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Seattle Weekly Trashes Anti-Globalization Movement

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  • Bruce Tefft
    It needs trashing. Nice neutral word: activists ...politically correct like calling terrorists militants . Bruce
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2004
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      It needs trashing. Nice neutral word: "activists"...politically correct
      like calling terrorists "militants".

      Bruce

      http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=04/11/30/3793047

      Five Years After the WTO Protests: Seattle Weekly Trashes Anti-Globalization
      Movement

      by Chuck Munson
      Infoshop News
      November 30, 2004

      Kansas City -- The media spin cycle leading up to major anti-globalization
      protests has become so predictable that activists have been forced to come
      up with better media strategies to keep up with the lies and disinformation.
      The mainstream media starts the cycle several months in advance with
      articles and coverage about the upcoming summit and accompanying protests.
      This coverage always includes an obligatory interview with the local
      authorities who claim that they will be "ready" for the protests. These
      early articles will include space devoted to the issues on the table, but as
      the event nears, the coverage focuses more and more on the expected clash
      between protesters and police. Activists have tried many different ways to
      change this narrative, to force the media coverage back to the issues and
      reasons for protest, without much success. Since these summit meetings never
      allow dissenters inside, people are forced to take to the streets in
      protest, thus reinforcing the spin that these events are mostly about
      protesters confronting the police. At some point in the media spin cycle,
      the media repeat some new police propaganda about anarchists and "outside
      agitators." The police plant fabulous stories in the media, ranging from
      alarmist stories about activist scavenger hunts to claims that protesters
      will throw "urine-filled bottles" at the police. When the police claim that
      activists are using plastic bottles to make Molotov cocktails, the
      mainstream media dutifully publishes the police disinformation with nary an
      attempt to investigate the police claims, or point out the fact that Molotov
      cocktails are made with GLASS bottles.

      The cycle is the same every time. It's no wonder that more and more
      activists have given up talking to the media, if they aren't simply hostile
      to the media and efforts by activists to work with them.

      Sadly, the independent media has reflected this framing of the
      protests-Indymedia websites are dominated by pictures of conflicts with the
      police. More troubling is an attack last week by the liberal, so-called
      "alternative" newsweekly, the Seattle Weekly, on the anti-globalization
      movement and its accomplishments since the 1999 anti-World Trade
      Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle. In the leadoff article, prominent
      Seattle activist, Geov Parrish, analyzes the accomplishments and state of
      the post-Seattle movement. Philip Dawdy looks at the police angle and argues
      that police departments transformed into a more effective force against
      activists. Knute Berger pens a rather shocking right-wing conflation of the
      anti-globalization movement with the fundamentalist terror movement led by
      Osama bin Laden. The language of these pieces is hostile towards activists
      and the anti-globalization movement, while at the same time pointing out the
      many successes and achievements of the 1999 Seattle protests (N30) and the
      North American anti-globalization movement.

      The media spin machine in recent years has added a new component to coverage
      of the anti-globalization movement-questions about the state of the movement
      and whether or not the movement is "dead." This shallow and superficial
      measure of dissent and movement strength relies on old myths that dissent is
      best judged by how much coverage it gets on the television news. In other
      words, if the movement isn't rioting, then it is "declining" or "beginning
      to sputter," to use Geov Parrish's words. In reality, contemporary
      anti-systemic movements can't be judged solely by the amount of press
      clippings they get. There is more going on that doesn't lend itself to the
      sensational gaze of the TV news camera. But there have also been some
      historic reasons why the North American anti-globalization movement
      disappeared from the public eye. One significant reason was the 9/11 attacks
      and the subsequent wars launched by the Bush administration.

