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Seattle Was Only the Beginning

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://www.egroups.com/group/smygo COLUMN: Seattle was only the beginning Updated 12:00 PM ET December 5, 2000 By Pamela White
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2000
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://www.egroups.com/group/smygo

      COLUMN: Seattle was only the beginning

      Updated 12:00 PM ET December 5, 2000

      By Pamela White
      Colorado Daily
      U. Colorado

      (U-WIRE) BOULDER, Colo. -- A year has already passed since
      more than 50,000 anti-globalization protesters gathered in
      Seattle. Opposed to the human-rights, environmental and
      economic abuses associated with rape-and-run capitalism and
      global corporatization, they came from across the United
      States and beyond in an attempt to shut down a week-long
      meeting of the World Trade Organization.

      And they succeeded -- at least for a while.

      Concerned citizens managed -- largely without violence -- to
      bring WTO business to a halt for one day, while making it
      difficult at best for delegates to meet the other four.

      Like a pebble dropped in a vast, dark lake, the event caused
      a ripple that has spread and continues to spread today.
      Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Prague,
      Melbourne, Australia; Windsor, Ontario; Ft. Benning, Ga.,
      and Cincinnati -- the battle has been joined on more fronts
      than anyone could have imagined last December.

      And a battle it has been, with more than 100,000 activists
      having put themselves on the line in the United States alone
      against an increasingly hostile and militarized police
      force. With the aid of unrepentantly violent U.S. Marshals,
      the police have committed acts of unprovoked violence,
      striking the first blow in Seattle and deliberately
      targeting reporters with rubber bullets in Los Angeles.

      The ripple made by the Battle in Seattle would be larger if
      newspapers and television had reported the facts. Rather
      than people reading about brave police and "militant
      protesters," readers would have learned that the police had
      begun bashing heads before a single window was smashed. They
      would have read about the group of protesters that sat
      singing peacefully in a park -- until riot police arrived
      and began literally beating them on their heads with batons.
      They would have read about the locals who were held from
      their homes by police -- then sprayed with pepper spray by
      those same police when they applauded the cops' departure
      from their neighborhood.

      The past year has provided horrific images that many of us
      will never forget: activists with missing teeth, torn skin,
      and bleeding faces in Seattle; police on motorcycles
      deliberately driving over the prostrate bodies of protesters
      in D.C.; panicked youth fleeing a concert in L.A. under a
      hail of rubber bullets.

      And absurd images: a police chief displaying chili peppers
      confiscated from the activists' kitchen; a standoff between
      puppet-makers and police in Philly that resulted in the
      apprehension of many street puppets; Clinton giving a speech
      in the Staples Center about how much better off the United
      States has been under Democratic leadership while cops cut
      the power to protesters' TV outside.

      But it has provided wonderful images, as well, images that
      hint at new possibilities: a young woman in a yellow
      raincoat dancing with a grin on her face in front of
      hundreds of police clad in riot gear; thousands of activists
      arriving simultaneously at intersections around the
      International Monetary Fund and locking down to the sounds
      of drums and cheers in D.C.; street puppets, dancing,
      fire-eating, Native drumming -- and some rather unorthodox
      cheerleading.

      It's like nothing we've seen in the United States since
      Vietnam. But unlike the activism of the '60s, this movement
      isn't the creation of one particular generation or class of
      people. It isn't just white college students from middle-
      and upper-class families who've been protesting the WTO, but
      grandmothers, high school students and blue-collar workers.

      And it's growing.

      Still, there's a lot of work to be done, both in educating
      the American TV-addicted masses and in bridging the gap
      between the middle-class experience of most progressives and
      the struggle that defines the lives of colonized peoples,
      including those within our own borders. A conscious effort
      must be made to reach out to those who don't understand the
      issues -- and to those whose daily lives make the violence
      of Seattle seem trivial.

      Often, Americans tend to think of themselves as leading the
      way, whether with regard to technology or entertainment.
      When it comes to social revolution, however, we are
      following, just waking up from a comfort-induced stupor.
      Seattle did not spark a global movement -- it simply joined
      one that was already in motion.

      Regardless of how you look at it, Seattle was and is cause
      for celebration. Changing the world is a long-term process.
      And we've shown we're up to the challenge.

      --
      ---------------------------------------------------
      Dan Clore

      The Website of Lord We├┐rdgliffe:
      http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/index.html
      The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:
      http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/necpage.htm

      "Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas
      zhiba. All Nyug bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam
      not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel Chugnyi not;
      Dharmakaya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang
      and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in
      night of Sun-chan and Yong-grub (Parinishpanna),
      &c., &c.,"
      -- The Book of Dzyan.
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