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Looking Back Five Years to the Battle of Seattle

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, www.Indymedia.org.

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. We saw peaceful protests shut down one of the most powerful institutions in the world and we saw a system dazed and frightened by the sound of our voices.

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