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The Battle in Seattle - Essay Example

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The battle in Seattle Name Institution Course Professor Date The battle in Seattle Introduction According to Belmonte, the World Trade Organization (WTO) held a ministerial conference in November 1999 that was hosted in Seattle. Although this conference was hosted by political leaders and businessmen in Seattle, it faced a great opposition from thousands of people from various countries who attracted the attention of the international community…
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The Battle in Seattle
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Download file to see previous pages The organizations that participated in the protest represented a sea of different interests; they ranged from labor movements, environmental groups as well as human rights organizations. The protest had taken months of planning and organizations working together to plan the protest events (Belmonte 2005, 423). This protest came to be known as the Battle of Seattle since it was the first large demonstration. Before the battle of Seattle, many people were unaware of the disadvantages of free trade. Many free trade agreements had been made in America and the rest of the world before 1999. According to Belmonte, the world trade organization was charged with the responsibility of supervising and liberalizing global trade as established by the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Moreover, in 1993, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had been passed, and trade officials assumed that the next move was to expand the free trade area to cover all of North and South America. More so, many cities vied to play host to the FTAA secretariat, and many planners laid out expanded transport systems meant to bring in goods from South America to the U.S and Canada. They faced huge opposition from protestors and delegates who were opposed to free trade. As a result, they failed to reach an agreement and efforts of reviving the free trade efforts died (Belmonte 2005, 311). In addition to that, many of those against free trade based their criticism on economic grounds. As a result, the World Wrade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund faced many protests. However, contrary to their opposition to globalization, most of the protestors use the Internet to mobilize people of common interest disregarding the fact that the Internet is a form of globalization. During the battle of Seattle, approximately 50,000 people met in Seattle to plan the peaceful protest. The labor movements represented during the protests were steelworkers, longshoremen, public workers, farm workers and building trade workers (Moberg 1999). Some protestors stated that there were efforts to marginalize the developing nations. However, some delegates attending the conference were also opposed to free trade. Some delegates from developing nations felt overshadowed and sidelined by the developed nations and feared that labor rights would be violated by the inception of free trade. Free trade would lead to incurrence of huge costs by developing nations since they could not afford to apply the changes brought about by free trade, considering the poverty rate and dependency on the developed nations (Moberg 1999). The groups that demonstrated in Seattle were of different interests ranging from labor groups, human rights groups, animal rights groups, and many others. Moberg says that, although the protest was against globalizations, some protestors showed their support for rebels in Chiapas, human rights in Burma, and ethical treatment of animals. However, the issues that were raised by all protestors through their banners and placards were related to the World Trade Organization in a way. For instance, the WTO had rejected U.S. laws regarding them as trade barriers, and as a result, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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