Protests at WTO Meeting in Cancun

September 16, 2003

From September 10-14, leaders from the U.S. and 145 other countries gathered in Cancun, Mexico for the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The purpose of this meeting was to continue negotiations over trade and investment with the aim of eliminating restrictions to the "free flow" of goods and capital throughout the "global marketplace." Leaders from the U.S. and European Union expressed the desire to further the goal of completing a new global trade agreement, but there is stiff opposition from the leaders of many poor nations over issues such as tariffs and subsidies.

Despite huge barriers, metal fences, and a massive police deployment that kept demonstrators more than six miles away from the convention center where the WTO ministers were meeting, over 5,000 protestors turned out on the opening day of the meeting. Over 150,000 activists and concerned citizens also converged in Cancun before and during the meetings to hold various anti-WTO rallies, teach-ins and forums where they raised the slogans "Say No to the WTO!" and "Another World is Possible." People also stood up in opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the ongoing "war against terrorism."

At Cancun, as well as solidarity protests held in cities throughout the world, the demonstrators were targeting capitalist globalization and the reactionary economic and political program of the monopoly capitalist class.

Today, the monopoly capitalists in the U.S. and the other imperialist countries intend to continue and step up their program of globalization, i.e. their struggle to increase the exploitation of the workers, dominate the economies of every country and divide the wealth of the world amongst themselves. In the conditions of today's deepening economic crisis, the "free flow of international capital" is part of the program of the big monopolies to come out on top -- to continue their ferocious struggle for the economic domination of other countries as well as to defeat their competitors. This economic drive for profits and empire is at the root of U.S. imperialism's war program.

In country after country, however, people are rising against this international robbery and the program of neo-liberalism. In opposition to the drive of the U.S. monopolies to extend their world empire and trample on the sovereignty of the peoples, movements for national independence and liberation are growing.

It is the capitalist-imperialist system which is preventing humanity from going forward. All the economic factors exist to guarantee the well-being and rights of the people. The peoples everywhere are coming out to demand their sovereignty -- their power to determine the political and economic system and to live in a world which recognizes the equality and sovereignty of every nation.