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[26 Jan 2006|04:45pm]

Hey just to let every know. Oxfam has a myspace account. To view the profile, click here www.myspace.com/oxfam. Hope you add Oxfam as a friend.

- Xavier
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WTO HK [24 Dec 2005|12:52pm]

Hi everyone. A wêek or so ago, I read what the WTO had voted for in the ministerial. Does anyone have thoughts? Here's an editorial from TMCnet.
EDITORIAL: Kicking the can in Hong Kong

(Chicago Tribune (KRT)) Dec. 24--The latest round of trade liberalization talks launched in Doha, the capital of Qatar, four years ago was supposed to go like this: Rich countries would get rid of the $300 billion a year they pay to subsidize their farmers. In exchange, poor countries would slash the high tariffs they now slap on imported manufactured goods and get rid of the non-tariff barriers that make it difficult for foreign services to enter their markets.

Sounds like a pretty fair deal. Something for everyone: Poor countries get a competitive advantage in the only trade arena where they're likely to win--agriculture. Rich countries get more markets for their goods and services--machines, cars, telecommunications, banking.

Now, though, the Doha round of talks launched by the World Trade Organization is alive only because the 149 member nations agreed to disagree at last week's meeting in Hong Kong. They kicked the can down the road, putting off until spring tough decisions and changes that must come if the promise of Doha is ever to be fulfilled.

They did eke out some progress. Rich countries agreed to end subsidies that help farmers export their products by 2013--rather than 2010 as the U.S., Brazil and developing nations had hoped. Domestic farm subsidies in the U.S., the European Union and Japan were barely touched. Rich countries agreed to cut tariffs on 97 percent of their import categories by 2008 and to provide more support and protection for poor countries. The U.S. agreed to speed up elimination of the $4 billion it pays American cotton farmers each year--but that will only happen once an overall trade deal is reached.

Given the fact that the talks were on the verge of collapse when everyone arrived in Hong Kong, all this is welcome. But these are baby steps when bold strides are needed.

Rich countries shamefully have been unwilling to buck their powerful ag lobbies. That's particularly true of the EU. At the urging of France, which seeks to protect its "gastronomic sovereignty," as one official put it, the EU fought the 2010 deadline for whacking export subsidies. France, which gets about 20 percent of EU farm subsidies, has the most to lose if they're cut.

But the U.S., which subsidizes its farmers by $20 billion a year, also resists change. Case in point: that $4 billion in cotton subsidies. They have been ruled illegal by the WTO. But the U.S. only agreed to speed up their elimination once the Doha round is successfully concluded.

This group failure means WTO members must redouble efforts to deal with these issues by an end-of-March deadline. A deal must be reached this year to give President Bush enough time to shepherd it through Congress. His fast-track trade negotiating authority expires in July 2007. After that date, any trade pact would no longer be entitled to an up or down vote--and could be nitpicked to tatters in Congress.

If WTO members fail to conclude the Doha round, it may mean the end of multilateral trade liberalization and a switch to more regional and bilateral trade pacts. The U.S. is already hedging its bets, having sealed bilateral pacts with Chile, Australia, Singapore and Morocco. The administration also is developing such pacts with South Korea, Egypt, Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia and others. There's nothing wrong with bilateral agreements, but they are poor substitutes for broad multilateral agreements. They establish different rules and treatment for different countries. This raises costs for producers and complicates global trade.

Nobody ever believed the Doha round would be easy. The low-hanging fruit on trade liberalization had already been plucked in the eight previous trade rounds since World War II. Agriculture is every nation's first industry. It evokes an attachment to the land that is revered long after farming has been supplanted by other industries more vital to growth. But trimming farm subsidies is worth the fight. The payoff is a road to prosperity--finally--for the poorest countries in the world, and expanded markets for rich countries. Something for everyone.

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Happy Halloween! [31 Oct 2004|11:51pm]

Just wanted to say Happy Free Candy Day!
If you want to know more about what I have been up to you have to click on my name to go to my site. I am too lazy to copy and paste right now. Ok night!
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FT Guest Speaker [14 Oct 2004|12:18am]

I am getting so excited about tomorrow. I have invited a guest speaker through Transfair USA. I organized this event to be at my University. The guest speaker is a Fair Trade Banana Producer from Ecuador.

