Resisting Atlantica: a worthy battle if ever there was one.
SO. I participated in the anti-Atlantica demonstrations that were held in response to the Atlantica business conference this past Saturday in Saint John, New Brunswick. I was just one of many in a large group (~500 people) composed of labour, radicals, activists, and those who would merely call themselves 'concerned citizens', who gathered in the pouring rain and whipping wind to raise their voices against the newest in a long-line of proposed 'economic reforms' that are supposed to 'make life better for all'.
This latest proposal has been dubbed 'Atlantica', and seeks to join Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and much of New England in a new free trade zone. How, I would like to know, is a reduction in minimum wages and labour standards supposed make life better for all?? I mean, I can see how it will sweeten the deal for business owners, but what about the schmucks that have to work for the business owners? They have mortgages and loans and kids and health problems too, you know. I am reminded of the arguments that we were all treated to at the inception of NAFTA. Granted, I was eight years old at the time, but that doesn't damage my memory. The 'trickle-down effect' has always been my favourite. Why don't we ask the unemployed auto workers in Ontario and the Maquiladora workers of Mexico how things are trickling down? This photo is representative of the home of the average Maquila family. Looks like the lap of luxury, doesn't it? I can sure see how all those low-paying hazardous factories are paying off for the average folks of Mexico.
From what I've found (and believe me, I've looked long and hard), the only thing that trickles down from 'Free Trade' is misery and more poverty. Unless your last name in McCain or Irving, Atlantica is NOT a good thing. This is our future. We must resist it. We must continue to shout at the top of our lungs. We cannot let this pass without a fight.
For more information on Atlantica and what is being done to stop it, please stay tuned to the following sites:
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