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Desert Free Trade Meeting Gets Thumbs Down

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DESERT FREE TRADE MEETING GETS THUMBS DOWN

Anti-WTO rally Sat, 10 November, 12pm, QEII Square Video Screening, Sat, 10 November, 8pm, Freyburg Square, High Street

The cruise ship based Leader's Summit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) off the desert dictatorship of Qatar has led Aucklanders to protest this Saturday.
The Anti-WTO Action Group (AWAG) is holding a combined rally and march with several other groups opposed to the `war on terrorism' and WTO.

Members of the Anti-War Coalition, GE Free Coalition, Aotearoa Indymedia, Citizens Against Privatisation and the Water Pressure Group have joined AWAG in staging the rally and march, to show their dissent from the message of free trade and globalisation they claim the WTO is promoting.

AWAG member Brian van Dam said, "The WTO promotes trade rules that allow the rich to get richer, and the poor to become slaves. People in Auckland are protesting to let the Labour government know we want a better future than the bleak picture the WTO is offering us."

"Trade Minister Jim Sutton may be thrilled at the prospect of a new round of trade liberalisation, but the US refusal to adhere to WTO rules on NZ sheep exports to the States shows the real picture of what the WTO is all about - one set of rules for the wealthy nations, and another for the rest."

The rally in Queen Elizabeth 2nd Square at 12:00pm on Saturday follows a public forum addressing 'the WTO and Worker's Resistance' organised by lobby and education groups ARENA and APWSL on Thursday night.

Protesters are holding a public video screening and music party in High St's Freyberg Square from 8pm onwards on the Saturday night, to show the true face of the WTO. Organisers are keen to point out the contrast between the military-guarded WTO meeting in a nation which does not allow dissent, and the open public nature of the Saturday events.

"It is time our Helen Clark, Jim Anderton and Jim Sutton started listening to people's voices - we are calling for the NZ government to withdraw from the WTO and to take a lead in making NZ a GE Free country that supports peace efforts, not war," said Mr van Dam.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Luke Coxon, 021 519 800


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