Santa Clara University

Other than that? I'm flying to DC on Friday night to meet up on trade jsutice issues. I will also be stopping by the Washington Semester campus at American University and will be giving a short discussion on Fair Trade and what I have done since completing a research paper on Fair Trade (Fall 2003). I have gotten involved with great stuff like this.

Keeping it real. Other than FT stuff, doing a lot of student government as Associated Students Student Body VP. I just held student elections today. So tired. Also a bit of programing for the presidential debates and registering to vote. Woo hoo!

Yea I obviously need sleep. Night!
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i'm in [06 Sep 2004|01:17am]

[ mood | creative ]

Hi everyone. I checked out for a bit to get a grip on things and a grip on life. I went home for two weeks at the end of the summer and settled in as much as one can in two weeks. I just enjoyed the comfort of home. I'm now back at school training for my social justice position in campus ministry. School hasn't started yet but I will be back in the game soon. I feel refreshed and ready to take everything on. I am going to rock this school this year. Sorry I haven't been in touch. I hope everyone is doing well!!


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FT and Carlos in the News [19 Aug 2004|10:02am]

[ mood | productive ]

"Perhaps like no other product, a cup of this coffee holds the promise of empowering consumers as a force for global good, offering at least a potential counterbalance to unmitigated corporate consolidation and the exploitation of workers in undeveloped nations."

An article on Fair Trade appeared in the Boston Pheonix and Proidence Pheonix today. It features our good friend Carlos! Enjoy...


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Dear Ox family, [18 Aug 2004|07:37pm]

[ mood | comforted ]

Hi Everyone,

I am busy amidst my Resident Advisor training. It's rather depressing to be eating dormitory food instead of carefully chosen and lovingly cooked food.

I met our new Director of Student Affairs and Student Services, though, and she said, not suspecting that there were those wanting to change things in her audience, that she would like to be invited to programs, etc. that we were planning on running. That was a good connection to make.

Sadly, though, I am feeling a bit discouraged because not many people ((RAs) here seem to care much about activism or political issues. During the training I have frequent moments of missing Oxfam (Oxfam as a whole, but specifically our training). I remember writing in my little letter to myself at the end of the program that I rarely felt like I had to say something because there was always someone who was thinking of feeling the something that galvanized my own thoughts/feelings in our group. Not so here. I feel a bit radical again.

I also remember how tired I used to get during out long days, but I can't believe how much I actually absorbed. I already had a heated debate about beet sugar vs. cane sugar with someone. Without any review, I was able to retell the whole story of the Napoleonic era, etc. Wow. Our Oxfam instructors/friends are amazing teachers.

I am also planning on swerving the direction my thesis has been taking to a more political/globalization focus. I am certain that I have never felt so sure that I want to support a cause or an organization like I do Oxfam. (Xavi, could I email you about getting some information for that from you?) The conference truly gave me direction, a direction about which I feel confident and excited.

I have a few stories about people too and I'm sure you'd all like to hear...
I just saw Katie. She is very passionate about fair trade teas and coffees and esp. about the symbol. When I took her to my cooperative store in Ann Arbor, she refused to even look at anything without the symbol and has commissioned me to write to my favorite tea company to get them to get fair trade certification on their organic products. Michael just left for Colombia with Witness for Peace and I am excited and nervous for him. Amolia and Stephanie are going to come see me next week and are doing well as well. Just thought I'd let you all know what I knew about people incase they haven't been keeping in touch!

Alright, 'talking' to you all has made me feel a little less sad and now I am going to unpack so that I don't have to sleep on a cardboard box tonight. :)


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Learning to use these techie devices [16 Aug 2004|01:31am]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Hi Guys,

I am just now learning how to use these techie websites, you all have so many IM, LJ, on line photo albums etc its insane.

Tonight at work I waited on four Brits who were touring California for two weeks. They asked me if I had a passport, I said yes. Then they asked if I had ever left the country and where to. I told them all the countries I had visited. They couldn't believe it, they were shocked and laughing. I told them that I also vote and speak another language. They told me I wasn't like most Americans.

Sometimes I feel like what they are saying is true, and tonight I agreed with them. But then I came home, checked my email and browsed Amy's photo album and I was reminded that there are so many more people in this country that are just like me. It was refreshing.

