The Maquilas (Assembly Plants) in Mexico are militarised says Klein:

By Armando G. Tejeda
Thursday, May 17, 2001

Madrid. The writer and journalist Naomi Klein is the author of one of the most
sought after books with anti-globalisation movement activists. 'No Logo' is a
detailed document, together with testimonies and frightening data illustrates the
consequences of the practices of the multinationals in rich countries but most of all
in the poorest.

Klein, who was born in Toronto Canada, explained during a press conference in
the Social Transatlantic Forum (Foro Social Transatlántico), that when she hears
the words "free trade" two images spring to her mind: the "militarised"
maquiladoras from the north of Mexico and the detention centres for migrants she
has visited in Australia.

"This new era of the capitalist globalization - she stated-, in which after the Berlin
wall fell we were told there was going to be a universal integration with more
justice, welfare and no barriers. It is exactly the opposite: today we are surrounded
by innumerable barricades, many of them can not be easily recognized, just like
the unstoppable policy of privatization, this separates people from the natural and
basic resources required for their subsistence".

"The other big barrier of capitalist globalization is the social exclusion that
condemns society, in some cases whole countries, to labour exploitation. These
policies not only affect the social order of whole countries but also the integrity of
some continents, as is happening in Africa", said the journalist, who appreciates
the anti-globalisation movement because it attempts to demonstrate to people the
more unpleasant elements of the world.

She added: "Instead of living in a global village, what we have is a global fortress
that creates hermetic walls against migrants, that weaves free trade zones that are
highly militarized, and a clear example of this is the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) or the Puebla -Panama Plan. This is the future that the
governments are offering us: a globalized militarisation that condemns to misery
more than three-quarters of the planet.

"Despite the fact of these virtual walls, there is a new movement of resistance that
attempts to make visible the reality that affects the whole world. That was begun
first of all by the Zapatistas, who cover their faces to be seen", said the writer, who
also considers that "the origin of the anti-global movement is not in Seattle, it is in
January the 1st 1994", in Chiapas.

Regarding the figure of subcommandante Marcos, Klein says that " he only
represents the last phase of the past 500 years of resistance by the indigenous
communities, and symbolizes a new strategy of a fight not against a country or an
army, but against an economic system, neo-liberalism, which is another kind of
fundamentalism".

For Klein there's a recent fact that reflects very clearly what "revolutionary
challenges" should be today: the day the Zapatistas entered the Congress of
Deputies in March 2001. Klein added: " They were not wanting more power neither
were they claiming more control, they were only asking for less power and more
self determination to rule and control their way of living".

In her zeal to report the miserable conditions that neoliberal policies create, Klein
undertook an investigation of the maquiladoras based in the north of Mexico, where
she proved that in the name of productivity workers are under a regime of
military-style discipline.

"Each time I hear the words "free trade" I think of two things: the maquiladoras I can
visit in Mexico, controlled with an almost militaristic vigilance the intention being to
make them more productive. And the detention centres that I have witnessed in the
Australian desert, where they hold the refugees that they detain from ships that
attempt to reach the coasts, full of people from Iraq, Afghanistan and many other
countries. This is the globalization of walls that we have to change".