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Indymedia Presents #370-Showdown in Seattle part 1

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Uploaded on Nov 16, 2009

Part 1 of SHOWDOWN IN SEATTLE, 5 Days That Shook the WTO
(Nov 29, 1999 banner drop, debt drop, rain drop; the big show)

Ten years ago the WTO came to Seattle, the only American city with a statue of Lenin, and got run out of town. It was one of those moments legends are made of, but it was real life. Sixty thousand protesters, all in one way or another saying shut it down, para-trouped in behind corporate lines, regrouping into alliances and affinity groups. They formed the legions of a political army, with all the division of labor any other army would have. It was People, United, and they would not be defeated. They DID shut it down, physically and politically, internally, and perhaps eternally. The people stood up, not in some Obama music video, but in real life. Diversity of tactics and timing allowed the action to go on all week, and our side—peoples army that it was—didnt abandon our casualties. In the end, the WTO, in disarray, asked the City of Seattle if they could please extend their stay by a day or so. The City said No, leave as scheduled, and firmly ran them out of town.

One good thing that came out of those times was the birth of the Seattle Indymedia Center (IMC). Before 1999 there was much less thought about going to the Internet to follow an event like a political uprising. The IMC had servers galore and a phat pipeline to the web. Even if Corporate America had wanted to cover the story of the opponents to the WTO, they couldnt have done so well. CBS or NBC might have one camera on the ground, and that most likely in with the dignitaries, But every gang and gaggle of activists likely included somebody who recorded it or reported it. Citizen journalism was alive, and even Corporate News turned to the IMC website for accurate reporting.

An ad-hoc collaboration of some pre-existing video groups under the auspices of the IMC, gathered the footage and produced a daily video in a series called 5 Days that Shook the WTO. Indymedia Presents #370, is Part 1 of that original series, Nov 29, 1999, a day of banner drops, debt drop, and raindrops, with a big show that night in the Seattle Center.

Episode #371 of Indymedia Presents will be the second part in the 5-part series, and so on.

We hope these original episodes can be useful in providing some deeper understanding of the issues, many of which have become mainstream, hidden in a sound-bite mention of the 10th anniversary of those days of action. In these 5 shows we can see that it was a victory for the people and for peoples media. The WTO is still in shambles, while the IMC, with its collaborative model, went viral.

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