False Opposition

 Stop the FTAA|William F. Jasper

The Battle of Seattle.” That is the common name given to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial conference of November 30-December 3, 1999, where a 1960s-style generation of political street rioting was born anew. Images of tear gas, burning cars, chanting mobs, baton-wielding riot police, frightened diplomats, and millions of dollars in damage were left indelibly on the minds of those who viewed the footage on the nightly news. What started as relatively peaceful demonstrations by tens of thousands of anti-WTO activists from mostly leftist groups  labor unions, environmentalists, socialists, Communists turned suddenly violent, as cadres of anarchists sallied out from the main body of demonstrators to attack police, bystanders and property.Most of the organizers of the demonstrations denounced the violence and disavowed any connection to the individuals who had initiated the riots. The violent anarchists had accomplished a very important objective: They had made the motley, scruffy anti-WTO demonstrators appear to be reasonable, responsible citizens by comparison. And the anti-WTO demonstrators, in turn, made President Bill Clinton and the one-world revolutionaries inside the WTO negotiations look positively conservative, even as Clinton and company set about constructing a revolutionary structure the World Trade Organization which would have many of the features of an embryonic world government.


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