Palestinian NO to the WTO and call for Boycott Apartheid Israel in Hong Kong
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Palestinian NO to the WTO and call for Boycott Apartheid Israel in Hong Kong

The Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign emphasized “No to the WTO” during the protests held in Hong Kong as the finance institution met. Highlighting the position of Palestinian farmers and rural workers, as well as the appeal for boycotts against Israeli Apartheid, the campaign successfully raised awareness amongst Asian activists regarding the Zionist project of ghettoization. Leaflets, factsheets and resource material on Palestine, the Apartheid Wall and the calls for solidarity were distributed in meetings and protests.

The series of activities during the WTO protests started with a seminar entitled “War and Trade: Militarism and Neo-liberalism – a two-headed monster?” The Campaign delegate, along with other activists, explored the roots of the struggles in South East Asia, exposing the devastating alliance formed by military oppression and neo-liberalism. He exposed the role of the International Finance Institutions (IFIs), especially the World Bank and the IMF, in sustaining the Occupation and the Apartheid Wall. He analyzed the economic interest the Occupation’s military industry has in building the Wall, as it is a promising testing ground and publicity machine for their equipment and hi-tech developments to enforce totalitarian control and humiliation upon a people.

The Campaign underlined as well the devastating effects the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) will have on the Palestinian agriculture – a sector under continuous attack by the Occupation over decades. Alarmingly, the PA has given guarantees that it would implement the WTO agreements even though they were not allowed as a member state and the right to participate in the negotiations.

However, the effects of the WTO will serve to dramatically undermine the call for the Isolation of Apartheid Israel. WTO member states are forced to give up official boycott policies against the Occupation in order to follow US-Zionist dictates and neo-liberal visions of “equal treatment”.

The contribution of the Palestinian delegate at the seminar on “Migrants and Mode 4” highlighted the willingness of the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia) and the IFIs to destroy communities to create migrant workers and large numbers of easily exploitable workers. One of the most appalling examples is the project of the industrial zones to be built behind the Wall`s gates on stolen and isolated Palestinian land. These sweatshops are based on – and profiting from – the destruction of the Palestinian farming communities, reducing Palestinian to 21st century slaves for the benefit of Israeli and global capital.

Other seminars such as “War and Trade: Iraq: Ground Zero of Globalization and War” had to be cancelled as the street protests gathered momentum against the brutal repression by the Chinese police.

A united press release from the Iraqi solidarity campaigns in Asia on the occupation of Iraq included support for the resistance in Palestine and called for widespread boycott campaigns against the Occupation. Similarly, the Asia-wide Campaign against US-Japanese domination and aggression of Asia called in their statement for the boycott against Apartheid Israel and support for popular mobilization during the Week against the Apartheid Wall (9th -16th of November 2006).

The presence of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and the great interest shown by Asian groups and activists – in learning more about the Zionist project in Palestine and the Palestinian struggle for liberation – reveals the need for better and more widespread ties between Palestine and Asian social movements. It further underlines the necessity to understand how economic tools in the hands of the colonial countries work hand in hand with military means, particularly in the case of Palestine. In front of the current attempts to break Palestinian determination and to soothe international public opinion with money and investments in the Palestinian ghettos, it is crucial that international solidarity unveils the false promises and continues to call for the Isolation of Apartheid Israel.

HONG KONG CALL TO ACTION AGAINST WAR
17 December 2005

We are social movements, trade unions, fishers and farmers organizations, NGOs, women¹s groups, student organizations, and individuals who have gathered here in Hong Kong to protest against the unfair and unjust trade agreements being negotiated at the World Trade Organization ministerial.

We oppose the imposition of neo-liberal economic policies that prioritize the interests of corporations and elites over people and that serve to privatize all that belongs to humanity as a whole. We oppose these policies anywhere in the world as imposed through whatever means ­ whether by institutions through the WTO or by the tanks of invading armies.

We therefore condemn the illegal invasion of Iraq, demand an end to the occupation, and call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the US-led occupation forces from Iraq.

No foreign military bases should be established in Iraq and all the laws and measures privatizing Iraq¹s natural resources and state-owned companies and liberalizing its economy should be abolished.

We demand reparations for the Iraqi people for all the damage the war has caused and demand justice and accountability for those responsible for planning, executing, and legitimizing the invasion and occupation.

Any help from the international community should be extended but only with the consent of and at the terms set by the Iraqi people.

We join the call for a global day of actions and demonstrations against the occupation on March 18-19, 2006, the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The occupation of Palestine is related to the occupation of Iraq and is integral to the United States¹ objective to dominate the Middle East and the world. We demand an end to the occupation of Palestine and we call for boycott campaigns.

We support the campaign of war resisters, military families and veterans against the war, the campaign against military recruitment, the campaign against foreign military bases, against militarization, against dictatorships, and other campaigns to end war and social and economic injustice anywhere in the world.

We commit to building concrete and practical links of solidarity with the Iraqi people in support of their struggle against occupation.#

SIGNED ( as of December 18):
[to sign on, please send the name of your organization, your name, and your contact details to info@focusweb.org]

General Union of Oil Employees of Iraq
Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Jubilee South- Asia Pacific
Continental Campaign against the Free Trade of the Americas World March of Women – Globalization and Alliances Collective Focus on the Global South Transnational Institute Asian Peace Alliance -Japan
ATTAC- Japan
Womyn’s Agenda for Change
Polaris Institute
Workers’ Democracy
Freedom from Debt Coalition
Stop the New Round Coalition
Women’s March against Poverty and Globalization
Sanlakas
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
Partido ng Manggagawa
WomanHealth Philippines
Padayon
Bukluran ng Progresibong Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Pilipinas
Initiatives for Peace and Justice
Center for Rural Empowerment Services in Central Mindanao Sakahan-Pilipinas Teacher Center of the Philippines Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya Manggagawang Kababaihan Mithi ay Paglaya Katipunan para sa Pagpapalaya ng Sambayanan National Labor Union