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Battle in Seattle

Commendations and Condemnations

by Sanderson Beck

December 1, 1999

I commend the tens of thousands of workers who have peacefully marched and rallied for worker rights and in protest of the WTO corporate oppression of the poor and working class world-wide.

I condemn the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the government and corporate leaders who are in complicity with its plutocratic take-over of aspects of international law in violation of human rights, public health and safety, and environmental concerns, imposing secret oligarchical decisions, abrogating open and democratic methods.

I commend the thousands of nonviolent protesters who have peacefully put themselves in the streets of Seattle to call attention to and to stop the many crimes of the World Trade Organization.

I condemn the political decision authorizing the police to use the violence of rubber bullets, wooden clubs, tear gas, and mace against nonviolent protesters instead of simply arresting them in an orderly manner according to the rule of law.

I commend the outstanding reporting of Pacifica radio's Democracy Now and other open-minded reporters, who are describing what is actually happening in the streets and in meetings from diverse points of view.

I condemn the usual corporate bias of the mass media, which attempts to dismiss and marginalize grassroots activism while giving extra time to the corporate interests and other like-minded groups as the trans-national corporations that pay their high salaries.

I commend the women of the affinity group who danced topless in the streets of Seattle. I wish I could have been there to see them.

I condemn those individuals and small groups who ignored the discipline of nonviolence by destroying property or who took advantage of the situation to loot and commit crimes.

I commend those nonviolent protesters who persuaded such people to restrain themselves and who placed themselves to protect stores and businesses against such crimes.

I recommend the following Nonviolent Action Handbook for those who would like to learn more about the principles and practice of nonviolent action:

BEST FOR ALL: How We Can Save the World
Nonviolent Action Handbook

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