      What 9/11 Really Did to the Post-Seattle Movement

      In order to understand why the North American anti-globalization movement
      disappeared from the media spectacle in 2001 it is important to know that
      large anti-globalization protests had been organized for the Fall meetings
      of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which were scheduled to
      meet in Washington, DC in late September 2001. There was a six month gap
      between the March 2001 anti-G8 protests in Quebec City and the scheduled
      protests in Washington, DC. After 9/11 happened, some protest groups
      cancelled their plans while others simply changed theirs. The media
      characterization of the movement as petering out was understandable given
      the lack of another "Seattle" in late 2001, but it was unfair given the
      circumstances that activists had to deal with after 9/11.

      The 9/11 attacks would dramatically interrupt not just the
      anti-globalization movement's plans for the September protests, but they
      would throw a monkeywrench into the plans by activists to add a new
      dimension to the American anti-globalization movement. One group of
      anarchists had been working for over a month on a secret plan with other
      activists to stage an occupation of an abandoned building on the D.C.
      General Hospital campus. While other activists were working on logistics for
      the protests and plans to attack the fence that was going to be erected
      around the World Bank and IMF meetings, this group of activists was hoping
      to organize a direct action that would tie together globalization and the
      local agents of neoliberalism who were planning to shut down D.C.'s only
      public hospital.

      Other international events had prompted this group of anarchists to plan a
      direct action that would spotlight local issues of globalization in
      Washington, D.C. In July 2001, the protests against the G8 summit in Genoa,
      Italy had ended violently, with one activist being brutally murdered by the
      police. There was a feeling among American activists that the Genoa protests
      would play a significant factor in how the Washington protests would be
      framed. From past protests it was known that the police would make up
      propaganda about "violent anarchists" and "outside agitators." The action
      planned for D.C. General was seen as a way out of the stereotypes about
      anarchists promoted by media and police disinformation. There were other
      ongoing efforts by activists to make connections between the
      anti-globalization movement and local D.C. residents, such as the organizing
      work that the Anti-Capitalist Convergence was doing with the residents of
      the Arthur-Capper neighborhood in southeast D.C.

      The September protests in Washington were shaping up to be pretty huge. The
      ACC, the Mobilization for Global Justice, and other groups had been
      organizing for six months for the protests. The activists planning street
      strategy had to deal with the World Bank and IMF changing the venue for the
      summit several times. The police were estimating that around 100,000
      protesters would descend on Washington. The word on the streets was that the
      September protests would be "Seattle II." A perfect storm of dissent was
      brewing that involved organized labor, the anti-globalization movement,
      religious activists, anarchists, NGOs, anti-capitalists and the Latin
      America solidarity movement.

      The media wasn't doing stories on the "decline" of the movement, in fact,
      they were fighting over access to the protesters. In one comic example, a
      group of anarchists involved with the black bloc were invited to a meeting
      with the national editors of the Washington Times. The Times wanted to embed
      reporters and a photographer in the black bloc and other groups. The bemused
      anarchists agreed to work with the Times and let them "embed" the
      photographer in any "interesting" protests that were being planned.

      The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 changed everything. While
      protesters always understood that events had a way of eclipsing media
      coverage of protests, the 9/11 attacks were something beyond anything that
      American activists had ever experienced. Like everybody else, activists were
      shocked by the attacks. The 9/11 attacks had an immediate effect on plans
      for the protests. A meeting scheduled that afternoon between the black bloc
      anarchists, the religious activists, and the AFL-CIO was attended only by
      the organizer, Lisa Fithian. Within days, the Mobilization for Global
      Justice-under pressure from nervous NGOs and large unions-cancelled their
      protests over the objections of the grassroots activists in the MGJ
      coalition. Members of the Anti-Capitalist Convergence agreed to continue the
      protests, but the public cancellation announcement by the "Mobe" effectively
      disrupted the national mobilization that was building. The ACC eventually
      decided to scale back their protest to a national anti-war march. The
      anarchists involved with the plan to take over the hospital had to change
      their plans.

