World Trade Organization

December 14, 1999 (updated since)

Do not be misled by the flattering words of the World Trade Organization. They are out to do exactly what can be expected of them and that is to economically exploit, dominate and oppress the weak in order for the rich multi-nationalists to get richer. In other words, this is the economic World Take Over, the primary mechanism of corporate globalization. The South has been pressured by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the Northern governments to adopt economic policies designed to liberalize its economies and accept the exploitation of the multinationals. It accepts the current balance of power and wealth between countries and implies that developing nations should simply adjust to existing conditions. The EU has clashed with developing countries over farm subsidies and labor rights and the environment and the United States has always been criticized for its imperialistic economics posing as free trade. This is a prophetic site, we can understand the Queen of the South as rising up to denounce this generation like was reflected in the protests outside the WTO meetings and of the developing countries inside. God is on the side of these hundreds that have been arrested and a good indication of the issue lies in that there are many of us that do not want to trade freedom for the sake of trade dollars. The prophets of today are called to denounce the oppression and expose the delusion. Knowing this invokes a responsibility from you, many are called but few are chosen. Set the trumpet to your lips.

The World Trade Organization was created in 1994 as the successor organization to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and represents 146 countries in an effort to globalize commerce. All the major countries are included, China only recently and with the United States as the dominating factor. This is the world court of trade where mega-buck arguments on everything from restrictions on imports and e-commerce issues are debated and settled and rules are made. They are coming together in order to implement treaties among member nations that would liberalize and eventually eliminate tariffs and other restrictions on trade in various sectors of the world economy. It is modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement. Those in favor of this economic one world order see it as a way to boost the world's economy by liberalizing trade barriers. Those against the WTO sees it as an exploitative, oppressive system of world domination that takes away worker's rights, weakening consumer and public health, despoiling the environment, enslaving workers around the world and usurping the rights of each country to make its own trade laws. It has been likened to public interest laws simply being flushed down the toilet. The beast is roaring. Each location where meetings are being held are called "rounds." Since 1948, there have been nine rounds of global-trade talks. The next few years will be called the Seattle round.

Image by Pat Marvenko Smith
The Hand of God

Image Files of Seattle Protests

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The WTO makes the rules that govern international trade. There has been a conspicuous hush on the media treatment of the WTO since Bush became President but those rules have gotten a lot tougher in the meantime. The Economist reported in September of 2003:

Some poor countries' politicians seemed to revel in the collapse of the World Trade Organisation's ministerial meeting on September 14th. The Philippine trade minister, for instance, told Reuters news agency that he was “elated” by it. Tanzania's delegate claimed to be “very happy” that poor countries had stood up to rich-country “manipulation”. But others were upset and shocked. According to one observer, the trade minister of Bangladesh had tears in his eyes. “I'm really disappointed,” he is reported to have said. “This is the worst thing we poor countries could have done to ourselves.” Disappointment is the right reaction. For the Doha round of trade talks run by the WTO was geared specifically to help poor countries. They will be the biggest victims if the talks cannot be revived, and there seems to be scant prospect of that. The negotiations have not been officially abandoned. Diplomats pledged to continue talking in Geneva, the WTO's headquarters, with a formal meeting to be held no later than December 15th. But momentum has clearly been lost. No one now expects the round to finish by its original deadline of December 31st 2004. Some trade officials privately wonder whether it will ever finish, or whether Cancún's collapse—coming less than four years after the Seattle ministerial meeting broke down in December 1999—marks the end of the WTO as an effective negotiating forum.
The big thing in Mexico was that Bush seems to have retreated on eliminating farm subsidies. This is a great setback and will only cause inflation and famine.

