Other good uses for bulldozers besides swales! (fwd)
Lawrence F. London, Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 14:54:07 -0500 (EST)
> - WORLD
> The farmer who flattened McDonald's
> By GAY ALCORN, Herald Correspondent in Seattle
> Jose Bove, the French sheep farmer who became an international celebrity when
> he bulldozed a McDonald's restaurant in August, is a central figure among the
> World Trade Organisation dissenters here.
> He spreads Roquefort cheese on crackers - not as the polite act of a good
> host, but as a political statement, a small symbol of a ''citizen's revolt''
> against globalisation.
> The 46-year-old farmer was barely aware of the WTO and its elaborate rules
> until August.
> Before then, he bred sheep and sold the milk to producers of the uniquely
> French Roquefort.
> But when the European Community banned US beef reared on hormone injections,
> America took the case to the WTO, which sets trading rules and hears disputes
> between member countries.
> The WTO ruled that the European Union's act was illegal under international
> trading rules, and that there was no proven health risk in hormone-injected
> beef, even if the Frenchwere distrustful of it.
> The EU refused to budge, and the WTO allowed the US to retaliate with huge
> tariffs of its own, which included hikes on luxury items such as mustard and
> the pungent Roquefort cheese.
> That doubled the price to $US30 ($47) for half a kilo in August, virtually
> eliminating the market in the US.
> That issue encapsulates the debate about surrendering sovereignty in the name
> of global stability in trade.
> It is fitting, too, that Mr Bove is French, because it is France that is
> rebelling most about overwhelming US trading power.
> ''We cannot accept a world that has only one political pole ... the
> unilateralism of a single hyper-power,'' the French Foreign Minister, Mr
> Hubert Vedrine, said recently.
> Mr Bove says: ''The struggle is not against America or against American
> ''The battle we begin is against WTO and globalisation. We don't want the
> multinational corporation to say what we have to eat. We don't want the big
> corporation to say we need only one culture.''
> Mr Bove and other enraged farmers vandalised a McDonald's to protest against
> the risk of a worldwide uniformity of culture, and his arrest led to massive
> demonstrations in France.
> ''McDonald's is one culture - in Singapore in Texas and in France - and we
> don't want that,'' he says. ''Each people have the right to eat what he
> wants, and that is the most important issue of what's going to happen in
> Mr Bove joined a group of US farmers in Seattle yesterday to lay out a table
> of Roquefort, genetically unmodified soy and corn products, and organic beef
> and salmon.
> The farmers say they area symbol of a grassroots revolt against globalisation.
> ''There is a growing people's rebellion against the - you can call it the
> corporatisation of their lives - the taking of authority from ordinary folks,
> '' said Jim Hightower, a former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture.
> Mr Bove likened the fight to the Boston Tea party, when Americans tossed tea
> into the sea to protest against colonial taxes.
> ''It's a big example and we want to do it again ... to put out the
> multinational producers, and I'm sure we're going to win.'''
> [go to top]
> Copyright © 1999. The Sydney Morning Herald
> All rights reserved.
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