Looking Back Five Years to the Battle of Seattle

At the WTO protests in Seattle, we had a collective vision. We saw beyond the borders that divide us. We saw people come together across every kind of political and cultural difference and stand up in a way that we had not seen in this country for decades.

[ Hundreds of feet in the air, four climbers from Rainforest Action Network and the Ruckus Society hang a giant banner off of a construction crane on the eve of the mass street protests against the WTO, Seattle, 1999. Photo by Dang Ngo / Rainforest Action Network. ]

November 30, 1999 represented a triumphal moment for worldwide civil resistance against a global economic system that gives private corporations more power than governments. In the morning hours of N30, 1999, tens of thousands of activists from across the globe converged in the streets of downtown Seattle, to shut down meetings of the World Trade Organization, the undemocratic, international governing forum of neoliberal globalization.

The conflict became infamous around the world, partially because of the violent police response to the largely peaceful demonstrations. In years since, N30 has been remembered in the streets of Seattle and around the globe, with marches, rallies and celebrations of resistance. Dialogues about the effectiveness of the movement have multiplied in number, both within and beyond activist circles. The date is also remembered as the birth of the Independent Media Center, Indymedia.org.

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Workers, Students and Community Members Rally and Bargin for AFSCME at UCSC

On November 10, 2004, hundreds of people demonstrated and bargained for better wages and working conditions for AFSCME members at the nine University of California campuses and five medical centers. AFSCME stands for American, Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees. Local 3299 AFSCME members are employed by the UC to serve food; clean bathrooms, dorms, labs, offices, and hospitals; drive shuttle buses, and park cars. The rally effectively demonstrated that AFSCME workers, UC students and members of the Santa Cruz community, including 3rd District County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt and newly elected Santa Cruz City Council member Tony Madrigal, are committed to improving the working conditions for service workers in the UC system.

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Pawns of Empire Memorialized at UCSC

On my way to the annual Women as Social Warriors (Mujures en Marcha) event at UCSC on November 9, I came across a memorial consisting of white sticks in the ground each with a photo and information about a particular person from the U$ who has died while fighting the ‘war on terrorism’ in Iraq.

I cringe at the term ‘US Soldiers,’ so I’ve used ‘Pawns of Empire’ to express that these people were removed from their communities and sent away to kill people (literally, economically, socially and environmentally) while they were treated as expendable pawns under the rule of empire.

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Protest at UCSC, Stop the Bombing of Fallujah

On November 9, 2004, a small group of people gathered at the base of the UCSC campus to protest the bombing of Fallujah.

I had the chance to speak with Mar, a construction worker from El Salvador, and Nora, a student at UCSC who was protesting for her first time. There is also a Station ID for Free Radio Santa Cruz.

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We Are The University, We Can Shut It Down! Rally on Nov. 10

On Wednesday November 10, 2004, the members of Local 3299 AFSCME will be having a major rally when UC representatives come to the campus for state-wide bargaining. The rally will take place at 12:00 noon in front of the Baytree Bookstore on the UCSC campus.

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