Why MR - 2004?


by Mumbai Resistance 2004 -- Against Imperialist Globalisation and War

Strengthen People`s Struggles!
Resist Globalisation!
Smash Imperialism!
Build a People`s World!

Ever since the momentous Seattle demonstrations of 1999, the localized and scattered struggles of the people in different parts of the globe have grown into a mighty wave of anti-globalisation protests, targeting the destruction and havoc being wrought by the imperialist powers in the name of globalization.
After the Afghan War and more specifically before, during and after the Iraq War, another clear target has been identified – the war mongering leaders of the imperialist/capitalist countries.
During this entire period there have been some crucial questions that have cried out for an answer – how to identify the crucial issues and develop the force of the peoples´ movements into a powerful challenge to the forces of imperialist globalization and war? How to stand up to those who crush the sovereignty of nations, who idealise and support a market centered rather than people-centered pattern of development? And in this struggle for a new world, how to correctly identify the enemy, and distinguish real friends from those who only posture as being against globalisation?
It is obvious that this has to be done through a process of both discussion and mobilization; analysis and struggle. However it is unfortunately true that the organisation that claims to be the main opponent of imperialist globalization at a world level -- the World Social Forum, is so designed as to camouflage the crucial issues, thus defusing the struggle against imperialist globalization, rather than giving a focus to it.
It is opposed to any form of effective organization, while supposedly confronting the most highly organized and sophisticated apparatus of the imperialist powers. While rejecting more militant forms of struggle, it does not explain how it could fight one of the most insidious and violent forces of history – the war-mongering US imperialism, or even the less aggressive, but also dangerous European and other imperialisms. With its amorphous framework of "Another World is Possible", which is explained by most of its leadership as "giving globalization a human face" (a reprehensible concept in itself), it offers no real alternative, ensuring that much of the …‘debate´ remains at best mere intellectual sparring, without leading to any conclusion.
Further, as pointed out by many, the structure of the WSF event itself has not lent itself to meaningful exchange between the representatives of active social movements and organizations. The conference and other main events, with audiences of thousands and media attention, have been dominated by establishment politicians known to have supported and even initiated programmes and policies of imperialist globalization and war. Meanwhile activists and intellectuals linked to live mass movements have been relegated to the side events.
These are some of the factors that make it clear that the WSF has developed as a platform that basically channelises dissent into avenues acceptable to the big capitalist powers that re the perpetrators of the ravage and plunder of imperialist globalization and war.
It is in this context that we have come together to organize MR 2004.
MR 2004 is an international event, part of the process of building a strong worldwide anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist movement, that seeks to take the people of the world, including those attending the WSF, beyond the limits of "reflective thinking and debate" towards organised resistance against imperialist globalisation and imperialist wars and marching ahead for establishing an egalitarian global order, built on mutual cooperation and good will, free from use of force of all kinds. It is based on rejection of imperialist/capitalist premises and adoption of clear and unambiguous premises related to the building of a future world order.
These are

- It´s a Time for Action – Debate is not an end in itself, but a Means for more Effective Anti-imperialist Action.

The ravages of imperialist globalisation are there for all to see, and its war mongering nature has now come into the open. Yet the WSF still believes that it is a time for "reflective thinking and debate" – debate that never moves in the direction of reaching a conclusion to guide the movement towards action. MR 2004 believes that discussions are important, but only in so far they must be a guiding light for action, illuminating the direction of the steps to be taken.

- Analyse the Root Cause – Clearly Identify the Imperialist/ Capitalist System as the Target

MR 2004 clearly and unequivocally supports all the protests and struggles against the ravages being wreaked by globalization and believes in the necessity of going beyond the immediate effects and analyzing and identifying the root cause. The battle against globalization cannot be restricted to fighting examples of the brutality of the system, but has to move towards fighting against their real cause. The WSF says it is opposed to …‘neo-liberal imperialist globalization´ but provides no clear-cut analyses of the forces behind it.
MR 2004 identifies the imperialist/capitalist system as the prime enemy of the world people and the root cause of the devastation being caused throughout the world in the name of globalisation. Both globally and within countries, it is the imperialist and authoritarian governments, ostensibly democratic financial institutions and TNCs that are responsible for such death and destruction and they must be clearly identified and targeted. At the same time within countries too it is the local capitalist class, acting as agents of these forces who are also our targets.

- Imperialism cannot be reformed – it has to be smashed

MR 2004 believes that the ravages of neo-liberal, imperialist globalization are not a result of the policies of particular individuals heading the imperialist bodies and governments, but are the natural outcome of the logic of imperialism which is to aggressively dominate the world, force open markets, destabilize and even overthrow …‘unfriendly´ governments etc. Hence there is no way that these bodies or the system can be reformed, or given a …‘human face´ as many of the main spokespersons of the WSF wish to do. Globalisation can only be fought by targeting, rejecting, and smashing the imperialist/capitalist system that lies behind it.

