Introduction: Conceptualizing North American Contentious Politics
On 19 August 2007, several thousand people massed bearing protest signs, petitions and costumes on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, to protest the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) and the North American Leaders’ Summit in Montebello, Quebec. The following month, on 6 September 2007, several dozen union organizers from the Teamsters, joined by anti-immigration Minutemen activists, protested at the San Diego, California, and Laredo, Texas, borders, carrying American flags and signs reading ‘NAFTA Kills’ and ‘Unsafe Mexican Trucks’. In Mexico City, on 31 January 2008, tens of thousands of farmers marched and slowed traffic with their tractors, protesting against the entry of cheap imported corn from Canada and the United States. Later that spring, in April 2008, activists from Mexico, the United States and Canada converged on New Orleans, Louisiana, to organize the People’s Summit to counter the North American Leaders’ Summit and the SPP. Are these cases of popular protest futile acts of resistance by disconnected and disparate groups unwilling to embrace the trend of economic liberalization that has swept across North America over the past nearly 15 years? Or rather, do these incidents fit together in a larger and longer-term pattern of sustained challenge and dissent to continental integration under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the SPP?
|Keywords||Civil Society, Social Movement, Global Governance, North American Free Trade Agreement, Civil Society Actor|
|Journal||Contentious Politics in North America|
Ayres, Jeffrey, & Macdonald, L. (2009). Introduction: Conceptualizing North American Contentious Politics. In Contentious Politics in North America (pp. 3–15). doi:10.1057/9780230246898_1