An article from Do or Die Issue 9. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s) 136-139.
Although every effort has been made to make this (somewhat lengthy) section as comprehensive as possible, the enormity of what took place in Seattle and around the world on N30 could not hope to be summarised in one publication. Whilst we hope that this section has been useful, there are numerous other web-sites, publications and articles which you may find interesting. Here are a few resources we think are worth having a look at.
[2 January 2003 Link broken - we're looking into it]
At the time of going to print this site had not been updated since early November 1999 so shows a lot of the propaganda and information that was produced to entice people to Seattle. The bulk of the site is dedicated to outlining Art and Revolution/The Direct Action Network's perspective on how they hoped to resist the WTO. Contains briefings for people interested in jail solidarity, forming affinity groups, the spokescouncil and the Direct Action Convergence. Information is also provided on the WTO alongside an events calendar and a catalogue of activist resources and anti-WTO commodities. Since N30, DAN has evolved into a continental network of anti-globalisation groups and individuals. To find out more visit their new web-site at: http://www.directactionnetwork.org/
Ruckus Society's Anti-WTO Web-Site
This site contains background information on WTO-related issues as well as technical and practical information for action. WTO info, articles written by anti-globalisation theorists and a recommended reading list appear alongside pages outlining Ruckus' ideas on affinity group organising, climbing tips, media liason and reconnaissance. Also contains very detailed maps of Seattle and information about permitted demonstrations and rallies in Seattle on N30 with the hope of facilitating action on that day. The Ruckus Society's main post-N30 web-site can be viewed at: http://www.ruckus.org/
Peoples' Global Action (PGA)
The web-site of the international network which endorsed the global day of action on November 30th and helped co-ordinate the Cross-Continental Caravan from New York City to Seattle. An excellent resource for the global co-ordination of action and the exchange of information. Regularly updated and truly inspiring.
Seattle Independent Media Centre (IMC)
A very clever site that contains a huge archive of text, stills, video and audio material to document the "five days that shook the WTO". Also features links to discussion groups, tips on dealing with the media, an archive of the daily Blindspot newsletters produced by the Seattle IMC throughout the Ministerial, some larger opinion pieces and links to IMCs across the globe.
Reclaim the Streets
Contains an archive of this group's actions over the last 5 years (including the demonstration held at Euston Station on N30) alongside reproductions of agit-prop and an impressive links page.
WTO: Seattle Logistics Zine
"This zine is about the support functions that made the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle possible. The intent was to stress the importance of those functions to any large-scale gathering and to make this information available to anyone that wants to put an event like this together in the future." - from the introduction.
This is the first draft of a zine which contains reports from different working groups that fulfilled 'support' roles in the build up to N30 and throughout the Ministerial. Includes reports and reflections from: the team who provided security for the Direct Action Network Convergence Centre; volunteer co-ordination teams; the medical team; the communications team; the legal group (those responsible for co-ordinating jail solidarity and those who ran the legal support office); the scenario group and the tactical team. Second editions are to include reports from the teams responsible for childcare and the provision of food, plus updates from the anti-IMF and World Bank actions which took place in Washington DC in April 2000.
An excellent resource available for $5 from: Logistics Zine, PO Box 3501, Oakland, CA 94601, USA.
We Are Winning - The Battle of Seattle: A Personal Account
A personal account and reflection upon the Seattle mobilisation written by "four British eco-anarchists" who were present in Seattle. Includes descriptions about the build up to the day of action, the convergence, N30 itself, jail solidarity, the black bloc and the second, third and fourth days of action that brought chaos to the streets of Seattle. A second edition of this pamphlet has recently been produced.
To receive a copy send a stamped, self addressed envelope (containing well concealed cash if possible) to Riot Tourists c/o Do or Die, Prior House, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton BN2 2GY, UK.
World-wide Resistance Roundup inspired by Peoples' Global Action (PGA) Bulletin 5
A 32 page newsprint document chronicling the accelerating history of the PGA. Gives an excellent history of the movement from which Seattle grew. With information and reflection on the Inter-Continental Caravan that toured Europe in Spring 1999, the second PGA conference in Bangalore, India, the global day of action on June 18th, reports on action from the Narmada and Itoiz dams, Clinton's riotous visit to Athens, West Papuan resistance to Indonesian colonial rule, global reports on N30 plus reports on the uprising in Ecuador, the UNAM students in Mexico, the U'wa land occupation in Colombia, the Biotic Baking Brigade and more... Essential reading in order to understand the history and potential of what erupted on the streets of Seattle.
To receive a copy send a stamped, self addressed envelope to: Reclaim the Streets, PO Box 9656, London, N4 4JY, UK.
WTO Protest Organizers: Don't Throw the Radicals Overboard. A group of activist intellectuals defend strategic damage to corporate property in Seattle and Eugene.
Published December 2nd 1999.
Since Seattle the issue of property destruction and the role of black blocs on mass demonstrations has been a contentious issue. Many of those coming from a reformist anti-globalisation perspective (unfortunately, along with some radicals) have been extremely critical of those who ignored the DAN guidelines. Others awkwardly took a 'neither condemn nor condone' position. In response, this short document has been published and signed by a group of "activist intellectuals" (authors, theorists and academics) in defence of property destruction and the black bloc. They explain briefly the activities of the black bloc, the response of the 'non-violent' protesters, the risks taken by those involved in militant activity and the contributions of anarchists, "black-clad and otherwise," to making the mobilisation the success that it was. Those interested in the issues raised, including the corporate media, are invited to contact the pamphlet's authors who include Daniel Burton-Rose, George Katsiaficas and Ward Churchill, author of Pacifism as Pathology.
