ATTAC

From Academic Kids

Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC - Association pour la Taxation des Transactions pour l'Aide aux Citoyens) is an activist organization for the establishment of a tax on exchange transactions.

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ATTAC200409_CopyrightKaihsuTai.JPG
an ATTAC poster in the French countryside

Originally a single-issue movement demanding the introduction of the so-called Tobin tax on currency-speculation, ATTAC now devotes itself to a wide range of issues related to globalisation, monitoring the decisions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ATTAC attends the meetings of the G8 with the goal of influencing policymakers' decisions.

Though ATTAC criticises the neoliberal ideology dominating economic globalisation, it is not "anti-globalisation". It supports globalisation policies that they characterise as sustainable and socially just. One of ATTAC's slogans is "The World is not for sale", denouncing the "merchandisation" of society.

Contents

Organisational History and Background

In December 1997, Ignacio Ramonet wrote in Le Monde diplomatique an editorial in which he advocated the establishment of the Tobin tax and the creation of an organisation to pressure governments around the world to introduce the tax. ATTAC was created on June 3, 1998, during a constitutive assembly in France. While it was founded in France it now exists in over forty countries around the world. In France, politicians from the left are members of the association.

ATTAC functions on a principle of decentralisation: local associations organise meetings, conferences, and compose documents that become counter-arguments to the neoliberal discourse. ATTAC aims to formalise the possibility of an alternative to the neoliberal society that is currently required of globalisation. ATTAC aspires to be a movement of popular education.

Critics say that ATTAC constitutes an identity-based reactionary group and that, contrary to that which ATTAC affirms, it does not speak in the name of the poorest. Another criticism is that ATTAC promotes policies that are in reality plain protectionism. Responses to such criticisms would emphasise the global reach of ATTAC, which encompasses many poor countries struggling with the often brutal reality of neo-liberalism. Furthermore, securing comprehensive basic healthcare and education for all the world's citizens are ethically of much greater importance than theoretical worries about whether or not a Tobin Tax would be a so-called 'protectionist' measure.

Issues and Activities

The main issues covered by ATTAC today are:

  • Democratic control of financial markets (e.g. Tobin tax)
  • "Fair" instead of "free" trade, via democratic control of the WTO and international financial institutions such the IMF, Worldbank, EU, NAFTA, FTAA, and G8.
  • Defense of public goods - air, water, information
  • Defense of public social services - like those relevant to health, social services, and social security. For example, it is against the privatisation of pensions and of the healthcare system). ATTAC has also taken a position on genetically-modified organisms. ATTAC also opposes General Agreement on Trade in Services.
  • The struggle to end tax evasion (tax havens) as practiced by transnational corporations
  • Sustainable globalisation
  • Cancellation of the debts of developing countries.
  • ATTAC campaigned against the treaty establishing one constitution for Europe. (Treaty of Rome of 2004).

In France, ATTAC associates with many other left-wing causes. ATTAC supports José Bové.

See Also

External links

es:ATTAC fr:Association pour la taxation des transactions financières et pour l'aide aux citoyens nl:ATTAC pl:ATTAC fi:ATTAC sv:Attac

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