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SOC 1100 Lecture Notes - Pierre Pettigrew, Free Trade Area Of The Americas, Riot Control

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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This film (set in Quebec City on April 20th 2001) at the Summit of the Americas, covers a meeting of the
leaders of 34 North, Central and South American countries who are negotiating the Free Trade agreement of the
Americas (the FTAA).
In even more detail, the film deals with the protesters who attempt to shut down the meetings. Fearing violence,
the police barricade the area around the conference centre and prepare for the worst with tear gas and riot gear.
Participants and media representatives are screened carefully before they are allowed into the meeting area and
go through metal detectors inside.
Outside the barricades, some 30,000 protesters calling themselves the Peoples' Summit challenge the
authorities, demanding access to the FTAA texts -- hoping to use these to discredit the negotiation process.
There are people on both sides (among the police and leaders of the protesters) who try to maintain order and
avoid violence. The police, some of the protest leaders, and protesters themselves are involved in aspects of
social control.
People on both sides of the divide attempt to justify the meetings themselves and the protest that seeks to derail
the process. Both sides believe that they are right (remember "groupthink") as both attempt to initiate social
change -- albeit through entirely different mechanisms.
As you watch this film, try to place it in the contexts of the structural-functional, conflict- and symbolic-
interactionist paradigms. Consider the informal and formal mechanisms of social control as well.
(Magnus Isaccson) 2002 (TVO)
George Bush – launch century of Americas
Phillipe dumahel – human chain around building
Reconfigure social foces, change international laws, privatize public services
Argentina – two weeks before summit – fight for dignity of all people of the Americas
Work, fight and live
Don’t represent cuba, 10,000 protestin against creation of FTAA.
Graciela rodgriguez – continental national alliance
Only leaders of countries involved in talks
FTAA one element of broader neoliberal…
Reject this type of economic…
Brings along more unemployment, inequality and such
SalAMI formed non-voilence
If you will not get the FTAA texts for us, forced to get them ourselves
Is it worth getting arrested for today, democracy is worth getting arrested
Pierre pettigrew canada’s minister of trade publish negotiating texts of FTAA, translate into 4 other
languages for the summit
Discrediting FAA negotiation process (first step)
4km long chain fence, expecting 600 troublemakers
when will the violence start (media);
created a climate of terror, built a fortress that only inflames troublemakers
frightens local businesses and people – prepping for worse
none of ouctions will be directed towards them
won’t target small violence if there is violence
Tania halle convergence of anti-capitalist struggles
Life before profit
Action must be strategic, clear, goals to convince necessary to mobilize (10000 people)
Wall of shame
Without a security perimeter, there wouldn’t be a summit
Police are an arm of the government, also an arm of the people; look much lore like gov’t
Pierre goupil – quebec’s police
A police state – is that what you want
SalAMI debated whether wanted to get involved in what might become a bloody mess, risk of violence; certain
groups prepping violence; Quebec city is not a test of bravery; 15 people confronting 30 tanks can be
intimidating; don’t provide a pretext for tanks to charge; always prepped to abandon violence if it was destined,
intended to maintain position at all costs, too much at stake to lead people to slaughterhouse
Florent gagne –quebec police; feels a great threat is imminent; info tells us to prep very seriously
Unified command centre, all security related; qpp must maintain order; trained to handle all sorts of
confrontation; instructed in rights and applications of law; what kinds of demonstrators to expect… who are
mostly normal citizens; green, yellow, red ~ 95% peaceful; 4% civil disobedience; 1% reds – extreme
34 people, leader of states to talk about NAFTA – FTAA is like NAFTA on crack
not here to reform world bank, imf, or ftaa, reject hem, want to create world based on values
CLAC – diversity of tactics – 3 blocks – festive demonstration, obstruction, and destruction
Can I guarantee my family they will not be harmed (cocktails, bombs).