- All Imperialisms are the enemy – some may be temporarily more dangerous

MR 2004 also believes that the needs of the imperialist/capitalist system themselves lead to the patterns that we are now witnessing under globalization – the attempt to aggressively dominate the world, capture resources, force open markets using political, financial and even military means, arm-twist, destabilize and even overthrow …‘unfriendly´ governments etc. At a particular time and on a particular issue some sections of the imperialist/capitalist system may oppose actions by more powerful forces within it. They may attempt to portray themselves as …‘principled opponents´, …‘friends of the people´, …‘anti-imperialist´ etc. Yet their particular positions on specific issues, whether genuine or not, can never hide their real long term interests – to dominate and subjugate the world.
In light of the above MR 2004 believes that the WSF approach of accepting direct and indirect aid from certain imperialist governments and government backed funding agencies, and in welcoming the participation of members of such governments (French ministers attended the WSF 2002, although under the excuse of dong so in their …‘individual´ capacity) is fraught with danger. MR 2004 believes that it is necessary and correct to concentrate our attacks against a particular imperialist power (like US imperialism today), which is currently more aggressive and dangerous, and that temporary alliances with others can be built depending on the circumstances and strength of the people´s movements. However, portraying the …‘lesser´ imperialist/capitalist powers as friendly forces in the task of establishing a people´s world is unprincipled and opportunist.

- Those who implement Liberalisation-Privatisation-Globalisation while claiming to oppose globalization are not real allies

MR 2004 is of the firm opinion that one should judge allies not by what they say but by what they do. This is especially important as a number of forces who participate in the anti-globalisation movement have actually implemented the pro-globalisation policies of liberalization and privatization wherever they have actually been in power. It is one matter to unite with all forces on certain issues in the field of struggle, it is quite another to join with such fake elements on various platforms. Yet WSF has encouraged and still encourages the participation of such forces in its gatherings. Among its main organizers are ostensibly progressive forces who have implemented IMF dictated policies in the regions they are in power, and have entered into talks and agreements with the US government. In India too there are similar forces ruling in some parts of the country. MR 2004 will not obscure these realities of such anti-globalisation forces from the people.

- Funding Agencies have a vested interest

MR 2004 firmly believes that funding from imperialist/capitalist governments, corporates or foreign institutional sources can never help the peoples´ movements. Many of these bodies/sources of funds seek to don a …‘progressive´ colour, though they come from the same forces that are part of the imperialist system and support globalization. In many countries some of these funding agencies have become active players in the …‘privatisation´ schemes of the local capitalist class, and hence indirect supporters of globalization. Further they discourage the peoples´ movements from moving in a more radical direction, and restrict themselves to localized alternatives or even issue-based organizations that stay aloof from the larger political movement, which in effect reinforce the system. In fact such agencies have a vested interest in preserving the system. Yet the WSF receives funds from such bodies like Ford Foundation, Oxfam, NOVIB etc and they directly and indirectly also play an active role in the actual event. MR 2004 declares that it will not accept funds from such sources.

- Civil Society is not a unified force – it is divided into oppressors and oppressed, and these two sections have contradictory interests

The term …‘civil society´ as used by the WSF is a distortion of reality, which has emerged alongside …‘post-modernism´. While civil society is a complex phenomenon with many facets, clearly it cannot be seen as a unified entity with a single common interest as suggested by the WSF. It is divided into oppressors and oppressed with contradictory interests to each other. These divisions may be along class, caste, gender, religion, community, nationality and so on.
MR clearly recognizes that these contradictions will have to be resolved through struggle, not dialogue and within a framework that clearly upholds the interests of the oppressed which comprises the vast majority of humanity. As such it is not just providing space for debate and dialogue, but being composed primarily of organizations of the oppressed sections as well as those who support their struggles and uphold their interests. It seeks to build a genuine fighting, anti-imperialist front.

- The danger of fascism is real and immediate – the sections most affected by this threat are important forces in the struggle against it

The rising fascist forces and movements both in India and elsewhere that are seeking to destroy the unity of the oppressed people, also pose a real and significant danger to life and liberty of the oppressed castes and religious minorities. The mobilization of these sections is a crucial component of the people´s struggles, and especially important in the battle against the fascists.
While opposing all types of communalism and fundamentalism, MR is clearly different from the WSF because it identifies the majoritarian religious fundamentalism, and in the case of India rising communal fascism under the garb of Hindutva, as the most dangerous. The MR stresses the importance of actually uniting the oppressed castes and religious minorities with other sections of the people.

