Project outline

top, general guidelines, process and participation, draft program, draft list of actions

General guidelines of the project

The political contents of the project are (in order of importance):

  • Global policy-making (with particular emphasis on the push for "free" trade and economic globalisation), with actions at G8 meeting, EU summit, WTO HQ, EU commission, several national parliaments, etc.
  • TNCs and transnational capital, with actions at several TNC HQ, at corporate lobbies (European Roundtable of Industialists, Europabio, International Chamber of Commerce, World Economic Forum), and at financial centers (stock exchange markets, big banks, Central European Bank, etc).
  • Agribusiness, Green Revolution, Biotechnology, and Patents on Life, with actions at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the European Parliament and Commission, Europabio, Cargill, Monsanto, Novartis, Nestle, etc.
  • 3rd World Debt, with actions at the G8 meeting, private banks (eg the United Bank of Switzerland), and public institutions (like national parliaments).
  • Militarism and nuclear issues, with actions at the NATO European HQ and the monument to nuclear energy in Brussels.

For all these issues, common positions, based on the PGA manifesto, will be developed by the activists involved in the programme. There will be at least two separate statements for the Caravan-one from Indian activists, and one from European activists. The discussion process should be finished by the end of the year.

The main objectives and guidelines of the project are:

  • Bringing the political contents close to people's lives in all the places where actions will take place
  • Encouraging as many as possible to get actively involved in the preparation and realisation of the actions and to remain active in confrontational non-violent action in these issues after the project. In order to have as much direct contact with the local population and groups as possible, local hosts are encouraged to organise public events, of the kind that they like (speeches, picnics, parties, etc). Also, meetings with local organisations are an essential part of the Caravan, in order to take contact and get to know what is being done at the different cities.
  • Promoting more contact and co-operation between all the organisations (from Europe and other continents) involved in the project.
  • Attracting local, national and international media attention on the political contents of the programme. Strengthening and building up new autonomous media. Preparing press conferences everywhere is highly encouraged as well as inviting the media to all actions. There should be local press offices and a central press office, during the Caravan itself, in permanent contact with the local press offices and the media spokespersons in the Caravan. We will invite journalists to join the programme.
  • Preparing the field (in Europe and everywhere else) for the PGA days of action against the WTO during the third Ministerial Conference in fall 1999.
  • Promoting non-violent direct action and civil disobedience as tools for political change. ) All actions have to be non-violent, and respect public property and small businesses. The actions should also not put foreign activists at risk of being arrested (unless they want to be).

Logististics and funding

  • The travel within Europe will be in restored buses that have been renovated by activists sympathetic to the aims of the Caravan. All labour will be voluntary, including the drivers of the buses. Not all of the participants will be in the same place at the same time. There will be side trips, involving smaller numbers, which run in parallel to the main route of the tour. This way the participation is broadened throughout Europe.
  • The accommodation can take place in squatted houses, private houses, sports halls, churches, farms and similar places. If it takes place in big rooms (e.g. basketball courts or churches) the rooms should be separated by sex.
  • The food will be provided by the local hosts in co-operation with amobile kitchen collective. Most of the Indian participants are vegetarian, and they will bring their own spices and be in the position to cook their food if some basic raw materials (rice, lentils, etc) and pots and pans are provided locally.
  • The travel expenses to Europe are borne by the organisations or activists from other continents (or by funders that they might find). There will not be a travel fund in Europe for this purpose, since a major effort will be needed in Europe to finance the rest of the costs.
  • All the expenses during the caravan itself will be paid for from Europe for the 600 invited activists from the South and Central and Eastern European countries. Participants from Western Europe, North America and other rich countries are encouraged to participate, but will have to arrange and pay for all their own accommodation, transport, and food.
  • The funding for the costs during the caravan will be raised both by the European co-ordinating group, which is based in Leiden, Netherlands, and also in a decentralised manner by local groups involved in the Caravan. All involved local groups in Europe will make efforts to raise money to cover their local costs (eg food, accommodation, publicity etc), and will also be expected to make an effort to contribute to the central costs: costs of buses, European Co-ordination office, and media work, although this will also be the task of the European coordination office.

top, general guidelines, process and participation, draft program, draft list of actions

Process and Participation

The idea for the Caravan originated in India, but has been discussed, and approved as a PGA action, by the Convenors Committee of the PGA. The Convenors' Committee is made up of the following organisations: Proceso de Communidades Negras (Columbia), CETERA (Argentina), Redes de Amigos de Tierra (Uruguay), National Alliance of Peoples' Movements (India), Canadian Union of Postal Workers (Canada), Pensylvania Consumer Action Network (USA), ORAM (Mozambique), Reclaim the Streets (UK), Social and Ecological Union (CIS countries), Rainbow Keepers (Ukraine). Foundation For Independent Anlysis (New Zealand)
Also in Europe there is a large endorsement of people and organisations.

For the groups and persons who live in the cities that are part of the schedule, being involved in this project means to organise:

  1. accommodation and food (see above),
  2. local actions and meetings and other activities.
  3. local press work in co-ordination with the other press offices (see above).
  4. fudraising

Since all these tasks are a big burden for one single local organisation, local welcoming committees with different organisations, collectives and individuals are being formed all across Europe.

Groups and persons from places which are not in the draft schedule can also participate in the programme, no matter whether they live in Europe or other continents, and their participation is very much encouraged. There are several forms of participation that are possible:

  • Spreading information about the project.
  • Encouraging local people to join the programme at least during some time. Food, accomodation, and transport costs for Europeans will have to be borne by themselves, since it is unrealistic to arrange these things.
  • Inviting a part of the group to visit your town for some days (even if there are no major centres of power to do actions at).
  • Organising fundraising events for the project (parties, etc) and spreading the call for donations. Especially this is important during the G8 meeting (18-20 June 1999), which is the highest point of the programme (G8 Discussion List: To join this discussion list, send an email with SUBSCRIBE and your name in the SUBJECT box, and also in the main body of the message.)

top, general guidelines, process and participation, draft program, draft list of actions

Draft program of the project

This itinerary was developed in a participatory manner in the meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands. Further details, including specific actions and meetings, will be finalised by the end of February. Link to the program window

top, general guidelines, process and participation, draft program, draft list of actions

Draft list of actions

There may still be substantial changes

  • Shell Headquarters (Netherlands)
  • European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) (Belgium)
  • EU Commission (Belgium)
  • Europa Bio (Belgium)
  • Monsanto Headquarters (Belgium)
  • NATO (Belgium)
  • Monument to Nuclear Power (Belgium)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (Italy)
  • Milan Stock Exchange (Italy)
  • World Trade Organization (Switzerland)
  • World Economic Forum Headquarters (Switzerland)
  • Cargill Headquarters (Switzerland)
  • Nestle Headquarters (Switzerland)
  • Novartis Headquarters (Switzerland)
  • United Bank of Switzerland (Switzerland)
  • Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (France)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (France)
  • European Union Summit (Germany)
  • G8 Summit (Germany)
  • European Central Bank (Germany)

This list of actions is still only a framework to work with. The definitive list will be put together in dialogue with the local welcoming committees that are going to prepare the actions and organise food and lodging. All actions have to be in line with the objectives, political contents and positions of the project.

Go to Corporate Watch Homepage

You can find a lot of information about corporations (from the list above and others) at Corporate Watch.

top, general guidelines, process and participation, draft program, draft list of actions