Cancun Solidarity Rally – 12 September

MEDIA RELEASE

September 2, 2003

Fiesta for Freedom to take to the streets

The World Trade Organisation is meeting in Cancun, Mexico, next week and Melbourne will be joining rallies around the world in protest against corporate globalisation and war.

The Melbourne rally, a Fiesta for Freedom under the slogan “No globalisation at gunpoint”, will start at the State Library, corner of Swanston and Latrobe Sts, at 5pm on Friday, September 12.

“The WTO is meeting to discuss more privatisation and other measures that hit ordinary people in the Third World and right here in Australia,” said Cancun Solidarity Group spokeswoman Cobina Crawford.

“The same nations pushing the neo-liberal agenda are the ones that promote war that is why we are going on to the streets against both.”

Peace activists, unionists, environmentalists, the Socialist Alliance and Greens, Latin American groups and more will be joining the fiesta, which will also feature puppets and street theatre.

Speakers will include Oxfam, MUA secretary Kevin Bracken, the Victorian Peace Network, Friends of the Earth, and a visiting Venezuelan student leader.

At the end of the rally, protesters will be invited to join a Reclaim the Streets event at a secret location, with music and Mexican food provided.

People at the rally will also be urged to attend a Victorian Peace Network teach-in on war and globalisation the following day (www.vicpeace.org).

For more information on the Fiesta for Freedom, contact: …

Some contacts:
http://greenpeace.org.au/corporate/pdfs/wto.pdf
[This link is broken, but the message from Greenpeace is worth a visit...]
http://www.maketradefair.com/
http://www.reclaimthe streets.net/
[Link broken, but see Wikipedia entry
http://www.womenforpeace.org.au
[Link broken, but see http://www.activistrights.org.au/handbook/ch04s02.php
http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au

Banner - Down with the USA

A common sentiment at the rally

Human-size Coke 'can' with slogan 'Killer Coke'

Killer Coke in person

The Race to the Bottom:

Melbourne Friends of the Earth organised a “Race to the Bottom” – a three-legged race won decisively by Uruguay:

Contestants line up for the start

Uruguay winning

General collapse at finish

Code Pink placards calling for boycott of Corporate USA

Another call to action

Police with horses guarding the Nike store

The Nike store closed and barricaded

Reclaim the Streets

The rally was followed by a march down Swanston Street – pausing briefly at the Nike store – as far as Flinders Street, where it transformed itself into a “Reclaim the Streets” action, much to the consternation of the police escort, who presumably hadn’t been monitoring emails carefully enough … A rapid change of direction led up a laneway and through to Russell Street, where a section was declared closed to cars for the holding of a street party, along with other people-friendly activities:

'Road Closed' sign and tape across street

This street is OURS

Woman sitting on ground knitting

You can’t do this very often in Russell Street

WTO 'S'ecret 'C'artel with 'U'nlimited 'M'oney - placard

Another message to sum it up