The WTO met immediately in Geneva after Seattle in December 1999, calling Seattle a success. The media reported that others called it a failure and this sent governments around the world scrambling to strengthen economic ties with their neighbors. Many governments are seeking to reduce their dependence on a U.S. market where labor unions and environmentalists have declared war on the borderless economy. The protests have obviously had an impact and we may expect the Beast to react. The World Economic Forum closed in Davos, Switzerland in February and came up with nothing except what they have already affirmed: that globalization has its discontents but is on the whole a good thing; that the United States tendency to act unilaterally is irritating its allies; that Russia is a mess; that China is a big country with lots of promise if only its bureaucrats will stop trying to strangle the Internet; and that nearly all the world's major economies will continue to expand this year. The protestors outside need not have even shown up except just to make their presence known. The only big news was Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid calling for the resignation of General Wiranto, the former army chief, from his cabinet post for his responsibility for human rights abuses in East Timor. There is great Christian persecution there from the Muslims.

What happened in Seattle is just a preview of things to come. It also parallels the temple cleansing of Jesus in the outer court of the Gentiles. Jesus was an activist, an agitator and drove out the moneychangers giving us a strong argument for demonstrations, protests and Christian activism. It wasn't the first protest against the WTO, the same thing happened in Europe at Geneva and elsewhere. This is not the watered down gospel of the kingdom we are to preach to the poor, it is the gospel that packs power and reminiscent of what the Jews were expecting from Jesus the first time He came.

A group of conservative House members in Washington a couple of years ago tried to introduce legislation demanding that the United States quit the World Trade Organization. The effort, led by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, called for a vote within 90 days on withdrawing from the WTO. Paul is a vocal opponent of U.S. involvement in international organizations. U.S. entry in the WTO is illegal and unconstitutional, Paul said. "It is the U.S. Congress that has the authority to regulate foreign commerce. Nobody else." Under the 1994 legislation that authorized U.S. membership in the newly created WTO, Congress required the administration to submit a progress report after five years of WTO membership about the costs and benefits to the U.S. economy. In that this comes from Conservatives is puzzling, the purse strings of government are pulled too strongly from big business. The House emphatically rejected the move to end U.S. participation in the World Trade Organization by a 363-56 vote, but sent a message that improvements are needed in the ways the body governs world trade. "This isn't a matter of trade, this isn't a matter of exclusion, this is a matter of American sovereignty," said Rep. Jim Traficant, D-Ohio. U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky hailed the vote as "a clear validation of the benefits of our membership in the WTO." She added that it "sends a strong signal to our trading partners that they can count on the United States' continued 'leadership' in the global trading system." Now we will see what President Bush has to offer. All indications point to the President as taking the leadership mantle of the "New World Order" that his father had started.

Before the June 2000 vote, many lawmakers accused the 137-nation, Geneva-based trade group of ignoring worker rights and environmental issues, echoing themes when the WTO was the target of violent protests in Seattle. "The WTO is in need of significant reform," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California. "Workers' rights and environmental protection are competitiveness issues and should play a stronger role in the WTO."

Former President Clinton submitted a report which concluded that after five years, the World Trade Organization has proved a good deal for the United States. No kidding. "The WTO has been at the leading edge of our strategy to capitalize on American technological leadership as we build the economy of the 21st century," the report said. Also: "History tells us that no major advances in trade were made this century without the leadership of the United States," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas. "And if American farmers and workers are to compete and win in the international marketplace, we must have a seat at the table and continue to play an active role in setting the rules every trading partner will follow."

Those who understand Bible prophecy as regards the final conflict know that the events leading up to it will be between the poor nations of the south and the rich nations of the north. The four heads of the beast comprise the eagle (America) whose wings were plucked from the standing lion (England), the bear (Russia), and the leopard whose many spots represent a coalition, (the European Union, United Nations, Nato). These nations comprise a single Beast with four heads that will organize the One World Order, easily seen here as militarily with the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance and economically with the World Trade Organization. The nature of the beast is in enforcing trade barriers and economic sanctions preventing countries to buy and sell in the global marketplace unless the image of the beast is worshipped.

The big deal now is behind the scenes in Asian countries. All over Asia now, the WTO is making strong inroads amidst a strong reaction against globalization. In every country in the east, groups which had otherwise felt protected now feel threatened. This is all new to countries that have been used to being sovereign. When the issues cut across national boundaries, they don't have the framework to reconcile these political pressures of a global economy. It was announced that in three years Supachai Panitchpakdi, Thailand's deputy premier and commerce minister, will take over as director general of the World Trade Organization.

