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RM Issue #030829

Maude Barlow on the Mexican authorities “watch list” for WTO Meeting

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Maude Barlow, the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, is listed on a “watchlist” of people that Mexican police and military will be observing very closely in Cancun, Mexico, site of the 5th WTO Ministerial Meeting, according to a leaked document made public yesterday by the Mexican newspaper Reforma.

Ms. Barlow is among three Canadians whose name appears on the list. Diane Matte, former President of the Fédération des femmes du Québec and writer Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and Fences and Windows, are also listed as “globalphobes” who will be under scrutiny by the Mexican police and military in Cancun.

“This is sickening,” says Barlow. “We are listed for no other reason that we disagree with the powers that be on the effects of economic globalisation. The message is clear: if you have a dissenting opinion from your government’s, then you are a potential threat.

“On the other hand, what can you expect of an organisation that decided to hold its previous gathering in a place, Qatar, where protests are illegal? The ironic thing is that WTO officials are always offended when we remind them how their organisation is working against democracy… What could be more undemocratic than putting a tag on opponents of your philosophy, of your ideology?

“The fact of the matter is, the WTO proceedings are highly controversial and the whole international trade debate should be transferred to the public and political stage, from where it has consistently been absent. The WTO negotiations will be affecting millions of citizens without them having much of a say on the desirability of the WTO policies. No one should be surprised that much of civil society feels excluded and powerless.”

The list includes some very well known names, of the North and the South, all of them active in denouncing economic and corporate globalisation or putting forward alternative systems of international trade. Listed on the police/military document are:

Noam Chomsky, MIT Faculty and outspoken critic of U.S. Foreign Policy (U.S.);
Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former leader of the Green Party (U.S.);
Ignacio Ramonet, Editor-in-Chief of the widely respected Le Monde diplomatique (France);
Lori Wallach, Director of Global Trade Watch, a division of Public Citizen (U.S.);
Waldon Bello, Economist and director of Focus on Global South (Philippines);
Vandana Shiva, Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (India);
Barbara Stocking, Director of OXFAM Great Britain;

For more information, please contact:
Jean-Yves Lefort, Trade Campaigner, 613.233.4487 ext. 249
Guy Caron, Media Relations (in Ottawa) - 613.233.4487 ext. 234



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