Fair Trade, Not Free Trade

Andy Mager

The Syrithacans, a Central New York affinity group which formed over a year ago to participate in blockades of the IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington, DC, engaged in actions in Syracuse and Buffalo to oppose the impositions of the Free Trade Area of the Americas on our hemisphere. Beginning on Friday, April 19, the activists set up a “tableau” a graphic visual scene to show the meaning of globalization–see photo) and passed out leaflets.
In Buffalo the Syrithacans joined with hundreds of other activists in calling for “Fair Trade, Not Free Trade.” A rally and legal march drew some 800 people, including a busload from the Greater Syracuse Labor Council, AFL-CIO. A confrontation took place at the foot of the Peace Bridge as activists seeking to cross the bridge on foot were met by dozens of police in riot gear. After asserting our right to cross the bridge for over an hour, recognized that we would not be able to get past the police lines and returned to the rally. Chants of “I don’t see no riot here, so take off that stupid (useless) gear” led police to remove gas masks and some padding.
The dramatic nature of the tableau led to significant interest on the part of passers-by and made leafletting much easier. This is an important way to provide people some direct information about the dangers of the FTAA. This project will continue.

To offer assistance, contact Andy Mager at magcap@bigfoot.com or through SPC.

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