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Library Search Results: Abstracts

Your search for WTOProtest found 23 files.
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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results

WTO Meeting and Protests in Seattle (1999) -- Part 1

The Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Seattle from November 30 to December 3, 1999, brought together trade ministers and other officials from the WTO's 135 member countries in an attempt, which proved unsuccessful, to agree on the issues and agenda for a new round of negotiations aimed at further deregulating international trade, particularly in such controversial areas as agriculture, services, and intellectual property. It also brought tens of thousands of protestors to the city's downtown streets. Most governments around the world, leading multinational corporations, and virtually all of Washington state's political and business leaders supported the WTO and "free trade," which they argued benefited society by promoting economic growth. However, internationally and locally labor unions, environmental groups, and activists for many other causes increasingly condemned the WTO for favoring corporate interests over social and environmental concerns. Part 1 of this two-part essay describes the history of the WTO and the many issues and controversies that divided supporters and opponents of free trade in Washington state and around the world and inspired the week of protests that became known as the "battle in Seattle."
File 9183: Full Text >

WTO Meeting and Protests in Seattle (1999) -- Part 2

When Seattle elected officials and civic leaders won the bid to host the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), they hoped to link Seattle's name to a new round of negotiations aimed at promoting and regulating international trade. What happened during the conference did indelibly link Seattle and the WTO, although not in the way that boosters hoped. Tens of thousands joined in rallies and marches against WTO policies that they said hurt the environment, farmers, workers, consumers, and others. Thousands more successfully (albeit temporarily) "shut down the WTO" through nonviolent civil disobedience. A much smaller group used property destruction to protest the WTO and big corporations. Seattle authorities responded with a massive show of police force and creation of a "no protest zone," drawing widespread criticism for both their lack of preparation and their subsequent crackdown. Part 2 of this two-part essay describes the lead-up to the conference, events during the conference week (which are further detailed in separate HistoryLink timeline essays), and the aftermath for the WTO, which failed to reach any agreement in Seattle, and for protestors and the city.
File 9213: Full Text >

Contains Audio/Video

WTO: History as it Happens -- A Video by Josh McNichols and Jerome Montalto.

This video by Josh McNichols and Jerome Montalto details HistoryLink.org's unexpected role in the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, protests that were dubbed the "Battle of Seattle."
File 9203: Full Text >

WTO: HistoryLink.org webcam of protests and a slideshow of each day (November 30-December 3, 1999), Seattle

This file presents a portion of HistoryLink.org's webcam of WTO protests in Seattle (November 30-December 3, 1999) and a slideshow showing images from every day of that historic event. The webcam was shot from HistoryLink's office on the fourth floor of the Joshua Green Building (1425 4th Avenue, across from Westlake Park).
File 7117: Full Text >

Showing 1 - 15 of 15 results

President Clinton convenes APEC summit on Blake Island on November 20, 1993.

On November 20, 1993, President William J. Clinton convenes a "summit" with 13 leaders of Pacific Rim nations attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, or APEC, in Seattle. The historic session is held in a Native American-style long house on Blake Island, a state park in Puget Sound, in Kitsap County. Salmon is served, and it doesn't rain.
File 5333: Full Text >

Mayor Schell advises Seattle business owners on October 29, 1999, of plans to handle protests during the upcoming WTO meeting.

On October 29, 1999, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) writes an eight-page letter to Seattle business owners explaining the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial meeting planned to occur from November 30 to December 3, 1999. The letter describes the WTO, Seattle's role in hosting the meeting, and the impacts to downtown businesses of the event, which will be attended by more than 6,000 people from 135 countries.
File 2137: Full Text >

Governor Locke offers to send National Guard troops to Seattle to augment police during World Trade Organization (WTO) demonstrations on November 26, 1999.

On November 26, 1999, Washington Governor Gary Locke (b. 1950) offers to send National Guard troops to Seattle to augment Seattle police during expected demonstrations protesting the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will meet in Seattle from November 29 to December 3. U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno offers the help of federal law enforcement officers.
File 2136: Full Text >

Protests in advance of the WTO conference in Seattle continue on November 28, 1999.

On Sunday, November 28, 1999, as trade officials from 135 member countries begin arriving in Seattle for the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), two anti-WTO demonstrations bring several hundred protestors to downtown Seattle. Street performers rally outside Starbucks, Old Navy, and the Gap to protest the WTO's enforcement of free trade rules that they claim favor corporate interests over those of workers and the environment, while farmers plant a tree as they demand that the WTO "keep its hands off agriculture." WTO Director-General Mike Moore addresses some of the organization's fiercest critics with a speech to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, which is meeting in Seattle in advance of the conference. In the evening squatters take over an empty building at 9th Avenue and Virginia Street, announcing they will use it to house protestors and advocate for the homeless.
File 2138: Full Text >

Large but mostly non-confrontational protests greet the WTO in Seattle on November 29, 1999.

