'Angry voices' against imperialism

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'Angry voices' against imperialism

Angry voices against imperialism

BY SUSAN AUSTIN

BRISBANE — "It is in countries like Indonesia that people are really feeling the impacts of the big international financial institutions", Indonesian solidarity activist Max Lane told 50 people attending a public seminar, titled "Fighting for socialism — why the IMF, WTO and World Bank should be shut down", held here on July 22.

Lane, the chairperson of Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor, set the internationalist tone for the meeting by detailing the devastating effects that International Monetary Fund-enforced policies such as privatisation, cuts to social spending and increasing prices were having on the country. At the same time, he said, the IMF's structural adjustment program is stimulating organised resistance, with strikes and mass actions happening every day.

In a series of workshops, participants discussed the ineffectiveness of tariffs in saving jobs, either in the First or Third Worlds; Cuba's championing of Third World resistance to the big international capitalist institutions; and the history of the concept, "globalisation", which was identified as just another word for imperialism.

In the panel discussion titled "What next after Seattle?", DSP activists Justin Randall and Mike Byrne argued the Seattle demonstrations against the World Trade Organisation were a significant step towards revitalising the movement against international capitalism. A showing of the video Breaking the Bank, which profiles April protests in Washington, D.C., against the World Bank and IMF, also received an enthusiastic reception.

Resistance activist Matt Livingston summed up the flavour of the seminar: "With the S11 mobilisation in Melbourne fast approaching, we should all be inspired to actively combat corporate tyranny. We can make the angry voices of ordinary people ring in the ears of the world economic leaders and force genuine change on the path to socialism."