[sixties-l] Fwd: Protesters take aim at Philly and L.A.

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Fri Aug 04 2000 - 19:37:58 CUT

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    >Protesters take aim at Philly and L.A.
    >By Michael Dolan
    >Last Updated: July 30, 2000
    >On the last day of November last year, I was walking among the
    >swirling crowds and clouds of tear gas in Seattle and noticed Tom
    >Hayden standing on a corner, checking out the tens of thousands of
    >anti-World Trade Organization protesters - the Turtles and Teamsters
    >Given that our organization, Public Citizen, helped organize the
    >WTO protests, I asked him what he thought about our mobilization
    >against corporate globalization.
    >He was impressed. Encouraged, I went for it: "Tom," I asked, "how
    >does this compare to, you know, Chicago '68?"
    >"The difference," he told me, "is that you're winning."
    >Like many veterans of Seattle, I will be in Philadelphia for the
    >GOP convention and in Los Angeles for the Democrats'. I wish we
    >were organizing a massive street celebration of either party's
    >post-Seattle epiphany that the flawed and failed free-trade agenda
    >must be replaced.
    >If we were winning, the Democratic convention would ratify, in its
    >party platform, a fair-trade plank that meets the legitimate
    >expectations of workers and family farmers and ensures that a living
    >wage, the environment, health and democratic accountability are
    >not subordinated to the imperatives of corporate-managed trade.
    >But we're not winning. Since Seattle, the trade policy showdown
    >was a vote on China's permanent normal trade relations.
    >The China business lobby spent an unprecedented amount of money
    >pushing normal trade relations.
    >And, of course, transnational corporations are "sponsoring" the
    >conventions; Motorola, for example, which dropped a cool million
    >on advertising, spent another million funding the DNC party next
    >Then Al Gore selected Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, perhaps the
    >biggest booster of corporate-managed trade in any administration
    >in history, as chairman of his campaign.
    >So, as I and my fellow activists don our protest puppets and the
    >Democrats put on their party hats, a few words of advice and
    >admonition are suggested by our experience in Seattle and a decade
    >of grass-roots travails in the cause of fair trade.
    >To Democratic delegates: I urge you to walk off the Staples Center
    >set, put down your scripts, come outside, cross the police line
    >and join us in the street to share, for a few minutes, the spirit
    >of Seattle.
    >Globalization and trade policy are marker issues now, canaries in
    >the mine shaft of Democratic policy-making, and this convention is
    >an opportunity to return your party to its progressive, pro-worker
    >antecedents. If you read the same polls I do, you should realize
    >that your standard-bearer stands a better chance in November if
    >you push him to renounce his slavish devotion to corporate
    >To the mainstream media: You have all our sympathy for trying to
    >find actual news in the predictable, scripted convention proceedings.
    >You will do your readers and viewers a favor by coming outside as
    >well to find some real stories.
    >And please don't get distracted by protest tactics. You should be
    >asking why we are outside with our signs and chants, not merely
    >what we're planning to do to get our message heard.
    >To Mayor Richard Riordan and the Los Angeles Police Department:
    >We've all read about your baton-rattling preparations for protesters.
    >Hey, you invited the convention to Los Angeles (just as Seattle
    >invited the WTO), and political protest is part of the package. So
    >spare us the bluff and bluster about anarchists. We will be peacefully
    >exercising our First Amendment rights.
    >To my fellow activists: Folks, we're holding our own against a
    >better-financed corporate lobby because its agenda hurts the majority
    >of people living with its results.
    >Seattle was a battle in a larger war between corporate rule and
    >civil society, and the great and good grassroots of the international
    >fair-trade movement - workers, family farmers, consumers, environmental
    >and human-rights activists - must fight on, united.
    >The next skirmish, damn it, will be on the streets of Los Angeles.
    >I'll see you there.
    >Michael Dolan is deputy director of Public Citizen's Global Trade
    >Watch. This first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
    > Copyright 2000, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved.

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