Now that China is in the picture and has been admitted into the fray, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is very involved in WTO strategy-making and Beijing is trying hard to convince a skeptical Chinese public to join the world. A country that has all it needs in domestic raw materials has no need for liberalization and lower tariffs and imports could damage their farmers, automobile producers and banking industry. Let's see where this goes in bringing down other economies in the region as well, especially Southeast Asia. For China to enter into the WTO, they must lift restrictions on foreign banks, securities and insurance companies and obliged to eliminate or relax rules requiring joint ventures to export most of what they produce as well as controls on distribution and marketing. Once cheaper foreign products flood in, many jobs will be lost. How they can possibly believe that this can be to their advantage is a mystery.

Agreements with Beijing have already been made with the United States, Japan and Canada, Cuba just last year in January and India in February. China and the European Union clinched a deal in May to open Chinese markets to European goods, clearing Beijing's biggest hurdle to joining the World Trade Organization and increasing pressure on the U.S. Congress to give China permanent trading rights. Europeans wants greater access to China's motorcars and insurance markets and lower tariffs on 90 products. EU-China trade talks in Beijing broke down earlier this year with no agreements. China had threatened to use force against Taiwan if they stall on reunification talks, setting the WTO talks back, bordering on cooling the deal completely.

Although China did reach a trade deal with the United States with the support of ex-President Clinton, that agreement faced significant opposition in Congress. The AFL-CIO opposed the Chinese entry and V.P Gore met with labor unions in February, angering China. Al Gore had been accused of complicating the issue over his conflicting allegiances on the campaign trail. Gore was considered the best choice for labor and he supported the administrations position in favor of the WTO but Union leaders were part of the demonstration leadership in Seattle and had made defeat of the China trade bill a top legislative priority. Labor unionists know that once the multi-nationals use China to exploit cheap labor that it will hurt the workers at home. The House of Representatives approved by 237-197 legislation in May, putting normal trade relations with China on a permanent basis.

The House vote was part of the process to admit China into the WTO, but the human rights clause, China's leaders said, would allow the United States to meddle in China's internal affairs. They said they would not appreciate such interference. "China pays close attention to, and expresses strong dissatisfaction with, this act, and reserves the right to react on the issue in the future," Chinese Trade Ministry spokesman Hu Chusheng said. We urge the U.S. side to correct its wrongdoing, so as to ensure a healthy and smooth development of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade," he said.

Former President Clinton was involved with the World Trade Organization from the beginning. In 1994 Clinton promised $1,700 more annual income for the average American family if Congress ratified the WTO treaty. Political analyst William Greider likened this to promising that if your next-door neighbor wins the lottery, everyone on the block will get richer. Instead, says Greider, the gains of increasing international trade have gone heavily to the wealthy. For the majority, wages and benefits have stagnated, not increased. In 1997, former US Treasury Department official William Cline estimated that trade had been the cause of 39% of the increase in wage inequality over the previous 20 years. "There is in fact a respectable basis in economic theory," he affirmed, "for the proposition that free trade will undermine real wages of those toward the bottom of the distribution."

The Seattle protests actually started at Geneva in 1998 which was a celebration to mark the 50th year of the free trade system or GATT. This was the second Ministerial Conference of the WTO and will be remembered as a turning point in the rush towards economic globalization and the prophesied One World Order that will usher in the anti-christ and the Mark of the Beast. The protests were against the rapid liberalization of free trade and the continued exploitation of the third world and local small business. The small companies and farmers of the north as well as the economies of entire nations will not survive the take-over of their markets and lands due to this globalized economy. The opening up of the poorer countries in agriculture, services, and industry to giant multinationals has already brought the smaller countries to their knees and forced weaker businesses with increasing closure in their inability to compete with the giant foreign firms. The protest groups see the WTO's unbalanced emphasis on breaking down trade barriers no matter what the cost to workers' rights and environmental protections. One by one, the proponents of unrestricted free trade have a record of broken promises of new jobs, higher wages, and safeguards for workers, consumers and the environment. "This is what 'free trade' is all about - corporations overruling the decisions made by citizens at the ballot box and the legislative process," said Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.

