Life or Debt

Jubilee 2000 Provides a Missing Link to the WTO Saga

What Pheko and many of the protesters were saying in Seattle is that the system—the WTO system and the economic system that allows imbalances between rich and poor nations to grow—needs reform at the deepest level. "Fair trade not free trade," the mantra of much of the WTO opposition, means, in part, understanding how governments' trade policies or an individual's decision to consume a particular product influences what happens elsewhere in the world. That innocent looking Chiquita banana, the product of a multinational, may one day contribute to the shut down of a small-scale Caribbean farm.

Jubilee 2000's efforts to pressure Congress to fully support the HR 1095 bill, and on the other wealthy nations to follow the lead of the United States in forgiving debt, will continue through the new year and to the end of 2000. On the eve of January 1, a rally will be held on the mall in Washington, D.C. In New York's Times Square, as the millennial ball slides down its pole, Jubilee 2000 will hang "Drop the Debt" banners and drag balls and chains through the crowds. No one at Jubilee is under the illusion that a one-time cancellation of debt will lead to a dramatic transformation of economy and culture among the developing nations, but it's one step in the multi-pronged effort to fix a deeply flawed system.

Chains of protest won't be broken in bid to break chains of debt.
photo: Sharon D'Amico/D'Amico Photography
Chains of protest won't be broken in bid to break chains of debt.

Related Link:
Attack of the Killer Kapitalists by Lenora Todaro

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