Wednesday, November 12, 2003
FTAA: Protestors Already Getting Vocal Against FTAA
Thousands of demonstrators expected to descend on Miami next week, when the controversial FTAA summit gets underway, and, as 7's Andre Hepkins explains, they're already preparing to protest.
MIAMI -- Recent clashes in Cancun, Mexico and chaos in Seattle four years ago, are what many people think about when they think about the controversy over free trade.
Downtown Miami's Intercontinental Hotel will host thirty-four representatives of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas Treaty. It would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement with America, Canada and Mexico to the entire hemisphere, minus Cuba. But these people think NAFTA is a failure, and they see FTAA as a future fiasco.
"So, if it's a failed experiment, if it's a failed treaty, then why do they want to expand it to thirty-one more countries? It doesn't make any sense," saysCarolina Delgado, a member of South Floridians For Fair Trade & Global Justice.
That's why Delgado and her group held this news conference Wednesday at The Freedom Torch in the shadow of the hotel. It foreshadows the tens of thousands of like-minded people who will be in Miami on a mission.
"Because I have a conscience!" she says.
The 30-year-old quit a six-figure salary job to help promote the protests. "You hear very little about what's going on in Liberty City or Immokalee, an hour a way from here, or Little Havana," she says, "what's going on in Miami as the largest poorest city in the United States."
Free trade means unfair trade to her group, which represents hundreds of thousands of people who think the FTAA won't be fair to people who care about the environment, human rights and labor.
"The American worker built this country," saysFred Frost of the AFL-CIO, speaking at the news conference. "We're it's backbone, and, under free trade agreements, we become disposable parts."