Organized under the banner of the "People's Global Action," the groups represented farmers from both the South and the North and also represented workers angered that the race for "efficiency" and cost-cutting is leading to massive lay-offs, including many consumers concerned that the profit motive has led corporations to push sales of harmful products such as tobacco and genetically-engineered foods.

The protests in both Geneva and Seattle have been marred by thugs and frustrated local townspeople making up a small part of the crowd in taking advantage to loot and inflict property damage. The demonstrations themselves have been in the tradition of peaceful protest but the right-wing media and the embittered police state distorted and blacked out the truth, focusing on the few instances of vandalism and downplaying police abuses. In Seattle, the Mayor blundered and established a "no-protest zone" throughout all of downtown in effect causing more problems and thereby shutting down business. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit over this matter. Areas of the city were blanketed by tear gas, pepper spray and batons were used, rubber bullets and wooden pellets sent peaceful protesters and bystanders to the hospital and torture was reported at the jail. About 600 demonstrators were arrested, if they refused to give their names or asked for lawyers they were strapped into four-point restraining chairs. They were denied their civil rights. At least two were stripped naked, a woman said she was stripped naked while a male guard watched. Allegations of violations of international treaties and United Nations codes of conduct were levied by Amnesty International of the treatment of the WTO protesters.

Clinton attended both conferences and given the seat of honor. In Geneva, the security was so great that remarks were made about the inconvenience caused by the "Emperor of the World." The trans-national corporations love Clinton. As expected, Clinton extolled free trade and singled out the American vision of an "ever more open" global trading system. He sought the favor of the non-governmental organizations of the North and vowed to harmonize trade with environmental and labor causes, and to open up the WTO to the NGOs (non-governmental organizations). His speech at Geneva lacked sympathy for the problems of the poorer nations in having to implement the existing WTO agreements.

Delegates from most developing countries were understandably not pleased. "There is no reason for us to celebrate 50 years of the trade system as it has not brought us benefits," said the Ambassador of one African country. As the developing countries pleaded for more understanding and a slowing down of the pace of liberalization, the rich nations were aggressive in pushing the WTO headlong into new areas. Now the consensus is that the over-rapid financial liberalization caused the Asian currency collapse and debt crisis, and the increased laissez faire attitude of the IMF's (International Monetary Fund) made the situation worse.

The loudest cheers were for Fidel Castro. He attacked the United States for its unilateral trade actions, the North for trying to smuggle in a multilateral agreement on investment, and the "unfair and unbalanced" trade system. The Third World countries, said Castro, have been losing everything: custom tariffs that protected their emerging industries and produced revenues; agreements on commodities; producers' associations; price indexation; preferential treatment; and any instrument protecting their export value and contributing to their development. He called on developing countries, who form the majority in the WTO, to unite so that they can use their vote to turn the WTO into an instrument for a better world.

God has placed those that believe a lie under a strong delusion. The free trade system is leaving the third world forced to lag behind. There will be no fair and balanced trade with the rich nations of the north because there is no money in that. Money has been the god of the 20th century and money will be the downfall of the northern nations in the 21st. The weight of national debt has encumbered the developing nations to not develop out of economic slavery to the usurers. Usury is the evil that in bribing the third world nations to accept will be the reason for the collapse of the north. How long will these nations fall for the deceptive tactics of economic imperialism? Not much longer, it seems. We are headed for the final showdown. The United States will fall the hardest and each President has taken us closer to the edge of economic crisis. It is the judgment of God upon America for putting money ahead of Him and not giving the poor their rights.

The Seattle talks launched the ninth round of global negotiations to lower trade barriers. The protestors had billed their involvement as the "Protest of the Century," and WTO opponents had gathered to give the ruling class a "kick in the groin." The demonstrators were made up of labor union groups, farm groups, sierra club, anti-capitalist groups, peace groups, educators and health care workers, students and activists from California to Canada and others. They stated that they wanted WTO make as part of their mandate sanctions against countries that violated workers' rights, child labor, slave labor, the right to organize, the right to bargain collectively and ending discrimination in the workplace. By mid-week the protests and demonstrations outside were having its impact on the negotiations. Not to be outdone, the police state headed by the Seattle Police Department mobilized a force involving the King County Sheriff, the US Secret Service, the FBI, the State Department, the CIA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and many others.

