O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E
by Maya del Mar
On September 13, at the World Trade Organization (WTO) conference in Cancun, the "G22"22 developing nations including India and China and led by Brazilwalked out of the trade talks because the farm policies of the United States and the European Union were impoverishing their farmers, and because the U.S. and E.U. refused to negotiate with them about reducing their enormous subsidies to their "farmers"read multinational agribusiness. Previously groups of Mexican farmers had traveled to visit U.S. family farmers to learn how they were doing. They learned that in the U.S., too, small farms are going bankrupt at a rapid rate.
The farmers plight was dramatized by a Korean farmer, a farm leader in Korea who has traveled to WTO conferences trying in vain to be heard, who killed himself by stabbing himself, calling out "You are killing Korean farmers!" This was not just hyperbole. In fact, many Korean farmers have been quietly committing suicide.
A local attendee said that on the first day of talks he watched a jaunty Robert Zolleck, the U.S. trade representative, stride into the meeting surrounded by his bodyguards. On the last day he watched him emerge, appearing a beaten man. He said that Zolleck had aged ten years in five days.
How did this happen? This walkout by the small guys was possible due to the networks that have been formed since the Seattle battle in November 1999, a protest which also brought the WTO meeting to a close without resolution. Many many peopleand the environmenthave been hurt by the WTOs policies. It has been a slow elimination of the peoples abilities to survive. Workers, farmers, small business people, scientists, and environmentalists have now come together to form a strong international network to fight against this slow strangulation. The millions of people marching all over the world on February 15 to protest the Iraq invasion were catalyzed by that network. So was Cancun.
In Cancun, farmers, students, union member, and activists were not only in the streets, but they were also in the seminars. They lobbied officials, interviewed delegates on independent video, and educated the press. In Cancun for five days, 15,000 people marched and assembled, in an organized, orderly fashion. They came from all over, and included indigenous American groups.
What does it mean? It signals that developing countries, poor people, and hitherto voiceless people can stand up and hold their ground.
Their ground in trade relations covers many fields and circumstances. The focus at Cancun was on the world food supply. What is more important to all of us? Transnational corporations control the entire food chain. This is a threat to the health of people and to the land. An international coalition is being formed to work on the issues important to all developing nationsfood sovereignty, genetically modified organisms, biodiversity, and intellectual property rights.
These issues are important to small farmers worldwide, and are vital to the health of people everywhere .
There is an extensive history, and a great deal of complexity in the WTO food issuesin fact some thousands of pages of fine print. I have been following it as well as I can, especially considering that all information, deliberations, decisions, and disputes are done in total secrecy. I began in 1993 by doing charts for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association) and for GATT (General Agreement on Trade Tariffs, which set up the WTO), both of which were set in motion in 1994. At that time I wrote that we have a new world governmenttransnational corporations.
In the last two issues of Daykeeper, Ive been talking about Ceres, and the importance of food. I knew that the Cancun conference was coming up, that food trade was the focus, and that people would be planning for the conference. Because of the emphasis on Ceres, who is in charge of food, I knew that it would be a big deal.
Ceres is Goddess of the Harvest. She is intimately involved with all food matters and cares passionately about providing a healthy, abundant food supply. When she is thwarted in her work, we find problems in the food supply.
In the heavens, Ceres is playing around with Saturn, who represents the establishment, and Chiron, the maverick who rocks the establishment. This is just what we saw at Cancun. The conference opened on the September 10 Full Moon in Pisces, when both Saturn and Ceres were about to conjunct the U.S. Sun, and Chiron was about to oppose it. Please go into the archives and reread my entry for September 10. Everything I wrote about that Full Moon description applies to the significance of the revolt at Cancun, including the Sabian Symbol:
"All this means that a serious, deep, transformative process is occurring, one which will affect all of society in a lasting way. This process will grow and unfold during the remainder of the month.
"The long-range importance of this time is further shown by the involvement of galactics, e.g. Black Hole Inanna, showing susceptibility to unsuspected shifts in the status quo reality."
Sun was in Virgo during the conference. Virgo is often considered the sign of the Great Goddess, and Ceres is often associated with Virgo. Both Virgo and Ceres are often pictured as a goddess holding a sheaf of grain. Conjoining the Sun was a retrograde Mercury in Virgo, showing a rethinking of Virgos service. And conjoining Mercury was Venus in Virgo, wanting to do loving service.
Mercury turned direct shortly after the conference ended, and the changed circumstances will now be used to approach negotiations in a different way. Since the U.S. couldn't dominate the conference, it will try to make backroom deals with individual nations.
However, there is another roadblock coming up, for which Cancun paved the way. On November 17-21 in Miami there is a meeting of the countries of the Western hemisphere at which the U.S. will be promoting the Free Trade Association of the Americas, or FTAA. Many call this "NAFTA on steroids," because it seeks to privatize and to regulate all commerce among the nations of the Americas, again to the advantage of the transnationals.
The outcome of the Cancun meeting indicates, with near certainty, that there will not be agreement in joining the FTAA. Poorer nations do want genuine market-opening concessions, but thats not what theyve been getting. And now theyve found their voice.
Miami opens between a Lunar Eclipse and a Solar Eclipse. These eclipses are surrounded by intense planetary action, and again we have transformation at a deep, deep level. Eclipses often signal the end of something. (Look for the November issue of Daykeeper.)
But where will Ceres, and her friends, Saturn and Chiron, be then? Saturn and Chiron will still be straddling the U.S. Sun. Ceres will have moved ahead in Cancer to conjoin the U.S. Mercury, to bring her needs to the awareness of the nation. Ceres will be at that location for almost two months, as she is stationing to turn retrograde on November 23. That is like pounding her point home over and over.
Ceres backs up to rejoin the U.S. Sun in February and March, also stationing there during most of those two months. She will turn direct again on February 26, and she will conjoin the U.S. Mercury again during the first half of May. On May 4 we have another Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio opposite the November Lunar Eclipse in Taurus.
Ceres travels through Cancer from August 11, 2003 until May 19, 2004. During that time she has extraordinarily close contact with the U.S. Sun and Mercury. There is and will be a focus on food issues in the U.S. during that time.
In June Saturn conjoins the U.S. Sun for the final time, to bring reality home to the nation. In August Saturn and Chiron have their final opposition, to complete their job of breaking up institutions.
These are the timelines for the breakup of traditional structures in the U.S., particularly relating to food. Saturn on the U.S. Sun means that the nation is growing up, and finding a more realistic place in the world. It may be that U.S. imperialist ambitions are meeting the reality of the people of the world, and will be curbed. Issues around food, so dear to us all, may be instruments of raising consciousness.
(There are other food and food labor issues which are current. One is the burgeoning movement of health food store workers to join in unions. Another is a new emphasis on sustainable, organic, and biodynamic farming. And a third is the cessation of the UN-run food for oil program in Iraq. Ceres has charge of all of these.)