To receive a copy of this document send a stamped self addressed envelope to: Riot Tourists c/o Do or Die, Prior House, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton BN2 2GY, UK.
N30 Black Bloc Communiqué: A communiqué from one section of the black bloc of N30 in Seattle
Published by ACME Collective, December 4th, 1999.
An incredibly coherent and well articulated explanation of how and why some people engaged in property destruction on November 30th. An abridged version of this document can be read above.
Big Rattle in Seattle
50 minute video "made by two blokes with a video camera".
A pretty funny video made by two British guys in Seattle. Features hilarious footage of some slightly confused North Americans explaining their reasons for wanting to shut down the WTO, some of the spectacular and colourful street occupations and (of course) images of black clad anarchists fucking shit up. Excellent family viewing.
Available for £5.60 (including postage) from: SchNEWS, c/o On-the-Fiddle, PO Box 2600, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 2DX, UK.
PULLOUT: "With rocks in our hands and spray cans in our pockets, we converge on a truly offensive department store. A man comes up to us, looks at the mini black bloc and says, "Hey, cool." We laugh. "Hang on, are you girls?... Waaayyy cool!" - The account of a British anarchist quoted in We Are Winning - The Battle of Seattle: A personal account.
Anarchy - A Journal of Desire Armed
Spring-Summer 2000, Vol.18, No.1
The magazine contains a reprint of a flyer distributed by British anarchists in Seattle, an analysis of two documents written about property destruction in Seattle - one in favour, one against, a reprint of the black bloc communiqué and an article entitled, 'Smashing Seattle: How the Anarchists Stole the Show at the WTO'. This last article is by far the most interesting. It describes the motivations and tactics of the groups mobilising around Seattle and how they were "upstaged by the anarchist mobilisation". It begins by chronicling the emergence of the American black bloc (after setting the tactic in its original context of European autonomism) and praising it for its militancy.
The article continues to describe the ideas and activities of other 'non-bloc' anarchists such as those involved in the "...talented anarchist marching band...carrying signs, harassing vehicles...", helping Direct Actioneers, distributing leaflets, opening squats and distributing free food. The article concludes, "...it will take more than Walt Disney tactics and Gandhian placebos; more than banners, human chains, or lock-downs; and of course, more than broken windows to halt the terminal trajectory of industrial civilisation. In a communiqué released on December 4 by a section of the black bloc, it aptly concluded, "Broken windows can be boarded up... and eventually replaced, but the shattering of assumptions will hopefully persist for some time to come.""
US$4.95 in USA. US$6.00 Surface mail outside US. US$9.00 airmail outside of US. For current and back issues: CAL, POB 1446, Columbia, MO 65205-1446, USA. Make cheques payable in US dollars to CAL Press, or add $10 for conversion.
Organise! - For Revolutionary Anarchism
Featuring two articles on the mobilisation against the WTO. The first is an inspiring and incredibly (over?) optimistic account of the Battle of Seattle, focussing primarily on the ideas and actions of the black clad anarchos. The second, reprinted from the first issue of an American magazine entitled The Bad Days will End, concentrates on a critique of the role and motivation of the labour unions. The section concludes with a few comments by the Anarchist Federation (AF).
Send cheques for £1.50 payable to 'Anarchist Federation' at: AF c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX, UK.
Number 14, Spring 2000
A special issue of this long running magazine which focusses on a different aspect of anarchist ideas and action each issue. This issue examines various forms of "direct action" from GM crop trashings and resistance to the European Monetary Union to the confrontations on the streets of Seattle. Contains a brief report, news on "what next?" and the addresses of a huge number of anti-WTO web-sites.
Send cheques for £1.50 payable to 'Direct Action' at: Direct Action, PO Box 29, SW PDO, Manchester, M15 5HW, UK.
Black Flag - For Anarchist Resistance
This re-vamped long running anarchist magazine dedicates a large section (around 9 pages) to Seattle and N30. The first page recounts the demo outside of Euston station from an anarchist perspective (praising the linking together of RTS and rail-workers, slamming the SWP and calling for intelligent responses to police violence). The second section, following on from the comment, "... hang on, we thought the class war was dead?!" is made up of a number of eye witness reports to what took place on the streets of Seattle and, later, in the jails. This is followed by a discussion on tactics. An account of the activities of the black bloc is followed by a report on the 'Peace Police' and an extract from the pamphlet Don't Throw the Radicals Overboard (see above). A global round-up of some of the other events that took place on N30 is followed by a piece entitled, 'After Seattle 99' with a few ideas on practical and theoretical moves forward. The piece closes with a short report on resistance to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in February this year. All in all, a fairly thorough account and analysis of Seattle, the global day of action and the underlying ideas of the mobilisation against the WTO.
Send cheques for £1.50 to: Black Flag, BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX, UK.
Earth First! Journal
Yule Edition, December 1999/January 2000, Vol. 20, No. 2
This issue of the Journal opens with a moving and optimistic editorial reflecting briefly on the gains that were made in Seattle, from bringing the WTO to the forefront of the world's media and building international solidarity to the continuing struggle against domination. The issue also reprints the short text 'Don't Throw the Radicals Overboard' mentioned above, alongside a fairly sizeable article detailing some of the events in Seattle. Also featuring an international round up of what kicked off and where on N30 and a report on the chemical warfare waged by the Seattle Police Department.
To receive a copy send US $3.50 to: Earth First! Journal, PO Box 1415, OR 97440, USA.