President Clinton began using the street demonstrations and protests against the WTO to push for a working group on trade-linked labor standards. According to insider reports of developing countries, Clinton won no ground. By the end of the week the WTO surrendered, saying the issues before delegates were too complicated to work out in the time remaining and the differences between member nations too broad a gulf to cross. The rebellion of the developing countries and the deadlock among the United States' biggest trading partners proved to be an obstacle to large to cross. Some African nations felt so excluded from the negotiation that they threatened to walk out. The protestors outside claimed victory and showed the rest of the world that a place like Seattle is much like all of us in that we are still getting used to the rapid change and confusion that global trade is bringing to our lives.

What is next? Prophecy is the future revealed. We know that the north will continue its aggressive nature, it is the nature of the beast. And we know that the South will continue the denunciation of this generation. And we know that there will be a final conflict. It is the nature of some to denounce these things and bring the oppression to the attention of the world. The protestors had an impact in their denunciation, that is for sure, the views of the opponents became much more visible and the WTO is exposed as a badly flawed organization. The protestors marched in peace according to the freedom guaranteed in America and putting them in jail only drew attention to an oppressive police state. The voice will continue to be heard but there are more forces now at work against this type of freedom, this time more hidden.

[Activism according to the Seattle protest of the World Trade Organization was an item of the latter rain discussion list.]

WTO Activism Links

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Subject: Seattle MD testifies - Police Brutality - Martial Law - Police State

From: "Dr. Byron Weeks"

Interview with Seattle MD
(posted 12-4-99)

My name is Richard DeAndrea. I'm a medical doctor. What I saw up here was martial law. This turned into a police state. Everything you have seen on television regarding local news broadcasts including national public radio was a blackout.

The police were using concussion grenades. They were shooting tear gas canisters directly at protesters facing them. They were using rubber bullets. Some of the damage I saw from these rubber bullets took off part of a person's jaw, smashed teeth in their mouth. I saw the police arrest people who had their hands up in the air screaming we are peacefully protesting. The amount of looting that took place was so minimal I don't even know where they got the footage from. I am saying this beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is a definite sign that America is heading towards a police state unless people start standing up for their rights as individuals. I am actually shocked and ashamed. I am ashamed of the police force, I am ashamed of the mayor. I am ashamed of Bill Clinton. I am ashamed of the whole thing.

Jared: These rubber bullets - what are they?

Dr. DeAndrea: They are made of polyester type material. They are like a hard plastic toy. The idea is to hit your body, do damage, not actually penetrate. But I did see penetration wounds, I did see people bleeding. I did see teeth loss, I did see broken bones. There were children present, there were families present, they were firing upon families, mothers, grandmothers,. They were just firing at them. They came out in full police force. They brought out swat teams, they had the national guard up here, there was CIA surrounding the delegates' buildings. It was very obvious that there was an institutional control that had no regard of human rights whatever.

In addition we have video footage of protesters being taken away as well as human rights being violated. Prisoners were taken and they were tortured. There is a case, I believe his name is Holm, Keith Holm. He was tortured because he would not give his name. They handcuffed, laid him on the floor, they smashed his face against the concrete, they grabbed his hair, they ripped out a lock of hair and then placed pencils between his fingers on them until he would give his name. They were also banging his head against metal objects. He was actually the first protester released because the Internal Affairs came in to do an investigation and they wanted him gone because he would be able to give testimony.

We're treating people in a studio loft downtown. I just treated an ear wound. People have been treated for concussion injuries. There have been people who have been treated for plastic bullet wounds. Lots of tear gas injuries, lots of damage to corneas, lots of damage to the eyes and skins. They were using a pepper spray, a tear gas and they were also using some sort of nerve gas. We had reports of many demonstrators winding up with seizures the next day. It causes muscles to clamp up, muscle contractions, seizures.

