Arun Kumar

Reflection on the Process of which WTO Seattle Round of Negotiations was a part Action in Seattle in 1999 just did not happen as an isolated event. It has been a part of a historical process which began much before 1999. Its impact continues since then. I have been a part of this journey in India since the late 1980s. So, below I present the continuum of which Seattle was an important part. I had gone to the Seattle WTO meet in 1999 as a part of an NGO. I was a witness to the protests taking place all around the venue of the meeting. There were protests at various points in the city and a curfew around the main venue. It was difficult to move around but we visited various sites where the protests were taking place. Now I do not remember the names of the places we went to where demonstrations took place but these were widespread. Getting to the main venue was at times difficult with tight security and police helicopters hovering overhead. The US President, Clinton, could not come to the meeting and at the end came in a helicopter. This was the first big protest

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Ben Manski

I have not recorded this song, but could if desired. The song does appear in the Wisconsin Earth Day to May Day songbook, and maybe one of the EF! songbooks.  

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Pete Tridish

What I Learned At The WTO Protests In Seattle… A Ruckus I Couldn’t Miss I first heard about the Seattle Protests at a Ruckus Society training camp about 6 months before the WTO was scheduled to come to town. Ruckus is a group famous for the dramatic and daring banners they hang from cranes and buildings and towers; they focus on human rights and environmental issues. The speaker there representing the anti-WTO organizers, after making an eloquent case for the connections between all the globalization issues and for a coalition of activists of all stripes, said “We will lie down on the airstrips and stop the delegates planes from landing. If they get past that, we will block the highways leading from the airport to the city. If they get past that, we will block the hotels they are staying in, we will block the streets, and we will block the doors of the convention center and we will not let them make another another free trade deal that week in Seattle.” How could I not help with such a plan? In that moment I committed to go. The Prelude I had three plans when I went to Seattle a

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BayBoy

There are many aspects from the N30 action day that are powerful. Three have stayed with me over the years. The first is that we all can be courageous and have our own unique part to play. I was in awe of the courage exhibited by the individuals choosing to participate in the direct actions. Although I was marching, I myself was not willing to lay my life on the line in that same way. For years afterwards I admired those individuals yet also looked down upon myself for not being ready to engage in that way. Looking back with perspective and experience, it makes sense to me. I am a Filipino/Arab mixed race and class male who was raised on one hand to assimilate in order to survive and also to use makes use of my privilege at the same time. While I was there to contribute my voice the other overall event, I was scared. In my day-to-day life, I already felt like I was “behind enemy lines every day” in a culturally white normed society. I was living in a different part of the even more culturally white normed Pacific Northwest at the time, very far from

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Marcos

“ You Have to Go “ It was a cold early morning, frost on the ground as Farmer and I pulled out of a traditional Dine homesite in Teesto, a small community on the Navajo Nation, those words spoken to me that prior evening around a fire by a young Navajo youth “ you have to go, because we canʼt “ resonated in my head. I in a fairly new pickup, farmer in a old beat up van, lumbered down the rutted, dirt road. Iʼm thinking about the 20 plus hours drive ahead, the decision to try to make it to Seattle. For context, my involvement in doing support work for traditional Navajo ( Dine ) elders facing relocation on their lands ( but that’s another story for another time ) was part of the reason for bringing me to Seattle. My support for the Zapatista uprising ,an Indigenous community in Chiapas. Mexico ( another story for another time ) opposed to NAFTA and the WTO was another reason for my desire to go. After a weary journey, pulling into Seattle , I could not help but think about the Navajo Grandmother who 24 hours prior had blessed ( smudged

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Joel Wainwright

Reflections upon the battles in Seattle at 20 Though I am neither a migrant farmworker nor a member of their union, on the morning of N30 I stood with Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), which fights for the rights of Latinx workers of rural Oregon from their base in the Willamette Valley. I marched in solidarity with PCUN because the union prioritizes workplace organizing and political education—ingredients I felt to be essential for effective mass mobilizing against the WTO. Moreover, though I wanted to participate in the march with labor, I sought to emphasize the transnational dimension of our struggle. I also had some misgivings about the affinity group model reflected by the Direct Action Network (DAN). In my experience, after protest events, such groups tend to dissolve. Unions, by contrast, can use events like Seattle to build strength elsewhere. But of course it was the DAN that shut down the streets around the Seattle Convention Center. I missed that, to my regret, because all morning I was listening to union leaders giving predictable speeches at the labor rally a mile away. The speaker from South Africa’s Congress of Trade Unions (COSATU) was one exception. In COSATU’s conception,

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Jim Galasyn

N30 Memories 30 November 2019 We started at Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center, with the Labor march. The stadium of 12,000 people filled up completely, there were speakers, and then we headed out. I was there with WashTech, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (still a member!). Traditional Mayan dancers led the way, in full ceremonial regalia, and the air was thick with copal incense. We marched down 4th Avenue, filling the width of the street, dancing to the percussion of the Infernal Noise Brigade. When we walked beneath the towers of the Westin hotel, we could see the WTO delegates, way up on the top floor, lined up at the windows and looking down at us. We marched with people dressed as sea turtles, who were protesting the effect of WTO rules on national environmental laws. We knew that other marches were coming down from Capitol Hill and up from the south, and ours would converge with theirs at Westlake Center. The mood was joyous. We approached Westlake Park. There was some confusion about where to go next. We saw a man directing us and pointing to our left. He was saying, “Labor march this way, rubber bullets and

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