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International Communication
http://gaz.sagepub.com/content/50/2-3/217
The online version of this article can be found at:

DOI: 10.1177/001654929205000207
1992 50: 217 International Communication Gazette
Howard H. Frederick
North American NGO Networking Against NAFTA
Computer Communications in Cross-Border Coalition-Building

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217
Computer
Communications in Cross-Border
Coalition-Building
North American NGO
Networking Against
NAFTA
HOWARD H. FREDERICK
Department of
Politics and
Society, University of California, Irvine,
U.S.A.
Abstract. This article
begins by outlining
John Lockes
concept
of
global
civil
society
and
how it is embodied in the
global non-governmental
movements for
peace,
human
rights,
social
justice,
and environmental
preservation
and
sustainability.
The article then sum-
marizes the role that new
globe-girdling
communications
technologies
are now
playing
within the NGO movements and describes the
emergence
of one
global computer
network
known as the Association for
Progressive
Communications
(APC)
which links more than
15.000 NGO
computers
in 95 countries. As one case in this dramatic
trend,
the
paper
then
examines North American Free Trade
Agreement,
a market- and
government-imposed plan
to unite the economies of
Mexico,
the United
States,
and Canada.
WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS it becomes
possible
to
dissolve the communication frontiers that have divided
peoples
one from
another and to assume
among
the Powers of the Earth the
interdependent
and balanced communication relations to which the
Development
of
Technology
has entitled
them,
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE
SELF-EVIDENT,
that all human
communicators are created
equally,
endowed with certain Unalienable
Rights, among
them the
right
to hold
opinions
without interference and to
seek,
receive and
impart
information and ideas
through any
media and
regardless
of frontiers. This
Right
to Communicate includes the
right
to be
informed as well as to
inform,
the
right
to
reply
as well as to
listen,
the
right
to listen or to
ignore,
the
right
to be addressed as well as to
speak
and the
right
to use communication resources to
satisfy
human
social,
economic and
cultural needs.
THAT TO SECURE THE
RIGHTS,
a
global computer
communications
network has now arisen
benefiting
the Common Good of Humankind
by
loosing
the bonds of the
marketplace
and the strictures of
government
on
the media of communications and
allowing
that
part
of human endeavor
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218
known as
global
civil
society
to communicate outside the barriers
imposed
by
commercial or
governmental
interests.
Interdependence
for
global
civil
society
This is the
preamble
of a
possible
Charter-
of
Communication
Interdepen-
dence for
global
civil
society.
The
growth
of such
interdependent
com-
munication relations has been
greatly
accelerated
by
the advent of
decentralizing
communication
technologies.
Global civil
society
as
represented by
the &dquo;NGO movements&dquo;
(nongovernmental organizations)
now
represents
a force in international
relations,
one that circumvents the
hegemony
of markets and of
governments.
This article
begins by outlining
the
concept
of
global
civil
society
and
how it is embodied in the worldwide
non-governmental
movements for
peace,
human
rights,
social
justice,
and environmental
preservation
and
sustainability.
It describes the obstacles that
non-governmental organiza-
tions
(NGOs)
face from
governments
and the
marketplace,
summarizes the
. role that new
globe-girdling
communications
technologies play
within the
NGO
movements,
and describes the
emergence
of one
global computer
network,
known as the Association for
Progressive
Communications
(APC),
linking
more than 15.000 NGO
computers
in 95 countries. As one
case
study
in this dramatic
trend,
the article examines trilateral coalition-
building
of North American NGOs
fighting
the North American Free Trade
Agreement
(NAFTA),
a market- and
government-inspired plan
to unite the
economies of
Mexico,
the United
States,
and Canada.
I
Communication and
global
civil
society
.&dquo;

In times
past, &dquo;community&dquo;
was limited to face-to-face
dialogue among
people
in the same
physical space,
a
dialogue
that reflected mutual concerns
and a common culture. For thousands of
years, people
had little need for
long-distance
communication because
they
lived
very
close to one another.
The medieval
peasants
entire life was
spent
within a radius of no more than
twenty-five
miles from the
place
of birth. Until the
present age, personal
relationships
relied on
meeting
at a
cafe,
signing
a contract
together,
shaking
hands,
or
interacting
in the
village square.
Today,
of
course,
communications
technologies
have woven some
parts
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219
of the world
together
into an electronic web. No
longer
is
community
or
dialogue
restricted to a
geographical place.
With the advent of the fax
machine,
telephones, global publications,
and
computers,
communication
relationships
are no
longer
restricted to time and
place. Throughout
the
world a vast
population
of
globally
concerned citizens has
emerged
who
daily
follow events in the
news,
acting locally
while
thinking globally.
Today
we are all members of
many global &dquo;non-place&dquo;
communities.
Corresponding
to this
development,
in recent
years
there has
emerged
a
new actor in international relations. He can
speak
now of the
emergence
of
global
civil
society,
that
part
of our collective lives that is neither market
nor
government
but is so often inundated
by
them. Still somewhat inarticu-
late and
flexing
its
muscles,
global
civil
society
is best seen in the
worldwide movement of
nongovernmental organizations
and citizens
advocacy groups uniting
to
challenge problems
that are
substantially
different in
scope
and character from
any
that have faced the world before.
Problems such as the
proliferation
of nuclear
weapons,
imbalanced resource
use,
hunger
and
poverty,
the destruction of the rain
forests,
and the
develop-
ing greenhouse
effect are so
large
in
scope
and have such
geographically
dispersed
effects that
they
confound local - even national - solutions.
Solving
these
problems requires cooperative
effort,
involving large
numbers of
people throughout
the world. Communication is intrinsic to
cooperative
effort,
and
technologies
available
today, properly supported,
can
greatly speed
and enhance communication and its
application
toward
solving global problems. Previously
isolated from one another due to
communication
obstacles,
nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs) using
new
technologies
are
increasingly
visible at the United Nations and other
world forums as their
power
and
capacity
to communicate increased
The
concept
of civil
society
arose with John
Locke,
the
English
philosopher
and
political
theorist. It
implied
a defense of human
society
at
the national level
against
the
power
of the state and the
inequalities
of the
marketplace.
For
Locke,
civil
society
was that
part
of civilization - from the
family
and the church to cultural life and education - that was outside of the
control of
government
or market but was
increasingly marginalized by
them. Locke saw the
importance
of social movements to
protect
the
public
sphere
from these commercial and
governmental
interests.3
From the industrial
age
to the
present,
mercantilist and
power-political
interests have
pushed
civil
society
to the
margins.
In most
countries,
it even
lacks its own channels of communication which are dominated
by govern-
ment and the
marketplace.
Civil
society
has been
speechless
and
powerless,
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220
isolated behind the artifice of national
boundaries,
rarely
able to reach out
and
gain strength,
in contact with its
counterparts
around the world. What
we now call the &dquo;NGO movement&dquo;
began
in the middle of the last
century
with a trickle of
organizations
and has now become a flood of
activity.
Nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs)
today encompass private
citizens
and national interest
groups
from all
spheres
of human endeavor.4
As Dutch social theorist Cees J. Hamelink has
remarked,
the
huge
increase in the number and
power
of NGOs is due in no small measure to
the
development
of
globe-girdling
communications
technologies.5
The
development
of communications
technologies
has
vastly
transformed the
capacity
of
global
civil
society
to build cross-border coalitions.
,
-
Until the
present
era,
communication transaction clusters
generally
formed
among
nation-states,
colonial
empires, regional
economies and
alliances - for
example,
medieval
Europe,
the Arab
world,
China and
Japan,
West African
kingdoms,
the Caribbean slave and
sugar
economies.
