Seattle WTO Collapsed 14 Years Ago: Lessons For Today

On Dec 3, 1999 the 1%’s plan for how to run the global economy collapsed in Seattle, amidst teargas in the streets and jails full of hundreds of people from North America’s newly emerging global justice movement. The World Trade Organizations negotiations had collapsed in failure as a result of a week of mass direct action and protest in the streets that shut down the entire first day of the WTO Ministerial on November 30 together with the refusal of Global South countries–under pressure from strong movements at home–refusal to comply with the plans of the elites in the rich countries. 14 years later, the value of looking back is to see how people power can work and to pull lessons for today. The best analysis of the week long street/info battles was written by Paul deArmand; Black Flag Over Seattle, later republished as part of Networks and Netwars by the RAND Corporation.

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