Miami Dispatch: 11/12

On the Ground

| November 2003 Issue

MIAMI -- I'm sitting in another gray cement-walled warehouse in yet another city. Already the walls are full of signs, schedules, lists of the scarce housing resources here in Miami, schedules for the workdays and marches and puppet fests planned for the next few days, sign-up grids for staffing and security, a small pile of tarps that will be used to catch rain and to cover the serving area in the parking lot where Food Not Bombs will feed us all. Beautiful young women are sprawled on old couches in the center of the space, busy helpers are arranging informational material on long tables. In the room next door, activists earnestly check their e-mail and write stories on the computers set up in the small Indymedia Center that is already up and running more than a week before the ministerial is due to begin. The weather is balmy-tropical, but I am sunburned from a long press conference earlier today in the blazing noon heat, and suffering deeply from caffeine deprivation. There is nowhere in this building to heat water. But I'm happy. The mobilization is underway.

We've come here to protest the FTAA, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a trade agreement that will be negotiated in a ministerial here in Miami November 20-21.