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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,

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.


The Independent Media Center is a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity.

The Independent Media Center (, was established by various independent and alternative media organizations and activists in 1999 for the purpose of providing grassroots coverage of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle. The center acted as a clearinghouse of information for journalists, and provided up-to-the-minute reports, photos, audio and video footage through its website. Using the collected footage, the Seattle Independent Media Center ( produced a series of five documentaries, uplinked every day to satellite and distributed throughout the United States to public access stations.

The center also produced its own newspaper, distributed throughout Seattle and to other cities via the internet, as well as hundreds of audio segments, transmitted through the web and Studio X, a 24-hour micro and internet radio station based in Seattle. The site, which uses a democratic open-publishing system, logged more than 2 million hits, and was featured on America Online, Yahoo, CNN, BBC Online, and numerous other sites. Through a decentralized and autonomous network, hundreds of media activists setup independent media centers in London, Canada, Mexico City, Prague, Belgium, France, and Italy over the next year. IMCs have since been established on every continent, with more to come.

For more information, see the IMC Frequently Asked Questions.


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NO 2 WTO - Battle of Seattle

Your guide to the protests in Seattle and N30 around the world.

Re: Looking Back Five Years to the Battle of Seattle

Munson the Media Spin Meister
- Anrrchist or anacronistic?

Anti-Imperialism/anti-capitlism equals ANTIAMERICAN

Munson (and most indy folks)ought to work for the Mainstream Media as his ability to spin truth out of nothing is as impressive as theirs (like indy's censorship and frontpage biases).

There was no anti-globalization movement before 911 - at least if you define a movement as a group [ with a clear sense of goals, strategies to reach these goals and tactics to fit the strategy. )

He blames the IAC and WWW - for what - for interfering in what Munson imagines to have existed - a movement. This is evident when he says that IAC knew they could take advantege of the "LEFT"S" short attention span - to me this suggests that there is no such thing as a left in the US - try debating me on that one! -

The funny thing is that in Europe and everywhere else in the world that I know of the anti-war and anti-golbalization grops are the same - or they totally support and believe in each other -

Thus more proof that any kind of meaningful movement (war, ecology, social justice or trade) just doesn't exist in the US - and theere are strong reasons to believe that none of these - or any movement will ever - or could ever - exist in the US -

Can you cite history or research to disprove this idea - i have been asking for some for decades.

One of the funnier moments in my 25 year activist career was in CNCUN WTO when the German affinity group I was with told me: "The American activistas are not anti-cpaitlaist, are they?" they went on to conclude that even American activsts were not really even aware of politics - period... !

Germany: one week of indymedia birthday

Feature at

"5 Years Indymedia - 5 Years Seattle"
In Germany took place in several cities: one week of indymedia-birthday... conference, party, exposition, movies in 7 cinemas .. more:

In London and Barcelona where also Indymedia-Birthday-Actions

Re: Looking Back Five Years to the Battle of Seattle

Ad-busters has been an Anti-globalization music for about ten years, maybe you should look inyo things a little deeper rather than just wandering the outskirts of indy media sites. McSpotlight opened for non-business in Feb 1996 and now gets well over a million hits a month. Questioning authority and thinking things out is not
Perhaps you can hear it from where you’re sitting now:that low, distant rumble, growing clearer and closer as you focus on it. Perhaps you can see the storm clouds on the horizon. Out there, change is coming.
This is not empty rhetoric. All over the world, there is a revolution brewing. It’s not a revolution in the sense that the twentieth century has taught us to understand the word: not a massing of red flags this time, not a determination to seize the state, not a
gathering of Peoples’ Parties with blueprints for a new Utopia. This is something that is harder to
explain at first sight, but no less significant.

It’s clear why it is happening: the world is more
unequal than at any time in history. A planet in which 20 percent of us are rolling in 86 percent of the wealth, while the very systems of life itself come under increasing strain from mass over-consumption, is
not a civilization built to last. The uprising against
it began years ago, and it’s gathering in speed.

What used to be called, inaccurately, the
‘anti-globalization’ movement has become a worldwide web of people and groupings dedicated to reclaiming the power that the cult of the market has stolen from

They see how the stealing of that power has affected their communities, and as they do so, they see what their causes, their battles and their problems have in common with those elsewhere in the world. They have become a movement – the first genuine global movement of its kind – and they are still growing. Two hundred thousand of them gathered at the World Social Forum in
Mumbai, India, this year, and they represent the tip of a political iceberg that is tens of millions

Who are they? They are Mexican Zapatistas, still
battling after a decade to reclaim their community
rights from the corporate stitch-up of nafta. They are the South African poor in the townships fighting water privatization. They are landless people all over Latin America, struggling to redefine their position in a corporate farming world. They are local activists in the US, using the law to drive corporations out of their small towns. They are farmers in India, resisting corporate patents and the market-driven food
industry. They are tribal people in New Guinea,
resisting the corporate enclosure of their land for mining and oil drilling. They are young Europeanstrying to rethink resistance to capitalism in the shadow of communism’s spectacular failure.

What is new, and gives cause for hope, is the
widespread awareness that old answers will no longer
do. Few people involved in this new wave of resistance
are very interested in seizing the state. They see
where that has taken us in the past, and they also see
that globalization has undercut the ability of
governments to run their own national economies. In
almost every country on Earth, political parties of
left, right or center now pledge themselves to the
gods of the market. What this new wave of
revolutionaries wants is the chance to create its own
spaces, free of the rule of the market. If the state
can’t deliver that, other ways must be found.

In other words, this is a power struggle. We can talk
about nafta, about the wto, about corporations – but
at the heart of it all is an age-old human battle over
resources, power and the public mind. Money is
currently winning that battle. Societies everywhere
are becoming markets first and communities second. W
become consumers above all, and only then are
we given permission to be human.

This movement seeks to make us people first, to drive
the market back into its cage. It can be seen,
perhaps, as a battle for the public over the private
mind. Who wins it – movement or market – will
determine our future. It could be our last, best
chance to avoid the McWorld that so many of us can see around the corner.
The movement exists on every continent, but it has no global manifesto because it seeks, in the words of Subcomandante Marcos, “a world with many worlds in it.? Both communism and neoliberalism gave us
universal blueprints for prosperity and both failed us. This time, we can’t afford to be fooled by ‘Big Ideas’ that are built around theory and not reality.
We can’t afford it because, as the global economy
spreads into every nook and cranny of a previously
unmarketed world, resistance spreads too.

Perhaps you think that this resistance, and the
determination to build a new world based on new values
which flows in its wake, is something that just
happens to other people, somewhere else in the world.
Think again. Wherever you live, it’s coming your way,
and it’s coming fast. There has never been anything quite like this before, and as long as the global economy continues to move in its current direction, spreading poverty, inequality, exclusion and environmental destruction in its wake, this rebellion can only grow. Keep your eyes on the horizon, and get ready.


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