Today,
new communications
technologies
facilitate communication
among
and
between national civil
societies,
especially
within the fields of human
rights,
consumer
protection, peace, gender equality,
racial
justice,
and
environmental
protection.
New actors have
emerged
on the world
stage -
the rain forest
protection
movement,
the human
rights
movement,
the
campaign against
the arms
trade,
alternative news
agencies,
and
planetary
computer
networks. From Earth Summit to
GATT,
from the United Nations
General
Assembly
to the World Conference on Human
Rights,
NOGs have
become a force in international relations.
Yet,
as Hamelink has
observed,
the
very powers
that obstructed evil
society
at the national level - markets and
governments -
also controlled
most of the communication flows at the
global
level.6 The continued
growth
and influence of the NGO movements face two fundamental
problems:
increasing monopolization
of
global
information and communication
by
transnational
corporations;
and the
increasing disparities
between the
worlds info-rich and
info-poor populations.
The success of the NGO
movements will be based
partly
in their success in
overcoming
these twin
dilemmas.
Government
monopolies
still control a
huge
share of the worlds air
waves and telecommunications flows. Even
worse,
a handful of immense
corporations
now dominate the worlds mass media. If
present
trends
continue,
Bagdikian
has
predicted, by
the turn of the
century
five to ten
corporate giants
will control most of the worlds
important newspapers,
magazines,books,
broadcast
stations, movies,
recordings
and videocasset-
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221
tes.7 Telecommunications infrastructures and data networks must also be
included in this
gloomy
account.
Why
is this
happening?
The most fundamental reason is that
fully
integrated corporate
control of media
production
and distribution
reaps
vast
profits
and creates
huge corporate empires. Already
more than two-thirds of
the U.S. work force is now
engaged
in information-related
jobs.8
Almost
half the Gross National Product of the 14 most industrialized
countries,
and
one-quarter
of all international
trade,
comes from services.9 Telecommunica-
tions services
grew by
800
percent
worldwide in the 1980s.
According
to
UNESCO,
the total world information and communication
economy
in
1986 was $1.185 billion,
about 8 to 9
percent
of total world
output,
of
which $515 billion was in the United States.1 Growth is this sector is
accelerating
and it is no
surprise
that a few
large corporations
now
predominate
in the worlds information flow. While there are more than one
hundred news
agencies
around the
world,
only
five -Associated
Press,
United Press
International, Reuters,
Agence
France
Presse,
and Tass -
control about
ninety-six percent
of the worlds news flows. I Such
corpora-
tions as
Sears, IBM,
H&R
Block,
and Lockheed control the bulk of the
videotex information markets in the United States.
In addition to transnational control of information
global
civil
society
and
the NGO movements confront the
increasing gap
between the worlds info-
rich and
info-poor populations.
In
virtually every
medium,
the
disparities
are dramatic.
1.
Ninety-five percent
of all
computers
are in the
developed
countries
2. While
developing
countries have
three-quarters
of the worlds
popula-
tion
they
can
manage only thirty percent
of the worlds
newspaper
outputs
3
3. About
sixty-five percent
of the worlds
population experiences
an acute
book
shortage. 14
4. Readers of the New York Times consume more
newsprint
each
Sunday
then the
average
African does in one
year. 1
5
&dquo;

.- ..
5. The
only
Third World
country
to meet UNESCOs basic media stan-
dards for
per capita
numbers of
newspapers,
radio,
and cinema is
Cuba. 16
6.
Only
seventeen countries in the world had a Gross National Product
larger
than total U.S.
advertising expenditure. 1
7
7. The United States and Commonwealth of
Independent
States,
with
only
15
percent
of the worlds
population,
use more than 50
percent
of the
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222
geostationary
orbit. The Third World uses less than 10
percent. 18
8
8. Ten
developed
countries,
with 20
percent
of the worlds
population,
accounted for almost
three-quarters
of all
telephone
lines. The United
States had as
many telephone
lines as all of
Asia;
the
Netherlands,
as
many
as all of
Africa;
Italy,
as
many
as all of Latin
America;
Tokyo
as
many
as all of Africa. 19
To counter these twin trends that threaten to
engulf
civil
society
with
commercialization and
control,
there has arisen a worldwide metanetwork
of
highly
decentralized
technologies - computers,
fax
machines,
amateur
radio,
packet
data
satellites, VCRs,
video cameras and the like.
They
are
&dquo;decentralized&dquo; in the sense that
they
democratize information
flow,
break
down hierarchies of
power,
and make communication from
top
and bottom
just
as
easy
as from horizon to horizon. For the first time in
history,
the
forces of
peace
and environmental
preservation
have
acquired
the com-
munication tools and
intelligence gathering technologies previously
the
province
of the
military, government
and transnational
corporations. Many
people, organizations
and
technologies
are
responsible
for this
develop-
ment,
but one
organization
has
distinguished
itself
by specializing
in the
communication needs of the
global
NGO Movement.
The
history
of the Association for
Progressive
Communications
(APC)
dates back to
1984,
when Ark Communications
Institute,
the Center for
Innovative
Diplomacy, Community
Data
Processing,
and the Foundation
for the Arts of Peace - all located in the San Francisco
Bay
Area near
Silicon
Valley,
California -
joined
forces to create
PeaceNet,
the worlds
first
complete
network dedicated
exclusively
to
peace,
human
rights
and
social
justice.
In
1987,
PeaceNet became a division of the San Francisco-
based Tides
Foundation,
and the Institute for Global Communications
(IGC)
was formed to direct and
support
PeaceNet and its sister network
EcoNet, ConflictNet,
and LaborNet.
Inspired by
the success of these networks in the United
States,
the
Institute for Global Communications
began collaborating
with a similar
network in
England -
GreenNet. In 1987 GreenNet and the IGC Networks
joined together seamlessly, demonstrating
that transnational electronic
communications could serve these communities. The transatlantic link was
so successful
that,
with the
support
of the
MacArthur,
Ford and General
Service
foundations,
and the United Nations
Development Program,
IGC
helped
to establish five more
networks,
in
Sweden, Canada, Brazil,
Nicaragua
and Australia. This led in 1990 to the
founding
of the Associa-
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223
tion for
Progressive
Communications
(APC)
to coordinate this
global
operation.
Today
there are APC
partner
networks in the United
States,
Nicaragua,
Brazil, Ecuador,
Uruguay,
Russia, Australia,
the United
Kingdom,
Canada,
Sweden and
Germany.
There are affiliated
systems throughout
the world
from
Papua
New Guinea and Vanuatu to Zimbabwe and South Africa. The
APC even has an affiliated network in Cuba and can boast of
providing
the
first free flow of information between the United States and Cuba
(through
Canada)
in
thirty years.
Dozens of FidoNet
systems (single-user
bulletin
board
systems)
connect with the APC
through &dquo;gateways&dquo;
located at the
main nodes. APCs
largest computer,
known as
&dquo;cdp&dquo;
or
Community
Data
Processing,
is located in Silicon
Valley,
California
(see
&dquo;Map
of Associa-
tion for
Progressive
Communication
(APC)
nodes and connected
systems&dquo;,
Fig.
1).
Altogether,
more than
15,000
subscribers in 95 countries are
fully
interconnected
through personal computers.
These
groups
constitute a
veritable honor role of
nongovernmental organizations
and constitute the
worlds
largest computer system
dedicated to
peace,
human
rights
and
environmental
preservation.21
1
The APC Networks can now set
up complete
electronic mail and con-
ferencing systems
on
small,
inexpensive microcomputers
for between
$5.000 and $15.000
with software
developed
since 1984 and available to
partner systems
at no
charge.
Users
typically
make a local
phone
call to
connect to their host
machine,
which stores mail and conference
postings
until contacted
by
a
partner computer
in the
network,
typically
about
every
two hours. Aside from its low
cost,
this
technological configuration
is
appropriate
for countries whose telecommunications infrastructure is
poor.
The file transfer
protocols
used between the
computers
have a
high
level of
resiliency
to line noise and satellite
delays,
and,
if an
interruption
does
occur,
they
are able to resume a transfer
right
at the
point
the connection
was
interrupted.
This is
particularly important
for
transporting large binary
files,
when the chances of
losing
the connection over
poor quality telephone
lines is
significant.
Within the
APC,
main nodes at London
(GreenNet),
Stockholm
(NordNet),
Toronto
(Web)
and San Francisco
(IGC Networks)
bring
the
communication flow in from
regional
nodes.
Messages
are then
exchanged
and distributed around the world so that a
message
from Australia can end
up
on a screen in Estonia in two to four hours.
Messages
can be sent
through
these machines to outbound fax and telex
machines,
to commercial
hosts such as Dialcom and
GeoNet,
and to academic networks such as
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224
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225
Janet, BitNet, EARN,
and
UseNet/LTUCP.
The entire APC
system
is
funneled on to the Internet
through
the IGC
Networks,
which are a full
Internet host
(igc.apc.org).
The
price
is low
by any
standard;
in the United
States
hourly
connect
charges range
as low as $3
per
hour.
Simply put,
electronic mail
(or &dquo;email&dquo;)
connects two
correspondents
through
a
computer
and a modem to a &dquo;host&dquo;
computer.
One
user,
lets
say
a human
rights
researcher in
Finland,
uses her
computer
to dial into a local
data network
(analogous
to the
telephone
network but for data traffic
instead of
voice).
She either
types
in a
message
or
&dquo;uploads&dquo;
a
prepared
text
into her host
computer -
in this
case,
NordNet in Stockholm. Within a short
time that
message
is transferred via
high-speed
modems
through
the
telephone
lines to the host
system
of her
correspondent,
a
university
professor
in Hawaii. His host
system
is the IGC
computer
in California. At
his
convenience,
he makes a local call to the
public
data network and
connects to his host and &dquo;downloads&dquo; the
message.
This miraculous
feat,
near instantaneous communication across half the
globe,
costs each user
only
the
price
of a local
phone
call
plus
a small transmission
charge.
Users
may
also &dquo;telnet&dquo; into the IGC
computer
via the Internet.
Unlike
systems
used
by
the
large
commercial
services,
the APC Net-
works are
highly
decentralized and
preserve
local
autonomy.
One
microcomputer
serves a
geographical region
and is in turn connected with
other &dquo;nodes&dquo;. The local node collects the international
mail,
bundles and
compresses
it,
then sends it to the
appropriate partner system
for distribu-
tion
using
a
special high-speed
connection.
In addition to
email,
the APC Networks also oversee about 800 electronic
&dquo;conferences&dquo; -
basically
a collective mailbox
open
to all users - on
subjects
from AIDS to Zimbabwe.22 It is here that
people
can
publicize
events,
prepare joint proposals,
disseminate vital information and find the
latest data. APC carries a number of
important
alternative news
sources,
including
Inter Press Service
(the
Third Worlds
largest
news
agency):
Environmental News Service
(Vancouver),
the United Nations Information
Centre news
service;
Agencia
Latinoamericana de Informacion
(Ecuador,
in
Spanish):
Alternet
(Washington,
DC);
New Liberation News Service
(Cambridge,
MA);
Pacific News Service
(San Francisco, CA);
and World
Perspectives
Shortwave
Monitoring
Service
(Madison, WI).
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226
Global
computer
networks and inter-national relations
The APC Network and other
computer
networks such as the worldwide
university
network known as Usenet are
beginning
to have an
impact
on
international relations. The first
large-scale
influence of these
decentralizing
technologies
on international
politics happened
in 1989. When the Chinese
government
massacred its citizens near Tienanmien
Square,
Chinese
students transmitted the most
detailed,
vivid
reports instantly by
fax,
telephone
and
computer
networks to activists
throughout
the world.
They
organized protests meetings, fundraising, speaking
tours and
political
appeals.
Their
impact
was so immense and immediate that the Chinese
govemment
tried to cut
telephone
links to the exterior and started to
monitor the Usenet
computer
conferences where much of this was
taking
place.23
Another
example
is the 1991 Gulf
War,
when
computer
networks such as
PeaceNet and its
partner
networks in the APC
exploded
with
activity.
While
mainstream channels of communication were blocked
by Pentagon
censor-
ship,
the APC Networks were
carrying
accurate
reports
of the effects of the
Gulf War on the
Third-World,
Israel and the Arab
countries,
and news of
the worldwide anti-war movement. For a movement
caught off-guard,
amazingly
smooth coordination took
place rapidly
across the
country
and
the world.
Competing groups agreed
on common
platforms,
set
synchronized
action
dates,
and
planed large-scale
events across vast
distances.
Computerists
seized the
technology
and made it work.24
During
the
attempted coup
in the Soviet Union in
August
1990,
the APC
partners
used
telephone
circuits to circumvent official control. While the
usual link with Moscow is over international
phone
lines,
APC technicians
also
rigged
a link over a more tortuous route. Soviet news
dispatches
gathered
in Moscow and
Leningrad
were sent
by
local
phone
calls to the
Baltic
states,
then to Nordnet
Sweden,
and then to London-based
GreenNet,
which maintains an
open
link with the rest of the APC.25
In
1992,
the Association for
Progressive
Communications
played
a
major
role in
providing
communications services for
environmentalists,
non-
governmental organizations
and citizen activists
before,
during,
and after
the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment at
Development
(UNCED)
in Rio de Janeiro. The
largest
United Nations conference in
history,
UNCED was the first
global gathering
on the environment since
1972. It was also the first
global
summit to take
place fully
within the
age
of the NGO and
computer technologies.
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227
Connected to the world
through
AlterNex,
APCs Brazilian
partner,
the
main
objective
was to create an
&dquo;internationally
interconnected electronic
information
exchange system&dquo;.26
APC maintained over 30 electronic
conferences on UNCED
documents,
agendas, reports,
discussion and
debate,
even distributed Da Zi
Bao,
or &dquo;electronic wall
newspapers&dquo;
from
the Conference. APCs information
sharing
allowed the Earth Summit
process
to be accessible to citizens around the
world,
thus
providing
broader citizen
participation
in a heads-of-state summit than was ever
possible
before. The Information
Chapter
of UNCEDs
Agenda
21,
as well
as the NGO Forums
&dquo;Communication, Information,
Media and Network-
ing Treaty&dquo;
demonstrated that
networking
and communication had become
an
integral part
of environmental
politics.27
Around the
globe,
other APC networks are
working
on issues of
peace,
social
justice
and environmental
protection.
In
Australia,
the members of
the
Pegasus
network are
working
to hook
up
the affluent 18
percent
of the
electorate that votes Green. Back in the United
States,
EcoNet is
helping
high
school students monitor water
quality
in local rivers. One such
experiment
involved 50 students
along
the
Rouge
River in
Michigan.
When
in 1992 neo-Nazi skinheads ransacked a Dresden
neighborhood populated
by foreigners,
users of the German
partner
network ComLink
posted
news
of the event. Soon Dresden
newspapers
were flooded with faxes form APC
users around the world
deploring
the action.
~
. -
NAFTA,
cross-border
coalition-building
and
computer
.
Networking28
-
All in
all,
tens of thousands of
messages
a
day pass
back and forth within
the &dquo;APC
village&dquo;.
One remarkable use of these new
technologies -
the
trilateral coalition of NGOs
fighting
the North American Free Trade
Agreement -
is covered in the rest of this
paper.
On
August
12, 1992,
the
U.S.,
Mexico and Canada announced
comple-
tion of the final draft of the North American Free Trade
Agreement
(NAFTA).
Pushed
by large
market and
governmental
forces,
NAFTA is
essentially
a constitution for a new economic
superpower
called North
America. There is remarkable consensus at the
top,
so much so that lob-
byists
and trade consultants have
long
believed that the free trade
agreement
now will sail
through
on its
way
toward ratification.
There remains one notable dissenter from this
far-reaching
consensus:
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228
North American civil
society. Opinion polls
conducted over the
past
two
years
have
consistently
found more of the
public opposing
the
treaty
than
favoring
it. Worse
yet,
the
opposition
has increased over time. The more
people
have learned about
NAFTA,
the less
they support
the treat.29
The fast-track course of NAFTA have awakened the North American
NGO
community,
who believe the
treaty perpetuates
the
predatory
model of
development, damages
the
environment,
promotes
unlimited
consumerism,
and further
impoverishes
the
majority
of the
peoples
in all three countries.
This anti-NAFTA coalition is
calling
for democratic
participation
in
defining
the North American economic relations
by generating regional
coalitions of diverse
popular
sectors,
especially
within
labor, women,
agriculture,
and environmental
groups,
all united to
express
a common
voice on the
process
of economic
integration.
NGO
pressure
has for
years
been a familiar
phenomenon
in U.S.-Canada
relations,
but this is a new
dynamic
in U.S.-Mexico relations.
Thorup
predicts
that &dquo;flash
points
of tension&dquo; over NAFTA will emanate not from
national
capitals
&dquo;but rather from within the ranks of domestic interest
groups...
The activities of these
groups
will affect the
ability
of national
policy
makers to
&dquo;manage&dquo;
the bilateral
relationship&dquo;.3o
From the
very beginning
of the
negotiations
for the U.S.-Canada Free
Trade
Agreement
(FTA)
in the late 1980s. Canadian
grassroots groups
were
particularly
active in
establishing
cross-border contacts. The first Canadian
coalition
opposed
to free trade was the Pro-Canada
Network,
founded in
1987 and later renamed Action Canada Network. In the United
States,
two
popular organizing
movements
merged
to
oppose
NAFTA:
organizations
who had been
monitoring
the General
Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT)
talks since 1985: and those
groups
that
emerged
in
early
1991 to
fight
the &dquo;fast-track&dquo; talks on NAFTA. The results of this
merger
were such
groups
as Citizen Trade Watch
Campaign,
the Fair Trade
Campaign,
and
the Mobilization on
Development,
Trade,
Labor and the Environment
(MODTLE).
Leading
the Mexican NGO
community,
which has had a
particularly
difficult time due to
governmental pressures
and the national
political
climate,
is the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade
(RMALC).
This trilateral anti-NAFTA coalition is
using
a
variety
of the
tools,
including
lobbying
and direct
political pressure
on
governments; grassroots
educational
projects
to
sensitize communities to the
impacts
of a free trade
agreement:
direct
pressure
on
corporations
that
pollute
the environment
and/or
whose labor conditions are detrimental to
their workers:
conducting
alternative forums
parallel
to official
meetings
of
government
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229
free trade
negotiators:
and
analyzing government proposals
in order to formulate and
present
viable alternatives.31
1
Another tool that these NGOs have at their
disposal
for the first time - one
which reinforces all of the above
strategies -
is
computer networking.
This
anti-NAFTA coalition is
increasingly
united in an electronic web of
information
sharing
and communication. From
grassroots groups
in border
towns to labor union
headquarters
in national
capitals,
the anti-Nafta
coalition of NGOs is
sharing
information,
establishing
mutual
trust,
and
developing
action
strategies
to
carry
out common
goals.
One
way
to
visualize this network is to examine a
map
of North America with
primary
nodal
points
indicated.
(See
&dquo;NGO
Computer Networking
on NAFTA on
the APC Network&dquo;
(Fig.
2)
and the
Appendix
1
&dquo;Computer
Email Ad-
dresses of Anti-NAFTA&dquo;
NGOs.)
NGO
computer networking against
the U.S.-Canada Free Trade
Agree-
ment
(FTA)
began
in 1987. One of APCs most
gifted
technicians,
Mike
Jensen,
has the distinction of
posting
the first
public computer message
about free trade. He
opened
an electronic conference known as
web.freetrade on November
13,
1987 with these words:
This discussion area has been set
up
to examine the free trade issue. In
particular,
its
impact
on the environment and
jobs
will be
important subtopics.
-
Within minutes Web user Jim Hasler
responded:
Should be lots of interest. Im
taking part
in an information booth
type
of
thing
for the
public being staged
in... St. Catharines. It is set
up by
the CAW.
Getting
lots of
support
from local
politicians.
John Turner
may
be there tomorrow -
Saturday.
Had Jim
Bradley
talking
about the environment and trade unionists
talking
about
jobs.
Jim Hasler.
Since that
time,
web. free trade has
grown
to include 1.3
megabytes
of
information focussed on the U.S.-Canadian Free Trade
Agreement
(FTA).
Canadian and U.S. NGOs use this conference for
sharing
ideas and
resources,
soliciting
feedback on
position papers,
and
gaining
a sense of
community
in an adverse
atmosphere
as
they
confronted the
govemment
and the
marketplace.
The
major suppliers
of information
during
the critical
1987-1989
period
in the Free Trade
Agreement
(FTA)
were: Conservation
Council New Brunswick
(ccnb@web.apc.org),
Canadian Environmental
Law Association
(cela@web.apc.org),
Canadian Environment Network
(cen~a web.apc.org), Energy
robe
(eprobe@web.apc.org), Society
of Gaia
Principles (gaia@web.apc.org),
Ontario Public Interest Research
Group
(opirgo@web.apc.org., opirgont@web.apc.org., opirgw@web.apc.or-).32
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230
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231
With web.freetrade as an
important precedent
and
model,
the email and
conferencing capacities
of
computer
networks have
helped &dquo;jump-start&dquo;
the
present
anti-NAFTA coalitions. Several
important groups
have led the
charge.
Most
prolific
of the new breed of NGO
&dquo;keyboard
warriors&dquo;
against
NAFTA has been the Institute for
Agriculture
and Trade
Policy
(IATP)
(iatp@igc.apc.org),
the
Minneapolis-based
NGO dedicated to
creating
environmentally
and
economically
sustainable communities and
regions
through
sound
agriculture
and trade
policy.
IATP
began
online
publication
of
gatt.news,
which
expanded eventually
to become
trade.news,
an
often-daily compilation
of news and resources on
GATT and
NAFTA,
compiled by
IATPs
enterprising
editor Kai Mander.
IATP also
publishes
eai.news,
which focuses
specifically
on the
Enterprise
of the Americas Initiative
(EAI),
Bushs
proposal
to
expand
the
proposed
North American Free Trade
Agreement
(NAFTA)
throughout
Central and
South America and the
Caribbean,
eai.news covers CBI
(Caribbean
Basin
Initiative),
CARICOM
(Antigua
&
Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica,
Grenada,
Guyana,
Jamaica, Monserrat,
St.
Kitts-Nevis,
St.
Lucia,
St.
Vincent/Grenadines
and Trinidad and
Tobago),
MERCOSUR
(Brazil,
Argentina, Uruguay
and
Paraguay),
and the ANDEAN PACT
(Colombia,
Bolivia,
Peru and
Ecuador).
In addition to these extensive online
publications,
IATP facilitates
several
important
electronic conferences:
trade.strategy,
where trade issues
are
discussed,
events
planned
and actions
strategized; trade.library,
con-
ference is an electronic
repository
of
major
trade-related
documents,
reports,
fact
lists,
analyses, quote
sheets,
and
reports.33
The most
significant
Mexican NGO in this electronic coalition is the Red
Mexican de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio
(RMALC),
also known as
the Mexican Free Trade Action Network
(rmalc@igc.apc.org).
