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III Peoples’ Summit of the Americas

“Building Alternatives”

 

This Summit will be taking place November 1-5 in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina. The overriding purpose for this Summit is to deepen the discussions on key thematic areas including strengthening resistance to: the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) and all other ‘free trade’ negotiations past and present; paying the foreign debt; militarization; continuing impoverishment – and to mobilize the continent against Bush’ presence while also rejecting his policies world-wide.

The Peoples’ Summit of the Americas is organized by the Hemispheric Social Alliance (H.S.A.), which is a coalition of labour organizations, religious communities, small-scale farmers, human rights organizations, women’s organizations, as well as other social movements present in all countries in this hemisphere, including Canada, Cuba and the USA. Since 1997 the H.S.A. has lead the fight to stop the ratification of the FTAA while taking on other ‘free trade’ deals as well.

The format for the III Peoples’ Summit will be similar to that of the World Social Forum, with key events being organized by the H.S.A. and its host Argentinean member Autoconvocatoria – No to the FTAA, while many of the other activities will be self-organized (workshops, cultural happenings, marches and rallies). Event registration took place earlier over the internet with the result that more than 500 local organizations, national and international movements are planning to hold over 150 events.

The Peoples’ Summit is not related to governments nor has it been a participant in the so called ‘Dialogue with Civil Society’. This is not a counter-summit; rather it is the presence of people opposed to what amounts to an agenda of domination being imposed by all-powerful interests. It is in this Peoples’ Summit format where proposals for a different approach to integration as well as stories of lived-injustice all get the hearing that they deserve.

Activities

The Summit activities will take place in Mar del Plata at the Polideportivo, the Mundialista Stadium (Independence and Juan B. Justo avenues) and the University Complex (Funes and Peña).

The following Thematic Forums will run during the Peoples’ Summit:

• Defending Education
• Peoples of the Americas on Energy
• Labour
• Gender
• Ecumenical
• Continental Justice for All
• Health and the Environment
• Communication
• Fair Trade with Justice

Some of the key events organized in conjunction with the Hemispheric Social Alliance are:

• Alternatives – pathways towards integration free from domination
• Assembly of the Peoples of the Americas who are the creditors for the historic, social and ecological debt owing this continent’s people.
• Workshop on Employment and the Re-distribution of Wealth
• Anti-imperialist Tribunal
• Women’s Tribunal
• Panel on Militarization
• Panel on the road to Hong Kong : What’s at stake in the WTO

The Summit will get under way on November 1st with a panel on the FTAA and the other FTA’s entitled: The Americas up against Imperialism and ‘Free Trade’.

Official Opening

The official opening for the Peoples’ Summit will take place Nov. 1st in the evening at 8:30 p.m. in the Polideportivo. There will be cultural acts to accompany the words of welcome from Nobel Peace Prize recipient Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

On the 4th of November a multitude of organizations will call on all participants to join in with the Assembly of the People of the Americas, also in the Polideportivo. Then, starting at around mid-day, people will begin to gather in the Mundialista Stadium as part of the delegations who will march in repudiation of George W. Bush’s presence in Argentina. Rallies and marches will also take place in other cities throughout the continent on this day.

On the 5th of November there will be a press conference where the resolutions coming out of the III Peoples’ Summit will be released.

Press Centre in Mar del Plata

Journalists will be working with some basic infrastructure like a few computers with internet access, and a room for conferences and where interviews can be carried out. The III P.S. press team will be sending out a timetable containing interview possibilities with both Argentine and foreign personalities. Each press service is, however, responsible for getting their own representatives to these events.

For more information:


Secretariat for the III Peoples’ Summit – Buenos Aires
Tel # (5411)4307-1867
Gladys Jaraso; (5415) 5709-7770
Laura Yanella: (5415) 4178-1117
Alberto Cambas: (5415) 5691-6155