I worked a farmers market today near Stanford and thought of Jeff there and my friends at Santa Clara. I miss you guys. Looking through Amy's photo album was awesome, it brought back so many memories.

So anyways, I love you all, I miss you a lot and I love reading your emails, journal entries, what-evers. and I especially love revisiting your faces (aka send me more pictures okay?).

xoxo aleah

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Since Change... [15 Aug 2004|10:08pm]
[ mood | happy ]

hello everyone, its sophia... I recently arrived to DC (as of yesterday) Tomorrow will be my first day of work... I am so excited about starting this new chapter in my life. I drove from Shreveport La to Washington DC, it took me two days... about 24 hours. I will have much more to report back when I start working. This is such an exciting time in the world of trade, stay tuned.

peace and love,


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Back from Nicaragua! [14 Aug 2004|07:32pm]

[ mood | excited ]

Wow look at me I am such a nerd, I have two web-journals...
no offense anyone else who does have two.

Anyways I just wanted to say hi and tell you guys about how amazing Nicaragua with USFT was. You may have noticed I was not present the last day of CHANGE...I flew out of Boston at 4am and arrived in Nicaragua at about 11am. After I arrived the next 10 days were jam packed with visits to co-ops, homestays on farms, interesting discussions about Fair Trade, and fun times with a smaller group of students (15 or so, we had lots of visitors come along for the ride)from all over the U.S. I felt we built a great sense of where we wanted to take USFT after the trip. I met some amazing farmers and co-op members that I hope to keep connections with when I work on my thesis on FT. If I had to describe the trip with a road sign it would be those yellow signs warning a steep upgrade ahead because I feel OXFAM and USFT are raising my spirits and setting me in the right direction to overcome a big hill and create CHANGE in this world! Thanks guys. Please keep in touch.

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Choo Choo. [12 Aug 2004|07:51pm]

[ mood | lethargic ]

This is Ravneet. I didn't even remember that I had one of these things! I wish I had more to tell you all (all six of you), but for now I will just say: I love Oxfam!

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New York Times Interactive Election Guide [10 Aug 2004|08:46pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

I found this and thought it was pretty cool and that you guys might be interested.


It has some fun little charts and graphs...enjoy!

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What's Going On [10 Aug 2004|02:40pm]

[ mood | excited ]

Hello from Boston,

First, I want to let you all know we miss you all terribly. Nancy is off on vacation and Claudia and Lauren are going through all the materials from the training especially your evaluations. You all gave us quite a bit to think about. Just wanted to say hi and let you all know what CHANGE is up to.

Now comes the part of the program where we update you all on the going ons of CLs across the globe.

- Gyude and Nina tabled for Oxfam at the VANS Warped Tour in New York and collected around 200 signatures for the Big Noise. Nina plans on collecting even more signatures at the next few Phish concerts here in New England.

- Masha translated the Big Noise petition into Serbo-Croatian and is currently collecting signatures in Yugoslavia.

- Peter is meeting with his Illinois State Senator Debbie Halverson on agriculture and CAFTA.

- Josh painted two huge Make Trade Fair symbols on the backdrop for the Dispatch concert here in Boston.

- Ravneet is researching cotton sourcing for her Cooperative Store in Ann Arbor is hoping to highlight the effects of cotton subsidies and Fair Trade.

- Sarah is planning on asking the Dalai Lama to sign the Big Noise and to encourage other students at FIU to sign it as well when he comes to speak at her school this fall.

- Martin collected 22 signatures for the Big Noise from friends and family already is looking to add even more.

If you have any other news please feel free to let us know what you are up to. As always, we welcome your phone calls and emails. Hope you have caught up on your sleep. We are looking forward to some amazing things. Don't forget Katie's challenge to get 20 signatures for the Big Noise by Friday.

Finally, if you want to order materials online for tabling feel free to request materials through our website.


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[06 Aug 2004|04:26pm]

I miss you guys a whole, whole lot!
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hola! [06 Aug 2004|11:11am]

[ mood | giggly ]

Hey guys! So this is YOUR Live Journal Community. Talk about whatever you want. Use it for whatever you want. Its our informal way of staying connected and keeping up the love from the Manor. Yay! If you have any questions about the LJ, let me know.

love, love, love!

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