- No Bridges, Only Barricades

MR 2004 draws a clear line of distinction between the pro- and anti- globalization camps. Unlike the WSF which is deliberately vague on this question, it believes that these are forces aligned against each other, with opposing views of the world, and contradictory plans and perspectives regarding development models, economic systems and what is good for the people of the world. MR2004 rejects the attempts made by renowned leaders and many others to …‘build bridges´ between these two camps. MR 2004 believes that all groups and organizations, despite differing views among themselves, must determine on which side of the line they stand. And as the battle intensifies, there will be no bridges built across this line, but only barricades.

- People´s Struggles are the Key

MR 2004 is open to all types of opposition and resistance to the forces of globalization, but believes that in the long run it is the people´s struggles for a new world order with clear premises and no subterfuges that hold the key to justice, equality and liberation. Where the WSF equates people´s struggles with attempts to lobby on mere issues with no concern for basic premises, and even the efforts of …‘sincere bureaucrats´ all as forces of change, MR 2004 stands for the active mobilization of people based on appreciation and realisation pf people´s power in a real democracy, closing up of ranks, and leading role for the people´s struggles, especially those of the most oppressed and marginalized sections of society, in the movement against globalization and for a better world.

- Forms of Struggle are determined by People and Circumstances -- Militancy is an essential component of the movement

MR 2004 believes that the battle against globalization will be a long and protracted one and will be fought on many fronts and in many forms. It stands for and supports all militant mobilizations and believes that some of the most important challenges to the imperialist globalization have been by militant people´s movements symbolized in the street battles of Seattle, Melbourne or Genoa, the intifada of the Palestinian people, the successful overthrowing of pro-imperialist dictators in countries like Philippines, Indonesia and so on, the valiant battles of the indigenous and tribal peoples of the Chiapas, Nepal, Columbia, Philippines, India, Peru, Turkey and elsewhere for assertion of their identity and command over resources in their respective habitats/territories, the growing resistance of the people of Iraq to US occupation and so on. At the same time, MR 2004 also believes that every form of resistance, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that weakens the world capitalist system must be utilized and welcomed. In the achievement of equality, justice and liberation, we do not exclude any form of struggle that the situation may demand, unlike the WSF which by its exclusion of military organizations and …‘those that seek to take lives as a means of political action´ and other sidelining of the militant movements of South America, actually keeps large sections of anti-imperialist fighters and movements out of its fold. MR 2004 believes that the achievement of justice, equality and liberation is the primary objective, and the people choose the method of struggle according to the specific situation for realisation of the alternative paradigm. Any restriction based on the forms of struggle can only serve to divide the forces standing up against imperialism and capitalism.

- Another World has to be built outside the capitalist system -- It has to be a people´s world moving towards a socialist order

MR-2004, seeing a futility in the amorphous presentation of "Another Possible World" by the WSF, seeks to concretely define an alternative socio-economic paradigm, as one built on a basis of self-reliance, with a total break from all controls, domination and subjugation by an authoritarian state, imperialism and the institutions of the world capitalist system – such as World Bank, IMF, WTO, TNCs, etc. It believes that prosperity and growth in India, as with all other underdeveloped countries, can be achieved only through a self-reliant economic paradigm, moving towards a genuine socialist order, which itself is possible only through the complete rejection of imperialism. It is of the opinion that this can be achieved through democratic struggle and relentless struggle against the regime of the market as also the authoritarian state standing behind them, frontal attack on inequality and capitalistic paradigm with a resolve to march towards participative democracy, not endless and often not so meaningful debates.
Based on the above it is clear why the organizations who have come together in MR 2004 are holding a parallel meeting during the WSF, Mumbai. It is not an anti-WSF meeting, but one with the clear and sharp focus that the WSF fails to provide as outlined in all the above areas, and is committed to building a strong and genuine anti-imperialist movement.
Yet we would like to reiterate that the meeting is not only an event, and our ultimate aim is to help the anti-globalisation movement develop a sharper focus and thrust. Hence, we are open to discussions on different forms of organization and unity in building the movement, with all genuine struggling people´s organizations and remain firmly committed to the broadest possible principled unity in combating the powerful forces of colonial state structures and imperialism/capitalism. Let the debates and discussions on the direction to be taken help strengthen our fighting unity in the streets, factories, fields and forests!

Contact: Room No 1163, 6th Floor, …‘Ekta´, Mahada Colony, Vanrai, Western Express High Way, Goregaon, (East), Near: Nirlon Company. Phone: 022-26857083, 9892370462

e-mail: mumbai_resistance@indiatimes.com


linked articles:

List of MR-2004 Participant Organisations and Reception Committee

MR-2004: Schedule, Structure and Topics of the Seminars/Workshops

Why MR - 2004?

Nearly 100 Organisations to convene anti-imperialist Conference in January 2004

Indian Farmers decide to create a global Peasant Forum outside World Social Forum-2004

Join Mumbai Resistance 2004

Mumbai Resistance 2004 - Against Imperialist Globalisation and War