- Slides: 10
LESSONS FROM MIAMI: INSIDE, OUTSIDE OR INBETWEEN? Cyrus Reed Texas Center for Policy Studies 474 -0811, [email protected] org
Topics of Discussion • Inside Strategy: Can we make Free Trade Agreements better from within? • Outside Strategy: Does outside agitation/opposition help? • Is it possible to do both?
Inside Strategy: Americas Trade and Sustainable Development Forum • • http: //www. miami. edu/nsc/pages/FTAA. html – Organized by University of Miami North_South Center, Carnegie Endowment, CEDA, FLACSO, Participa, IISD Held “inside” the security fence…some 200 to 300 representatives of civil society in discussions about free trade, its impacts and what could fix it… Promise of meeting with actual ministers negotiating the Free Trade Agreement Attempt to come up with some common agreement on what needs to be in a Free Trade Agreement TCPS, along with NWF, agreed to moderate and put together a mechanism on institutional cooperation agreement on environment Organized by thematic tents: Trade and labor 2. Trade and gender issues 3. Trade and environment 4. Trade and indigenous concerns 5. Trade, public participation and access 6. Trade and smaller economies 7. Trade, corruption and transparency 8. Capacity building and institutional reform 9. Trade, democracy, and human rights 10. Investment and the FTAA
Positive Results • Made important contacts – some contact with U. S. government officials, and USTR • Some great, hard-hitting presentations, particularly in investment and smaller economies • Certain individuals were very strong in their presentations to Ministers • Some access to press
Negative Results • Some paranoid, tightly-controlled, leadership led to closed door meetings • Very difficult to reach any consensus for meeting with ministers • Meeting with ministers not a real frank discussion • Hard to assess any real impact on Free Trade Agreement itself, except support for Chilean position of having more open lines of communication
Outside Strategy • Large effort by Citizens Trade Campaign • • (http: //www. citizenstrade. org/mia micalendar. php), AFL-CIO, Hemispheric Social Alliance (http: //www. artus. org/index. html), Direct Action and others Series of workshops, teach-ins, forums, panels, marches, protests Labor unions made effort to turn out their members in Miami
Outside Strategy: Positives • No need to pretend to • Unprecedented be nice meeting “outside the security zone” with • Real teaching going on representatives from • Reached people “not Venezuela, Argentina in the know” and Brazil in public • The cross-pollination forum between labor unions, • Led to informal environmentalists, meetings among activists central americans, etc.
Outside Strategy: Negatives • • Marches were rerouted from planned route near Ministers due to “violence” in morning. Violence itself did not really happen. Police overreaction in some cases spurred on by certain agitators. Eggs and bean-bags vs. tear gas Press focused on certain members of protesters and message of unity was largely lost, particularly on TV news Unclear to what extent any of the blood, sweat and tears actually impacted what happened at the negotiations themselves
Final Thoughts: Strategy? • Unlikely that large marches, forums at actual negotiations will make large differences, particularly as “police-state” tactics are adopted, but still must be there to show opposition. • Unless a real participation mechanism is designed, unlikely that “inside” strategy will lead to results, but again worth some effort • There needs to be more coordinated effort between civil society, labor unions, both those inside and out and particularly with new more radical direct actions folks…. • Major effort must be made at press…which often does not understand issue…. • Most change will come at local level, fed by these international efforts…
Images from Miami