Five Days That Shook the World


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It's been called the most intense popular uprising since the protests against the Vietnam War. In October 1999, fifty thousand citizens occupied the streets in a successful effort to shut the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting. Trade unionists, environmentalists, human rights advocates and farmers converged on Seattle to denounce the new global economy. Street corners were occupied by irate French farmers, Earth First!ers locked themselves to hotel doors to prevent WTO delegates from exiting, the convention center was circled by a human chain, and black-clad anarchists roamed the streets, smashing the windows of Gap, Niketown, and the Bank of America. The Seattle cops responded fiercely, saturating the air with tear gas, attacking demonstrators with riot clubs, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. The street battle raged for three days. Six hundred people were arrested, held without lawyers at a local military base. But when the smoke and gas cleared, the protesters had prevailed: the WTO talks had collapsed.Five Days that Shook the World takes you onto the streets of Seattle with on-the-spot reporting and photographs. But it also looks at the broader issues raised by the protest: the secretive and undemocratic practice of the WTO, the trampling on rights to assembly and free speech by deploying the military to put down protest, and the menace to individual liberties of globalization and offshore government.


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