On November 30, hundreds of dutch activists will demand a free flight to Seattle to participate in the demonstrations against the WTO. The Free Flight Action is organised by action group MayDay!, working together with the Collective without Money.
Two weeks ago, Mayday ?????????occupied a VOC ship in the harbour of Amsterdam as a protest against the WTO. Now, it's time for the real thing. We will be demanding a free plan (or possibly more) from the companies that also sponsor the WTO conference: Lufthansa, United and Northwest. While waiting in Schiphol airport for our plane to arrive, we will practice in demonstrations, tear gas/pepper spray attacks etc.
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WE MEET AT 12:00 ON NOVEMBER 30 AT THE MEETING POINT, MAIN HALL, SCHIPHOL AIRPORT, AMSTERDAM.
This is the press release
Today, November 30th 1999, is the first day of the Millennium Round trade negotiations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Seattle, USA. 5000 country, company and lobby delegates will meet to arrange new drastic measures in the field of global economy. Tens of thousands of people too, have set for Seattle to protest against the WTO. All over the world simultaneous actions are staged by people who can’t or won’t travel to Seattle, but want to voice their concerns today. Because the WTO increases to be a powerful instrument of mulinational companies, rich countries and a small elite in impoverished parts of the world. The damage caused by the WTO since its inception on January 1st 1995 as a follow-up of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), is gigantic.
The WTO has one sole purpose: establishing and facilitating unlimited “free” trade. This means that anything that could be seen as a barrier to international trade, should be eliminated. The WTO is the motor behind the economic globalisation, which will ‘level the playing field’ and therefore follow the principle of the survival of the fittest, leaving the weak to struggle. The WTO is promoting the end of politics - countries have less and less means to refuse certain products (remember hormone beef?) and NGO pressure groups have less and less means to try to change legislation in the relevant areas. Trade unions and environmental NGOs will become powerless too.
Because of this damage already done, 1200 organisations worldwide have demanded a moratorium on any further WTO activities. Instead, the rich countries and multinationals want to expand the ruling power of the WTO in Seattle. The proposals include giving WTO ruling power in the field of investments (instead of just trade), and arranging possibilities for companies to ‘own’ genetic constructions (meaning that plant species could become owned by companies). Another proposal is the ‘free logging agreement’, giving forest logging companies unlimited access to forests all over the world. Unless they’re being stopped!
The resistance against the increasing power and freedom of multinationals to destroy the world and exploit people, is growing maybe even more rapidly. We are part of that resistance and want to raise our voice, as those 5000 people will take very far-reaching decisions about international politics and economy - decisions that will influence our everyday lives. We demand a return flight to Seattle.
A few days ago we notified our demand to three airlines - we asked Lufthansa, Northwest and United to prepare a charter, which we would enter at 12.30pm. It’s not completely coincidental that these three companies sponsor the WTO summit in Seattle. Boeing is even main sponsor and has transferred nearly a quarter of a million guilders ($ 120,000) to the WTO for this one meeting. If they take care of facilities for the WTO delegates, we think it’s only logic if they allow victims to make themselves visible and heard. WE DEMAND AN AIRPLANE TO SEATTLE. NOW! If the charter isn’t ready, we’ll settle for an ordinary scheduled flight.
People can call for a seat in the free plane at one of the following numbers:
Lufthansa: ++31 (0)20-5829456
United: ++31 (0)20-5040555
North West (partner KLM): ++31 (0)20 6499123 (KLM)
More information? contact: MAYDAY p/a: “Collectief Zonder Geld’,
department ‘free flights’ ++31(0) 71 5173019 or email to: