The irresistible rise of global anticapitalism


 Insurrection Grows Like a Swelling Waterfall

In January 2000 over a million Ecuadorian indigenous paralysed the country with protest after the International Monetary Fund demanded the “dollarization” of the Ecuadorian economy as a condition for a loan. The loan was necessary because a single investor named Mark Helie, a partner in a New York investment firm on Wall Street called Gramercy Advisors, refused to agree to a one-month extension of the pay-out on Ecuadorian bonds that he held. He bragged that he was, "the man who brought Ecuador to its knees, single-handed."

CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenas Nationalities of Ecuador), along with other social movements, set up popular parliaments and on January 21st took over the national parliament. With army support they successfully toppled President Mahuad. However, the new President Noboa rescinded on his promises and continued following IMF dictates to peg the Ecuador sucre to the US dollar. The indigenous have continued to protest. This is the CONAIE statement of February 4, 2000.


The fight of the People of Ecuador today is made of legitimate actions recognised by the sovereign power which resides in the People. Towards the constitutional recognition of the spirits of our sacred mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and seas, to maintain our dignity at any cost, we, the people of Ecuador, undertake the Popular Parliaments and the Great insurrection of the towns as forms of resistance to neo-liberal, corrupt, anti-popular and anti-sovereign policies, imposed by the bankers, groups of great economic power, the government which represents them.

On January 11th, after the organisation of the provincial Peoples’ parliaments, we installed the National Parliament of the Communities as an alternate and sovereign form of power where different social sectors are discussing and generating a plurality of governance proposals.

The Indigenous and popular insurrection has advanced from the field to the city.

In Indigenous communities there has been a high level of repression and coercion. Military tanks swarm along the roads out of the communities. All supplies and food entering the communities have been confiscated, along with the vehicles used to transport people and supplies.

The buses travelling between towns have received orders to transfer “any thing, person, even animals, except Indians.” Buses in the military zones are stopped and all those who are dressed in Indian clothes or appear Indian are forced off.

The government uses “sold” Indians on the television to speak against the national leaders, saying any calumny. False documents with racist expressions are spread by the government to pit the non-indigenous population against us. Agents of the government say the insurrection has been suspended, or the leaders have negotiated with the government, and that it is necessary to take a rest, all with the purpose of demobilizing us.

But the Insurrection grows like a swelling waterfall.

We demand the resignation of President Mahuad, for betraying the interests of the country. For having given $1.5bn of the resources of the State to a bank whose owners robbed their depositors to protect these banks and their capital. In addition he has allowed these same banks to speculate with the currency of State which in one year has fallen from 7,000 sucres a dollar to 25,000 sucres a dollar.

“The people that stand outside and say they work in the interests of the poorest people... they make me want to vomit. Because the poorest people on our planet, they are the ones that need us the most,” - Michael Moore, Director General of the WTO, commenting on protesters.

And as the grand prize he has decreed the dollarization of Ecuadorian economy. This means that while the pay is $40, the shopping basket for a family of five is $250. In the agricultural field, inputs are no longer within reach of indigenous and farmers. Will we have to leave the field, then? Cities offer the greater misery to us. The government, although it speaks of its great investments in health and education, has practically eliminated free services. Anyone able to obtain a medical diagnosis, cannot afford medical prescriptions. The prices of medicines are near the black hole in space.

The Dr. Mahuad, who speaks of the right of Ecuadorians to hope and dream, responds to us with 35,000 members of the army and 10,000 police, and a state of mobilization and national emergency, as if we were in war, and there were no longer citizen’s rights. They damage homes.

We cannot walk about on our own earth. They prohibit us from meeting. But we have defied with what little power we have left, with civil disobedience.

For that reason we have advanced to the taking of Quito. The majority we have passed like rain, fog, like wind, deceiving the military controls. Now we are more than ten thousand Indigenous in Quito, making ready to take other cities.

To be true we must be a single thought, a single heart, a single voice and word, and a single fist. We wait for any action in solidarity.

We await your insurrection.