Over a thousand marchers poured into Miami on Tuesday, Feb. 18th, for the culmination of the 3-day, 34-mile “Root Cause” march, calling for trade policies that respect human rights and the environment. The march went off without a hitch, and with overwhelming popular support from the people of the Miami area along the march route, despite a steady drumbeat of media coverage and police outreach to local communities in the weeks leading up to the march focusing on possible problems with “violence”.
But instead of violence, the press had to make do with reporting on the real issues at hand in the ongoing negotiations around the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), hearing those issues, for the first time, from working class people, people like Francisca Cortez of the CIW (above, speaking to the press during the march) — people not allowed to participate in the secret trade negotiations, but the very people who suffer the real life consequences of corporate-led globalization.
Click here for the Miami Herald’s entire week of coverage of the FTAA meetings and protestsAnd for background on the Root Cause march, click on the links below: * From the Miami Herald: “Migrant workers: The plight of the poor farmer — Many of Mexico’s poorest have been forced to leave their homes and are now working on US farms”(11/10/03) * Also from the Miami Herald: “FTAA Summit: Marches, ‘trial’ on agenda” * From The Guardian of London, read Naomi Klein’s “Miami or Bust,” , about the inequities of corporate-led globalization and the FTAA summit in Miami (contains a quote from Lucas Benitez of the CIW on the impact of free trade on Mexican small farmers). * And finally, “Shafted: Free Trade and America’s Working Poor,” a new publication by Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy. It features testimony to the US Congress from June of this year by workers and labor organizers on the true cost of free trade policy for millions of people who work for a living, from factory workers here in the US to small farmers in Mexico. Lucas Benitez of the CIW is featured in the book, which you can pick up by going to the Food First website and putting your order in, or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hook you up.
Or… just click here to read Lucas Benitez’ testimony to Congress (from TomPaine.com