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Seattle WTO Collapsed 14 Years Ago: Lessons For Today


December 3, 2013 – Today government officials and corporate lobbyists will meet for the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial. It is exactly 14 years after the global 1%’s “plan A” to use the WTO further concentrate their power in wealth collapsed on Dec 3, 1999 amidst a “state of emergency” suspending basic rights, teargas in and National Gaurd troops in the streets and jails full of hundreds of people (and surrounded by hundreds more supporters) from North Americas emerging global justice movement. read more

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Seattle WTO Shutdown 1999 to Occupy: Organizing to Win 12 Years Later

Source: Indypendent

It’s 3 a.m. on Nov. 30 in San Francisco. Riot cops just raided Occupy Philly and Occupy Los Angeles tonight and the live streams are running on my laptop. We are preparing for a possible raid of Occupy San Francisco tonight or tomorrow. I’m talking back and forth with other occupiers and labor, community and faith allies, deciding whether to call for a mass mobilization tonight and to prepare for mass civil disobedience.

On the same date twelve years earlier thousands of us got up before dawn to blockade and shut down the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. As dusk fell the city declared a “state of emergency” in the downtown section of the city and drove people out with volleys of teargas and charges of riot cops. The next day, Dec. 1, thousands of us defied their martial law and took to the streets and hundreds were arrested and attacked. People stayed in the streets all week until Dec. 3, when the WTO talks collapsed as representatives from poor countries, bolstered by public rebellion in the streets and pressure from movements in their home countries, refused to buckle under. It feels like a similar moment now with political space and possibility breaking wide open — a time of public and global uprising — only bigger. read more

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11 Years After the WTO Uprising: Seattle, Detroit, Cancun, Immokalee

Eleven years ago yesterday, on November 30, 1999, a public uprising shut down the World Trade Organizationand occupied downtown Seattle.

That same week in 1999, three thousand miles away in Immokalee, Florida, farmworkers carried out a five-day general strike against abusive growers paying starvation wages. Two weeks ago, on November 16, 2010 those same growers — the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange representing 90% of the industry — publicly agreed to every one of the farmworkers “Fair Food” demands. read more