OPINION: Remembering the Battle in Seattle 20 Years Later

How we shut the WTO down in Seattle in 1999.

0009_WTO -march downtown2-.jpg_SSE_Fried

South Seattle Emerald

by Susan Fried (words and photos)

It’s been twenty years since I photographed some of the events surrounding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Seattle in November 1999. Lots of people who remember it at all, think of it as the “Battle in Seattle,” or the WTO riots,but my memories are of a mostly-peaceful protest attended by over 40 thousand people that thought like me; that believed in livable wages, safe working conditions, and protecting the environment. It was one of the most empowering events of my life. There were people representing labor, the environment, farmers, NGO’s, student and religious groups–all there to speak out against an organization that they believed had too much control over everyday people’s lives. They believed that–as one of the chants the protestors used–said, “Another World is Possible.”

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