Radicalize them if we don’t exclude them; most effective, creative and liberating, people may join us; not
tolerate wearing of hoods, is to impose something, hierarchical; start respecting each other, united against the
enemy, build a movement that will really grow
Solidarity, don’t have to agree with each other, stop trashing each other, moveon with the work;
Conspiracy defused, six activists arrested, conspiracy to life-threatening acts, theft and possession of military
weapons; no proof suggest people remain sceptical; arrests like these on the eve of the summit remind us of
other fantastical stories of police infiltration
Toilet papered fence; certainly do things that are forbidden
Unrolling first letter of SOS message
High level of security
Richard feinberg – feels it’s a convention, interested in it for 30 years
Press conference, address issue of demonstrators angle they could read previous documents that many of the
issues they are concerned about it are being addressed;
Corporations right to sue governments without responsibilities to corporations
Corporations have more rights than citizens
Formal trade agreements are the only way – opportunity (to lower our standards)
Anticapitalist since 14, don’t use same arguments now; police supposed to protect citizens, but beat up
my friends; saw street people and poverty, travelled and encountered different cultures
Majority of Canadians support NAFTA (new jobs, technology, not for a few but also not for everyone);
summit completely agrees with that assessment, needs policies for those displaced, will they do what
they say – april 20, 2003(?) go against the checklist and see what has and hasn’t been done
Social continental alliance 1988 santiago, resist implementation of th eFTAA, also develop alternative
Free trade agreements only serve elites and wealthy – more than big business
All for open society and democracy, opposed to those who undermine democratic process and don’t act
through proper processes – Thomas d’aquino, president of the business….
Democracy and economy key in the summit
34 of them 50,000 of us
3000 participants from 35 countries (including or exluding cuba?)
begins with women’s forum trying to reach a real dialogue for years, what have the negotiators been
discussing behind closed doors; another integration – another vision, discuss alternatives
strengthen democracy, creation of prosperity and …. (Chretien)
women’s forum: neoliberal latin America, man were killed… brazil welcomed them in especially
women’s groups, put banners on fence, police approval
solidarity with the women of the world
bush – summit of democracies, freedom embraces entire hemisphere except for one country (Cuba?)
OAS, inter-americal dev’t bank, world bank – importance of their presence
See benefits of trade, more people want to (buy in/it?)
Fear and anxiety vs. joy and fun festival, totally peaceful; summit leaders fulfill your promises;
success is the democracy clause, free trade can protect democracy
Majority of summit leaders – old; majority of summit protestors ???
Competitive, progressive and just – economy and democracy
Summit leaders and fine dining
Used to use chemical irritants and billy clubs… need intermediary weapon to avoid firearms; didn’t
have to worry about fatal injuries, impact weapons, ready to use weapons that can inflict fatal wounds
hope won’t be too many jailed or hurt or arrested.
Only intervene if criminal activity, will create detour if road blocked, don’t want to start a riot and will
only intervene if there is a riot
Want to show that a large mass oppose their logic; humans more important than profits; if we keep
accumulating capital it will all fall apart, time to say it’s enough
Protesters banned together to share information of incoming riot squad; offered choice to protesters on
where to go and what the risks were; protestors smashing media vehicles; started tearing down fence;
broke down barrier; started attacking riot police;
Sympathize with some protestors but not all, against those who are not willing to improve system but
would rather shut it down
Some protestors – cowards, dressed in all black and imposing force on riot police, covering/hiding face
Media were locked out when building closed given pass to be inside, but building locked those
inside could not get out and those outside could not get in… began protesting themselves
Smoke bombs back and forth over fence
Problem lies with local business people who are not sharing values; big corporations are ideal
Summit leaders – social-functional; protesters – social-conflict
Green zone holding leader of protest responsible, 7 month pregnant woman; protest leader argues that
they are staging things just because there is a camera present
Demonstrators well organized, projectiles, smoke; police can’t control the wind; police give order and
only half understand and the other half wonder what’s going on
Police really didn’t have a choice; blame demonstrators, if everyone was peaceful, wouldn’t happen;
roks will be met with tear gas; some come just to make trouble; goal was to demonstrate peacefully
Trade and power lay with where the money is
Violence of demonstrators justified? Why is there violence? Why are they being pushed into violence?
Huge social problem affecting all of the Americas
Did the perimeter broaden?
Signing of the final declaration summit is a great success; for advance of democracy in this
hemisphere; 34 leaders agreed that there wll be democracy and will be essential ;
People united will never be deafeated (protestors)
Riot police come in force and began tear gas, beating people who were united on the ground,
Everything is under control, no danger, stand down, no reason to be tense, it’s okay, no problem
Half-dressed man
Peaceful assembly – Canadian rights
Violence begets violence