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Protests Planned at World Bank Development Meeting

NEW YORK, Oct 6 2014 (IPS) - (GIN) – Farmers, indigenous peoples and other social justice groups will be taking to the streets this week in 10 cities, calling for an end to ruinous business-driven development plans for poor countries around the world.

According to the “Our Land Our Business” campaign, millions of people are being thrown off their land because large corporations have been given special rights.

Showing their disapproval, participants will stage “creative resistance” outside the World Bank’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. and in other cities from Oct. 10 to 11.

Over 200 organisations from over 100 countries have signed on to the group’s Our Land Our Business statement, the group said. Other cities planning actions include Nairobi, Lagos, Mexico City, Delhi, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Dhaka, Brussels, and London.

“The World Bank’s Doing Business ranking gives points to countries when they act in favor of the ‘ease of doing business.’ This consists of smoothing the way for corporations’ activity by, for instance, cutting administrative procedures, lowering corporate taxes, removing environmental and social regulations, or lowering trade barriers,” according to the event organizers.

“The ranking system also encourages land reforms that tend to make land just a marketable commodity, easily accessible to wealthy corporations. In the process, they neglect human rights, the protection of workers, and the sustainable use of natural resources.”

Among the planned DC activities is a panel discussion on Agricultural Development with panelists Ruth Nyambura from the African Biodiversity Network, Kenya; Okok Ojulu from Anywaa Survival Organization, Ethiopia; and Ibrahim Sidibe from National Rural Youth Federation & National Coordination of Peasant Organisations, Mali.

“Working for the World Bank’s Social Fund in Gambella, I protested the widespread coercion and forced relocation of people,” recalled Ojulu.

“Today I live in political exile in Kenya. I am protesting the World Bank on Oct. 10 because I know firsthand how their policies negatively impact communities.”

To coincide with the #WorldVsBank mobilization, the Oakland Institute, a leading think tank on land issues, is releasing a new study “Unfolding Truth: Dismantling the World Bank’s Myths on Agriculture and Development.”

In addition, the Institute will also release six new country fact sheets that examine reforms promoted by the World Bank in Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Laos, Cambodia, and Uruguay. “

In each country, the Bank’s policies served as a catalyst for massive land grabs, dispossession, and forced eviction of countless small-scale farmers,” they wrote.

For further information about the event , visit http://ourlandourbusiness.org

 
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