portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

corporate dominance wto cancun actions

Global Day of Action Against the WTO: September 13th Rally and March

Saturday, September 13th, 2003
Rally at 12:00, March at 1:00pm
Holladay Park (NE Multnomah and NE 11th Ave.)
As part of a global day of action during the WTO ministerial in Cancun, Mexico.
For more info: CBLOC (503) 236-7916, JwJ (503) 236-5573
As part of a global day of action during the WTO ministerial in Cancun, Mexico. We are calling on our community to come out with us and:


Say no to the WTO and FTAA and all trade deals that attack workers rights, the environment,
or democracy
Oppose privatization of essential public services, such as the post office, education, DEQ,
health care
Stand in solidarity with the mobilizations against the WTO in Cancun, and elsewhere
Say no to protecting global corporate interests through militarization


It is our responsibility as a concerned community to make our voices heard, to show our strength in numbers and to let our government and international overseeing bodies know that we are prepared to stand up for the basic rights of people, not only in our own community, but across borders. We know from experience that trade agreements only further impoverish countries and peoples already struggling, that they destroy local economies and cause detrimental environmental problems. This march and rally is an opportunity to join together with others around the world as we recognize a global day of action.

For more information, to endorse this event, or to get involved please call the Cross Border Labor Organizing Coalition (CBLOC): 503-236-7916, or Jobs with Justice: 503-236-5573

phone: phone: 503-236-7916


just wondering 10.Sep.2003 12:17

?

I'll be there, but just out of curiosity, will a permit be obtained for this march, and why isn't it going to be downtown?

More info 10.Sep.2003 12:53

DJ Shadow

Permit--we are working on getting permits for this, but the city officials are requiring things that we think are unfair restrictions on free speech and assembly (like $500 for insurance). Negotiations continue, and we are committed to making this as safe a space as possible and expect no problems from the police.

Location--we specifically wanted to get out of downtown for a change, so we will be starting at Holladay Park, then marching across the Broadway Bridge and into the downtown area, making a few stops to talk about the local impact of WTO/FTAA policies of corporate globalization.

maybe it is time to dispense with permits? 10.Sep.2003 14:20

we

Seems how that the city is making it difficult for to obtain a permit, maybe it is time to completely dispense with permits. It seems to be a rather devious way to discourage people from voicing dissent (charging for insurance), but I cant say that I am surprised. I was wondering when it would happen. Give the city a big FUCK YOU, and have the event anyway. WE DON"T NEED PERMITS TO EXORCISE OUR RIGHTS!

just wondering 10.Sep.2003 14:54

?

maybe I should have said that I prefer marches that aren't permitted because they are so police controlled. Really loses that essence of protest, especially protests against government abuse. I think protestors are perfectly capable of keeping things safe themselves.

Cancun Solidarity 11.Sep.2003 08:07

CatWoman

I think most of us are looking for ways to be more productive and effective right now, and frankly, I've been protested out for awhile. Sure it's cathartic to take out some momentary rage on the flunky riot cop that's stupidly propping up the poisoned system, but other than that, I haven't felt effective at a protest in at least a year. I've come to believe that the way to make changes right now may be to stop petitioning the system for change, even from the streets, and just turn our backs on it entirely. Build community and grow the revolution.

Nevertheless, I think coming together in solidarity on this is important. I know many people are burned out, but here's my thought. We all know we need new tactics, and let's keep working on that. But one of the tactics I see working is global solidarity actions. There really are enough of us out here to stop this fucking train. Converging on a city like Cancun is one way to make a point, but it's become too easy for the global police state to control us in such a situation. They simply put up barriers, bring in reinforcements from all over, beat people into submission, channel them away from any place they might be heard, black out the media, and arrest and/or shoot down those who begin to appear effective.

It's not so easy to do this, though, when the protest is worldwide. When we all take to the streets in our own towns in solidarity, then our arms are reaching farther than even the police state can handle. It doesn't even need to be a huge thing here, we just need to stand up. Fuck the riot cops, fuck the system, fuck lethargy, and fuck the corporate media. (Who cares if the corporate media blathers on with their mindlessly numbing human interest and weight loss stories if we're out in the streets telling our own story.)

Corporate raiders are consolidating their control over the planet with no thought to whether life will even be possible here in the near future. All of the world's resources are being plundered by the very few who live off the backs and the labor of you and me and the campesinos marching on Cancun right now. We're all in great danger from these developments, and we all have the responsibility to stand up and struggle against this. If nothing else, our presence absorbs the energy and efforts of the local manifestation of the global police state. When we learn to keep them busy in every city, they will not be able to reinforce those trying to put down The People elsewhere.

I didn't go to Cancun, in part because I believe the action in Cancun will be much more effective if we broaden the effort to our own streets and the streets of every city. I'll be out there this weekend, even after swearing I'm done with protests for awhile. I won't be marching in a line between peace cops and riot cops, but I will be out there. Will you?

I hate permits too, but... 11.Sep.2003 13:54

DJ Shadow

I think permits are bogus. Paying for "free" speech is bullshit.

