Monday, November 23, 2009

Remembering for the Future: The 1999 Seattle Protests that Rocked the World Trade Organization

On November 30th, 2009 -- the tenth anniversary of the start of the direct action protests in Seattle that shook the World Trade Organization and brought global justice organizing to a new level of visibility and vitality in the global North -- come and remember for the future. Watch an important film about the events and hear in person from one of the core organizers of the Seattle protests, while also celebrating the launch of two publications containing material that critically marks that anniversary.

The details:

Remembering for the Future: The 1999 Seattle Protests that Rocked the World Trade Organization

--> Come watch the film *This is What Democracy Looks Like* about the historic events in Seattle

--> Join the discussion with Chris Dixon, a core organizer of the WTO protests and a contributor to the new book *The Battle of the Story of the "Battle in Seattle"*

Monday, November 30, 6:00-8:00PM
Room C-101, Classroom Building at Laurentian University

On November 30, 1999, more than 50,000 people converged on the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. They were ordinary people - labor unionists, environmentalists, students, indigenous people, community organizers, and peasants from the global south, among many others. They gathered to challenge the WTO as an institution of neoliberalism, putting profit over the well-being of communities and ecosystems. By the end of the week, the ministerial talks had collapsed thanks to a combination of street disruptions and courageous stands by delegates from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Seattle protests helped to spur the global justice movement and to launch widespread public discussion about "globalization."

Ten years later, we will remember and reflect on this important victory for people's movements worldwide.

This is a launch event for two new publications:

*The Battle of the Story of the "Battle in Seattle"*

*Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action* Issue 9

The Classroom Building is located between the Library and the Arts Building at Laurentian University. This is a wheelchair accessible location.

For more information, call 705 675-8479 or email


About *This is What Democracy Looks Like*:

*This Is What Democracy Looks Like*, a co-production of the IMC and Big Noise Films, weaves the footage of over 100 videographers into a gripping document of what really happened on Seattle's streets. The film cuts through the confusion and tear gas to paint an intimate, passionate portrait of a week that changed the world. With narration by SUSAN SARANDON and SPEARHEAD's MICHAEL FRANTI, and with a driving soundtrack including RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, DJ SHADOW, DJ MUSAKA, and COMPANY OF PROPHETS, *This Is What Democracy Looks Like* is the first documentary to capture the raw energy of the WTO protests, while clarifying their global and historic significance.

About *The Battle of the Story of the "Battle in Seattle"*:

By David Solnit & Rebecca Solnit
with Anuradha Mittal, Chris Dixon, Stephanie Guilloud, and Chris Borte

>From dawn to dusk on November 30, 1999, tens of thousands of people shut down the World Trade Organization meeting, facing cops firing tear gas and rubber bullets, the National Guard, and the suspension of civil liberties. An unexpected history was launched from the streets of Seattle, one in which popular power would matter as much as corporate power, in which economics assumed center-stage, and people began envisioning who else they could be and what else their economies and societies might look like.

*The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle* explores how that history itself has become a battleground and how our perception of it shapes today's movements against corporate capitalism and for a better world. David Solnit recounts activist efforts to intervene in the Hollywood star-studded movie, "Battle in Seattle," and pulls lessons from a decade ago for today. Rebecca Solnit writes of challenging mainstream misrepresentation of the Seattle protests and reflects on
official history and popular power. Core organizer Chris Dixon tells the real story of what happened during those five days in the streets of Seattle.

Profusely illustrated, with a reprint of the original 1999 Direct Action Network's "Call to Action" broadsheet, including key articles by Stephanie Guilloud, Chris Borte, and Chris Dixon, and a powerful introduction from Anuradha Mittal, *The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle* is a tribute to the scores of activists struggling for a better world around the globe. It's also a highly-charged attack on media mythmaking in all its forms, from Rebecca Solnit's battle with the New York Times to David Solnit's intervention in the "Battle in Seattle" film, and beyond. Every essay in this book sets the record straight about what really happened in Seattle, and more importantly why it happened. This is the real story.

About *Upping the Anti* issue 9:

Upping the Anti is a radical journal of theory and action which provides a space to address and discuss unresolved questions and dynamics within the anti-capitalist, anti-oppression, and anti-imperialist politics of today's radical left in Canada.


- Interview with Eli Clare on disability and trans activism

- Interview with Sherene Razack on Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims from Western Law and Politics

- Chris Hurl and Kevin Walby on the Canadian Union of Students, 1965-69

- Ben Saifer on campus Palestine solidarity activism and Israel-advocacy "dialogue" initiatives

- Kate Milley on anti-Native organizing and the "Caledonia Crisis"

- Roundtable retrospective on the tenth anniversary of anti-WTO mobilizations in Seattle, 1999

- Roundtable on anti-Olympics organizing

- And More...

If you are in Sudbury, please check this event out!


Vijay Chakravarthy said...

Link to your blog has been add in my friends blog list @

T. B. said...

For some of us, November 30th is a day of action for climate justice -

That day was chosen because of the Seattle anniversary -- and because the COP-15 Copenhagen talks are coming up soon.

I think there will be at least one Toronto action that day.

In London, ON there definitely will be a climate justice action. We're not broadcasting all of the details, but there is a blurb and a Facebook link here -

This post has info. about American actions -
One of those actions will be in Seattle.