Synopses & Reviews
It's been called the most intense popular uprising since the protests against the Vietnam War. In October 1999, fifty thousand citizens occupied the streets in a successful effort to shut the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting. Trade unionists, environmentalists, human rights advocates and farmers converged on Seattle to denounce the new global economy. Street corners were occupied by irate French farmers, Earth First!ers locked themselves to hotel doors to prevent WTO delegates from exiting, the convention center was circled by a human chain, and black-clad anarchists roamed the streets, smashing the windows of Gap, Niketown, and the Bank of America. The Seattle cops responded fiercely, saturating the air with tear gas, attacking demonstrators with riot clubs, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. The street battle raged for three days. Six hundred people were arrested, held without lawyers at a local military base. But when the smoke and gas cleared, the protesters had prevailed: the WTO talks had collapsed. Five Days that Shook the World takes you onto the streets of Seattle with on-the-spot reporting and photographs. But it also looks at the broader issues raised by the protest: the secretive and undemocratic practice of the WTO, the trampling on rights to assembly and free speech by deploying the military to put down protest, and the menace to individual liberties of globalization and offshore government.
This is movement reporting on a par with Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night. (Peter Linebaugh, author of The Many-Headed Hydra)
The authors take to the streets of Seattle with on-the-spot reporting and photos of the October 1999 protests to shut the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting. But this book also looks at the broader issues raised by the protest: the secretive practices of the WTO, the trampling on rights to assembly and free speech, and the menace to individual liberties of globalization and offshore government. 30 photos.
“In the annals of popular protest in America, these have been shining hours, achieved entirely outside the conventional arena of orderly protest, white paper activism and the timid bleats of the professional leadership of big labor establishment greens. This truly was an insurgency from below in which all those who strove to moderate and deflect the turbulent flood of popular outrage managed only to humiliate themselves.”
About the Author
with Jeffrey St. Clair. Together they have written Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press
and A Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils
Jeffrey St. Clair co-edits CounterPunch with Alexander Cockburn. Together they have written Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press and A Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils.
Allan Sekula is one of the most thoughtful historians, critics and practitioners of photography working today. For more than three decades his images and writings have shifted the terms on which the medium is understood and has influenced a generation of artists and scholars. Sekula’s previous books include Dismal Science, Geography Lesson, Fish Story and Photography Against the Grain.