RMALC is
composed
of
labor, women,
peasants,
and environmentalists from Mexico
City
and northern
regions
where the
maquiladoras (foreign-owned plants)
operate.
RMALC
gains immeasurably
from the news and information
transmitted
by
IATP and other
organizations.
As RMALC has
pointed
out,
since the Mexican
government
has virtual control over channels of com-
munication,
information to affect NAFTA must come from the U.S. and
Canada.
Another
important
Mexican
player
in the
networking
world is SIPRO
(Servicios
Informativos
Procesados)
(sipr@igc.apc.org),
a
Mexico-City
based information center. Since 1983, SIPRO has been
training
Mexican
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232
grass-roots groups, especially
Catholic base
communities,
urban
groups
and
unions. SIPROs
goals
are to
help
social
movements,
labor
unions,
non-
governmental organizations,
citizen
groups
and activists in
Mexico,
Canada
and the United States establish closer ties of communication. SIPRO has
been
channelling English-language
&dquo;alternative&dquo; information on Mexico to
APC subscribers in its &dquo;Mexico
Update&dquo;,
found
regularly
in the APC
conference carnet.mexnews. SIPRO
hopes
this becomes a modest but
permanent
news service on Mexican
politics,
human
rights, ecology,
social
movements and other issues.
Moving again
to the U.S.
scene,
another active online
campaigner against
NAFTA is the Mobilization on
Development,
Trade,
Labor and the Environ-
ment
(MODTLE)
(laborrights@igc.apc.org),
which
opposes &dquo;any
effort
by
any
of the three
governments
to subordinate the
quality
of an
agreement
to
its
political
and electoral needs&dquo;.34 MODTLE is a loose coalition of some
200
environmental, labor,
human
rights, development, religious
and
agricultural organizations
committed to
supporting development
in the
North American
region
that is
socially responsible, environmentally
sustainable and based on democratic
processes.
MODTLE
nearly brought
about the defeat of &dquo;fast-track&dquo;
negotiating authority
in June 1991 - an
authority
the Bush administration had said was essential if NAFTA were to
be
negotiated.
The Fair Trade
Campaign
(FTC)
(cmerrilees@igc.apc.org)
focuses on
lobbying
and education coordinated with Citizen Trade Watch. Created in
the wake of the fast-track
vote,
the FTC is
forming
formal and
loosely
knit
coalitions with broad
labor, environmental,
agricultural
and consumer
group participation, nationally
and
locally,
to work
equally
on NAFTA and
the GATT. The
campaign encourages people
to
lobby
on
legislation
to
reverse the fast-track vote and to amend GATT.
Also
very
active online is the
Development Group
for Alternative
Policies
(Development
GAP)
(dgap@igc.apc.org),
a
policy advocacy
organization seeking
to
bring
local-level
perspectives
from the countries of
the South into
policymaking
in
Washington.
It focuses on economic issues
such as structural
adjustment
and trade and has been
working
with the
Mobilization on
Development,
Trade,
Labor and Environment
(MODTLE).
The
development
GAP has served as MODTLEs liaison to similar net-
works in Canada and
Mexico,
the Action Canada Network and the Red
Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre
Comercio,
respectively. Development
GAP uses the networks for some of its communications with these
organiza-
tions and with other trade activists in the U.S. It
publishes
MODTLEs
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233
bimonthly
newsletter,
&dquo;NAFTA
Thoughts&dquo;
in the carnet.mexnews con-
ference. It also uses email to coordinate trinational
press
statements
during
NAFTAs ministerial
negotiations.35
Among
active online labor
organizations
is Labor Notes
(labomotes@igc.apc.org>.
One of the
founding
members of the U.S.-
Mexico-Canada Labor
Solidarity
Network,
Labor Notes is a national
monthly
labor
magazine
with articles
focusing
on current trends in the labor
movement and reform efforts. Labor Notes:
communicate[s]
regularly
with unionists in the three
countries,
as well as with
organiza-
tions
working against
the free trade
agreement
(social movements,
human
rights,
women,
but
primarily,
union
locals).
Online
networking
has been essential to our tri-national
organizing
of
conferences,
exchanges,
and tours. We have
regularly exchanged
informa-
tion about events and contacts. The
updates
on NAFTA have been
key
to our
networking
with the North American Worker to Worker Network.36
Womens
groups
are
very
active in the online
community fighting
NAFTA.
The most active womens
organization
has been
Mujer
a
Mujer/Woman
to
Woman,
based in Mexico
City (mam@igc.apc.org).
MAM
organizes
exchanges, workshops,
tours and retreat to
promote strategic
connections
among grassroots
and feminist
organizations
in North America. It dis-
covered that it could not
operate
without electronic communications:
For our first six
years [
1984-1990)
we
depended upon
&dquo;border
trips&dquo;: every
two
months,
two of our members would travel 24 hours
by
bus to a friends house on the U.S. side of
the
border,
where we would take turns in a marathon of
long
distance calls - to
organize
events and
keep
in touch with
key
contacts. Now,
we are in
daily
coordination with our
key
contacts
throughout
the
region ... 37
Working
with such
groups
as
Mujeres
en Accion Sindical
(MAS)
(esuarez@igc.apc.org),
MAM
organized
the Tri-National
Working
Womens Conference on
NAFTA,
whose
reports
were
posted
online for the
entire
community
to read. In this
meeting,
women shared their work in
developing
new forms of
organizing,
with a
strong emphasis
on the com-
munity,
cultural,
family
and
personal
contexts of women workers.38
Mexican activist Sara Lovera wrote:
I
propose
that an inter-union network be
formed,
based
exclusively
on information
exchange,
a data
bank,
that would allow us to know in detail what is
happening
to each
union,
for
example
in its
negotiations
for affirmative action. We could
strengthen
ourselves
through
resources that
you
have access to... There is no reason for us to not
have
power.
at UNIV TORONTO on June 10, 2014 gaz.sagepub.com Downloaded from
234
Elena B. at
Mujer
a
Mujer
wrote:
I know that this
may
seem far-off for
some,
but I
propose
that we
begin
to
explore
the
possibilities
of electronic communication,
using
modems in order to communicate
computer-to-computer through
the
phone
lines. It is a
cheap
and
powerful
form of
international
communication,
without which we could not have
organized
this confe-
rence.39
Another online advocate for women is La
Mujer
Obrera/7be
Woman
Laborer
(lamujer@igc.apc.org),
an
organization
of
Hispanic immigrant
women in El
Paso,
Texas
seeking
to obtain
genuine
economic,
political,
and
social
power. Claiming
that NAFTA would turn the &dquo;teirible situation&dquo; for
women workers
along
the border into a
&dquo;disaster&dquo;,
the
organization
is
calling
on other
groups
to
sponsor protest
actions on
September
29,
1992 to
draw attention to NAFTA.4
Drawing
on their
years-long experience networking
on
EcoNet,
environ-
mental
organizations
are
very
active
online,
from Friends of the Earth
(foedc@igc.apc.org
and
foe@web.apc.org)
and Earth Island Institute
(earthisland@igc.apc.org),
to the Environmental Defense Fund
(edf@igc.
apc.org),
Environmental Health Coalition
(dtakvorian@igc.apc.org),
the
Environment and
Democracy Campaign (jmcalevey@igc.apc.org),
the
Natural Resources Defense Council
(nrdc@igc.apc.org),
and the Sierra
Club
(scdcl@igc.apc.org).
