Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Koreans Battle Police In Hong Kong at WTO Meeting


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The scariest thing for any ruling elite is to see workers uniting or farmers on the warpath. All revolutions happen with these two forces coincide and cooperate. We are seeing this beginning to happen as the capitalists work hard to make a flat earth with workers and farmers flat on the ground under their bootheel. I feel a rising windstorm here.

From Yahoo:

Several dozen protesters struck security forces with bamboo sticks and tried to ram through a police roadblock Tuesday as the World Trade Organization meeting opened in Hong Kong. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The confrontation occurred after several thousand protesters marched through the city against the WTO and globalization, which many of them believe benefit primarily the rich and powerful. Some of the protesters — mainly South Korean farmers — punched their fists in the air and beat drums and gongs, while others held signs saying "RIP WTO" and "World Threatening Organization."

Riot police with helmets and shields tried to fend off the protesters with pepper spray a few blocks away from the WTO meeting venue. The scuffle lasted about a half-hour and died down as police reinforcements arrived.

Earlier, dozens of South Korean farmers jumped into Victoria Harbor and tried to swim a few hundred yards along the coast to the WTO venue. Police intercepted them before they reached the venue.
Koreans have become ferocious street fighters. They know they must be visible and strong in order to shove events in their favor. At previous WTO meetings, they have committed ritual suicide, they drum loudly and refuse to retreat when the frightened capitalist tools inside order the police to get rid of them.

I have met some of these protestors in the past, at protests, of course. I, too, drum, I learned Asian drumming in a temple and can whale away without much effort for it is a skill, holding the sticks and going basically into a trance. There are whole organizations devoted to ritual drumming and nothing is more energizing than to walk into a cherry tree grove, hearing dozend of drummers striking their drums in unison, the ground trembles.

One Japanese religious cult, the one I learned this from, goes about the world, drumming for peace.

From the BBC:
The BBC's Chris Hogg in Hong Kong says there was a carnival atmosphere with protesters carrying colourful banners with slogans denouncing globalisation.

Other demonstrations are planned for the opening day of the summit on Tuesday, and also for next Sunday.

Around 10,000 activists are converging on Hong Kong to demonstrate at the summit, which will bring together nearly 150 rich and poor nations.

The demonstrators say the meeting will largely benefit rich countries at the expense of developing ones.

But supporters of the summit maintain that an international trade deal could generate billions of dollars in benefits and possibly lift millions out of poverty.
If WTO meetings were so uplifting, they wouldn't be so hated, would they? Many countries have witnessed ferocious WTO riots when that organization forces governments into draconian economic actions.

Now there is a new conflict that is tearing in two directions. In places like America, Japan or France, the farmers, thanks to quirks in proportioning districts and political power, have much greater influence on political choices than farmers in China, for example. So they are coddled by the government which gives them huge subsidies and help (which is why they hate welfar people who get the same!).

The first world countries produce too much food so they ship it to third world countries. The USA used to run a trade surplus with food vis a vis the world but thanks to various free trade agreements, we now are a net importer. Of course, to create the impression of free trade, Congress and the bubble boy President have worked hard to "free" American farmers from being on welfare which is now causing greater and greater distress. America, unlike Japan and France, for example, has pretty much killed off the small farmer, now the big guys are beginning to hurt, thanks to the rising cost of energy upon which they depend.

Japan, this week, has decided to let a ritual amount of American beef into the country but only if it is raised "properly" which restricts the amounts allowed pretty severely. The mad cow disease, like the avian flu, have hit farmers hard across the planet. These blows along with the cutting down of rain forests for temporary farming advantage coupled with air pollution in the form of acid rain and rising global temperatures are causing increasing problems for farmers. I see it first hand, on my own property, as I struggle between flood/drought cycles that are becoming monotonously on each other's heels. All rain or no rain is terrible in my climate.

Acid rain is also killing my forest which is a money maker for me and the best woods I raise, red oaks and maples, are rapidly dying instead of living hundreds of years. So farmers are naturally in the forefront of the battle for planet earth, both as destroyers and protectors. The tensions created by this complex convergence is roiling the planet, politically and physically.

Smart farmers know you have to nurture the earth and carefully cultivate. The Dust Bowl disaster in the USA was partially farmer-made. Scientists knew you need hedges and tree rows and contour plowing as well as cycling fields by not planting the same crop over and over again. Yet, farmers were forced into doing the bad things because of competition. Bad farmers could, in good years, drive out good farmers.

So the government rewarded good farmers and paid them to NOT overproduce and kill the land! This evolved into welfare for big farmers who didn't plant hedgerows or trees or contour plow. It ended up going to the bad farmers who wiped out everything in their path, overproducing. Alas. Over grazing public lands while taxing farms like my own to death, farmers raising beef responsibly, like myself, were driven out of business by careless ranchers who create desertfication.

So now we should have a world-wide "good farmer" organization that protects ecologically balanced farming and works like a giant collective, encouraging tree planting and careful forestry. Protecting the world's wetlands and glaciers that feed so many important rivers.

Something like what the WTO should be but is not.

On with the struggle. It is going to be quite vicious.

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