This week marks ten years since 60,000 Americans and internationals joined delegates from the developing world to defeat megacorps’ attempted coup against Earth’s democracies. The Seattle WTO protests‘ astonishing success forced global opposition to corporatist rule into mainstream awareness in the most developed nations.

Though the 1999 protests didn’t end corporate power, over those five days in 1999 protests, protesters, and developing world delegates did succeded in stopping megacorps from attaining the power to demolish the public sector around the world. To put it simply, the Seattle 1999 coalition of protesters, civil society activists, and developing nations’ delegates demolished the corporatists’ dream of forcing all public services to be offered up to the lowest corporate bidder. Had the corporatists succeed in Seattle, they would have armed themselves with international trade treaties to loot national treasuries and destroy what remained of national sovereignty. The Battle in Seattle’s success – maintined through subsequent "Doha Round" WTO meetings over the last decade – quite literally saved civil society around the world from exsanguination via forced privatization.

Who made the Seattle WTO protests possible? Tens of thousands of Americans and thousands of internationals who knew we deserve better than misery and death under de facto corporate rule. Hundreds of civil society organizers who worked to inform and empower their neighbors and communities. The Direct Action Network organizers who coordinated the street protests. Non-violent eco-activists and forest defenders betrayed by Clinton’s sell-off of our natural wealth and Gore’s sabotage of the Kyoto Protocols. Unionized workers enraged by NAFTA – Rahm Emanuel’s and Bill Clinton’s intentional sacrifice of their livelihoods and communities in propitiation of the DLC’s de facto rulers, the megacorps. Developing world delegates who’d seen our economic hit men and their deadly work up close, and still defied them.

Sadly, Rahm Emanuel’s continued political life proves the 1999 WTO protests didn’t drive a stake through the corporatists or their vampires. Now that Rahm’s the President’s Chief of Staff, the President and the majority Congressional leaders are openly turning on their base, and Obama’s enabled the corporatists to suck trillions out of Treasury, even the dullest Dem party fanboys and fangirls have figured out our audacious leaders are colluding with the usual looters.

This week the glorified bribery racket called the US Senate set to work grinding health care reform into another corporate bail-out, and folks are already gathering in Copenhagen to make sure the US and China can’t force a suicide pact on the world’s children. So this week’s a good time to revisit the week ten years ago when a tiny handful of Americans stood up (and sat down) to non-violently confront the "leaders" who wanted to trash our livelihoods and sacrifice our kids and elders – and defeated our corrupt, unrepresentative elites. The same social and political forces that defeated the WTO in Seattle are still vibrant, but now they have a lot more allies.

Ten years ago tonight I stood on Seattle’s streets outside the convention center where the WTO was scheduled to meet, but didn’t: civil society had won the day. I stayed out on the streets amidst active protests as long as the Nextel batteries held out, and then headed back to the warehouse on Denny, where I was greeted by improvised decontamination stations and a warehouse packed with chemical weapons survivors, many of whom needed medical care. And the week was just beginning.

"Pain is only temporary, and we are extremely strong"

This week I’m looking forward to describing how our strength came through for us in Seattle ten years ago. Over these next days I’m looking forward to exploring what happened there with FDL’s readers. That success deserves celebration. And now that corporatist-owned Dems are again choosing to sacrifice our lives for their masters’ profits, the sucess may well deserve emulation.

Happy Anniversary!

Kirk Murphy

Kirk Murphy

terrestrial obligate aerobe with endoskeleton (bony) and bilateral symmetry.

chordate, bipedal, warm-blooded, mammalian, placental (origin), opposable thumbs.

not (yet) extinct.

indigenous habitat: California Live Oak.

current habitat: Central California Coast (most northerly aspect).... 'northwest of the new world, east of the sea'

potential habitats: all potential habitats critically endangered (due to global climate change).

ailurophilic - hence allergic rhinitic.