: To be honest, it wasn't the protestors who stopped the WTO meeting. We made things difficult for the delegates and we brought the existence of anti-WTO feeling right into their heads, but we didn't ruin the talks; the national governments did that.
Yup. And even though one of the African delegated jumped on top of a car and expressed his disgust with the WTO's marginalizing the underdeveloped countries (to applause), it might be problematic as to whether he truly understood the messege of the crowd ("End the WTO") or whether he was merely serving the interests of nascient or potential corporate structures in his native land.
: What the protests did do was to bring the anti-WTO ideas to the entire world. The WTO can't now meet up in some quiet corner of the world and do deals; because we use the 'net to set up welcoming committees wherever they go. Anyone care to lay odds that the next WTO meeting is held in space?
Maybe they can get on an incommunicado Mars Lander;)
: : 2. The rude awakening to many of the unleashed power of State police apparatus.
Which was TRULY intimidating. One had the feeling that they were practicing. That the demo was just a convenient excuse to provide some "live" training excersise - free from any sort of real risk. I heard (not witness) that among the techniques employed was the shooting of dye pellets on people which left a (uv?) signature that would provide a target for others to hunt down and shoot.
: Again, a great thing to show the world.
: Regardless of how much the free-trade bodies insist that free trade benefits everyone, the abiding image of Seattle is of stormtroopers gassing protestors. It's rough being teargassed (speaking from experience!); but it builds opposition. Even the libertarian G'mint-haters can see what happens when you actually try and complain to the WTO...and the police forces; ostensibly tools of law and order are in fact hired goons of the elite classes.
Yup. I tried a few "libertarian" sites and have found no commentary yet... One interesting thing to note is the surprising absense of polls on the WTO and the Seattle police abuse. Gallup, Roper, CNN, MSNBC - usually so quick to publish these things after a Columbine - have not conducted one. Curious eh?
: And here are some interesting quotes to mull over;
: "In the final analysis, what really matters is how effectively the surrender of governments to the global market is carried out" - Washington Centre of Strategic and International Studies.
: "...the de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault - to those ends we will do a fair amount of killing" - Maj. (now Lt. Col.) Ralph Peters, the office of the US Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.
Ouch! Well we know who are really class war conscious.
In the next year or so I would imagine there will be some serious discussion of how to internationalize the local concerns of labor, environmental, and human rights groups into some sort of federated organization while retaining a democratic form of governance so that each individual group would feel more empowered for its own cause by becoming part of a larger collective - like a union.