Social Movements conference in Jakarta:
"We want WB and IMF out of our lands"
(Jakarta, 17 September 2006) Today in Jakarta farmers leaders from the
international peasants' movement La Via Campesina concluded a 3-day
conference with other Indonesian social movements denouncing the IMF and WB
crimes against humanity and proposing people's alternatives.
Gus Dur, former president of Indonesia and Walden Bello, executive director
of the Bangkok based NGO Focus on the Global South, addressed the
conference. Gus Dur said that globalization had entered our lives and that
people had to find different ways to deal with this. "You have taken the
path of resistance and I respect that", he said to the movements'
Walden Bello, explained how the World Bank and the IMF policies had created
more poverty and suffering, especially in Indonesia: "During the Asia
financial crisis, Indonesia was the most hardly hit country. As a result, 22
million people went under the poverty line (under 1 US a day), out of 40
million across Asia". "IMF and the WB should be taken to international
criminal courts for their systematic abuses of human rights!" he added.
At the closing press conference, Henry Saragih, General coordinator of La
Via Campesina said: " We want the WB and the IMF out of our countries in
order to develop food sovereignty and genuine agrarian reform. Our movement
gathers more than 130 peasants' organizations all around the world. We are
among the first victims of the WB/IMF policies and we now want to determine
our own alternatives policies that would benefit the society as a whole".
Badrul Alam, leader of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, explained that the
World Bank was imposing policies on the Bangladesh government in the name of
development. "Actually, we have observed that those policies were only
benefiting a few people. More over, they are encouraging corruption within
the government" he added.
Debora da Silva from the Brazil landless movement (MST) said that even
though Brazil was a rich country, millions of people were hungry. "The World
Bank policies have contributed to create poverty in my country", she said.
She denounced the repression of social movements opposing criminal policies:
"In our struggle for land and social justice, many people were killed", said
Via Campesina and many international and national movements will join the
mass rally tomorrow, 18 September: Start 11 am at Lapangan Banten, in
front of Hotel Bandung. The Rally goes to the Presidential Palace and then
to the World Bank office (Jl Jend Sudirman, Gedung Bursa Efek Jakarta - BEJ)
Information: Tejo Pramono +62 815 866 99975
and Cecep Risnadar + 62 2193640760
International Operative Secretariat
La Via Campesina
Jl. Mampang Prapatan XIV No. 5
Jakarta - Indonesia
Telp : +62-21-7991890
Fax : +62-21-7993426
Homepage : www.viacampesina.org