On Monday, November 29, 1999, one day before the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) officially opens, three large demonstrations rally against WTO policies. In the afternoon thousands of protestors, several hundred of them clad in bright green sea turtle costumes, march through downtown Seattle to denounce WTO "free trade" rules as harmful to the environment and animal welfare. As the environmental march disperses there are several brief stand-offs between police in riot gear and groups of protestors, but they end without incident. In the evening two marches converge on the Stadium Exhibition Center south of downtown, where WTO delegates are attending the conference's opening reception. Several hundred steelworkers and other union supporters protesting the WTO's labor policies join thousands organized by the Washington Association of Churches. They successfully form a human chain around the Exhibition Center to call on world leaders to cancel the debt owed by poor countries to international banks.
File 2143: Full Text >

After protestors fill the streets and shut down the WTO opening session, Mayor Paul Schell declares a state of emergency and police use tear gas and rubber bullets to clear downtown Seattle on November 30, 1999.

On Tuesday, November 30, 1999, thousands of direct action protestors achieve their well-publicized goal to "shut down the WTO" through nonviolent civil disobedience, forcing cancellation of the opening ceremonies of the World Trade Organization's Third Ministerial Conference in Seattle. Unprepared for the numbers of protestors, Seattle police use tear gas and pepper spray to clear some intersections.Tens of thousands more anti-WTO protestors rally at the Seattle Center, where environmentalists and students march to join a huge rally organized by the AFL-CIO. More than 35,000 march from the labor rally to downtown, where many join the crowds of protestors already in the streets. Roaming through the crowds, and taking advantage of the lack of police in most of downtown, a small group of black-clad, masked "anarchists" smashes windows, sprays graffiti, and vandalizes police cars. Despite scattered confrontations, the atmosphere in much of downtown remains largely calm into the afternoon. However, with streets still occupied by protestors, delegates unable to move freely, and President Clinton due in town that night, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) declares a state of emergency and police begin using massive amounts of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and other "less lethal munitions" to move protestors, and anyone else who happens to be there, out of downtown. By evening, police have pushed large groups of protestors into the Capitol Hill neighborhood to the east, where confrontations continue late into the night.
File 2142: Full Text >

Police enforce a "no protest zone" around the WTO meeting in Seattle and arrest hundreds of demonstrators on December 1, 1999.

On Wednesday, December 1, 1999, following Tuesday's massive nonviolent civil disobedience that temporarily shut down the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and scattered vandalism of downtown businesses, Seattle officials enforce a "no protest zone" in 25 square blocks of downtown Seattle. Police and National Guard troops bar anyone with anti-WTO signs from entering the area and arrest hundreds of demonstrators, along with some bystanders and at least one WTO delegate. With the streets cleared of protestors, trade officials move freely between their hotels and the conference venues, where they continue negotiating agricultural subsidies and other contentious issues. President Bill Clinton (b. 1946), whose presence was a major reason for the crackdown, travels empty streets as he meets with union and environmental leaders who organized the large, peaceful protests and calls on the WTO to include labor and environmental standards in trade agreements. In a repeat of Tuesday, as darkness falls police use tear gas, rubber bullets, and concussion bombs to force protestors and bystanders off downtown streets, driving many protestors onto Capitol Hill, where major confrontations continue into the early morning hours for the second night in a row.
File 2141: Full Text >

Seattle authorities ease crackdown as peaceful protests against the WTO (and earlier police tactics) proceed on December 2, 1999.

On Thursday, December 2, 1999, police abandon the rubber bullets, tear gas, and other forceful tactics used during the past two days to quell protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO). Hundreds of demonstrators protest peacefully against both the WTO and the prior police conduct and call for the release of those arrested earlier (only two are arrested on Thursday). President Bill Clinton (b. 1946), whose presence had been a major reason for the crackdown, leaves Seattle after signing a treaty aimed at eliminating egregious forms of child labor. Many of the day's demonstrations focus more on the police and the "no protest zone" imposed by the City than on the WTO, but a waterfront farmers' rally condemns the trade organization for its support of corporate agriculture and genetic engineering.
File 2140: Full Text >

After a week of protests and controversy, World Trade Organization talks in Seattle fail on December 3, 1999.

