[Marxism] From NarcoNews: Ecuador Mobilizes Against Free Trade Agreement

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Nov 19 13:02:03 MST 2005


Ecuador Mobilizes Against Free Trade Agreement
By Luis Gomez, 
Posted on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 05:33:51 AM EST
For the last two days, in various points across Ecuador, the social
movements and organizations have been, once again, on the warpath. The
enemy, always the same at heart, today bears the name Free Trade
Agreement. The Ecuadorians have decided to wage a frontal battle against
that kind of “accord,” with which the United States hopes to take
possession of the riches of our América. Or as the manifesto that we
received from the nucleus of the new Ecuadorian mobilization says: “The
model that the FTA imposes is based on the importation of what they
don’t want
 and in the exportation and privatization of our natural
resources and the ransacking of our biodiversity.” Let’s go look at the
story
 

On November 9, on the eve of the signing of the Andean Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) between the United States, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru,
the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE in its
Spanish initials) released a communiqué. Signing the FTA, said
federation president Luis Macas, was equivalent to “allowing not just
the goods but the life of present and future generations of Ecuadorians
to be confiscated, as we will be submitted to the laws of transnational
corporations and the geo-strategy of the United States.”
For that reason, as well as other demands (such as Occidental
Petroleum’s exit from the country), Ecuador’s social organizations
called for mobilization: “We call on the Ecuadorian people, on the
social organizations, on the assemblies and all the popular sectors
committed to profound change, to demand that the country rise to the
task of QUE SE VAYAN TODOS” (“all of them must go,” meaning the
political class). 

And, logically, inside the circles of power, in the office of President
Alfredo Palacio, no one paid attention to them. Because of that, since a
little over 48 hours ago, Quito and a few Ecuadorian provinces have been
living through some turbulent times. 

Yesterday, for example, Macas and Blanca Chancoso, also from CONAIE,
began leading a march that began in the historic town of Otavalo. “They
are walking to Quito. It is a warning of what is coming if Palacio gives
in to the minority, if he signs the FTA with Bush and hands our national
sovereignty. Blanca Chancosa said that this symbolic occupation of Quito
has the solidarity of all who dream of a new country, of a different
country,” explains an article in Altercom. 

Today (Wednesday), as yesterday, a huge march crossed the center of
Quito
 barrios, communities, and people representing no political party
are in the streets in these days of resistance.

But in addition to reporting on this new earthquake of resistance, kind
readers, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to show you a bit
more about what these brave Ecuadorians do


An “Escrache” to the Ambassador

Last night, the combative La Floresta neighborhood held one of its well
known popular assemblies. The people of La Floresta decided to make “a
peaceful march around the barrio, demonstrating its rejection of the
signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Ecuador and the United
States,” as they explain in their communiqué to the press.



But they didn’t just hold a march
 among the residents of the area,
there is a particular woman these Ecuadorians decided to visit: “During
the tour of the neighborhood, [the march] advanced towards the house of
the U.S. ambassador, which was painted by the protesters who reject her
presence, both in the neighborhood and in national territory.”

Yes, so it is: defying all “political logic” and any fear, the residents
of La Floresta in Quito have gone to the trouble of visiting Doña Linda
Jewell, who arrived recently to their lands, to tell her what they think
about signing the agreement, as well as what they think about the George
W. Bush administration and demanding to be left to live in peace, with
dignity


Just look:



With this action, which they labeled an “escrache” (a term invented in
Argentina to describe demonstrations at the houses of the genocidal
members of the last military dictatorship there), the people of Quito
gave a warning
 but this afternoon, seeing that the government still
seemed to be paying them no regard, the Popular Combatants Group went to
the same Embassy of the United States, setting off a pamphlet bomb
 In
fewer words, they aren’t afraid of the gringos in Ecuador, and they’re
serious: none of this U.S.-style colonial “free trade” for them. 

Keep paying attention to this advancing, growing story, kind readers,
because this correspondent promises more news from the battle-tested
popular front in Ecuador


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