      The 9/11 events had an effect in derailing one of the largest
      anti-globalization protests that had been planned to that date in the United
      States. The cancelled September 2001 protests disrupted the rhythm of the
      North American anti-globalization movement. Not only did 9/11 take the
      anti-globalization movement off the global stage, but also months of
      organizing ended up with little to show for all of that work.
      Anti-globalization protests were hastily organized for the rescheduled World
      Bank meetings that were moved to Canada, but they weren't very large. Three
      months later the movement started to pick up the pieces with protests in New
      York City against the World Economic Forum, but by that point the movement
      was under pressure from several new factors.

      Into the Breach

      While most activists were distracted by the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks,
      one little authoritarian sect was busy making plans. The International
      Action Center, a New York-based front group for the Workers World
      Party--which was widely known for its famous spokesperson, former U.S.
      Attorney General Ramsey Clark--had been trying to become a player in the
      planning of the September anti-globalization protests. After being rebuffed
      by both the Anti-Capitalist Convergence and the Mobilization for Global
      Justice, the IAC resorted to one of their favorite tactics and in June 2001
      announced that they were sponsoring a generic anti-Bush mobilization for the
      same weekend in September. Their plan was to compete with the coalitions
      organizing the anti-globalization protests with their fake coalition, hoping
      along the way that the police would deny them parade permits so that a court
      battle would establish the IAC as the primary coalition for the Fall
      protests.

      Within hours of the 9/11 attacks, the IAC and the WWP had plans in place to
      create a national anti-war coalition that they would call Act Now to Stop
      War and End Racism (International A.N.S.W.E.R.). They decided to morph their
      September anti-Bush protest into one that would be against the war that
      everybody expected the Bush administration to implement. The leaders of the
      IAC and WWP also understood an important thing about the American left,
      which would play an important factor in the eclipse of the
      anti-globalization movement: American leftists have short attention spans.
      The IAC/WWP gambled that the American Left would follow form and abandon the
      anti-globalization movement for anti-war activism.

      The jump by many activists from anti-globalization activism to anti-war
      activism was one of several factors that led to changes in the American
      anti-globalization movement. The cancellation of the September 2001 protests
      after the 9/11 attacks made it look like the movement had lost gas, despite
      the feisty March 2001 protests in Quebec City. In the progression of large
      anti-globalization protests in North America, there is a big hole where
      "Seattle II" should have occurred in September 2001. The 9/11 attacks and
      the rise in patriotism and jingoism afterwards scared some activists into
      withdrawing from visible activism. Many core movement organizers were burned
      out from two and three years of organizing summit protests. There was vocal
      interest among many movement participants that organizing locally was
      something that needed more attention.

      The 2004 U.S. presidential campaign has also proven to be a huge distraction
      for many activists. Not only were resources and money from progressives
      poured into the election, but some activists found themselves working on
      campaigns instead of grassroots activism. Much of the alternative media was
      effectively detoured to provide mountains of shallow coverage of the
      elections. Many activists involved with the anti-globalization movements
      focused this year on the Republican National Convention, instead of
      anti-globalization protests such as the poorly attended one against the G8
      Summit held on Sea Island, Georgia.

      While there are several reasons why the anti-globalization movement "started
      to sputter" after 9/11, the reality and scope of the September 2001
      mobilization belies Geov Parrish's argument that "the flame of
      Seattle-inspired protest was already beginning to sputter." Parrish also
      repeats the canard that the movement was alienating "the sort of
      middle-class, family-oriented attendees who made more recent antiwar
      protests larger and, in the public's eye, more credible." On the contrary,
      up until 9/11 the movement had been growing rapidly and had been drawing
      more interest, support, and participation from mainstream people. Even one
      of the undercover police officers who had infiltrated the ACC and MGJ
      admitted to activists after she was outed that she had come to agree with
      the activists' arguments about globalization.