They have done several illegal things regarding these people in jail. They have been telling them that they would not be let out, not have their bail set if they didn't give their names. Its their legal right not to give their name. They don't have to speak at all. Attorneys came up and said we are representing these people. The police called their attorneys liars. At this point they have still refused to let any of them see their clients. There are close to 600 people who were arrested and they have been holding them for two days on charges that are mostly misdemeanors - refusal to disperse.

A lot of people in there have not gotten medical attention, either. I have gotten calls from young ladies in there who have had all sorts of emotional problems as well as physical problems. They have called me for medical attention from inside the jail. There are people still sitting in there who have not even been processed.

Today there were fewer attacks by police, but they did arrest more people. And there was no violence today by the marchers and all through the day yesterday it was the same. What you are seeing on television about looting and anarchistic protesters - there's straight-out blackout they are basically pushing that. There is not much damage to property here. There are not many windows that have been damaged or stores that have been looted. Those are extremely rare cases.

I used to believe newspapers were telling the truth. But now I am no longer behind that.

This shouldn't happen in America. This is still America, isn't it? I'm beginning to wonder.

In a message dated 12/04/1999 7:19:51 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:


by Dale Hill

I have seen some of the television reportage and some of the newspaper coverage concerning the events in Seattle during the World Trade Organization millennium round of talks. Most of it is accurate as far as it goes. However, little of the reporting went far enough to present what was actually happening in the streets between the police and the protestors.

I was there from Saturday morning until Thursday evening, Nov. 27-Dec. 2. My legs are tired from walking and running all over the city to get to the different spots where things were happening. My arms and back are tired from lugging around the tape recorder that I used for the radio news and my camera equipment for newspaper work. My mind is tired from trying to absorb this history-making event that has linked labor with environmentalists, faith-based peoples with progressives, black with white and business with anarchists. I saw a steelworker with his arms around the shoulders of a Rastafarian. Never before in the history of progressive populist politics have so many people from so many different backgrounds come together - each with their own special interest - to support one another against a common adversary. The WTO threatens the way of life of all peoples from all walks of life in every country. The people are rightly upset that an organization without any democratic accountability at any level have been granted the power to render any nation's laws invalid for simply being a "barrier to trade."

Some of the reporting tried to marginalize the protestors by focusing on the special interests of each group. Some even said, "They don't know what they want," because one group wanted the forests protected and another wanted child labor abolished and another wanted their jobs protected. Why could the mainstream media not see that these people were all opposing the same enemy? Because the mainstream media is bought and paid for by that same enemy to serve corporate interests.

Most of the news tried to marginalize the demonstrators by focusing on the acts of violence. The headlines were incendiary. "Loss of $7 million downtown" read one headline. That sounds horrendous. The head of Herzog glass, who was contracted to replace all of the broken windows in the downtown area, said there was about $20,000 worth of glass to be replaced. Broken glass was the only real damage, except for the Radio Shack that was broken into by local youths not associated with the WTO protests and not in the same area as the demonstrations. The graffitti that decorated many business establishments was removed by volunteers from among the demonstrators. So, where does the $7 million figure come from? Buried deep within the article are the estimates of "lost business" during the days of protest.

Why did they lose business? Because they shut down. Yes, they were afraid, but they did not have to be. The stores that remained open reported good business and dealing with some wonderful people. Business owners were made to be afraid not only by the sensational and misleading reporting, but also by the police days before the protestors arrived. The owners of a gift shop in Pioneer Square, who are personally known, were told to "prepare for the worst" by police who were going from store to store during the week preceding the meetings.

Thursday, the protestors held a rally down in Pike's Market to support that kind of business, but the shop owners began closing up when the demonstrators arrived. The fear in their faces was quite evident and saddening.

Was there violence? Yes, if you include vandalism and police brutality as violence. Otherwise, there was none.

Though the presence of provocateurs cannot be proven, I saw enough to persuade me to believe that such was the case. Monday afternoon, during one of the first marches, I was behind a young man as he deftly stooped down and put his shoulder through the glass of the McDonald's. He was gone before I could see what had happened. He did bang on the glass or use anything but his shoulder. He knew exactly where the weakest spot was. The manager immediately called for help, but the police never arrived.

