Nov. 30 is the 20th anniversary of The Battle of Seattle, protests against the World Trade Organization, a battle which re-energized the progressive justice movement, whose energy we still feel.
Before the protests, nobody had heard of the WTO or its vast control of people’s lives, control exerted by selfish corporations, banks and political puppets. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Seattle, surprised the unelected corporate power-brokers, and sent them running away scared. Our message was clear: “We know who you are. Get out!”
I sometimes imagine that my old car still carries proud residue of tear gas and pepper spray. It was a powerful experience; but even though the battle was won, the war was not, then and now.
We have choice now, as always. Either we bow to corporations and their selfish concentration of wealth and power, or we fight for freedom, families, communities and planet. Fossil fuel corporations, for example, still suppress science, buy politicians, destroy the environment, and commit human rights abuses on every continent.
Alice Walker is widely credited with saying, “The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” We have power. We can do this. But only if we care.