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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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71 The Global Justice Movement

Geoffrey Pleyers

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A Brief History of the Global Justice Movement

The global justice movement has passed through three periods up until now. Local and national mobilizations against neoliberalism occupied the first period, with “water and gas wars” in Bolivia and South Korean workers' movements as well as the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico and the Indian farmers struggle against the WTO. The globality of the movement was readily apparent, particularly during mobilizations organized around global events, the most publicized of which was in Seattle, protesting the third ministerial of the WTO in 1999. Committed intellectuals also played a major role in alerting the public to the social consequences of free trade and challenging the hegemonic Washington Consensus. They initiated civil society networks, which became a feature of the global justice movement, such as ATTAC, Global Trade Watch, the Transnational Institute and Focus on the Global South. Other global coalitions created during this period include the World March of Women, Jubilee South and Via Campiness, which claims to bring together over 100 million small farmers.

These heterogeneous actors gathered at the first World Social Forum (WSF), held in Porto Alegre in January 2001. It marked the beginning of the second phase, as the movement became organized around Social Forums at the local, national, continental, and global level. These meetings were oriented less towards resistance ...

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