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As the World Trade Organization met in China last month, the People met in the streets. And, as always, the people of Portland came to the streets in solidarity with people all over the world who are fighting the stark oppression wrought by the "New World Order," and specifically, by the WTO. Aside from a large march that wound through the city, there were several exciting break-away actions, including a building occupation at the Cascade Policy Institute, and a boisterous protest against the oppression of animals at Schumacher Furs.
Street videographers captured much of the action on film, and will be showing a piece at the next VFTR entitled, "Which Side Are You On?" If you were there, come and see, and celebrate the action with us. If you were not, come and see what you missed. Either way, see you there.
We have just returned to the house after being in the Hong Kong streets all afternoon and evening in the most intense street battle that we have ever seen. We are taking turns showering the teargas and pepper spray off as we write this up. Farmers, workers, women's organizations, fisher folk, Hong Kong youth, migrants and other movement people from Korea, across Asia and around the world marched on, broke through several police lines to less than a block from the site of the WTO conference center and laid siege to it until we were dispersed with teargas and mass arrests tonight.
We have heard reports that as many as 900 have been arrested or detained and we just got a cell call from an activist still surrounded in the streets who was had been warned that the police will start to use rubber bullets. Riot police have not been seen en masse on the streets of Hong Kong for some 20 years, and this city will never be the same after tonight.
Stop the WTO Negotiations! Save Jobs!After ten years under the WTO, unemployment has increased everywhere in the world. The quality of present employment has often fallen. Dirty, dangerous and degrading works have become more common. Many of these jobs are precarious. More and more persons are actually forced into the informal, unprotected and unregulated economy from the formal economy, the destroyed livelihoods of small farmers and subsistence agriculture. In transnational businesses, many employees increasingly find themselves in precarious relations to the businesses for which they produce and no longer work. Their relation is determined by accident.
I attended the WTO Teach-In Saturday, December 17, 2005, held at the Koinonia House at Portland State University in downtown Portland. Organizers were thrilled with the turn out and the event met or exceeded all expectations.
After a breakfast supplied by the sponsors of the event, attendees were able to choose from a range of three workshops: the Basics of International Trade and Neo Liberalism; Immigrant Rights in a Liberal World; and Labor and the Corporate Agenda. This was the first of three sets of workshops being offered throughout the day, providing our community an opportunity to gather information and participate in discussions on a wide range of topics concerning global and local economics.
Audio Files: Barbara Dudley
The 6th Ministerial Conference of the WTO is taking place from December 13th through 18th in Hong Kong. Negotiations have been continuing on key controversial issues such as agriculture, services, and market access for industrial goods and natural resources. The meeting will shape the final agreement of the Doha Development Agenda, which members hope to complete next year.
Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned for the dates between December 11th and 18th. Organizations that are mobilizing to protest the WTO meeting and corporate globalization, and to present alternative proposals, include peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea. Events: A new media and social transformation conference and workshop will take place in early December. Global Exchange will bring a delegation/reality tour to Hong Kong and parts of China in December.
Saturday December 17th:
From UK Indymedia newswire: Migrant Workers Strike against Poverty Wages and WTO | Inspiring photos from the WTO summit in Hong Kong | Fisherfolks Murdered By Drowning, Suspect 6th WTO | pics from the WTO Hong Kong | Insurgent Zombies Occupy Paris Supermarket in WTO Protest | NO-WTO: DEMO SAT 17TH DEC, READING | WTO Protests - You Cannot Speak If You Wear Too Little | WTO - HK05 - Images of Resistance | WTO Protests in Hong Kong - Day One report | Report on the WTO Conference Day One Protect Actions | A list of sites with news on the WTO protests. (with links) | anti wto HK site | Philipinos protest WTO | KONG YEE SAI MAU! - Protest against the WTO! | Peaceful direct action violently oppressed by HK media | Free Trade Endangers Jobs Worldwide
Dispatches from Hong Kong
More links: No WTO Hong Kong Wiki | People's caravan aims for WTO and Hong Kong | Direct Action Against the WTO | Go Media (videos) | People's Radio Hong Kong | Indymedia.org article | Stop the New Round Coalition | Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO | Transnational Institute: Beyond the WTO | Global Exchange's WTO Page | International Forum on Globalization | Peoples Global Action | Global Issues article | SEATINI - WTO and Africa | Media Culture Action (South Korea) | Stop WTO Video Blog | Hong Kong Independent Media | Vatican Releases Guidelines for WTO Summit
Some really excellent coverage is coming out of hong kong by independent journalists and activists. As many predicted the WTO will likely fail once again due to pressure exerted by activists on the ministerial. There are some truly excellent first-hand reports being written by people engaged in the events. Here are a few that I enjoyed.
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Collection of 20 videos from WTO Hong Kong available on indytorrents.orgI packaged up the videos currently available from http://swtop.blogspot.com covering the first couple of days of WTO protests in Hong Kong as well as some of the events before hand. This includes video from the "No WTO : Stop Collusion between Government & Business" Rally, the "Stop WTO! Mourn for the Dealth!" Action, an interview about the police raid of the Indonesian Migrant Worker's Union (IMWU), video of Korean farmers and their shrine to Lee Kyung-hae, activists entering the conference center, and of course video of police violence (riot porn, though pretty tame by US standards).