On Friday, December 3, 1999, trade negotiations fail and the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ends without achieving its goal of reaching agreement on an agenda for the next round of international trade negotiations. Although massive protests against the WTO and the forceful police response have overshadowed negotiations inside the Washington State Convention & Trade Center, it turns out that the deep divisions reflected in the streets are also present among trade officials. Delegates from poorer, less developed countries are angered at being excluded from key discussions, but in the end it is disagreements between the richest countries, specifically the United States and the European Union, over the issue of agicultural subsidies that bring the talks down. As delegates debate, several thousand demonstrators march in a final anti-WTO protest organized by the Teamsters union. Hundreds gather outside the Westin Hotel and the King County Jail to demand the release of protestors arrested earlier, where they cheer and dance upon hearing that the WTO talks have collapsed.
File 2139: Full Text >

Norm Stamper resigns as Seattle Police Chief on December 6, 1999, in wake of WTO unrest.

On December 6, 1999, Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper announces that he will resign and that he takes full responsibility for the unrest which closed the Central Business District and disrupted World Trade Organization (WTO) talks that took place in Seattle from November 29 to December 3, 1999.
File 2144: Full Text >

Seattle City Council hearing on WTO unrest, the first, lasts eight hours on December 8, 1999.

On December 8, 1999, the Seattle City Council opens hearings into failures by Seattle police and civilian officials in planning for and dealing with protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) during the week of November 30, 1999. The meeting room at the Seattle Public Library, which accommodates 200 persons, is quickly filled for the 4:00 p.m. meeting. Speakers line up out the doors and around the block in a pouring rain for a chance at three minutes to testify.
File 2146: Full Text >

Seattle City Council hearing into WTO unrest, the second, lasts 10 hours on December 14, 1999.

On December 14, 1999, the Seattle City Council holds the second of its hearings into the unrest surrounding the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting during the week of November 30, 1999. The council hears some 175 witnesses during the 10-hour hearing. Approximately 200 people attend the hearing held in the Seattle Center Pavilion.
File 2147: Full Text >

Terrorism fears and post-WTO jitters snuff out Seattle Center millennium eve celebration on December 31, 1999.

On December 31, 1999, Mayor Paul Schell closes Seattle Center and orders a massive force of 895 police officers and 320 fire fighters on alert for possible terrorist attacks and WTO-style anarchy. Although the traditional Space Needle fireworks program occurs, Seattle is alone among the world's major cities in canceling a public observance of the "new millennium."
File 2991: Full Text >

Seattle municipal court judge dismisses WTO gas mask case on February 17, 2000.

On February 17, 2000, a municipal court judge dismisses criminal charges against a man accused of violating the emergency order prohibiting the possession of "devices commonly known as gas masks" during the period of unrest surrounding the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting which occurred in late November and early December, 1999, in Seattle.
File 2145: Full Text >

World Trade Organization (WTO) opponents commemorate 1999 protests in Seattle on November 30, 2000.

On November 30, 2000, opponents of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commemorate 1999 protests in Seattle with several marches downtown. The marchers tie up traffic, occupy the Westlake Mall area for several hours, wander up to Capitol Hill, and then return to the downtown area. After hours of largely peaceful protest, Seattle Police arrest approximately 140 persons who fail to comply with a dispersal order. One police captain is seriously injured by a thrown object.
File 2881: Full Text >

Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results

Civil Violence in Seattle -- A Brief History

This piece on violence in the history of Seattle was written by Walt Crowley (1947-2007), Executive Director of www.historylink.org, and appeared in The Seattle Times on December 12, 1999, immediately following the massive protests in Seattle of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) third Minesterial Conference, which took place in Seattle from November 29 to December 4, 1999.
File 9192: Full Text >

Turning Point 5: From the Knights of Labor to the WTO

The fifth essay in the Turning Points series prepared by Walt Crowley and the HistoryLink staff for The Seattle Times focuses on leftwing and labor politics in Seattle and Washington state. The article traces populist and radical agitation from the anti-Chinese riots of 1886 through the 1919 General Strike, Great Depression, World War II, McCarthyist backlash, to the 1999 anti-WTO protests. It was published on February 23, 2001.
File 9193: Full Text >

WTO Chronicles: Nancy Pennington Talks About Turtles

Nancy Pennington (b. 1938) is a Seattle animal rights activist who has twice donned a sea turtle costume to protest the policies of the World Trade Organization -- first during the 1999 WTO conference in Seattle and again during the "N30" demonstrations marking the first anniversary of the conference, on November 30, 2000. The sea turtles' whimsical, colorful costumes made them a symbol of WTO protests, so much so that the Smithsonian Institution asked to have one for its collection. In this interview, conducted for Historylink by Cassandra Tate on December 5, 2000, Pennington discusses the costumes, the message, and the future of the marching turtles.
File 2871: Full Text >

WTO Protest Photos by Douglas Johnson, Seattle, 1999

Douglas Johnston shares his photographs of the WTO demonstrations from November 28 to December 2, 1999.
File 2311: Full Text >

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