand and said "thank you to come her" in broken english? Was it the humiliation of some delegates having to be husteled out of the Convention Centre in ambulances (they were not injured but ambulances were not stopped)? What a coincidence that five ambulances in a row entered and left the conference centre with covered windows! I couldn't help thinking that those who structurally adjust us and destroy our health care have no qualms about using ambulances to hustle them to their $300 hotel rooms.
Last night the main square was closed. The suits missed the opera (closed by protestors). McDonalds and Mercedes Benz were smashed to pieces. I must confess, I didn't feel even a little bad about that.
According to one IMF delegate from Argentina the meeting was one of the usual talk of rich nations displaying their arrogance toward the rest of the world. Little was acomplished he said.
I marched with Peoples Global Action. What a joy to march with Nicaraguan workers, the Landless Peasant Movement (MST) of Brazil, an Indian representive of the National Alliance of Peoples Movements, the Maori and many more. We were Bolivian and Korean. We were Russian and Banglaeshi. We were Canadian and Colombian, Italian and German. For one brief moment in time we were one people of many streams celebrating and defending our beautiful planet, communities and people who have not even been born yet.
And while the labour movement may still be sleeping, the presence of the Greek Telecom Workers Union, the Nicaraguan Woekrs Central, U.S. Longshoreman and English teachers suggest that this is not entirely true.
For those that haven't reported their actions, you will do us a huge favour by sedning them to http://www.wtoaction.org and the indy media centre whose email I do not have presently. It means a lot. Reports are that the Czech police are treating Czechs much worse than foreigners. Most demonstarors that were arrested are Czech, contrary to some reports by the media that this was a group of "outsiders". It is not suprising they would say this. The truth hurts. Maybe thats why USA TODAY and the Financial Post troday had absolutely no mention of what occurred here.
These days have not been without repression. Freedom fighters have been jailed, denied food and lawyers while the police so far are refusing to identify those they have arrested. Yet, still we march and still we cry "we will not go away". You will see our face in Seattle, Melbourne, Washington, La Paz, Windsor, Bankok, Kyoto and anywhere else where the global masters and extortionists choose to plot. Soon we will have to do more than cost them their egos. We must hurt their production and their finances.
Solidarity, we will win, the times they are a changing, enough is enough,
Dave Bleakney

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