The groups and individuals that represent what is known as the "anti-globalisation movement" began in the late twentieth-century. Their purpose was to combat the globalisation of corporate economic activity and to prevent the free trade among nations that might result from such activity.
Members of the anti-globalisation movement have generally seeked to protect the world's population and ecosystem from what they believe to be the damaging effects of globalisation. Support for human rights is another cornerstone of the anti-globalisation movement's platform. They advocate for labor rights, environmentalism, feminism, freedom of migration, preservation of the cultures of indigenous peoples, biodiversity, cultural diversity, food safely, and ending or reforming capitalism. The movement itself includes diverse and sometimes opposing philosophies of the globalisation process, and incorporates alternative visions, strategies and tactics.
Generally speaking, protesters believe that the global financial institutions and agreements they make undermine local decision-making methods. Many governments and free trade institutions are seen as acting for the good only of multinational corporations (e.g. Microsoft, Monsanto, etc). These corporations are seen as having privileges that most human beings do not even have, such as moving freely across borders, extracting desired natural resources, and utilising a diversity of human resources. They are then able to move on after sometimes doing permanent damage to the environment, the culture or the economy, in a manner impossible for that nation's citizens to actually do themselves.
Activists also claim that corporations impose a kind of "global monoculture".
Common targets include the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In light of the economic gap between rich and poor countries, anti-globalists claim "free trade" will actually result in strengthening the power of industrialised nations.
Activists of the movement argue that, if borders are opened to multinational corporations, they should be similarly opened to allow free
and legal circulation and choice of residence for migrants and refugees. These activists tend to
target organisations such as the International Organization for Migration and the Schengen
Information System. In 2003, many of those involved in the movement showed wide opposition to the war in Iraq. Many participants were among those 11 million or more protesters that on the weekend of the 15th of February participated in global protests against the Iraq war and were dubbed the "world's second superpower" by an editorial in the New York Times, The economic and military issues are closely linked in the eyes of many within the movement.
Despite the lack of formal coordinating bodies, the movement manages to successfully organise large protests on global basis, using information technology to spread information.
One argument often made by the opponents of the anti-globalisation movements is that, although it protests about things that are widely recognised as serious problems, such as human rights violations, genocide and global warming, it rarely proposes detailed solutions. Some have also criticised the movement for engaging in violent or destructive protest.