      Accomplishments

      In Geov Parrish's look at the legacy of the Seattle protests, "Is This What
      Failure Looks Like?", it's unclear if he wants to bury the movement or give
      it credit for its many accomplishments. The subtitle is negative enough with
      its use of the word "failure." Parrish admits that the 1999 protests were a
      "critical event" and that they "inspired hundreds of millions around the
      globe." On the standard activist scorecard, any protest that "inspires
      millions" is not going to get a checkmark in the "failure" column. Parrish
      attempts to boil down the movement's "failure" to its inability to change
      government policies. Perhaps Parrish really wants to argue here that the
      movement hasn't stopped the WTO in its tracks, but he settles for dissing
      the movement on its policy record. Later in his piece, he does mention
      successes like the Indymedia network, but tempers that with an aside about
      the Seattle IMC closing its storefront space.

      So what are the accomplishments of the anti-globalization movement,
      especially the North American wing? The accomplishments are many and
      include:

      * The international Indymedia network was hatched in the heat of the Seattle
      protests and the international "N30" day of actions against capitalism. The
      network grew from one Independent Media Center (IMC) in November 1999 to 153
      IMCs around the world today. The Indymedia network runs on anarchist
      principles, software, and servers. The success and growth of Indymedia is
      such that a capitalist media corporation with millions of dollars would have
      a tough time of replicating Indymedia. There are dozens of physical
      Independent Media Centers. Many IMCs print their own newspapers, including a
      biweekly full color newspaper published currently by the New York City IMC.
      When the Indymedia network is attacked by some government, such as the
      recent shutdown of servers by the FBI and European authorities, it makes
      international news.

      * The direct action, confrontational style of the anti-globalization and
      anti-capitalist movements made the police, governments, and the rich respect
      the power of grassroots activism again. As Noam Chomsky would describe it,
      the global elites once again feared the "crisis of democracy." The global
      elites were forced to hold summit meetings in obscure places like Cancun,
      Mexico, Sea Island, Georgia, Alberta, Canada and other venues that could
      easily be defended by a small army. Miles of fencing and legions of robocops
      surrounded summits in Washington, Miami, and Quebec City. It's hard to argue
      that a movement is a "failure" when the police still spend millions to keep
      working people from attending global economic summits.

      * The World Bank, IMF, other neoliberal institutions, and national
      governments have been forced to play a defensive public relations game.
      After Seattle, the World Bank morphed into an institution that claimed its
      biggest priority was fighting global poverty. More importantly, the street
      protests focused public attention on these institutions and global trade
      policy. Quasi-secret trade negotiations such as the WTO and the FTAA now
      have to be conducted fully in the public gaze.

      * As Parrish points out in his article, the Seattle protests inspired
      millions around the world. After years of asking North American activists to
      get involved in the fight, we finally took the fight against globalization
      and neoliberalism to the back yards of the institutions responsible for
      global misery. Millions of Americans learned about the WTO, the FTAA, CAFTA,
      and institutions such as the World Bank. More importantly, they saw that
      Americans opposed these things, often in large numbers.

      * The movements provided an opportunity for activists to explore, discuss,
      and challenge each other on issues of anti-oppression, racism, sexism,
      homophobia and other alienating and oppressive behaviors within the
      movements themselves.

      * The Post-Seattle movements provided practical experience and knowledge to
      every generation of activists. After years of being marginalized, to the
      point where the cops wouldn't even take the Seattle mobilization seriously,
      the movements scored some huge mobilizations. They reaped media attention
      that still benefit the movements today. Tens of thousands of activists
      learned new things, built relationships with each other, and gained wisdom
      about what works and what doesn't work.

      * The Seattle protests, as well as "N30," "J18" and subsequent
      anti-globalization protests, vindicated anarchist methods of organizing and
      dissent. Activism went from pointless permitted marches around the White
      House that everybody ignored, to a movement that was democratic,
      transparent, empowering, inspiring, and attention getting. Hierarchical
      organizing was finally consigned to the dustbin of history and a more
      beautiful flower of dissent unfolded. The strength of the flat, networked
      model of organizing was again demonstrated on February 15, 2003, when the
      huge global protests against the U.S. invasion of Iraq were organized using
      the methods of the anti-globalization movement.