One
organization making special
contributions to
the online information base in Arizona Toxics Information
(aztoxics@igc.
apc.org),
a
non-profit
environmental
advocacy
and
policy organization
based in
Bisbee,
just
north of the Arizona-Mexico border.41
Another
important
member of the online environmental coalition
working against
NAFTA is the Pesticide Action Network North America
Regional
Center
(panna@igc.apc.org),
one of a worldwide network of 300
organizations
in over 60 countries
organizing against
the harmful uses of
pesticides
and towards safer alternatives. PAN is a leader in the use of
computer technologies
in that it
provides
information and
support
services
to other PAN
regions
to assist in their area-based
campaigns
as well as
international actions. As PAN writes:
We have been
using
online communications for several
years...
The
halting
of the
Chiapas medfly spraying,
for
example,
was
accomplished partly
with the use of health and
environmental information our office
supplied
to
Greenpeace
Mexican Toxics
Campaign,
RAPAM,
and the Association of Mexican
Ecological
Farmers,
who then used it in
meetings
and
press
releases in
Chiapas.4~
There are countless other
examples
of
people-to-people
electronic network-
at UNIV TORONTO on June 10, 2014 gaz.sagepub.com Downloaded from
235
ing
between the U.S. and Mexico.
Amnesty
International uses the APC
networks to
exchange
information on Mexican human
rights.
Human
Rights
Watch uses the networks to communication with a &dquo;host of human
rights
and other
NGOs,
church
groups&dquo;.43
Catholic
lay
missionaries are
working
in rural Mexico to establish
production cooperatives
and use the APC
networks in
hopes
of
creating opportunities
for new
marketing
and
produc-
tion
arrangements.44
A
Georgia anthropologist
uses the APC networks to
communicate with research
colleagues
and to obtain current information on
indigenous groups
and
ecological questions
for her classes.45 A Phoenix
activist
gathers
information on Mexico and trade issues from the car-
net.mexnews,
communicates with Labor Notes and the North American
Worker-to-Worker Network
through
PeaceNet.46
Toward the future: The
growth
of a Mexican NGO network
Although computer networking
is now
highly developed
in Canada and the
United
States,
Mexican NGOs are
only
now
connecting
to the online
universe. One of the
greatest impediments
is the lack of a Mexican network
dedicated to the needs of NGOs.
The
original
idea of a Mexican node arose at the 1988 Latin American
Studies Association conference when Joanne
Scott,
then-head of IGCs
Central America Resource Network
(CARNET)
spoke
with David
Barkin,
professor
of economics at the Universadad Autonoma
Metropolitana,
who
had
long
worked with Mexican
community development organizations.
Scott and Barkin felt that Mexico was
ripe
for electronic
networking.
It had
a
large
NGO
community,
a
well-developed
X.25
packet-switching
network
(Telepac),
and a
high
number of
personal computers
for a
developing
country.
Alternatives such as
SECOBI,
run
by
the Mexican Science
Foundation
(CONACYT),
were
very expensive
and the Mexican univer-
sities Bitnet and Internet connections were
on-again off-again.
Barkin
proposed
to
promote
the idea
among
Mexican NGOs toward the
goal
of
establishing
APC node.47
During
this
period,
in
anticipation
of
establishing
an
independent
Mexican
network,
Barkin was able to establish a
&dquo;joint
account&dquo; with
Telepac
for Mexican NGOs to connect
directly
to PeaceNet and EcoNet in
San Francisco. He called the
system
PAXMEX. From 40-50 cities in
Mexico without
long-distance charges,
more than 85 NGOs and citizens
have
joined
the IGC networks.This
system
uses the Mexican
Telepac
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236
system
to connect to
SprintNet
in the USA to address the IGC
system.
More than two
years
later,
the idea of an
independent
Mexican network
was
finally coming
to fruition. In
February
1991,
NGOs
gathered
to
lay
the
groundwork
for a
system
in Mexico.
Groups represented
included: Ser-
vicios Informativos Procesados
(SIPRO),
Centro de Estudios
Ecumenicos,
Equipo
Pueblo,
Mujer
a
Mujer,
Union de Vecinos
y
Damnificados 19 de
Septiembre,
Casa
y
Ciudad
(actually
home of the Mexican
node),
Comite
del
DF,
Red
Inter-Institucional,
and Comite de Enlace de
Convergencia.
With
great expectations,
the decision was made to launch a low-tech
&dquo;single-user&dquo; system
until
growth
necessitated a more
powerful computer
and several
phone
lines. Luc
Verheyen
of SIPRO
wrote,
We think that this will be a
very important
instrument for us in the future.
Thinking
about
the Free Trade
Agreement
and the
opposition
in the three countries
against
this anti-
people arrangement
we think that
many groups
and
organizations
in the U.S. and Canada
should have an interest in
non-governmental
information about Mexico.4g
SIPRO then convened an even
larger meeting
of Mexican NGOs with the
purpose
of
creating
a Mexican NGO
computer
communications network.
Groups attending
included: Un16n de Colonos
y
Solicitantes de Vivienda de
Veracruz
(CIDIU-UCISVER),
Consejo Regional
de Intercambio
Ecum6nico
(CRIE),
Centro de Estudios Ecum6nico
(CEE),
Instituto de
Capacitaci6n para
la Democracia
(ICIDAC),
Mujer
a
Mujer,
APIS
a.c.,
Comisi6n Mexicana de Promoc16n
y
Defensa de los Derechos
Humanos,
Casa
y
Ciudad,
Fronteras Comunes
(CECOPE),
Centro de
Technologia
en
Electr6nica
y
Informatica
(CETEI),
Grupo
de Estudios Ambientales
(GEA),
Frente Aut6ntico del
Trabajo
(FAT),
Centro de Ecodesarrollo
(CEDODES),49
Centro de Estudios
y
Di
logo,
and ENLACE.
They
decided to
begin
an
experimental
network on
April
1 for a six-month evaluation
period.
The
node would be located at Centro de Estudios Ecum6nico
(CEE),
which had
offered the use of a
computer
and a
telephone
line.s The
managing
team
included
SIPRO,
Mujer
a
Mujer,
Casa
y
Ciudad,
Centro de Estudios
Ecum6nico
(CEE)
and
Consejo Regional
de Intercambio Ecum6nico
(CRIE).
On
April
11,
1991 that
experimental system
went online as a BBS
using
WWIV software
operating
16 hours
per day
from 16.00 to 9.00
hours,
later
expanding
to 24 hours when a new
telephone
line was installed. About
twenty
NGOs
began using
the
network,
including
Centro de Estudios
Ecum6nico
(CEE),
Consejo Regional
de Intercambio Ecum6nico
CRIE,
Equipo
Pueblo,
Fr6te Autentico del
Trabajo,
Casa
y
Ciudad,
Grupo
de
Estudios Ambientales
(GFA),
Centro de
Investigaci6n
en Derechos
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237
Humanos
para
America Latina
(CIDHAL).
Mujer
a
Mujer y
SIPRO.51
1
By April
1992 there still was no formal
group promoting
the Mexican
network so
decision-making
about the networks
growth
was difficult. The
groups legal
status was still undefined,
though
it was
loosely
affiliated with
the
Convergencia
coalition of some 150 NGOs.
Financing
was still uncer-
tain,
even for
paying
the local
telephone
line. The BBS software was
incompatible
with
IGC,
making
the
exchange
of information
very
difficult.
Also technical
problems prevented
a firm X.25 connection with IGC
through Telepac.52
One of the founders of this
experimental
effort, Adolfo
Dunayevich,
believed that the
experience
had been
&dquo;weak,
with
poor
action
in
public
conferences and some email
(about 2
or 3
per day)&dquo;.
About 60
users
paid
no
monthly
fees,
only
a
subscription
donation,
enough only
to
pay
the
monthly telephone
line fee and the PC host loaned
by Dunayevich.
