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(en) Active Trans - WTO Emergency Report - Seattle, the second day

From "fighttowin@email.com" <fighttowin@email.com>
Date Thu, 2 Dec 1999 07:28:20 -0500


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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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Active Transformation is an anarchist collective with members in Detroit and
Lansing Michigan.  For more info call Shaun @ (517) 355-0038 or email
fighttowin@email.com .


Active Transformation
Emergency Alert - Thursday November 2nd 1999

400 Arrested
Seattle Under Martial Law

By Shaun,

Authorities late Tuesday decided that the protesters, which at times
numbered some 50,000 strong, would not shutdown the World Trade Organization
Conference for another day.   The Governor of Washington declared a state of
emergency Tuesday night as thousands of protestors trashed corporate stores
throughout the city center.  The protests turned increasingly ugly after
police indiscriminately fired tear gas and shot rubber bullets at the
massive crowds passive protestors earlier in the day.

A curfew was established for 7 p.m. Tuesday night.  The National Guard was
sent in and fought protestors throughout the night to secure a 52 block, "no
protest zone," around the conference site.

On Wednesday, protestors were greeted with the National Guard and hundreds
of officers from around the state.  Over 400 people had been arrested or
taken in to custody by 3:00 p.m.

Cracking Down

Police didn't discriminate with the crack down on Wednesday.  They arrested
protestors who had taken over intersections on the outskirts of the "no
protest zone" and tear-gassed a 4,000-person march by the teamsters.
Activists from Detroit and Lansing, including members of Active
Transformation, were detained at a nonviolent protest outside the "no
protest zone."  They have been held in a city bus, with no bathroom, since
early afternoon on Wednesday.  Police have denied them the right to see a
lawyer and they have refused to leave the bus until this right is granted.
We have heard reports of those in jail, refusing to show ID or identify
themselves, have been beaten and had pepper spray applied to their eyes.

Martial Law

On Monday and Tuesday, the protesters had complete control of the streets of
Seattle.  Protesters packed 50,000 into the downtown area, making it
impossible for any of the delegates to get to the convention site or out of
their hotels.  Effectively shutting down the WTO talks for the first two
days.

Police engaged in a kind of turf war, trying to clear intersections and
disperse thousands of non-violent protesters, by firing chemical irritants
into the air and firing rubber bullets.  However the police were far under
prepared for the hostility and property damage unleashed by the protesters,
who after being tear-gassed, destroyed the Gap, Starbucks, Nike Town and
dozens of other corporate stores.


Next Article
Anarchist Response to World Trade Organization

By Steve,

This article in not meant to be a history or theoretical discussion of what
the WTO is.  In the coming weeks there will be plenty of discussion about
the World Trade Organization.  This short article is meant to put forth an
anarchist understanding of what's wrong with the WTO and how we want to move
beyond it.

Firstly it is important that we understand that this international body
called the World Trade Organization is designed by capitalists to help them
make more money.  The so-called "democracy's" so many of us embrace are just
a mechanism to make us feel like we're in control.  It is a tool for the
manufacture of consent, which is much more powerful form of control - than
violence.  So when we criticize the WTO for not being democratic, we
shouldn't be surprised - there is very little that is democratic about
capitalism.  What we should be surprised by is the lack of a "democratic
charade".  I guess they have just gotten used to nobody paying much
attention.

As we have argued before - we are engaged in a class war.  The enemy
(bosses, politicians, etc.) has many tools in their arsenal to use against
working people and the poor (not that there is much of a distinction between
the two).  The WTO is just another weapon in the capitalist toolbox.  Its
job is to limit the "excesses of democracy".  What this means is that when
some flaw in the "democracy" allows people to make a law that interferes
with business - it can be overturned.  This is being pushed by our
"democratic" dictator Bill Clinton.  And because a few people pulled the
lever for him three years ago Americans are supposed to feel that he
represents their democratic will. What a joke!

Much of the debate around globalization and the WTO is wrongly focused on
propping up the nation-state system.  We believe this is a fatal flaw.  As
stated above, there is nothing democratic about our  "democratic"
nation-states.  The problem isn't that our national sovereignty is being
violated - the problem is corporations and politicians run the world in
their own benefit.  They wage class war against us and fool us into thinking
it is for our own good.

