Wellington IMF/World Bank Protest
Wellington IMF/WB protest and information stall 14 April Cuba Mall
A broad coalition of groups is gathering in Cuba Mall in Wellington to demonstrate support for the demands of developing countries for fair trade at the time of the spring meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Similar protests and vigils are taking place around the world, but especially in Washington DC, where officials of the World Bank and IMF are meeting.
The stall at Cuba Mall in Wellington near the bucket fountain, will contain information from a number of groups, along with a petition to the Government demanding stronger advocacy support for the cancellation of debt of developing countries without the imposition of onerous neo-liberal reforms. Latin dancers are offering free “Salsa” lesions, and Magdalena Aotearoa will perform street theatre. We will also be delivering a letter to the Starbucks Cafe congratulating them on agreeing to stock fair trade coffee. The Fair Trade system guarantees a minimum price for small farmers? harvest and encourages organic and sustainable cultivation methods that are safer for communities. The Trade Aid shop network already sells fair trade coffee.
For two decades, the IMF has exerted a stranglehold over developing country economies, denying them the funding they need to make foreign debt payments and avoid default, unless they enact “structural adjustment” policies.
A spokesperson for the group, Paul Bruce, said that “structural adjustment can fairly be described as a virulent strain of Rogernomics. The basic idea of these policies is to open countries’ labour markets and natural resource riches to multinationals, shrink the size and role of government, rely on market forces to distribute resources and services and integrate poor countries into the global economy.”
The coalition also believe that the time has come to acknowledge the crises of the international trading system and its main administering institution, the WTO. We need to replace this old, unfair and oppressive trade system with a new, socially just and sustainable trading framework for the 21st Century. In order to do this, we need new rules based on the principles of democratic control of resources, ecological sustainability, equity, cooperation and precaution.
Information stall with street theatre, Cuba Mall, Wellington. Friday 14th April noon to 5 pm, also Saturday from 10am to 2pm
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Wellington IMF/WB protest