All of this is about to
change
for the better due to two
developments.
A
small
grant
of $6.500 from the Fundac16n de
Apoyo
a la Comunidad
may
make a
difference,
allowing
the node to
buy
a 486 DOS
computer,
do
fundraising
and
promotion,
and most
importatly
have a
daily
link to IGC.
Dunayevich
believes the Mexican nets needs 150 subscribers
paying
about
$15
monthly
to be self-sufficient. 53 Those subscribers
may
soon be there.
With a
planning grant
from the Mexico
City
office of the Ford
Foundation,
a Mexican NGO communcations network
may
soon be a
reality.
Called the
Red Universitaria de Comunicaci6n
Ejidal,
the
concept
is to establish a
network of
university-based
researchers and
ejido
members
trading
informa-
tion on Mexican
ejidos
within the new
competitive
environment created
by
NAFTA.54 ,
:
The
partner
networks of the Association for
Progressive
Communications
have built a
truly global
network dedicated to the free and balanced flow of
information. The APC Networks are
trying
to make an end-run&dquo; around
the information
monopolies
and to construct a
truly
alternative information
infrastructure for the
challenges
that lie ahead.55
By providing
a
low-cost,
appropriate
solution for
nongovernmental organizations
and
poor
countries,
they
are
attempting
to civilize and democratize
cyberspace. They
also
provide
an
appropriate way
to
bridge
the
gap
between the info-rich and the
info-poor.
Although
the
growing
anti-NAFTA
computer
network is still
fragile,
it
has nevertheless
helped
in the
process
of coalition self-identification,
solidification of ties
among
NGOs with diverse
agendas, exchange
of
valuable
information,
planning
of
joint strategies,
and
agreement
on
policy
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238
statements -
among organizations spread
out across thousands of miles of
North American
territory.
As we
approach
the third
millennium,
com-
munications
technologies
such as the Association for
Progressive
Com-
munication
(APC)
networks have accelerated the rise of
global
civil
society
and the NGO movements. As
Thorup
has
rightly prophesied,
these net-
works and the coalitions
they engender
also lead to the &dquo;transnationalization
of civil
participation,
[which]
may
serve
ultimately
to ameliorate
power
asymmetries...&dquo;6
This
process
will have
important political,
social and
strategic implications
for
coalition-building
and
governance
around the
world as issues become less
nationally
based and more based in class
and/or
interest
groups.
~
...
Notes
.
1. See also Howard H.
Frederick,
"Computer
Networks and the
Emergence
of Global
Civil
Society:
The Case of the Association for
Progressive
Communications
(APC)
Globalizing
Networks:
Computers
and International
Communication,
Linda Harasim
and Jan Walls
(eds.) (MIT Press,
forthcoming). Abridged
version
appeared
as
"Electronic
Democracy", Edges:
New
Planetary
Patterns
[Canadian
Institute of
Cultural
Affairs] 5 (1.1992):
12-17.31-35.
2. Howard H.
Frederick,
Global Communication and International Relations, foreword
by
George
Gerbner.
(Belmont.
CA:
Wadsworth, 1993)
(appeared August
1992).
pp.
270-274.
3. John
Locke,
The Second treatise on Government: An
Essay Concerning
the True
Original,
Extent,
and End of Civil Government. in: John Locke,
Two Treatises
of
Government, Peter Laslett
(ed.
(Cambridge: Cambridge university
Press),
pp.
265-428.
See
especially Chapter
VII. "Of Political or Civil
Society", pp.
318-330.
4. There are two
types
of international
organizations: intergovernmental
and non-
governmental. Intergovernmental organizations
(IGOs)
are
comprised
of official
representatives
of national
governments
and liberation
organizations. Nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs)
encompass private
citizens and national interest
groups.
There
has been a tremendous
growth
in the number of international
organizations.
See
International
Encyclopedia
of
Communications,
s.v. "International
Organizations":
and
Union of International
Associations,
Yearbook of International
Organizations,
1987-188
(Munich:
K. G.
Saur,
yearly).
5. Cees J.
Hamelink,
"Global Communication: Plea for Civil Action". in:
Hofsten,
B. V.
(ed.).
Informatics
in Food and
Nutrition, Stockholm,
Royal Academy
of Sciences.
1991,
pp.5-10.
See
also,
Cees J.
Hamelink,
"Communication: The Most Violated
Human
Right",
Inter Press Service
dispatch, May
9,
1991.
6.
Hamelink,
ibid.
7. Ben H.
Bagdikian,
"The Lords of the Global
Village",
The
Nation,
June
12, 1989,
p.
807.
8. "U.S. International Communication and Information
Policy",
Gist
(Department
of
at UNIV TORONTO on June 10, 2014 gaz.sagepub.com Downloaded from
239
State),
December
1988,
p.
1.
9. Mehcroo
Jussawalla,
"Can We
Apply
New Trade Rules to Information Trade?" in:
International Information Economy
Handbook,
G. Russell
Pipe
and Chris Brown
(eds.)
(Springfield,
VA: Transnational Data
Reporting
Service, 1985),
p.
11.
10. World Communication
Report
(Paris: UNESCO, 1989),
p.
83.
11.
Mowlana,
Global
Information, p.
28: International Journalism
Institute,
The Mass
Media in the World, 1987,
p.
40,
citing
UNESCO, World Communication
Report
(draft), (Paris:
UNESCO
1988),
p.
1.54:
UNESCO,
World Communication
Report
(Paris:
UNESCO
1989),
pp.
136-137.
12.
Joseph
N. Pelton. "Toward an
Equitable
Global Information
Society",
in: International
Information Economy
Handbook,
Richard
Pipe
and Chris Brown
(eds.)
(Springfield,
VA: Transnational Data
Reporting
Service, 1985),
p.
95.
13. UNESCO Statistical Yearbook
(Paris: UNESCO, 1990),
p.
6-13.
14. Hamid
Mowlana,
Global
Information
and World Communication: New Frontiers in
International Relations
(New
York:
Longman,
1986),
p.
77.
15. Mass Communication Media in the World
(4, 1990):
6.
16. Howard H.
Frederick,
Global Communication and International Relations
(Foreword
by George
Gerbner), (Belmont,
CA:
Wadsworth, 1993)
(appeared August
1992),
p.
64.
17. Howard H.
Frederick,
Global Communication and International Relations
(foreword
by
George
Gerbner), (Belmont,
CA:
Wadsworth, 1993)
(appeared August
1992),
p.
71.
18. International Telecommunication
Union,
Twenty-ninth Report by
the International
Telecommunication Union on Telecommunication and the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space.
Booklet No. 38
(Geneva:
International Telecommunication Union, 1990)
and
World Communication
Report
(Paris: UNESCO, 1989),
p.
61.
19. Howard H.
Frederick,
Global Communication and International Relations.
(foreword
by George
Gerbner), (Belmont,
CA: Wadsworth, 1993)
(appeared August
1992),
p.
73.
20. With seed
money
from
Apple Computer
and the San Francisco Foundation, in 1984 the
Farallones Institute had created EcoNet to advance the cause of
planetary
environmen-
tal
protection
and
sustainability.
Farallones transferred EcoNet to the Institute for
Global Communications in 1987.
ConflictNet,
dedicated to
serving
nonviolent conflict
resolution,
dispute
mediation and
arbitration,
joined
IGC in 1990. IGCs newest
network is
LaborNet,
which
joined
in 1992.
21. Member networks of the Association for
Progressive
Communications:
AlterNex, IBASE, Rio de
Janeiro, BRAZIL, (serves Brazil,
South
America).
Chasque,
Instituto del Tercer Mundo, Montevideo,
URUGUAY
(serves
Uruguay).
