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)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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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