This is What Democracy Looked Like!
This talk reflects on the 20thanniversary of the Seattle WTO protests, which is this November, a moment usually heralded as the “coming-out party” of the American “anti-globalization movement.” In late 1999, an explosion of disruptive protest shut down the World Trade Organization in Seattle. It was a rare clear victory for radical organizers. The ripple effect took the form of copycat protests across the wold, any time there was a summit of global institutions. For a moment, a new anti-corporate social movement promised to construct a new kind of globalization, one that promoted labor rights, ecological security, civil society, and social equality. Yet by late 2001 the movement was only a memory, gone seemingly as quickly as it appeared. Nonetheless, for the last two decades the Seattle moment has cast a long shadow far beyond its brief lifespan—via Occupy and the revival of U.S. socialism.
UPDATE: We'll also be joined by Baltimore activists Mike McGuire and Ryan Harvey for the conversation—with Ryan recording the discussion for a special live episode of his new podcast Hope Dies Last!
Nadine Bloch was part of the Ruckus training team at the Globalize This! Action camp; in the Fall of 1999, she was on the streets with DAN (Direct Action Network) coordinating crew of the ShutDown WTO actions. Currently, Nadine Bloch is the Training Director for Beautiful Trouble. As an innovative artist, nonviolent action practitioner, political organizer, direct-action trainer, and puppetista, she combines the principles and strategies of people power with creative use of the arts in cultural resistance and public protest. Her work has been featured nationally and locally, in newspapers like The Washington Post and magazines from Ms. to Time. She is a contributor to the books Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution (2012, O/R Press), Beautiful Rising: Creative Resistance from the Global South (2017, O/R Press) and We Are Many, Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation (2012, AK Press). She is the author of a Special Report Education & Training in Nonviolent Resistance (2016, US Institutes of Peace.) and the co-author of SNAP:An Action Guide to Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding (2019, USIP.) Check out her column on the blog WagingNonviolence, “The Arts of Protest.”
Jamie McCallum is a sociology professor at Middlebury College. In addition to his academic books and papers, he's written for the Washington Post, Mother Jones, Dissent, Jacobin, and In These Times, among other publications. He's currently co-authoring a book reflecting on the WTO protests in Seattle.