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The other Europe on the march

Saturday 9 February 2002, by Dominique Mezzi, Emile Jourdin, Robert Mirabel

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WITH more than 120,000 demonstrators over three days the Laeken counter-summit showed the continuing strength of opposition to neo-liberalism and capitalist globalisation. For many "other worlders" present in Brussels, the Laeken summit was the first big mobilization since the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. The slogan of the "anti-globalisation" demonstration on December 14 summed it up: "For another Europe in another world".

This mobilization also sought to pursue the dynamic of trade union contestation of the European institutions initiated with the summits in Amsterdam, Porto and particularly Nice. A gamble which paid off massively with the Thursday demonstration called by the European Trade Union Confederation: more than 80,000 strong, the majority Belgian or French but also with the presence of Slovene, Slovak, Czech and Polish delegations.

The "anti-globalisation" demonstration called by the D14 collective on Friday December 14 involved NGOs like Attac, militants from the British Socialist Workers Party and/or Globalise Resistance, Belgium’s Party of Labour (undoubtedly the youngest and most dynamic contingent), libertarian anarchists and a contingent from the Fourth International.

On Saturday December 15, a "street party" organized by the Bruxxel collective attracted around 3,000 people, hemmed in by a disproportionate security presence. Meanwhile, a "march for peace" organized at the initiative of the PTB gathered 2,000 people and an anarchist march called by a European libertarian coordination assembled 3,000 people.

The movements of opposition to capitalist globalisation are part of the opposition to neo-liberal Europe. Onwards to Seville.