Global Justice Now works with many movements and campaigning organisations around the world, but in particular we are the UK affiliate of the global ATTAC network. ATTAC is an international grouping which emerged in the late 1990s and quickly became central to the alter-globalisation movement – the global network of people’s organisations opposing the ultra free-market policies being pushed by the governments of the world’s richest countries.
Originally founded in France, ATTAC has chapters in many European countries, some in Africa and a few in Asia and the Americas.
Each country chapter operates autonomously, but common campaigning themes have included opposition to free trade deals such as the US-EU deal TTIP, the regulation of financial markets, the closure of tax havens, the introduction of global taxes to finance global public goods, the cancellation of unjust country debts and climate justice.
The Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financières et pour l’Action Citoyenne (Association for the taxation of financial transactions and for citizen action) was founded in France in December 1998 after the publication in the magazine Le Monde Diplomatique of an editorial entitled ‘Désarmer les marchés’ (Disarm the markets). It proposed the creation of an association to promote a tax on financial transactions – not primarily to raise money, but to slow down and control financial speculation.
ATTAC expanded very rapidly into the rest of the world with a global network around an international charter set up in 1999. In the same year, ATTAC chapters were present in Seattle during the demonstrations that led to the failure of the World Trade Organisation negotiations. It was one of the organisations that initiated the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001.
You can find more information about some of the most active ATTAC chapters via their websites, including:
Attac chapters are also active in Argentina, Togo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Japan, Hungary, Poland, Ireland, Switzerland and Finland.
Photo: Demonstration against tax evasion by big banks in Carpentras, France, 2018. Credit: Nicole Briend.