Anti-globalization activists in Hull, Quebec adapted to the times last weekend. The thirty-three activists representing fifteen different coalitions and organizations joined the burgeoning anti-war coalitions in Canada, the United States and abroad. Last April, the meeting had originally been called to discuss future struggles for the anti-corporate globalization movement in Canada.
The meeting resulted in a call for the September 29 actions against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to be turned into anti-war and anti-racist actions. The teach-ins, marches and rallies planned in solidarity with the demonstrations scheduled for Washington D.C. will now be against imperialist war, racism and corporate globalization and for peace and global justice.
"In light of the recent events in the United States and the heightened racist backlash targeting people of Middle Eastern descent, the Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice Activist Assembly felt it was crucial to build a local action to stop the war, the racist backlash and to make a connection to the anti-globalization struggle," said Denise Hammond, a Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice member. The group will also hold a meeting on Sunday, September 23 for Toronto area coalitions, organizations and individuals mobilizing against war and racism.
"This situation is radicalizing a new layer of people as well as re-radicalizing another layer," said Indu Vashist, an activist with Victoria Mobilization for Global Justice, "The links between the anti-capitalist movement, religious communities and the peace movement are awesome." Vancouver Mobilization for Global Justice has also joined a new anti-war coalition in that city. The group has turned all events planned for September 29 into anti-war and anti-racist peace actions.
In a statement issued September 16, Mobilization for Global Justice reiterated its commitment to challenge the IMF and World Bank and to achieve "social, racial, economic and environmental justice, which (is) the only path to a lasting peace."
The coalition called for an end to racist attacks on Arab and Muslim peoples and on civil liberties. "We believe that another world is not only possible, but more necessary than ever," said the coalition after what they describe as the "disheartening acts of hatred last week."
"Now is the time for all people of conscience, all people who oppose racism and war to come together," said the IAC. "If you believe in civil liberties and oppose racism and war, join us." Rather than cancel their street demonstrations, the IAC has shifted gears to respond to the immediate threat of war and racist attacks.
"The only way to respond to today's events is to extend solidarity to the families and friends of those who perished or who were injured at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; build global solidarity with people around the world struggling against war, poverty and exploitation; and deepen the movement to protest new Pentagon aggression," said the IAC in a statement issued September 11.
The Anti-Capitalist Convergence in Washington, D.C., has also issued a new call to action for an anti-capitalist and anti-war protest on September 29.
It's call reads, in part:
"We strongly see the need to come together and act on our visions of the world we want to create and not on our fears ... We will take action to inspire, motivate and demonstrate that a world based on needs not profit; a world of mutual support; a world free from oppression is possible. This is a time to come together in true solidarity, in a way that supports all those working for a better world."
Both groups are urging Americans who planned to attend the original demonstrations against the IMF and World Bank to join the actions for peace.
Erin George is an activist with Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice and a freelance writer.
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