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The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle Paperback – 29 Apr 2010

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About the Author

Rebecca Solnit is an award-winning writer, historian, and activist. Her books include A Book of Migrations, Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism, River of Shadows, and Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. She is a columnist for Orion, and a regular contributor to the Nation Institute's Tomdispatch daily newsgram. David Solnit is an organizer active in the global justice movement, including key roles in the '99 Seattle demonstrations and the 2003 shutdown of San Francisco on the dawn of war in Iraq. He is the editor of Globalize Liberation (City Lights, 2003) and co-author of Army of None (Seven Stories, 2007)

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x97b3a744) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97e881cc) out of 5 stars "We are memory against forgetting", Casey Neill 25 Dec. 2009
By wildflowerboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Published to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Seattle, this exciting new book from AK Press celebrates that amazing victory while reflecting on its lessons. Profusely illustrated with dramatic black-and-white photos and inspiring artwork, this is a truly fantastic anthology of essays by global justice activists. It begins with a wonderful introduction by the brilliant Indian activist Anuradha Mittal. From there, the next essay is by David Solnit and discusses the making of the Hollywood star-studded docu-drama and box office flop "Battle In Seattle" and how he and other activists struggled unsuccessfully with the film's director, Stuart Townsend, to make the film a more accurate depiction of what really transpired that exhilirating week in Seattle. In this essay, David Solnit does an excellent job debunking many of the most damaging corporate AND movement myths about Seattle, while making the case that those who make history must bear the ultimate responsibilty of preserving it. The next essay is written by his sister, Rebecca Solnit, and recounts her battle with the New York Times after the 2004 RNC protests and shows how the mainstream media's ongoing misrepresentation of the Seattle protests continues to threaten the anti-corporate globalization movement. From there, the book continues with an awesome essay by Chris Dixon giving a day-by-day account of that week in Seattle. If you were there, this essay will surely bring back a lot of powerful memories and emotions, and if you were not there, it will no doubt encourage you to participate in the next big anti-capitalist mobilization. Finally, the book concludes with a reprint of the original 1999 Direct Action Network's "Call to Action" broadsheet by Stephanie Guilloud, Chris Borte, and Chris Dixon. Though the corporate media claims that the global justice movement has been defeated, recent events in Pittsburgh and Copenhagen prove otherwise. As this superb little book explains, the movement didn't begin in Seattle and it certainly didn't end there either.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Editors Rebecca and David Solnit are activists, and also authors of books such as Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, Hollow City: Gentrification and the Eviction of Urban Culture, Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World, etc.

The Introduction to this 2009 book notes triumphantly, "scared by massive mobilizations and protests... the WTO has been reduced to having mini ministerials with the hopes of hammering out a deal with a handful of its members. Its credibility as a multilateral institution has been reduced to tatters." (Pg. 3)

Concerning the violence (broken windows, etc.) that broke out in Seattle, they note that "The group that broke corporate chain store windows was the black bloc, not 'the anarchists.' ... black bloc is a militant street tactic... developed in Europe in the 1980s by 'autonomists' and radicals... The Seattle black bloc included people who identified as anarchists." (Pg. 37) "Nobody argues that there was no property destruction in Seattle. The Eugene-based Black Bloc smashed a lot of plate glass windows in the central city area. Whether or not property destruction is violence is another thing altogether." (Pg. 58) But they conclude, "It's important not to exaggerate... in truth, only a few people actually engaged in substantial property damage." (Pg. 92) Moreover, "pepper spray had first been used against protesters engaged in peaceful civil disobedience." (Pg. 59)

One essayist observes that "I assumed that the police would clear out the blockades with mass arrests on Tuesday morning and we would spend the rest of the week trying to get protesters out of jail. Instead, we did what we thought was impossible---we shut down the WTO." (Pg. 106)

This is a fascinating book that will be of great interest to anyone interested in the story of the Seattle (or elsewhere) WTO/globalization protests.
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