Proclaiming the Start of Our Peoples’ Week of Collective Action in Response to the G20 Seoul Summit
- 2010.11.06 (17:22:47)
G20, Stop Making Common People Pay for the Crisis! Put People First!
in Response to the G20 Seoul Summit
In face of the Seoul G20 Summit due in just a few days, the South Korean government has launched a full-fledged public relations campaign that is reminiscent of the military dictatorship’s Saemaeul Movement. However, the government has not publicized exactly what issues will be discussed at the summit nor how G20 decisions will affect the general public. It seems merely to focus on exaggerating the economic effects of holding the summit.
Until now, the Korean People’s G20 Response Action (hereunder Korean People’s Action) has criticized the G20 for being full of only empty rhetoric, without being able to adopt effective financial regulations, nor being able to agree on measures such as a bank levy and a financial transaction tax – minimal measures required to make those responsible for the crisis pay. We call upon the G2o to regulate financial capital, which had brought suffering to so many people, tax the speculators and use the revenues to expand welfare.
The G20 is revamping the International Monetary Fund, whose structural adjustment programs had devastated the lives of people all around the world, without any fundamental assessment or reforms. Furthermore, the G20 has not come up with any fundamental measures to resolve the socio-economic crises, including those regarding financial regulation, poverty reduction, climate change mitigation, job creation and welfare expansion. Instead, at the Toronto G20 Summit, the heads of states agreed on austerity policies, which will inevitably make world’s peoples and workers additionally take on the brunt of the crisis, by cutting social welfare and destroying jobs. These policies will only deepen the global economic crisis further.
As the chair of the G20 summit, the Lee Myung Bak government has declared that ‘poverty and development issues’ will be dealt as main agendas, and act as a bridge between developed and developing countries. However, the Korean government’s initiative focuses only on ‘economic growth’, while values such as democracy, human rights, environment and gender equality have been sidelined. Thus, we can only but question whether the government’s initiative will really bring sustainable and balanced development to developing countries.
Furthermore, we strongly condemn the Lee Myung Bak government for using the G20 Summit as an excuse to repress democracy, human rights and fundamental labour rights. It legislated the ‘Special Law on Safe Escort of G20 Summit’, which hinders freedom of assembly and cracks down on migrant workers, street vendors and the homeless, as if ‘cleaning the streets’. No government event can override democracy and human rights.
The G20 Summits have failed to solve the global socio-economic crises. In order for it to truly resolve and become an alternative to the crises, it has to put people first and be re-designed to guarantee full participation of the people so that their lives become truly sustainable. In this regard, the Korean People’s Action will undertake various activities during the People’s Week of Collective Action, from 6th to 12th November, to seek and demand alternatives to the global economic crisis.
From 7th to 10th November, we will hold the International People’s Conference at the Jesuit Apostolic Center (located at 17 Shinsu-dong, Mapo-gu ). The 17 events to be held under the International People’s Conference include thematic workshops on financial regulation, climate change, FTA, poverty & development and other topics, as well as the Labour Assembly. The Conference will provide an opportunity to debate on alternatives and perspectives that benefit workers and the civil society in Korea and around the world.
On 11th November, the day the G20 Summit starts, the Korean People’s Action will hold a rally and march, ‘Put People First! International People’s Day of Joint Action Regarding G20’, together with trade union and civil society representatives from around the world. On 7th November, a National Workers’ Rally will be held, under the slogan, “Protect fundamental labour rights! Revise the labour law! Resolve the non-regular workers issue!”
In the morning of 12th November, “Bridge to Paris: Strategy Meeting” will be held, in order to discuss trade union and civil society’s response to the next G20 Summit in Paris. Our monitoring activities and critique of the G20 will not stop at the Seoul Summit but will continue unto future summits. We will continue to strive for alternatives to the existing neoliberal financial globalization regime.
We strongly condemn the G20 Summit, for making common people pay for the crisis.
We oppose austerity fiscal policies, which will deepen the suffering of workers and the people.
Stop repression on democracy, human rights and labour rights under the pretext of the G20.
Fully guarantee freedom of assembly and demonstration.
5th November, 2010
Put People First! Korean People’s G20 Response Action
General Information on Korean People’s G20 Response Action
The fifth G20 Summit will be held in Seoul on November 11th to 12th. This meeting has grave consequences for the people of Korea and the entire world. The G20 has appointed itself the principal body responsible for finding a solution to the global economic crisis and managing the world economy. Yet it excludes the majority of poor and developing nations from decision-making. It also seeks to make common people shoulder the burden of the crisis and to promote neoliberal policies, which have already created vast poverty and increased inequality. In addition, the South Korean government is using the upcoming summit as an excuse to severely restrict democratic rights and carry out a crackdown on migrants, street vendors and homeless people.