As anarchists we believe in tearing down the borders, not for corporations,
but for people.  Globalization has never been for us.  The WTO will continue
to tear down borders for corporations, so they can continue to exploit the
land and the people.  The WTO will never tear down the borders for people. 
Why is it that if these global economy pushers are really for free trade,
why are they the same people who are complaining about illegal immigrants? 
Because they are really only for free-reign of exploitation.  They
strengthen the borders for workers, while at the same time tearing them down
for corporations.  This is the essence of class war.
While the politicians and corporate CEO's (as if there was a difference)
talk wildly about the benefits of globalizing the economy, the plan at home
has been to increase authority and control over workers and poor people. 
The prison industry is the number 1 growth industry in the U$A.  Amerika
currently houses 1.8 million people in correctional facilities of one kind
or another.  Much of this is carried out in a genocidal way toward Black and
Chicano women and men.  The US criminal injustice system treats people of
color differently (a.k.a. in a racist way) at every step - from
surveillance, arrest, trial, sentencing, and while in prison.  And now they
are rebuilding the plantations.  The 13th Amendment does not abolish slavery
for those imprisoned.  So African Americans have gone from slavery to
segregation to a modified form of prison slavery.

The US has also found for the first time in history the justification for
the mass imprisonment of women and children.  The so-called "War on Drugs"
has been waged increasingly at women and children.  Women who defend
themselves against abusive partners have also been a target of the "New
Justice".  In Pontiac, MI we just saw the sentencing of an 11-year-old as an
adult in a murder case.  The death penalty is in full effect, while at the
same time police are allowed to rampage the community from LA to NYC, with
no legal repercussions.  The U$A continues to ignore the existence of
political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, as well as,
more than 100 others.  When are we going to say enough is enough?

How about the fact that fewer and fewer of us have adequate health care? 
What about attacks on the right of women to reproductive health care? 
Welfare cutbacks? Tuition increases?  Failing schools? Attacks on
affirmative action?  But aren't we in a period of economic boom?  I thought
unemployment was at an all-time low?  The reality is all the new jobs hover
right around minimum wage with absolutely no fringe benefits.  Real wages
have continually dropped since the early 70's.  Even the way they do
unemployment stats skew the results.  They don't count the millions of
people who have given up hope and stopped trying to find a job at all.  Sure
there are plenty of jobs as cops, prison guards, security guards, and in the
army.  What is this world we are building?

The reality is we have weapons in our toolboxes too.  We just have failed to
use most of them since the mid 1970's.   Direct Action is our most effective
tool if we want to start to fight back in this class war.  We have to build
solidarity among all those whose power has been taken away.  This means we
need to build solidarity between people of color and white people; between
men and women, between queer people and straight people.  This solidarity
has to built on the basis of the more privileged people taking the lead from
more oppressed people - and engaging in a self-critical manner.

They key is we have to fight back.  The legal channels have been exhausted. 
We need to take our working people's movement to the streets and be willing
to express our anger.  In Seattle we will have this opportunity.  But will
we take it? Or will we allow ourselves to be ignored once again? We believe
we should take this opportunity to express our outrage at our corporate
dictators, at our corrupt politicians, and at the passivity of our own
movement.  We need to take things to a higher level.


Demonstrate to Free the Anti-WTO Activists!
Friday, December 3
12 - 1 p and 5 - 6 p
Federal Building at Michigan and Cass in down town Detroit

Over 500 people were arrested in Seattle. A majority of these people were
arrested for unknowingly breaking the no-protest zone. All of the Detroit
and Lansing Active Transformation Members are among those who have been
arrested. We don't have all of the information yet, but we do know that they
are being held on busses. People who have been taken off the buses have been
beaten and pepper sprayed. Due to these attacks on the protesters, some have
barricaded themselves on the buses where they have been for hours. There are
lawyers in the vicinity, but they are not being allowed to see the
prisoners. We will be supporting the protesters here locally, demonstration,
date and time tba.

Some are also calling the mayor's office in Seattle to voice our support 
(206) 684-4000

onward...
  shaun g
--------------------------------------
email: fighttowin@email.com
--------------------------------------
Active Transformation
Email: activetrans@hotmail.com
Mail: POBox 6746, East Lansing MI 48826
--------------------------------------



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