But, for this march, we decided that we wanted to be able to do some broader outreach, and make it as "safe" a space as possible. Since this is a WTO protest, and lots of people associate WTO protests with smash-smashy Seattle style, we worried that somoe folks might be scared away. We decided to try to make this action as accessible as possible to everyone. We wanted to invite unions and rank and file workers, we wanted to invite folks who may not be "legal" in the eyes of the state, we wanted to invite people who are not in a position to risk arrest. We also want folks who are more comfortable with other styles of protest to come. I think this is what "diversity of tactics" is all about. Sometimes, it makes sense to go with permits and all that crap, other times we should exercise our rights without asking for permission. One other thing--this was all decided by consensus in open meetings. If folks want to do other things to protest the WTO, go for it. But please also respect the process and the space we are trying to create for a few hours on Saturday.

One good thing: we got the city to waive the insurance requirement thing. While we want to make this event as accesible as possible, we are also taking principled stands on the free speech issue. We fought them on this and won. Hopefully other folks organizing stuff can do the same. No one should have to pay hundreds of dollars to use public space to exercise their free speech.

BTW Permits are constitutional 12.Sep.2003 12:29

Darrow

I've read the permit / no permit / right to assembly debate on previous threads and hope this adds something. My interpretation of what the constitution means does not matter, your interpretation of what the constitution means does not matter. The only interpretation of what the constitution means that legally matters is the supreme court's interpreation.

The supreme court says the city has constitutional authority to "control the use of its public streets for parades or processions" by imposing "time, place, and manner" restrictions. Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569, 576 (1941).

This interpretation is closely related to the compelling state interest test, which the court uses, along with other tests, to determine if a government's prohibition of a constitutionallly protected activity is nonetheless legal. For example, the government has a compelling state interest to protect its citizens, so you get prosectued for making verbal threats to someone even though its speech.

The permitting process must be content neutral (this is presumably why some cities permit kkk rallys and the like, even though the content of the rallies is abhorent to us sane individuals).

That said, simply taking over a street will generally piss off the cops and give them some legal authority to move you, but staying on the sidewalks will, well, generally piss off the cops, but won't give them as much authority to move you, if any.

Permits may be constitutional, but what about the $? 12.Sep.2003 12:43

DJ Shadow

If the cops need to know when and where, I can see the argument for that (but still don't agree). But it seems like all the fees: noise permit, insurance, park usage, etc. are financial restrictions on free speech that go beyond the "time, place, and manner" restrictions you talk about. Playing by the rules can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. That's bullshit.

Darrow, is that what they're teaching you in law school? 12.Sep.2003 13:39

not a lawyer

It seems to me the only things that are "constitutional" are those things which are actually *in* the constitution. The bill of rights states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It seems to me that laws that require permits are inherently unconstitutional as they abridge the right of the people to peaceably assemble. Now, you are correct that the supreme court's interpretation at a particular point in time is all that legally matters but that interpretation should be called "legal" not "constitutional". The supreme court has a history of defining laws well outside the constitution and also a long history of reversing earlier decisions on such matters. Therefore, what is legal at one point in time may not be at another point in time (and vice versa). So it would be much more accurate (and if you want to be a lawyer, I would hope you would want to be accurate when speaking of legal matters) to say that permits are legal and arresting people for not having a permit is also legal (although one could launch a first amendment challenge) and that the supreme court has decided that "time, place, and manner" restrictions on free speech and assembly is not unconstitutional and that decision is still currently standing.

"staying on the sidewalks will, well, generally piss off the cops, but won't give them as much authority to move you, if any"
Well, the cops create their own authority to move people. I hope you've seen the videos from March 25th demonstrating that the cops will indeed pull you off the sidewalk, smash you into the ground, and arrest you, or pepper spray you repeatedly and at point blank range for doing nothing more than being on a sidewalk. If they can do this, and get away with it, with no more penalty than a handful of lawsuits against the city, doesn't this mean that they do have that authority?

On "Safe" spaces 12.Sep.2003 16:25

native

In these times, safety is an illusion. And a costly one at that. DJ, some dangerous assumptions are being made here. First, anyone who followed what happened in Seattle knows that it was the police, as it usually is, who caused the violence and mayhem during the WTO protests there. Bowing to perceptions perpetrated by the corporate media on this issue only reinforces those perceptions. Making a big issue out of excluding some "types" of protesters to keep others safe from them is ill informed and damaging to us all. I want to make this point because that has been the perception floating around town -- that this will be such a "safe" protest that it will not be inviting to radicals. However, if I'm reading you right, this is not the case here? Your last post above suggests that you support a diversity of tactics, and that this will be a place for everyone. Good to hear. Still, I think pandering for a permit just puts everyone in more danger because the police will be breathing down their necks.

Corporate globalization is a violent and dangerous force that we must unite and struggle against. There is no safety here. Inviting the police to patrol the perimeter of this event only guarantees that it will NOT be a safe space. Have we already forgotten who pepper sprays infants when peaceful people come out to speak their minds? The police are here to protect the corporate structure from The People. WE are the people. We are not made more safe by permits and police. They are not on our side.