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Monday, November 30th marks the 10th anniversary of the WTO protests in Seattle. What began as a peaceful demonstration outside the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference erupted into a violent clash between police and protestors in the city streets. The “Battle of Seattle” made headlines around the world for months to come (including incorrect reports that protestors threw Molotov cocktails at police). The scale of this protest was huge: low estimates put the crowd at about 40,000.
Since then the protests have been the subject of much debate (and at least one feature film). Depending on your politics, you may think of them as the genesis of a new “internationally minded, globally linked movement” of anti-corporate protestors, or as a “Noah’s ark of flat-earth advocates, protectionist trade unions and yuppies looking for their 1960’s fix.”
Ten years on, what do you see as the legacy of the so-called Battle of Seattle? If you were there, what led you to join the protests? How have the protests impacted your thoughts on free trade and globalization since then?
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