The Global “free trade” agenda is losing steam
The people of the developing world have suffered for decades under the weight of the international agreements that promise better living through global trade but deliver poverty and authoritarian rule. For the last 10 years, the people most affected by these policies have led the charge to roll them back and to reclaim their economic independence. Those movements are taking hold most powerfully in Latin America, with the Bolivian government, under President Evo Morales, exemplifying the commitment to fairness and transparency in trade agreements. On an even broader scale, global citizens joined forces to bring a halt to all negotiations under the Doha Round of the WTO.
Mark Randazzo, “No Deal,” YES! Magazine #40, Winter 2007.
“Is the US Free Trade Model Losing Steam?” American Friends Service Committee, Trade Matters May 3, 2006.
A tide of change is sweeping Latin America
Latin America is demonstrating to the world the meaning of democracy. Poor people's candidates won election or re-election throughout Latin America in 2006. In Oaxaca, a people's rebellion in which women played a key role closed down the city in protest of the authoritarian state government.
Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine #41, Spring 2007
John Gibler, YES! Magazine #41, Spring 2007
In the midst of chaos, civic leaders aren't waiting for the US to bring peace and democracy, they are moving forward now
In the midst of occupation, bombings, and sectarian violence, the Iraqi Freedom Congress unites labor unions, student groups, women's rights organizations, and neighborhood assemblies to work for peace and to create neighborhoods that are havens for peaceful coexistence.
Bill Weinberg, YES! Magazine #38, Summer 2006
A new International Confederation of Trade Unions has formed to support global workers
Corporate globalization has stolen power from workers around the world and sent people on a race to the bottom. Now, ten national and international trade unions have merged into the International Trade Union Confederation, representing the voices of 168 million workers in 154 countries joining to protect workers' rights.
ITUC Media Release (Asheville Global Report) 1/11006,
Mike Hall, AFL-CIO Now, 11/1/2006
Worldwide opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is beginning to pay off
Grassroots activism has raised concern about GMOs from a fringe idea to national policy—from a GMO-free state in Brazil to a citizen's jury in Mali, people are rejecting these foods. A United Nations panel, in the face of fierce opposition from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, upheld a global moratorium on “terminator” plants, which are genetically engineered to produce sterile seed, requiring farmers to buy seed every year instead of saving seed from their crops.
Lilja Otto, YES! Magazine #38, Summer 2006.
American communities have begun to reclaim their voting rights
Voters in the United States are waking up to the fact that there are deep problems in our electoral system. They're not waiting for politicians to fix the system. Across the country, they're working to counteract vote-suppression tactics and make everyone's vote count.
The people of Humboldt County, California, passed a referendum prohibiting non-local corporations from contributing to political campaigns or otherwise participating in local politics. They joined a growing number of jurisdictions across the country using local law to take back control from corporations.
Greg Palast, YES! Magazine #39, Fall 2006
John Nichols, The Nation, June 7, 2006
Health Care activism is quietly, but powerfully, moving toward change
The number of people in the United States without access to adequate health care continues to grow. So does the awareness that such a condition is unacceptable in the wealthiest country on Earth. All other industrialized nations provide their citizens with health care, and spend less money doing it. U.S. citizens are waking up to the fact that they aren't getting their money's worth, and a groundswell is growing in favor of universal health care.
Rev. Linda H. Walling, YES! Magazine #39, Fall 2006
Doug Pibel and Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine #39, Fall 2006
Holly Dressel, YES! Magazine #39, Fall 2006
Latin American countries are breaking ties to their military past, refusing to send trainees to the School of the Americas
The School of the Americas has long stood as an emblem of U.S. cooperation with repressive governments in Latin America. As Latin America's populist governments gain power, they are distancing themselves from that piece of history, and declining to participate in what has been called the “School of Assassins.”
Lisa Garrigues, YES! Magazine #38, Summer 2006
Local food systems are building health and community wealth
Wholesalers ship food products out of the region for processing and packaging, and ship the same foods back for consumers to buy retail. It's a system that hurts farmers, consumers, and local economies. The growing movement to buy local food helps build community and strengthen local economies. As a bonus, consumers get fresher food direct from the source and farmers cut out the corporate middlemen.
Gary Nabhan, YES! Magazine #40, Winter 2007
Emerging World Social Forums are building a global movement
With the banner slogan, “Another World is Possible,” the World Social Forums have demonstrated that bottom-up organizing empowers traditionally oppressed people and produces inclusive, creative, and joyful movements for change. Now this radical mode of organizing is taking root in the United States.
Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine #39 Fall 2006
Ingmar Lee, Countercurrents.org, April 5, 2006