Hey, let’s  create a “free market” zone throughout the Americas, disembowel environmental rules and even the laws of nations, AND do the whole thing in secret!

Well, that’s what they’re trying to do…


“The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is the expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to every country in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, except Cuba.

The FTAA relies on NAFTA rules for guidance in the negotiations. The proposed agreement is essentially NAFTA on steroids. But NAFTA has proven a nightmare for working families and the environment.”

What’s wrong with the FTAA?

“The FTAA allows corporations to bypass democratically adopted environmental or worker protection laws, increasing corporate power while endangering the lives of millions of people, disproportionately affecting women and people of color.

The FTAA threatens to commodify our lives by turning over the control of our schools, electricity, water, and food to corporations whose only interest is more profit.

The FTAA is being negotiated in secret. Initiated in 1994 by the 34 countries of North and South America (excluding Cuba), governments have included the business sector in FTAA talks every step of the way, but have kept the text of the treaty secret from regular people and their elected representatives. 50 members of the US House of Representatives have written to the Bush administration demanding that the text be released.

From the same site, “On Oct 31, the seventh summit of the Free Trade Area of the Americas will take place in Quito, Ecuador, home turf for what are perhaps the strongest social movements in the Americas. Ecuador’s indigenous, campesino, labor, womens’, environmental, and youth organizations have vowed to shut the summit down, and are calling for solidarity actions across the continent.”

But there’s more!
On July 28-30, there will be a mini-summit of the WTO in Montreal. Peoples Global Action, a group on the ground there has started organizing to greet them.

Plus, on Nov 20-22 in Miami, there will be yet another meeting, this one a ministerial summit. And you guessed it,
the imps of chaos will be there in force.

One major organizer in the US against FTAA is the
Communication Workers of America union who have a useful email newsletter about what’s going on. They will be in Miami in force, no doubt.

More links
Top Ten reasons to oppose FTAA
Activist resources
The belly of the beast