Peter Boyle reflects on the political significance and lessons from the epic S11 blockade of the World Economic Forum in 2000.
World Economic Forum
Following United States President Donald Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered this stinging rebuke to the world’s leaders for their failure to take serious action on climate change:
As some of the rich and powerful gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum last month, Oxfam International issued a report revealing that the combined fortunes of the world’s billionaires rose by 12% last year as the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11%.
Such is the growing alarm at the devastating impact of climate change that even some world leaders have distanced themselves from US President Donald Trump at the January World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland.
Trump was greeted with boos and hisses in response to his criticism of the media as “nasty, mean, vicious and fake”. At one session, even after being favourably introduced by Davos founder Klaus Schwab, Trump was still greeted with disapproving boos.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has seized on International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts predicting a rise in global economic growth following the US administration’s corporate tax cuts, to call for similar cuts here.
Describing the proposed cut as an “enterprise tax program”, Turnbull said on January 22 that the measure would “result in more investment and more jobs” — despite significant evidence that “trickle down” economics does not work.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has demanded that Labor supports its proposal to cut the tax rate for big business from 30% to 25%.
The Occupy movement, which started as a protest against Wall Street, but ballooned across the US and internationally in 2011, adopted the slogan “We are the 99%” to symbolise the struggle for a better world against the greed of “the 1%”. Some people at the time thought it was an exaggeration to talk about the 1% versus the 99%, but according to Oxfam, since 2015, that richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet combined.
The S11 protests against the World Economic Forum were a triumph for the Australian left, writes Susan Price. But it was a tough job to put them together and took enormous efforts of many different people from many different backgrounds.