      * The North American anti-globalization movement threw up numerous hurdles
      into the process of globalization. Our protests threw sand into the gears of
      free trade and opened up more space for dissent against globalization around
      the world. Several prominent people associated with neoliberalism started
      expressing their reservations more publicly, including prominent economists
      such as Joseph Stiglitz.

      * New organizations and movements within the movements were started, such as
      the street medic and medicine movement, which has grown in numbers and
      organizations (BALM, Black Cross, DC Action Medical Network, etc.).

      * The movement continues activism on other issues such as biotechnology,
      human rights and media reform, often demonstrating its wide-reaching
      influence on policy issues..

      * The Internet has become an important tool for the organization of activism
      and dissent. There are now thousands of activist websites, email lists, and
      discussion boards, many of them connected to the anti-globalization
      movement. Activists continue to expand the use of new technology, such as
      the use of text messaging at the recent RNC protests in New York City.

      * A network of radical internet service providers (ISPs) has sprung up,
      including Riseup, Mutualaid, resist.ca, Interactivist, OAT, and others.
      Radical geeks brought together by anti-globalization protests and the
      Indymedia network have developed their own international network of mutual
      aid, support, skills-sharing, free software and solidarity.

      * Nonsense about the "end of history" and the triumph of capitalism were
      debunked. Decades of work by the ruling class and American conservatives to
      marginalize protesters and activists were undone in the short space of one
      week. Americans rediscovered dissent and the right wing started obsessing
      again about the "Vietnam Syndrome." It also became clear to the global
      elites that a new bogeyman was needed to marginalize dissenters now that the
      Soviet Union had disappeared into history.

      The More Cops Change, the More They Remain the Same

      Parts of Geov Parrish's article and all of Philip Dawdy's article are
      devoted to an analysis of what the police learned after Seattle. Parrish
      continues his past liberal condemnation of radical protestors:

      "More forceful police (and army) tactics led to escalating,
      ever-more-ugly confrontations that encouraged street-battling young radicals
      but which discouraged the sort of middle-class, family-oriented attendees
      who made more recent antiwar protests larger and, in the public's eye, more
      credible."

      Parrish provides no concrete evidence that militant street
      protestsdiscouraged middle-class attendees. In fact, the numbers attending
      anti-globalizations protests after Seattle continued to increase and
      included more and more middle and working class people. Trade unionists
      complained that the union march in Quebec City didn't hook up with the
      militants who were fighting the police. The September 2001 protests in
      Washington had scheduled numerous permitted events for families. Parrish
      blames the radicals for an imagined image problem, echoing liberal attacks
      on radicals that have become common.

      Parrish continues:

      "The window breaking perpetrated by a few dozen anarchists in Seattle
      became justification in the American public's mind for violent
      law-enforcement measures that in turn further limited the public's sympathy
      for future demonstrations."

      This is one of the uglier accusations that liberals have lobbed at
      anarchists and other radicals, that we are responsible for our own
      victimization and the increase of police repression against other activists.
      Instead of attacking the police who come to demonstrations with all kinds of
      weaponry, the fury of the liberal activist is turned on radicals who are
      somehow responsible for the police repression.

      Philp Dawdy's article, "What the Cops Learned," purports to explain how
      American authorities changed their policing tactics after the police fiasco
      during the 1999 Seattle protests. While this article has some interesting
      information about policing of activism, it gives the police far too much
      credit in "learning" how to deal with protesters. If the police have learned
      anything since Seattle, it's that they can't take activists and protesters
      for granted. The police actions during the Seattle protests stemmed from a
      general attitude among American authorities that activists weren't to be
      taken seriously. The police had been lulled into complacency towards
      activists after decades of predictable protests. In Washington, for example,
      there was an unofficial protocol between police and protesters about how one
      went about getting arrested in front of the White House. The police were
      responsible for this status quo of predictable protests, having turned to a
      new concept called "community policing" that was developed in the wake of
      bad publicity generated in the late 60s and early 70s from pictures of
      police beating protesters.

