Globalise Resistance

Mark Brown msbrown at
Fri Feb 2 11:50:22 GMT 2001

An interesting article from George Monbiot on attempts to prevent
discussion of globalisation, from Thursday's Guardian.  If you want to
write to the paper the address is letters at  It is
important that they get a lot of letters to show the editor that there
is a great deal of interest in this topic.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Globalise Resistance
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 01:25:26 +0000
From: Guy Taylor <Guy at>
To: guytaylor2001 at, guytaylor2001 at

Dear Friends,

Just a few days to go and everything has gone ballistic!

Thanks to George Monbiot, I have been turned from a bloke with a mobile 
phone to a walking call centre. If you didn't see todays Guardian 
article, it is copied below,  we await tomorrow's letters page, although 
we didn't have the time to write in, such was the pressure on the phone.

Bookings, as a result have now reached 1100. There will be quite a crowd 
at Hammersmith Town Hall on Sunday, so if you have to collect your 
tickets there, make sure you get there bright and early. We aim to open 
the ticket desk at the Town Hall at 10am.

Greg Tucker, rail worker has joined the platform on London's Choking, 
the future of the capitals transport. Tom Hickey, lecturer from Brighton 
University is speaking at the Human Rights Not Corporate Rights 

Here's George's article:

George Monbiot 
Thursday February 1, 2001 

I'm beginning to feel unwelcome. On Monday a letter in the Guardian 
revealed that staff from the Bookmarks bookshop trying to reach the 
World Economic Forum were refused entry to Switzerland. Their offence? 
Carrying copies of my book, Captive State, and Naomi Klein's book, No 
Logo, which were deemed too dangerous to be allowed into the country at 
such a sensitive time. Now I discover that, alongside such threats to 
civilisation as the World Development Movement, Jubilee Plus, Friends of 
the Earth and the human rights lawyer Louise Christian, my presence has 
become a "security risk", which major venues around the country have 
been asked to forestall. 
On Friday, a speaking tour called Globalise Resistance begins in 
Glasgow. Organised by greens, socialists and student activists, it 
brings together liberal and radical critics of globalisation. It 
involves no demonstrations, no rallies, no riots: it is simply a series 
of conferences. Yet almost everywhere we're going, people have called 
for the tour to be restricted or banned. 

On Friday, the Scottish Conservative party asked the Home Office to 
review its decision to grant a visa to a speaker from the US. The SNP 
warned that our conference in Glasgow "must be closely monitored". In 
Manchester, we were booked to speak at the university. A few weeks ago, 
it cancelled the booking. Having spoken to the police, it had decided 
that we were "a potential security risk". So the organisers hired a hall 
in the Co-op's headquarters instead. A fortnight ago, the security 
company running the hall annulled the contract on the advice of the 
police. After some discussion, the firm, to its credit, reversed its 

The tour's organisers encountered similar problems when they tried to 
hire a venue in London. They had agreed a price with Imperial College, 
but it backed away just as the contract was about to be signed. So 
instead they booked the conference facilities at Goldsmiths College, 
whose principal is the Labour historian Ben Pimlott. On January 22, 
Goldsmiths wrote to confirm a booking for 1,000 guests. Soon afterwards, 
the college pulled out. 

I have spent much of the past week trying to find out why. When, after 
days of trying, I managed to raise Ben Pimlott, he insisted that I 
shouldn't quote him. This wasn't hard, as he refused to answer most of 
my questions, such as whether the event had been cancelled because of 
its political complexion. An administrator told me that the conference 
was too big for the college, and had been booked in error. But 
Goldsmiths' brochure reveals that the two main auditoria alone seat 
1,040 people, and "over 50 additional rooms" are available for hire. The 
organisers offered to restrict the number of guests; but the college 
refused to negotiate. The conference had to find another venue. 

So what on earth is going on? Nobody knows, but when the Socialist 
Alliance, which is one of the groups involved in the current tour, 
booked rooms from Brighton and Hove Council for a meeting coinciding 
with the Labour party conference last September, the council tried to 
cancel on the grounds that it would "offend our major customer": namely 
the Labour party. It backed down only when the press began phoning. 

It is certainly becoming harder to challenge the neo-liberal consensus 
to which nearly all the world's major political parties now subscribe. 
The global deregulation which allows big business both to seize trade 
from smaller companies and to dump its costs on to people and the 
environment can proceed only if it is accompanied by the reregulation of 
the people it threatens. All over the world, governments are trying to 
stamp out peaceful protest and dissent. 

In Britain, the new terrorism and investigatory powers acts enable the 
security services both to characterise protesters as terrorists and to 
ransack their communications without a warrant. In the US, peaceful 
demonstrators are now being arrested en masse before their protests 
begin. After the demonstrations in Seattle in 1999, some of us took bets 
as to where the next world trade talks would be held. Someone suggested 
Burma, another Bahrain. Someone else hazarded Qatar. Sure enough, last 
week we heard that November's trade talks will be held in Qatar. New 
market "freedoms" will be implemented with the help of old-fashioned 

Institutions behave like this when they are frightened. The more the 
politics and economics of globalisation are exposed to public scrutiny, 
the more they are found wanting. When power has to hide from the people, 
you know it's illegitimate. 

. To book tickets for the Globalise Resistance tour, telephone 07956 

g.monbiot at 

See you Sunday!
Guy Taylor

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list