National Sections of the L5I:

Destroy the IMF, World Bank and WTO

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Recent programmes of “debt relief” have failed miserably to lift the billions of people affected by debt repayments out of poverty. Debt slavery must be ended and the semi-colonial world must be compensated for the plunder of its natural and human resources. In the G7 countries, we must fight for the unconditional and total cancellation of the debt to all the countries of Latin America, Africa, South and East Asia and Eastern Europe. In the debtor countries, we have to fight for the renunciation of the debt by their own governments.

Neither free trade nor protectionism under capitalism can meet the needs of human beings and their well-being on this planet. As long as capitalism exists, we are opposed to protectionism by the developed countries against the products of the global south. Here we are in favour of free trade. Abolish NAFTA, the Common Agricultural Policy and other protectionist weapons of imperialist states. However, we support the right of Third World countries to defend their markets from cheap imports from imperialist countries.

But workers should not tie their defence to the interests of their national capitalist class in the process, and should reject protectionism as a strategy since autarchic development is bound to fail, as it has always done so in the past (e.g. India in the 1960s). The answer to employers taking advantage of “cheap labour” in the second and third world is not to exclude their goods by tariff barriers but to use trade union and democratic pressure to raise the wages and social conditions of these countries to the levels of the “first world” and beyond.

Trade unionists in the imperialist countries must completely abandon demands for trade embargoes and high tariffs directed against their fellow workers in the semi-colonial world. Instead, to build our global strength, they must provide the fullest solidarity to workers fighting for union rights and higher wages in the semi-colonies and in the former “Eastern bloc”.

The drive of the IMF and WTO to privatise infrastructure and social services presently provided by the state must be resisted. The result, where the IMF and World Bank have succeeded, has been to make once free water, education and health provision unaffordable for millions of people. We must defend and extend these services at the expense of the capitalists, paid for by taxation and confiscation of profits. The heroic battles against water and electricity privatisation in Latin America and South Africa, involving general strikes, occupations, mass demos and road blockades, co-ordinated through local social forums, show the way forward. The IMF, World Bank and WTO must be abolished and the representatives of the South must immediately disengage from them and delegitimise them. Confront every one of their meetings and summits with mass blockades and protests!