Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Come and protest Atlantica in Halifax, June 13-16

This is an invitation for you to participate in a democratic forum (and protests) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have copied and pasted below some background information from http://resist.stopatlantica.org as well as the schedule of events.

Please consider coming, or tell your friends in the region about the Atlantica plan, and the resistance against it. If you can't come, please be with us in spirit.


Atlantica is the abbreviated name for the Atlantic Northeast Economic Region (AINER), a cross-border trade concept spanning the Maritime provinces, Newfoundland, southern Quebec, and the New England states, i.e., Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and upstate New York. Its main proponent and originator is a right-wing think-tank group called the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), whose board of directors represents many big-business interests in the Atlantic region, although the plan is similar to North America's SuperCorridor Coalition's "Hemispheria" plan, or the Plan Puebla Panama, for that matter.

The proponents of Atlantica wish to develop a conduit to channel Asian goods to the United States through the Atlantic Provinces. Massive container ships called "post-Panamax" are too large to pass through the Panama Canal and Halifax is the closest North American port for ships from Asia via the Suez Canal. These containers would reach their destinations via "truck trains," resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions, higher fatal-crash rates per mile, as well as the likely expansion of superhighways through communities, wilderness, and farmland.

Atlantica is also about increasing exports of unprocessed resources, like energy and water, from Canada to the United States. The intent is to export oil and gas from the Atlantic offshore as quickly as possible on terms that favour industry and leave decisions regarding exports to deregulated markets.

The Atlantica tag line is "business without borders," which has a double meaning: business unhampered by the international border, but also unbound from what AIMS refers to as "policy distress factors" such as minimum wages, social program spending, environmental regulation, public ownership and unionization. This kind of language is eerily familiar to that of NAFTA and the FTAA, stemming from a neoliberal agenda that aims to dismantle "trade barriers."

The results of Atlantica would be to expedite a race to the bottom for the majority of people in the region. Knowing this, the governments and institutions involved have tried to negotiate and implement this policy undemocratically behind closed doors.

Town Hall Meeting
Description: Join the Council of Canadians, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and its affiliates for a community Town Hall meeting to discuss Atlantica and what it means for Nova Scotia. After the panel the floor will be opened to questions, comments and discussion about Atlantica and what we can do to stop it from going forward and promote an alternative vision that puts people and the Earth before corporate profits.
The panel will include:
- Scott Sinclair, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of the paper "Atlantica: Myths and Realities"
- Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
- Alejandro Villamar, Oxfam Mexico
Location: Scotia Bank Auditorium, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Building, Dalhousie University, 6135 University Avenue
Time: 7:00 pm

Picket against atlantica
Description: Start off the conference with a bang, bring placards, noisemakers and friends.
Location: WTCC (World Trade and Convention Centre)
Time: 8:30 am

Take Action Against NS Power!
Description: Confront Emera (big player in Atlantica) and NS Power's policies!
Location: Corner of Duke and Barrington
Time: 12:00 pm

Resist Atlantica Teach-in
Description: A full day of free workshops and DIY seminars on topics ranging from Atlantica 101and Deep Integration' to Know Your Rights Training and Political Puppet-making.
Location: The Khyber (1588 Barrington St)
Time: 10am – 5pm

Critical Mass Bike Ride
Description: Ride into the streets en masse against Atlantica! Come out with your bicycles, tricycles,skateboards, roller-blades or any other self-propelled vehicle for a good old-fashioned fun-filled festive flocking. Costumes are encouraged!
Location: Victoria Park (corner of Spring Garden and South Park)
Time: 5:00 pm

Rally and March Against Atlantica
Description: join the hundreds of groups and individuals for speeches, songs, and more in the interregional mobilization against Atlantica.
Location: Victoria Park (corner of Spring Garden and South Park)
Time: 12:00 pm

Reclaim the Streets!
Description: Games, fun, music and food. join us for some celebratory resistance to atlantica.
Location: Around the WTCC, downtown halifax
Time: 7:00 pm

Community Picnic
Description: Free food provided by halifax food not bombs, family friendly atmosphere and games. Speakers and music.
Location: Seaview Park
Time: Noon

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