Cover letter: Invitation to learn about and organize against the FTAA

Dear Chapter Contacts and Activists,

As part of our National Campaign Against Corporate Globalization And For Positive Alternatives, the Alliance is extending its work to include the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas). There is real urgency on this because the heads of state of the 34 countries of the western hemisphere will meet from April 20-22 in Quebec City, Canada, to begin negotiating the FTAA in earnest. Many chapters have already begun to organize around the FTAA locally and Alliance members are making plans to be in Quebec City this April.  Herein you’ll find materials to help learn about and organize against the FTAA.

The FTAA has been described as "NAFTA FOR THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE" but it goes far beyond a geographic expansion from three to thirty-four countries. The FTAA is likely to combine the worst aspects of NAFTA, the MAI, and the WTO, thus creating the most potent consolidation and codification of corporate power in the western hemisphere to date.  

This is why thousands of people from Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Latin America are gearing up to voice their opposition to the FTAA in Quebec City April 16-22, and thousands more will do so from their own communities. If your chapter has not yet focused on the FTAA, we encourage you to look through this packet to see how you can get involved and take the lead in educating your community.  

Some actions, like national call-in campaigns to public officials, are ready to go with just a quick phone call or e-mail). Some just require picking up your pen to write a letter-to-the-editor or an op ed piece. Even teach-ins, caravans, and workshops can be organized fairly easily by calling one of several organizations listed below that are ready to show up at your doorsteps to produce these events.  Whatever level of involvement your chapter chooses, we hope you will make your voice heard opposing the FTAA.  

April 16 is just around the corner, so whether you want to have people join the protests in Quebec City or plan related events at home, it is time to get organized! We hope you will get the word out right away to your chapter members and beyond.  

There is an immediacy to the FTAA protests which we think Alliance members will find exciting. The materials in this packet, and others listed in the packet which you can order, can be used for a high energy chapter meeting or a community teach-in on the FTAA -- a great chance to attract new members.  

Please be sure to share this information with chapter members and with others in your community concerned about the impact of NAFTA and corporate globalization.

For more information, contact:
David Lewit 
Globalization Campaign Co-Coordinator

Kati Winchell
Projects/Chapter Coordinator  

Garret Whitney 
AfD Co-Vise chair