World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Bamako: unionists demonstrate World Social Forum

Bamako: African and European trade unionists demonstrate at the opening the World Social Forum

Brussels, 20 January 2006 (ICFTU Online): The demonstration marking the start of the first World Social Forum in Africa brought some 20,000 to the streets of Bamako, calling for the abolition of poverty in Africa to become the number one priority for national leaders and the international institutions.

The trade union delegation consisted of members of the Malian confederations, UNTM and CSTM, and of the ICFTU and WCL African regional organisations. The Global Union Federations, particularly from the transport (ITF), education (EI) and public service (PSI) sectors, were also present.

The Malian unions, who were out in force, expressed their joy at seeing their demands supported by such a strong international presence. "This demonstration is supporting our aspiration to live in dignity and with economic and social justice. It is also showing us some of the benefits to be gained from alliances with civil society", declared Hammadou Amion Guindo, General Secretary of the CSTM (Confédération Syndicale des Travailleurs du Mali), which has 30,000 members.

The issue of cotton production took centre stage at the demonstration as Mali is an agricultural country with 85% of the population living in rural areas. Many Malian families manage to eke out a living from cotton production, which accounts for 60% of exports and 30% of national production.

Despite that, if the world trade rules were fairer, the living conditions of these families could improve considerably. So it is no surprise that one of the most popular slogans at the demonstration was "Destroy the subsidies in rich countries, not production in Africa".

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers through its 236 affiliated
organisations in 154 countries and territories. The ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news