PPRC Friday Rally and March Joins Links Corporate Globalization to US Militarization, Marks Bhopal Massacre and FTAA Miami Police State

Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March Links Corporate Globalization to US Militarization, Marks Bhopal Massacre and FTAA Miami Police State. Date: Friday, December 5th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition 5:00 p.m. Friday rally and march for peace at Pioneer Courthouse Square returns to the issue of corporate globalization and the link with the sharp rise of US militarism worldwide. "The US military presence abroad has been the enforcer imposing a development model that has devastated much of the world," said Marcia Meyers, a PPRC volunteer who has just returned from the FTAA protests in Miami. "That militarism is now careening across the globe, with the 9-11 attacks cynically used as justification for wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and today it can be seen targeting the peace and justice movement here in the US through the miitarization of our domestic police forces." Meyers cited the use of millions of dollars slated for the so-called "war on terror" that went into equipping Florida police departments for the FTAA meetings last month.

"Peaceful protestors were confronted with tanks, armored vehicles of a sort familiar in police states like Chile under Pinochet," said Myers, "and this massive military mobilization was directed solely to crush domestic dissent against these unfair and destructive investor-rights agreements." Meyers described how hundreds of people who had gathered to march peacefully against the FTAA meetings were herded into fenced-off areas and brutalized with pepper spray and night sticks. "If a journalist was not ‘embedded’ with the police, they became targets for assault and arrest by the police," said Meyers. "I witnessed in Miami what so many people in countries like Indonesia and Guatemala have experienced for the last four decades under US domination."

The Friday rally and march will also mark the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal disaster that took place on December 3rd, 1984. "Union Carbide has still not been held accountable for the deaths of over 20,000 people resulting from the release of 27 tons of poison gas from their plant in Bhopal," said Jodie Heatlie, another PPRC volunteer. "We’re supporting the campaign to force Dow-Union Carbide to pay for the care of tens of thousands who continue to suffer from their criminal negligence."

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