Recognizing the huge impacts posed by the G20 on the rights of people in Korea and around the world, labor unions, social movement organizations and progressive NGOs in South Korea formed a Korean People’s G20 Response Action(Korean People’s Action) on September 15th in order to respond to the G20 Seoul Summit. The Korean People’s Action is taking full responsibility for organising various activities and actions protesting the G20 summit as the representative of South Korean people’s, social and civil movements.
We would like to invite you to the press conference on G20 response activities organized by Korean People’s G20 Response Action. Many top leaders including Mr. Kim Young-hoon, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, will participate in this conference. We will distribute more detailed activities plans in the said press conference. Also please note that simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the press conference.
Please see the below on more information on Korean People’s G20 Response Action.
Four Main Action Principles
The Korean People’s G20 Response Action agreed to the following four main principles:
1) We are committed to organising various activities and actions to denounce the G20 Summit for making people and developing countries pay for the crisis and criticise the structural problems of neo-liberal financial globalization.
2) We are committed to organise various activities to denounce the South Korean government for using the G20 Summit as an excuse to repress democracy and human rights and ignoring internationally-recognised labour and human rights standards.
3) We are to maintain political, organisational and financial independence from the South Korean government and capital, so that we can truly represent the alternative voices of labour, people’s and civil society movements about/against the G20.
4) We will contribute to strengthening solidarity with local and international labour, social and civil society movements to build a labour-and-environment-friendly alternative economy, and to introduce capital controls and contribute to strengthening the capacity of international movements against neo-liberal globlaisation.
Points of Action
Agenda 1. Financial regulation and taxation on speculative capital
Agenda 2. Decent work
Agenda 3. Basic Labour rights
Agenda 4. Environment and climate change
Agenda 5. Alternative trade agreement to FTAs and TNCs
Agenda 6. Food sovereignty and agriculture
Agenda 7. Democracy and human rights
Agenda 8. Poverty and development
Agenda.9. Forced migration
Agenda 10. Peace and security
Agenda 11. Gender and G20
Agenda 12. Cultural diversity and IPRs
Agenda 13. Public services
Participating Organisations(Not yet fully updated)
21st Century Korean University Student Association, Institute of 21st Century Corea Research, Youth & Student Alliance for Implementation of June 15 Joint Declaration, Basic Income Korean Network, Labour Human Rights Centre, Farmers Pharmacy, Supporting Committee for Prisoners of Conscience, Institute for Research in Collaborationist Activities, Coalition of Commemorating Groups for Martyrs and Victims Democratic Movement, MINGAHYU Human Rights Group , "No to War, Yes to Peace" Coalition, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), National Association of Professors for Democratic Society (NAPDS), Citizen’s Movement for Environmental Justice, Korean Federation of Medical Groups for Health Rights, Korean Women's Association United (KWAU), Global Call to Action against Poverty Korea (GCAP-Korea), Korean Peasants’ League (KPL), Civil Society Network for Financial regulation and taxation on speculative capital, Civil Society Organisation Network in Korea, People’s Solidarity for Social Progress (PSSP), People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), Korea Alliance of Progressive Movements, National Students March, Korean Women Peasant Association, Joint Committee with Migrants in Korea (JCMK), All Together, Green Korea United, Korean Urban Poor Association, Alternative Forum of University Students, National Democratic Association of Street Vendors, Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice, Institute for Global Political Economy, Imagine Institute, Corea Institute for New Society, New Community Institute, Institute for New World, SpecWatch Korea, Korean Clerical and Financial Workers Association, NANUMMUNHWA_ Global Peace Activities, Korean People's Solidarity against Poverty, Energy & Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition (ECPI), Action for Energy Justice, Migrant Workers Rights Watch(Korea), Solidarity for Street Vendors and Informal Workers, Korea Progressive Academy Council, Progressive Strategy Council, Center for Energy Politics (CEP), Korea Federation for Environment Movement (KFEM) / FOE Korea, Democratic Labor Party-Korea (DLP-Korea), New Progressive Party-Korea (NPP-Korea), Socialist Party-Korea (SP-Korea), Transparency International_Korea, People not Profit, Korea Labor&Social Network on Energy, Korea NGO's Energy Network, Revolutionary Workers' Front, Students' Alliance against G20, Korean Women’s Alliance, Migrants Trade Union(MTU) etc.