Social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), figures associated with the human rights struggle, and intellectuals from all over the Americas are gathered in Argentina to participate in the 3rd Summit of the Peoples. The meeting, which began Monday, November 1st, is a space for opposing the 4th Summit of the Americas.
More than 500 representatives of social, political, and cultural organizations are attending speeches, debates, and workshops espousing equality and a better distribution of wealth, as well as opposing the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Activists from the MST (Landless Movement) are among Brazilian groups who are in Argentina taking part in the protests. They have a stand and have been distributing literature in Spanish about the ill effects of neoliberalism, the FTAA and President Bush.
The Peoples’ Summit is not part of the official agenda of the Summit of the Americas. According to its organizers, it represents a moment for the creation of what they refer to as a "continental mobilization." The chief purpose of the gathering is to protest the presence of US president, George W. Bush.
Under the banner "Another America is possible," the participants of the Peoples’ Summit intend for their grievances to be heard by the representatives of the 34 countries that will be attending the official summit, which is an event sponsored by the Organization of America States (OAS).
The beach resort of Mar del Plata, 400 kilometers away from the Argentinean capital, Buenos Aires, is under heavy police security for the 4th Summit of the Americas.. Approximately 9 thousand police are there to ensure the security of the heads of States who will be attending the meeting, as well as that of residents and visitors.
The 4th Summit of the Americas will run from Thursday (3) to Sunday (6). The main theme is job creation to deal with poverty and strengthen democratic governability.
The previous summits were held in the United States (1994), Chile (1998), and Canada (2001). At the conclusion of the Mar del Plata encounter, a declaration will be drafted containing proposals presented by the participating countries.