      The Seattle protests were a wake-up call for the American authorities. The
      Battle of Seattle had caught them with their pants down. Their disrespect
      for protesters had created a "perfect storm" of events that played right
      into the hands of the Seattle protesters. The police "learned" that they had
      to go back to the traditional techniques of crowd control, political
      propaganda, and the tested tactic of brute force. The American police were
      also in a good position to police dissent thanks to the militarization of
      police departments during the Clinton administration. One of the shocking
      things about the Seattle protests was the sight of Robocops wandering around
      pepper-spraying activists while wearing the new military gear.

      Dawdy's piece includes several errors. He writes that there was "no
      precedent in recent American history for creating a fortress around
      conference sites." Perhaps not fences around trade summits, but the police
      in Washington, DC had erected a fortress around the NATO summit held there
      in 1999. Dawdy writes that,

      "The other fatal error in Seattle was to make mass arrests. Pugel
      advises against that. 'It requires an incredible amount of police resources
      to do that, and it put a huge burden on prosecutors and the criminal-justice
      system,' he says. 'Go after the instigators instead.'"

      In fact, the Seattle police attempted to make mass arrests on November 30th,
      but gave up because they were overwhelmed by activists. The Direct Action
      Network had hoped for mass arrests on N30, but the police opted to start
      attacking nonviolent protesters. (Contrary to the myth promoted by liberal
      activists, the black bloc march happened hours after the police started
      attacking protesters with pepper spray). Thousands of protesters were
      attacked with poison gas and weapons. Most protesters were never warned,
      they were simply attacked brutally. By the end of the day the Seattle police
      had pissed off thousands with their use of violence, setting the stage for
      riots that continued into the night.

      The most effective thing that the police learned to do after Seattle was to
      sharpen their propaganda skills. The police understand that the media will
      uncritically report anything said by the police about protesters. Thus,
      cooking supplies for the April 2000 protests in Washington became "bomb
      making materials." The police learned to provide the divide and conquer
      game, telling the media that the "good protesters" were going to be
      disrupted by "anarchists" and "outside agitators." The mainstream media
      doesn't challenge these lies and doesn't point out, for example, that
      anarchists are deeply involved in the planning of summit protests. The
      police learned that propaganda was useful not just in demonizing protesters,
      but in scaring away protesters. Propaganda also covered up the fact that the
      police were still pretty incompetent when it came to dealing with
      protesters.

      Dawdy's article gives the impression that despite a few mistakes in Seattle,
      the police are now prepared to deal with protesters effectively. Dawdy
      points out that the use of "non-lethal weapons" sometimes goes wrong, such
      as the recent case of the white woman killed in Boston during a Red Sox
      victory celebration. In fact, the police use these weapons daily against
      poor working people and arbitrarily against protesters. Policing of summit
      protests after Seattle showed that the cops were willing to use violence
      against any kind of protester. The police not only saw any protester dressed
      in black as an "instigator," they acted like every protester was target for
      police violence. Police motorcycles attacked protesters at peace marches.
      The police arrested everybody in a park in Washington, DC, leading to a huge
      embarrassment for that police department. And contrary to police department
      PR, rank-and-file police are poorly trained in crowd control tactics and
      lack experience in handling militant protests.

      Since Seattle, the police have relied on propaganda to demonize protesters,
      scare tactics and sheer numbers to keep more people from joining protests,
      and violence to bully and terrorize protesters. The police haven't really
      "learned" anything in so much as they have fallen back on traditional
      violent tactics to stop dissent. Some of this has kept people away from
      protests. Many rank-and-file radicals take the police seriously, but don't
      let the hype deter them from planning radical actions. Much was made about
      the "Miami Model" of policing during the FTAA protests last year. This new
      model was actually more of the same thing: lots of cops, threats of
      violence, and a geographical location that was difficult to reach for
      working class activists.

