MIRS Crisis Council - Battle of Seattle
26 September, 2016
The University of Melbourne
International Relations Society (MELBIRS)
Seattle, November 1999.
The global resistance against neoliberalism and globalisation is preparing to clash hard with the international order. For months, a broad alliance of activists has been bringing together unions, environmentalists, anti-capitalists, anarchists and students. The Mayor of Seattle, Paul Schnell, is receiving projections of protester numbers and likely targets on a weekly, then daily basis. The Seattle Police Department wargames every situation they can think of, buying up on chemical crowd dispersion tools and body armour. The media is breathlessly discussing the potential for vociferous opposition and violence.
Less than a year on from the successful campaign against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, activists are accusing the WTO of moving to implement measures that are anti-Third World, anti-environment and anti-social justice. The City of Seattle is promising a smooth conference, and is downplaying the risks presented by an expected turnout of tens of thousands of protesters.
The 1999 annual meeting of the World Trade Organisation is mere weeks away. Whoever you join, your mission will be to hold back an inexorable tide. Pick a side.
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