WTO protest in Brisbane

Issue 

WTO protest in Brisbane

By Martin Schenke

BRISBANE — About 50 people protested against the World Trade Organisation on November 30, outside the Stock Exchange Towers.

Called by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the action was in opposition to the WTO talks being held in Seattle.

Speakers included Richard Sanders from the Stop the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) Coalition, trade union activist Bob Carnegie, Susan Austin from Resistance and representatives of the IWW and the International Socialist Organisation.

The WTO is a body formed in 1993, to liberalise global trade. It manipulates trade rules in favour of the rich, industrialised nations.

The US has more than 250 negotiators who attend WTO talks, while 30 of the remaining 135 countries cannot afford to base anyone in Geneva, the WTO headquarters.

During the previous round of negotiations, key decisions were made behind closed doors. Many Third World representatives were locked out of the talks, and were dependant on Western journalists for information.