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NO WTO, Teach-in this Saturday in PortlandPlease join over 15 local labor, environmental, and community organizations for a teach-in:
Saturday, December 17
10 am-4 pm
Koinonia House (633 SW Montgomery, Portland).
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Well, having read here about the demonstrations and other actions about time here, and only here, I proceeded (as an experiment) to check the local "news" broadcasts, to see what their take was on what was/had happened in Stumptown today. Nothing. Absolutely fucking NOTHING happened in Portland today. So, they had to fill the time with a review of Chronicles of Narnia (Again!), and weather. No interest in those protesting, those arrested, or the reasons for such actions. No "in depth" look at the issues surrounding wearing dead animals to highlight your personal shallowness, or World Trade, or Solidarity. Nothing about the woman who was assaulted by a cop, or the others who were arrested for the crime of being in the area. No fuckin news today.
Does anyone here STILL turn to the corporate infotainment tube to learn the truth of what is happening? It will rot your brain.
Oh, and don't bother telling them, THEY KNOW. I spent hours talking with several "reporters," who readilly admit that they come here to get their news, and sometimes they are able to run some of it past their corporate masters.
After the anti-WTO protest had ended, 40 of us went to go to Schumacher Furs. Some of us had previously been there, and we went back to get more people. We were followed by at least twenty cops. As we arrived at Schumachers Furs, many of us were angry. We screamed at the top of our lungs chants against fur. This was all happening while the Schumacher people were laughing inside and trying to take pictures of us. We became nervous when the riot police came. In a split second the police just randomly started attacking us. Great job mayor Potter, you are now making the police system as bad as it was back in the Vera Katz days, something you promised you would change.
Mostly all of us were dressed in black. We were sick of the amount of profiling that happens during protests, so most all of us were also wearing bandannas. The energy in that crowd was unimaginable, we were quite determined. The police laughed and watched us from a distance as we peacefully assembled. Then, all of a sudden, Officer Lee and his cronies interjected with the protest and told us all to clear a path. We did what he said, but that was just not enough for the pig. We asked him why he cared so much about us having a foot in their property, while here you have a much larger issue when the Schumacher people were giving people death threats. They gave us some bullshit answer, but we knew they were there just to protect the rich. [ read more ]
Mesomorphic Pigs Attack Women, Men, and Children in the Name of Profit
Officer Elmore will soon be resurrecting his role as riot porn star for the Videos from the Resistance. Because, in fact, officer Elmore is a mesomorphic asshole who has too many anger issues to allow him to make a living doing anything other than cop or possibly contract worker in Iraq. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.
I attended the demonstration today, in solidarity with workers across the world. While there, I noticed a roving pod of riot police sticking closely to the black bloc. Officers Cox and Ismail seemed to be loaded for bear from the beginning -- cajoling and insulting people in the crowd. (Usually, the cops seem more like robots than human beings. It's unusual to hear so much nasty conversation from them.)
In any event, officers grew increasingly frustrated by their inability to figure out what the bloc was up to. It looked to me like the yellow-and-black pod had some inkling that something was up, and tried desperately to locate the ever-chimerical "Leader" of the bloc. In and out and around the crowd they wove, but the bloc continually shifted and changed and slipped through their fingers. In the end, they completely failed to notice as the bloc melted out of the crowd and went elsewhere. Where, you ask? [ read more ]
About 600-1000 unionist, anti-WTO/FTAA, imagrants-rights, and kids, mothers, anarchists, environmentalists, brothers, daughters, liberals, families, anti-capitalists, farm workers, and cops came to downtown Portland to oppose the WTO, support opposition in Hong Kong, march for union rights, decry the capitalist state and the republican federal government, sing, chant, shuffle, and charge a down-town office building. Some organizers read off of large report cards describing the voting record of state representatives to the US congress on issues of right to organize, immigration, the environment, and fair trade.
Speakers and Photogs from Human Rights Day March and Rally
Brief Report, Photos from Today's March
PLDN Updates: [ PLDN one arrest 5th and Clay/ Dec 10th demo | PLDN Permitted march for dec 10th over PROTEST HAS MOVED 2 more arrests | PLDN, 20 in front of Justice Center, 1 more arrest, woman assaulted by police | Update from Portland Legal Defense Network | Update from Portland Legal Defense Network ]
related stories: [ Local "news?" | Mesomorphic Pigs Attack Women, Men, and Children in the Name of Profit | New Content on PDX IMC Web Radio | Seattle Residents March for Human Rights, Against Imperialist Militarism | Police Riot at Schumachers ]
Over 30 organizations have come together to organize what we hope will be a massive rally and march in downtown Portland and a comprehensive teach-in about free trade. The Portland mobilization and march also commemorates International Human Rights Day, and will protest the erosion of workers' right to form unions.
Join a coalition of labor, environmental and community to say "No" to the WTO and "Yes" to the right to organize unions. From December 13-18, the World Trade Organization will meet in Hong Kong to implement anti-labor, anti-environmental, and anti-democratic policies. Widespread opposition has derailed these meetings in Seattle, WA in 1999 and in *Cancun, Mexico in 2003.
Two orientation meetings this week to find out more about the issues, what is being planned, and ways to plug in and volunteer.
Come find out about the:
Momentum is building for what will be a great protest! If your organization wants to sign on, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org