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30 November 2009 | | |


Rejection to the WTO and its allies in Geneva

length: 2:58 minutes
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Tens of demonstrators of several regions of the world participated on Monday in the “Tour for the Financial Criminal Corporations” in Geneva in the parallel activities to the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that is taking place there.

The march was organized by Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS), a group that comprises social movements and organizations all over the world. The demonstrators marched and made three stops: at the UBS bank, at the HSBC bank and at the Citibank. The demonstrations were peaceful.

The call made by OWINFS exposes the many speculative investments of the UBS and its contribution to the financial crisis. It adds that the bank went bankrupt but the Swiss government aided it by injecting millions of Swiss francs – of public money”.

About the HSBC bank, the social movements and organizations explain that “in the 90s, the bank benefited of the illegitimate debt operations that came as a result of the appropriation of the public treasure of several Latin American countries”. They added that the bank funded the privatization processes and it is therefore responsible for violations to the economic and social rights of many people in countries like Argentina and Peru”.

The last stop of the demonstrators was at the entrance of the Citibank building. This bank did a strong lobby in the 90s with the US to negotiate the General Agreement on Trade of Services (GATS) within the WTO. “Ever since, the Citibank has been pressuring to strengthen and expand the agreement” to achieve greater deregularization in the financial markets, says OWINFS.

In each one of the banks the activists put posters on the walls, doors and windows accusing them of their bad actions around the world and of being “criminal corporations”.

A few hours before, at noon, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the International Convention Center of Geneva, where the WTO’s 7th Ministerial Meeting is taking place. They shouted their slogans, chanted with flags and posters, immediately calling the attention of the media. They were based on a tent put up by themselves. The local police surrounded them, but did not repress the peaceful demonstration.

Real World Radio learned through people who were inside the official meetings that the doors were locked and they prevented people from going outside or inside the Convention Center. There was a police helicopter flying over the area.

In a very cold weather, a foreign journalist asked an activist whether the demonstrators would stay there until Wednesday, when the ministerial meeting ends, in such a hostile weather. “The rain and the cold do not deter us, what really concerns us is to take the demands of millions of people from Africa, Asia, Latin America and also Europe inside”, the activist replied.

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