During the labor union march of Tuesday, all the windows were broken behind the lines of protestors standing in front of the police blockades. Few, if any windows were broken while the people were fleeing the tear gas assault. Police never moved on the violators, though they could be seen picking up newspaper racks to smash the windows. The tear gas and rubber bullets were used against the people who dared to sit down in a street the police had already blocked to traffic before the protestors arrived. No guns were fired in the direction of vandals. It is, of course, an open question who the vandals were working for (or against), but it was the demonstrators who continually chanted "No violence" and would quickly surround any violator or violated place. No looting was possible, and it was evident no one wanted to. In every case I encountered peaceful demonstrators who only wanted to have a voice.

It is a shame that the only way to speak in dissent is through civil disobedience.

There is also a strong argument that the only way to have that civil disobedience noticed is through violence.

Monday evening almost 10,000 people braved the cold rain to march to the King Dome where the WTO was holding a reception for the delegates. The people were blocked from forming the human chain they desired to surround the building, but that did not prevent them from linking arms in a chain around the portion that was not blocked. They came to pray and that is what they did. Not a word was heard from the media.

There were upwards of 50,000 filling the streets Tuesday in support of the labor union march. The march was almost completely peaceful, but there was some vandalism and some who tried to get pass the police lines. There were 19 arrests. Think about it...only 19 people arrested out of 50,000, and the media portrayed Seattle as falling apart.

People complained on Wednesday that their civil rights were being violated by police action, but it was clear there were no civil rights. The mayor had declared a state of civil emergency. A "No Protest Zone" was established over a 50-block area, which included every meeting place of the demonstrators and offices of the various groups present to voice their objections to the WTO. It soon became a protest against the police-state. It was illegal to even carry a gas mask. To emphasize that, the police arrested a reporter from the Netherlands who tried to put her mask on when the police began putting theirs on. I was standing next to George Becker, the president of the United Steelworkers and the reporter was standing on my other side when the incident occurred. Becker was shouting his outrage while I was trying to record the episode on tape and film.

A designated Legal Observer was herded behind police lines and had her notes confiscated. Our Bill of Rights was blatantly torn up in front of our faces this day.

This day, more than 500 people were arrested. Most were never processed, but only held until 9 p.m. that evening when they were released. They had to find their own way back to town.

Most were arrested for such threatening acts as sitting on a public plaza or standing on a street corner in groups of more than five. There is no description for the chill that went through me as I realized the things I have tried to "give the benefit of the doubt" no longer held any credibility. Those who have decried police actions, I have always put into a category outside reality. I was wrong. Police are the corporate dogs and care not one whit for the Constitution. Their job is clearly to enforce whatever their bosses declare as law for the day. That law is always in the favor of business even when opposed to those for whom the Constitution was written as was the case this day.

The mayor must have realized that he over-reacted to the non-violent protestors, because Thursday saw the perimeter of the "No Protest Zone" much smaller. No signs were allowed near the zone. The police were not in full riot gear as they were the day before. Some actually smiled as a woman violated the zone with a sign that read "Smiles Needed." She was only asked to move along.

The damage done by the ill-advised media attention to the small pockets of violence will only be temporary. There is no need to bemoan their inability to get to the real news. The people have spoken and the world has perked its ears. In two separate encounters Saturday, local clerks asked, "What is this WTO they were protesting?"

The demonstrators left Seattle with a victory under their belt after having engaged the opposing force in a skirmish. It is now up to the people to mount a full-scale war. The WTO concluded its meetings with "nothing accomplished." President Clinton is calling for better planning for the next round of talks in Geneva, but the world is now aware. The snake is out from under the rock.

The talks immediately preceding the Seattle Round were held in Geneva, and failed to produce an agenda for Seattle. The developing countries are now aware of the tremendous deception used by the U.S. to foster its economic imperialism upon a weaker people, and they are rising up in protest and halting progress. There were demonstrations of solidarity Tuesday in England, France and Germany. The World Trade Organization has been knocked back on its heels and it is time to move in for a complete victory.

This 52-year-old activist is once again delighted to be in the vanguard of change. I will be glad to answer any questions this free-form recording of thoughts may generate. Thank you for reading this far.


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