Multinational Monitor

JAN/FEB 2001
VOL 22 No. 1


Taking on Corporate Power: Campaigns That Have Made a Difference
by the Monitor Editorial Staff

Brazil's MST: Taking Back the Land
by Jason Mark

A Clean Sweep: Justice for Janitors
by Carter Wright

Working for a Living Wage
by Jen Kern

Felling the Lumbering Giants
by Jen Krill

Taking on Toxics I: Stopping POPs
by Charlie Cray

Taking on Toxics II: Health Care Without Harm
by Charlie Cray

The Great South African Smokeout
by Anna White

Haiti's Thirst for Justice
by Charles Arthur

Students Against Sweatshops
by Stew Harris

Lilliputians Rising - 2000: The Year of Global Protest Against Corporate Globalization
guest commentary by Walden Bello


Defying the Drug Cartel: The South African Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
an interview with
Zackie Achmat


Behind the Lines

The Corporate Conservative Administration Takes Shape

The Front
Damning the Dams - People's Health Assembly

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Names In the News


Winning Campaigns

Taking on Corporate Power: Campaigns That Have Made a Difference

If there is one complaint that Multinational Monitor readers most often lodge, it is that the magazine is "too negative" or "too depressing." "Isn't anything good happening? Don't people ever win?" we're often asked. In fact, despite the overwhelming might of multinational corporations, citizen campaigns that take on corporate power do often succeed in winning victories. And we do try to highlight these victories, though not as systematically as we might. That's a shortcoming we try to address with this special issue of Multinational Monitor, focused on winning campaigns.

In the ensuing stories, we highlight a wide range of citizen victories, in the United States and abroad. These stories illustrate important and newsworthy achievements in their own right; collectively, they also demonstrate that a new worldwide surge in citizen organizing, conducted in many different sectors and across sectors, is achieving significant victories. MORE>>

Brazil's MST: Taking Back the Land

by Jason Mark

Eron Domingos de Rocha used to work in a shoe factory in the Franca district of Sao Paolo. He earned 220 reales a month there (about US$110) - not enough, he says, to "allow you to survive." Then he met an organizer with Brazil's Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra - MST), who convinced him that there was a better way of life.

Soon Domingos, along with his mother and father, were involved in a land occupation. One early morning, hundreds of miles south of Sao Paolo, in the countryside of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Domingos and his parents, along with about 400 other families, entered and occupied the property of a local rancher. The families moved onto the farm at 4:00 a.m., Domingos says, and by sunrise hundreds of black plastic tents - the signature structure of the MST - were installed on the rancher's formerly fallow land. MORE>>

Working for a Living Wage

by Jen Kern

Few would have predicted, on a cold Baltimore day in December 1994, that the seeds of a national grassroots movement were being sown. That day, after a substantial battle, a powerful labor-community coalition brought to fruition its campaign for a local living wage law, as the city of Baltimore passed a law requiring that firms with city service contracts pay their workers a living wage. That set in motion what columnist Robert Kuttner has called "the most exciting grassroots enterprise to emerge since the civil rights movement."

Today, a mere six years later, there are 53 living wage ordinances on the books in the United States - the political dividend of the impressive efforts of countless community groups, local labor unions, central labor councils, religious leaders, social service agencies, civil rights advocates and others who have come together to force issues of concern to the working poor onto the agendas of city councils, county commissions and ballot elections across the country. MORE>>

Taking on Toxics II: Health Care Without Harm

by Charlie Cray

Environmental and public health activists were astonished to discover in the mid-1990s that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis showed that medical waste incinerators were the biggest source of dioxin in the United States. "The irony that the health care industry should be the leading source of one of the most toxic substances around seemed extremely compelling," says Charlotte Brody, a registered nurse and organizer with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. "It was an extraordinary organizing opportunity because we knew that most health care professionals who knew about the issue would want to do something about it."

Soon Brody and others from 28 organizations - a core of environmental activists, nurses, doctors and public health advocates - formed Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), a broad-based campaign designed to reform the environmental practices of the health care industry. MORE>>

Defying the Drug Cartel: The South African Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

an interview with Zachie Achmat

Zackie Achmat runs South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). TAC's main objective is to campaign for greater access to treatment for all South Africans, by raising public awareness and understanding about issues surrounding the availability, affordability and use of HIV treatments. MORE>>


Mailing List


Editor's Blog

Archived Issues

Subscribe Online

Donate Online


Send Letter to the Editor

Writers' Guidelines