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Privatization and its twin brother globalization took a deserved beating at last nights global justice forum with one international guest dubbing them monsters and calling on delegates to globalize our struggles.

Globalization is a monster consuming all of humanity, said Guatemalan activist Eucebio Figuero Santos from the Peten Alliance for Life and Peace. It brings development soaked “in the blood of the people of the Third World. Referring to the damming of five rivers that will flood part of his homeland, Santos vowed that we will not abandon our villages for these dams.

Puerto Rican trade union leader Jose La Luz blasted privatizers and free trade, then urged delegates to begin the struggle at home. Nothing is more important than for the people of Canada to wipe out the Harrises, the Kleins and the Campbells, he said. They are the scum of the earth. Defeating them is the best thing you can do for the hemisphere.

Privatization is a new kind of apartheid, said South African community activist Richard Bricks Mokoko. It is a crime against humanity [that] frustrates the poor to get more poor. A water activist, he warned that the rights of the people have been given to private companies, noting the example of private water giant Suez-Lyonnaise des eaux introducing pre-paid water meters.

Sylvester Ejiofoh, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Operations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Employees of Nigeria, also attacked privatization. The madness of privatizing continues, he said. It is not in the interest of the people and we must be united to fight it.

We need to fight privatization using the lessons learned from the fight against apartheid, said Roger Ronnie, general secretary of the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). He offered the hope that the privatization bubble is going to burst because people are finding themselves out on the street.

He praised a CUPE-sponsored study on the impact of privatization on gender at three waste management sites conducted with our municipal sister union, SAMWU.

Privatization has cost 200,000 people their jobs, says the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions. In poor Soweto neighbourhoods, up to 20,000 homes a month are disconnected from electric service for non-payment.

The forum was also introduced to CUPE nationals new international solidarity program, “Global Justice”. Posters, leaflets, T-shirts and fridge magnets were distributed and the new global justice berets were spotted around the meeting room.

The meeting opened and ended with expressive interpretive dance performances by Sandy Silva accompanied by Laura Risk on violin.