Statement of Prof. Nanjundaswamy
at the demonstration against the World Economic Summit, Cologne, 19th June 1999
To Establish People's Power
On this historic event of a direct confrontation between the forces of centralised global governance and the forces of empowerment of the people, we the participants in this Inter-Continental Caravan for Solidarity and Resistance, the Indian farmers, representatives of the Indian fisherfolk and the Adivasis and also movements from Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Nepal, Pakistan, Chile, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Argentina, etc. have come here to salute the peoples' movements of Europe and to emphasise the need for an increased solidarity.
We have come here to build bridges between people who want to reclaim their future, to disobey the institutions that run the current, self-destructive system of global economic, political and military governance, and to take their own power in their hands in order to construct a different world. A world where local people are in control of their local economy, where centralised political and economic power disappear, where economic growth and increased consumption give way to quality of life and equality as social goals, where militarism and aggression become bad memories of the past.
We do not want Western money, technologies or ‘experts’ to impose their development model on us. We also refuse to be used as political tools to ask the elites for reforms that we never demanded. We only want to organise our strength and combine it with the strength of other movements in the North and the South in order to regain control over our lives. We are not working for a place on the global table of negotiations, nor for a bloody revolution; we are just working on the long-term process of construction of a different world, a world which will come about from the local to the global, from a shift in the values and everyday choices of millions of persons.
However, we in the South feel that mere symbolic and isolated direct actions and similar efforts at building up peoples' alternatives are not enough to demolish the powers that run the New World Order and their hunger for dominance, especially in the context of their impending and expected efforts to introduce extended versions of 'Free' Trade agreements, to expand the power of transnational corporations and to strengthen their private ownership over life forms, through the so-called Millennium Round set to start at the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle, in November 1999.
Hence, our appeal is that a more effectively orchestrated and concerted effort in both direct actions and building up of peoples' alternatives should become the post-Caravan agenda, to combat these initiatives. We invite you to participate in the second conference of Peoples' Global Action in Bangalore (India), in August 1999, to discuss and co-ordinate these efforts .
Let us put our hands and heads together in our common struggle.
Long Life People's Power!