Several days of powerful social movement protests against the WTO began thirteen years ago today in Seattle.
This is a photo of me marching with Jo Dufay (the Council of Canadians coordinator of campaigns then), Tony Clarke just behind us, and many others. About a week before the WTO ministerial, I said in a Toronto Eye Weekly news article, “It’s profoundly anti-democratic. It’s about shifting power and public control away from governments and into the hands of corporations, CEOs and their shareholders, and the basic drive for profits. There is every indication from the WTO that they don’t care what civil society or the general public has to say.”
On a personal note, I also remember taking a moment to call home in the middle of a protest in Seattle and talking with my son (then three years old!), him hearing the drumming on the street, and me sharply feeling the contrast between home-life and the riot police that had begun to move in on us.
Looking forward, we continue to mobilize against unfair ‘trade’ deals that hurt communities, violate rights, damage ecosystems, and limit public policy. So it’s sad to read in the Globe and Mail, “Just over 10 years ago, the NDP was expressing sympathy for the anti-globalization protests at World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle. It is now going to urge Canada to try to reinvigorate the WTO’s global trade talks, which the Harper government has neglected, NDP trade critic Don Davies said.”
For Council of Canadians analysis on the WTO, please see www.canadians.org/WTO.