      Increasingly these days, more protesters are deciding to take their ball and
      play elsewhere. Instead of facing off against the police at summit protests,
      more folks are organizing local protests and direct actions. There has been
      an increase in illegal actions, such as last week's stunt in Lafayette,
      Louisiana, where unknown people glued locks on the doors of dozens of
      businesses. The police may succeed in preventing the rabble from bringing
      democracy to trade summits, but more people are deciding to take their
      dissent directly to the physical manifestations of capitalism. This is a
      growing trend, but mass protests at trade summits will still happen for the
      foreseeable future.

      Terrorism-baiting the Anti-Globalization Movement

      The Seattle Weekly's retrospective continues with a right wing attack on the
      movement in an essay by Knute Berger titled "How 9/11 Trumped N30." Berger's
      piece addresses a legitimate point about how the 9/11 attacks and George W.
      Bush have affected both the anti-globalization movement and globalization.
      The 9/11 attacks gave George Bush and his supporters an opportunity to
      pursue unilateralist foreign and economic policies. Berger writes:

      "Their interests have been dramatically, if dangerously, advanced by
      wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the open embrace of unilateral and
      pre-emptive international actions-on behalf of not just "democracy," but
      free markets and lower marginal tax rates. By cloaking itself in an endless
      War on Terrorism, by asserting the American way at gunpoint, by allowing
      George W. Bush to increase the size, scope, and power of government in favor
      of the big guys and at the expense of the little guys, the imperium has
      released its inner beast. The so-called neoconservatives have tapped into a
      strain of American arrogance that is feeding the angels of our worst nature,
      but in the guise of advancing our better ones. We are now beginning to see
      what an enormous, global government based on greed looks like."

      While Berger is correct in pointing out how the current world situation
      benefits some capitalists, the new American imperialism flies in the face of
      the hyper-libertarian ideas of free market capitalism. The Bush
      administration's response to 9/11 has thrown a wrench into globalization and
      derailed free market ideologues, but globalization proceeds today. Just look
      at all of the outsourcing that is going on, or last week's WTO decision that
      went against the United States.

      Berger's article is more troubling because it repeats insane right wing
      arguments that Osama bin Laden is part of the anti-globalization movement,
      or allied with it in some way:

      "The dark side of the anti-globalization movement is outright terrorism.
      The Al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were
      monstrous atrocities."

      Osama bin Laden has never been part of the anti-globalization movement,
      which is an international movement of concerned and committed grassroots
      activists. Osama bin Laden is a fundamentalist religious fanatic who is
      waging jihad against the U.S. and other governments. Arguing that the 9/11
      attacks were in synch with the anti-globalization movement is like the
      illogical argument that vegetarians are closet fascists because Adolf Hitler
      happened to be a vegetarian. The 9/11 attacks may have been effective
      attacks on the symbols of American capitalism and militarism, but the
      anti-globalization movement has nothing in common with the religious
      jihadists led by Osama bin Laden.

      Lastly, Berger repeats another liberal myth about Seattle, that most
      protesters denounced the anarchists: "many in the anti-globalization
      movement criticized the anarchists for giving the Seattle protests a bad
      name, for tainting a global message that would have been more powerful
      without all the broken windows." In fact, a few people denounced the
      anarchists, most famously Medea "peace activists should vote for war
      criminals" Benjamin, but many in the movement understood the importance of
      the actions undertaken by the Seattle black bloc. After all, what's a
      revolution without its tea party?

      Has It Really Been Five Years?

      The Seattle Weekly retrospective on the 1999 anti-WTO protests recognizes
      the historical importance of that explosive week in Seattle. At the same
      time, it repeats myths about the protests and the movements while giving the
      authorities a virtual free pass for continued violence and terrorism against
      dissenters. The anti-globalization and anti-capitalist movements have seen
      many successes and a few defeats, but it may be too soon to judge the
      long-term influence of the movements. Globalization continues, but with more
      widespread resistance around the globe. The North American
      anti-globalization movement may not dominate the front page, but it
      continues to mobilize people for protests. The most important lesson learned
      from the Battle for Seattle is that average working people can come together
      to dramatically challenge the rich and powerful and make history in the
      process.

      Sources
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