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Larzac 2003 > The stakes

Tomorrow, it will be too late…

The Larzac is soon to welcome another of the gigantic gatherings that have been a regular feature of its recent history. Thirty years after the first (in 1973, in support of the farmers' struggle against the extension of the local military camp), three years after the last (in 2000, in support of the 10 people facing trial for the dismantling of a nearby McDonald's), tens of thousands of people will again gather on the plateau in response to the call of the farmers' union, the Confédération Paysanne, to fight the WTO.

Thirty years ago, Larzac farmers were already crying in the face of the government of the time, "We are not for sale !" Three years ago, the people of the plateau shouted in the face of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), "The world is not a commodity!" The gathering this summer has been conceived to focus the attention of social movements on the next WTO summit, which will take place in September in Cancun, Mexico. The stakes are high. The WTO is currently paving the way for the privatisation of the planet, with the disastrous and irreversible consequences that this will entail for the whole of humanity.

The WTO's aim? The effective transformation of all human activities, living things and natural resources into commodities, for the sole benefit of multinational companies. The means? The eradication, pure and simple, of any national legislation that acts as an obstacle to the voracious and insatiable appetite of the champions of neo-liberalism, who conceal their activities behind the banner of "free trade". The danger is such that if the WTO succeeds, democracy itself is finished. A democracy that is undoubtedly ailing the world over (and in whose name the Anglo-American alliance recently brought destruction to the people of Iraq), but which constitutes nonetheless the foundation of the well-being of humanity.

Such is the extent of the challenge before us. More than ever, our future, and that of the generations to come, is in our hands. If we do not react today, if we do not do everything we can to stop this infernal machine, tomorrow it will be too late. It is for this reason that we have decided to organise a gathering this coming summer of all those opposed to the commodification of the world. From the Larzac the warning bells must ring to alert public opinion to the danger posed by the WTO. Mobilisation against the WTO's project of democracide is vital.

Cancun must be a second Seattle.

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