Kathy Haywood interviews Walden Bello of Focus on the Global South
KH. Why did you call for everyone to wear multicoloured rather than white T-shirts to this march?
WB. From my point of view it reflects the rainbow colour
coalition of all the forces in the global justice movement - it shows that this is a global movement. People
should just speak their minds today. Of course we want to 'make poverty
history' but we also want to 'make war history' and even as we demand an
end to poverty we also must demand an immediate withdrawal of troops
Are you disappointed with the lack of discussion on trade in the build up talks of the G8?
Free trade is destroying the developing world’s industry. Monopolised trade is destroying their agriculture. What we want, what we are calling for and what we need is 'managed trade'. Trade should not be a priority over development. Development must come above free trade and above monopolised trade.
But we are not disappointed that trade is not on the agenda; we were expecting that the G8 would not touch trade. Trade, together with capital flows, is one of the central forces impoverishing the world, from which the northern counties and governments really benefit.
I think that with trade you are down to basic issues, so they want to skirt it.
I don’t think anything will come out of the G8 or the WTO on trade. It will come from popular opinion. I think that what the struggles over trade are all about is stopping bilateral agreements, stopping the WTO and derailing the ministerial meetings. It is people’s organisations uniting with the governments of the south against this push for trade liberalisation that Blair, Bush, Burlusconi and the other G8 leaders, with the possible exception of Russia, are supporting.
This G8 is made of governments that push the interests of corporations, and whose policies are making the lives of poor countries miserable.
What do you think of the close relationship between Blair and Make Poverty History?
is trying very hard to associate himself with this movement. The role
of NGOs is to distance themselves from him. He has done this through
celebrity networks, which are also entwined with the justice movement,
and I think it is important for us to point out that this is Blair’s
strategy. I think what he wants to do is deflect attention from Iraq and the British role in