PGA is an example of a transnational grassroots social movement. Born out of the solidarity with the EZLN (Zapatistas) meetings that first took place in Chiapas in 1996 the PGA is less an organization and more a loose collective of autonomous activist groups who have a set of mutually agreed upon principals (known as the Hallmarks).
The PGA Hallmarks
- A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive globalisation;
- We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.
- A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
- A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the construction of local alternatives to global capitalism;
5.An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy.
The activist groups that came together to draft the Hallmarks represented people from both the global South and North. The document reflects the different ways in which the alter globalization struggle is practiced and oriented across the globe while recognizing the common threads that bind activist struggles worldwide.
PGA has no physical or legal structure. It puts the idea of decentralization and autonomy at the core of its philosophy. It cannot be represented by any individual or organization and the PGA cannot be said to represent any individual or organization. Activist groups can, however, adopt the Hallmarks and employ this analysis in their own practice. Many groups have taken on these Hallmarks.
In India one of the first groups to adopt the PGA hallmarks was the Karnataka State Farmer’s Union. They are best known for their successful campaign against genetically modified crops. They were one of the groups that were present in original meetings and were in part responsible for adding language about combating feudalism to the hallmarks.
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