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"Companies Are Running Away From Emerging Democracies"
By CYNTHIA ANN MCKINNEY
Cynthia Ann McKinney, Georgia's first African-American Congresswoman, has emerged as an internationally renowned advocate for voting rights, human rights and the strengthening of business ties between Africa and the U.S. As a state legislator from 1988 to 1992, McKinney gained national attention because of her determined struggle for a fair and just reapportionment plan in Georgia. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by a decisive margin in 1992, McKinney has continued that struggle. Her new district, the Fourth Congressional District of Georgia, was redrawn as a result of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions challenging the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, is one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the southeastern U.S., and includes South DeKalb County which is home to one of the most affluent African-American communities in the country. McKinney is on the Armed Services Committee and the International Relations Committee.
The Sikh Times, Sep. 1, 2000
"Dangerous currents are sweeping American domestic and foreign policy. At home, through a computer program named 'Carnivore,' the F.B.I. has unfettered access to our most private e-mail communications. At the same time the National Security Agency, through its Echelon program, can snoop on billions of our faxes, e-mails, and phone calls each hour. And in Europe, some are alleging that we've put our national security apparatus to work for the benefit of U.S. corporations and to the detriment of our very own core values. It appears that Big Brother is alive and well in America. We shouldn't be surprised at how far unbridled power has gone. We should, however, thank goodness for the men and women of the streets in Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and L.A. For through their actions and dedication, the hope is to harness America's power for the good of mankind."
"The protesters in Philadelphia and L.A. will be characterized as radicals in search of a cause. However, they are courageous, intelligent and determined to change the current system that puts corporate greed before human need. They are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, and most importantly, our future leaders. And just like their predecessors who fought for the abolition of slavery, and for suffrage, civil rights, an end to the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars, and the Yugoslavia bombing, they will face intense abuse, mistreatment, and police brutality. But, they know that any cause worth fighting for comes with a price tag of more than sweat and tears."
"This is a profound social movement. And the young people involved in it are out to change the world. Multinational corporations and U.S. government policies have given most of the world the bowels of economic progress. The world's power and resources have been controlled by so few, for so long, that the current tendency is to see the world's maldistribution as 'normal.' But the young people who are taking to the streets understand that this policy of rape and pillage of the world's resources is as unsustainable as are the very growth behaviors upon which these policies are built. Today's soothsayers of globalization claim that open markets and free trade will spread democracy and freedom throughout the world. However, we are seeing just the opposite. Companies are running away from emerging democracies and are heading to the worst authoritarian and dictatorial regimes in the world."
"Seems that the harsh reality of quick bucks and back room deals with dictators crush the people's dreams of democracy every time. Corporations have no intention of promoting freedom. Nelson Mandela would still be on Robben Island if it were left up to America's corporations. In fact, it was the people of this country - not the corporations - that put South Africa's human rights record on the U.S. agenda. The U.S. corporate community, in fact, protested the embargo and some never abided by it. However, in the case of South Africa, the people were heard over the high-priced lobbyists in Washington, D.C. And that is what now scares a whole lot of people who promote corporate interests over that which is fundamentally right."
"The oppressive actions of corporate power are dismantling the gains hard fought and won by our own labor movement throughout the last century. Now our labor force must compete with foreign workers who work 80 hours a week for pennies an hour. The corporate elite seek to pit worker against worker in a race to the bottom, a race in which the average person can only lose. Well, its time we changed the rules. We need to put our money where our professed values are: fair trade, democracy, respect for workers, sensible environmental standards, and allowing poor countries to grow. That is why I have introduced The Corporate Code of Conduct Act. This important piece of legislation will return the power to the people by holding corporations accountable for their abuses. Corporations will be forced to comply with a strict set of environmental, human rights, and worker rights standards."
"Currently, every American is supporting the immoral practices of U.S.-corporations through millions in taxpayer subsidies. The Corporate Code of Conduct will end this practice of corporate welfare for corporate criminals. Furthermore, it will give the people of the United States and the world an opportunity to find legal recourse against unjust business practices by U.S. corporations. I commend today's 'street warriors' for standing up for what they believe in, and knowing that civic engagement is the American way. Let us all do our part to engage and create positive and progressive, social, economic, and environmental change. We need global justice or else 'Workers of the World Unite!' will become more than just a hackneyed slogan; it'll become the only way to survive."