ComLink, Hannover,
GERMANY
(serves Germany,
Austria, Switzerland,
North
Italy,
Ex-Yugoslavia).
EcuaNex, Intercom, Quito,
ECUADOR
(serves Ecuador).
GlasNet, Moscow,
RUSSIA
(serves Russia,
Commonwealth of
Independent
States
countries).
GreenNet, London,
ENGLAND
(serves
Great
Britain,
Western
Europe,
Africa, Asia).
Institute for Global Communications
(PeaceNet, EcoNet, ConflictNet, LaborNet).
San
Francisco, USA
(serves
United
States, Mexico).
Nicarao, CRIES,
Managua,
NICARAGUA
(serves
Nicaragua,
Central
America).
NordNet, Johanneshov,
SWEDEN
(serves Scandinavia,
Baltic
States).
Pegasus
Networks,
Queensland,
AUSTRALIA
(serves Australia,
South
pacific,
South-
at UNIV TORONTO on June 10, 2014 gaz.sagepub.com Downloaded from
240
East
Asia).
Web. Nirv
Centre, Toronto,
CANADA
(serves Canada).
22. A
complete
list of conferences is available from
igcoffce@igc.apc.org.
23. John S.
Quarterman,
The Matrix:
Computer
Networks and
Conferencing Systems
Worldwide
(Bedford,
MA:
Digital
Press. 1990),
pp.
xxiii-xxiv.
24. See Howard H.
Frederick,
"Breaking
the Global Information Blockade
Using
the
Technologies
of Peace and War".
Impact
(Boston
Computer Society), January
1992,
pp.
14-17; "The
Technologies
of Peace and War".
Impact
(Boston
Computer Society),
November
1991,
pp.
13-16;
"Peacetronics:
Computer Networking
for Peace and human
Rights".
International Peace Research Newsletter 23
(2, 1991):
55-56. See also The
GulfWatch
Papers,
The
Edinburgh
Review,
April
1992.
May
be obtained from 22
George Square, University
of
Edinburgh,
EH8
9LF,
Great Britain. Fax +44 31 662
0053. 5.95
including
surface
postage
worldwide.
25.
Rory
J.
OConnor,
"Computers staged
news
coup",
San Jose
(California)
Mercury
News,
August
25,1991,
Section F,
Page
1.
26. Carlos
Afonso, "ISP/Rio -
a final
report",
Written 6:33
pm Sep
6. 1992
por
cafonso em
ax:en.unced.general.
27. The
"Communication, Information,
Media and
Networking Treaty began
with the
words: "The
right
to communicate
freely
is a basic human
right
and a
necessity
for
sustainable
development".
More than half the
signers
were members of the APC
Networks. "Earth Summit NGO
Comm/Info
Treaty",
Written
by
H. Frederick in media
issues 4:22
pm Jul 27,
1992.
28.
Throughout
this article I
distinguish
between "coalitions" and "networks". Cross-border
coalitions are
joint
activities
by non-governmental organizations
(NGOs)
across
national frontiers. Networks are limited to communications
systems
that
exchange
news
and information between
computers.
I do not use the word "network" to refer to
coalitions or other
organizational
structures.
29.
Guy Molyneus
and
Ruy
Teixeira. "The
Dirty
Little Trade Secret:
Everyone
Seems to
Like the North American Trade
Agreement - Except
the
Public",
Los
Angeles
Times,
September
27, 1992,
p.
M1.
30.
Cathryn Thorup,
"The Politics of Free Trade and the
Dynamics
of Cross-Border
Coalitions in U.S.-Mexican Relations". Columbia Journal
of
World
Business,
Summer
1991, p. 15.
31. Ricardo Hernandez and Edith
Sanchez, (eds.)
Cross-Border Links: A
Directon, of
Organizations
in Canada, Mexico, and the United States
(Albuquerque,
NM: Inter-
Hemispheric
Education Resource Center 1992),
p.
8.
32.
Despite
the
huge
amount of
activity,
it is
important
to
point
out that Canadas
leading
coalitions
against
the
FTA,
Action Canada Network and Canadian Centre for
Policy
Alternatives,
have never
participated
in these online activities. In the United
States,
neither the Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal
(FIRR)
nor the Coalition
for Justice in the
Maquiladoras
(CJM)
is online.
33. IATP also
supports
several conferences devoted to sustainable
agriculture
issues:
susag.news, susag.library
and
susag.calendar.
34. Source: "Citizens Networks From Three Countries
Challenge
NAFTA Process and
Prospective
Accord". MODTLE
STATEMENT,
August
3,
1992. TRADE.NEWS 8-3-
92 Written 1:17
pm Aug
3,
1992
by
kmander in
cdp:
trade.news.
at UNIV TORONTO on June 10, 2014 gaz.sagepub.com Downloaded from
241
35.
dgap
Sun
Sep
20 09:27:53 1992.
36. labornotes Mon
Sep
14 07:47:41 1992.
37.
Mujer
a
Mujer,
"Women and Electronic
Networking
in Mexico".
Paper presented
at
Conference on Information
Technology,
Electronic
Networking
and the Labour
Movement,
GMB
College,
Manchester,
April
12-14, 1992,
cited in Peter
Waterman,
International Labour Communication
by Computer:
The
Fifth
International?
(The
Hague:
Institute of Social
Studies, 1992),
p.
41.
38. Informal Memoire: Tri-National
Work,
Written 6:49
pm
Mar
5,
1992
by
mam in
cdp:
web.freetrade.
39.
Working
Womens
Conference,
Part
3,
Written 6:53
pm
Mar
5,
1992
by
mam in
cdp:web.freetrade.
40. Source: LA MUJER OBRERA PRESS
RELEASE,
August
7,
1992. TRADE.NEWS 8-
31-92,
Written 8:28 am
Aug
31,
1992
by
kmander in
cdp:trade.news.
41. See
especially,
Michael
Gregory
(Director
of Arizona Toxics
Information)
Environ-
ment,
Sustainable
Development,
Public
Participation
and the NAFTA: A
Retrospective,
Journal of Environmental Law and
Litigation, August
1992.
42.
panna Tue Sep
15 14:25:25 1992.
43. hrwatchdc Fri
Sep
18 05:59:24 1992.
44. mcarota Sun
Sep
13 16:45:12 1992.
45. mrees Wed
Sep
16 18:37:56 1992.
46.
aenglish
Thu
Sep
17 19:35:34 1992.
47.
jscott igc.intlcomm
7:31
pm Apr
5,
1988.
48.
sipro Tue Feb
19 18:53 PST 1991.
49. CECOPE was
subsequently liquidated
in a
political coup.
50. The BBS was for a about a month located in
Equipo
Pueblo,
then for two months in
Texto e
Imagen,
a small
company
dedicated to
desktop publishing
in
grassroots
publications.
When Texto e
Imagen
moved in with Casa
y
Ciudad,
the mode moved
with it.
51.
sipro Fri May 31 11:18 PDT 1991.
52.
agduna apc.mexico
11:12 am
Apr
15,
1991.
53.
agduna
tech.fido 9:25 am Jul
20,
1992: and
agduna
Tue
Sep
15 17:07:34 1992.
54. srobinson Fri
Sep
18 22:26:04 1992.
55.
"Breaking
the Global Information Blockade
Using
the
Technologies
of Peace and
War".
Impact
(Boston
Computer Society), January
1992,
pp.
14-17.
56.
Cathryn Thorup,
"The Politics of Free Trade and the
Dynamics
of Cross-Border
Coalitions in U.S.-Mexican
Relations",
Columbia Journal of World
Business,
Summer
1991, p. 15.
at UNIV TORONTO on June 10, 2014 gaz.sagepub.com Downloaded from