RAIM-Seattle on the recent WTO 10 year anniversary
originally published, December 21st, 2009 by RAIM-Seattle
The imperialist media hype around the recent slayings of police (the enforcers of empire) in the Seattle and Lakewood, and the predictable show of support for the kkkops by the general cracker population, overlaps the ten year anniversary of the “Battle of Seattle”. RAIM-Seattle doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories per se, but the coincidental timing of all this shit is not lost on us in the least. If these recent events did not take place, the imperialist media would have been more than likely (just for a “story”) to do a piece noting the 1999 WTO rebellion. The resulting reports would have reminded these kop loving crackers how pig repression extended itself into the white communities from its usual mandate in occupying oppressed nation communities. This would have exposed the imperialist hypocrisy around “free speech” with former mayor Paul Schell’s “Free Speech Zones” and the resulting swine assault upon any expression outside of those zones. In turn, this would have demoralized the white oppressor nation’s faith in the Amerikkkan system, and we at RAIM-Seattle think this is a good thing. Instead, because of recent events and its coverage by the media, you have a more united white oppressor nation against “those people”. That is, those people of the internal oppressed nations. People hungry for justice should consider their moves carefully and with a sense of overall strategy. It is plainly and tragically obvious that individuals just shooting pigs within the u$ (as deserving of the death penalty as they might be as enforcers of the system) outside of a legally solid (presumably) self-defense context, doesn’t lead to liberation. In fact, it leads to more repression, more kkkops, more prisons, and more of Amerikkka in general. Likewise, praising or defending kkkop assassinations promotes that type of strategy-less focoism instead of promoting solidarity with active and organized resistance to imperialism in the Third World.
With that out of the way, RAIM-S is going to do what the Amerikan imperialist media conveniently wasn’t going to do: Revisit the 1999 WTO rebellion!
Brief history of the WTO up to 1999
The WTO was originally founded in 1947 as the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT. GATT, in turn, had its origins in the 1944 Bretton Woods conference as the proposed but never implemented “International Trade Organization” (ITO). The GATT, along with other Bretton Woods creations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, essentially made the rules of global capitalism (on international trade, “development” loan packages, property rights, some interest rates, currency exchange rates, etc.) for the post-WW2 period. Alongside the Marshall Plan, the resulting agreements helped forge a “new imperialism” of a parasitically united First World, headed by the united $tates, to jointly exploit the Third World. This was the true origin of a “New World Order” of imperialism, as opposed to the kind of inter-imperialist wars for colonial spheres of dominance that characterized the first half of the 20th century. The Soviet bloc (referred by some as the historical “Second World”) and the so-called “Cold War” was both the top exception and the chief impediment to the blooming of this united imperialist corpse flower.
These international institutions of free trade were only so in name, as the united $nakes and the rest of the First World would always insist upon special exceptions (like agricultural subsidies for cracker-settler Amerikkkan farmers) to prop up their privileged status as “developed” nations. Resistance to imperialism by the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America from the early 1950’s to the late 60’s was a key factor in smashing the old Bretton Woods system (the u$ dollar fixed to a gold standard as the global reserve currency). The imperialists had their revenge by replacing the original Bretton Woods with a floating exchange rate system. The consequences of this lead to further disruption of some of the only means of Third World nations to generate national capital; their own natural resources and agriculture. (1)
This predatory battering of the Third World by these First World expanded with the fall of the rival Soviet bloc in 1991. This event was infamously marked by George Bu$h Sr.’s announcement to the u$ congreSS of this New World Order finally coming into fruition; right on the eve of the “multilateral” imperialist attack on Iraq in 1990. (2) With the all potential challenges to this New World Order (really the New Amerikkkan Order) neutralized, from the Soviet Union to Saddam Hussein, the First World kicked up its exploitation yet another notch during the Uruguay Round of GATT in 1994. (3) These deck-stacking measures moved beyond “business as usual” for the imperialists with regard to tariffs and price controls, and into uncharted economic territory involving agricultural products, intellectual property, services, etc. This renewed global economic framework culminated in the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Naturally, the agenda of the world’s exploited majority and all those who resist imperialism was shutting down the gathering of imperialists at the WTO. All this came to a head at the Seattle conference on November 30, 1999.
The “Battle of Seattle” (of 1999, not 1856!) (4)
RAIM-S won’t bother recounting all the various events around the WTO shutdown. Both the righteous direct actions of the anarchist John Browns and the pig mobs running wild from mayor Paul $chell’s “State of Emergency” in response has been covered countless times in the independent media (5), and mostly mischaracterized and scandalized in the corporate media. A Hollywood feature film was even made. A recounting of the minutia of details around the protest is not our purpose here. Ours is an account of the where the margins of class struggle are in this movement for justice against the globalized machinations of imperialism.
The direct actions were successful in shutting down the first day of the conference, preventing delegates from entering the convention center and cutting off pig supply lines. The pig counterattack was a brutal and massive military operation that utilized tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings, mass arrests, and an invasion and occupation of the nominally progressive Capitol Hill neighborhood. The world attention of the WTO protests and the police repression helped to bring certain contradictions inside the following days of the WTO Seattle conference to a head, thus derailing the entire conference. The story for most ends here, with the narrative of the germinating “brand new left” (local and/or globetrotting) to oppose various imperialist dominated gatherings as the future of “left wing” resistance. Now RAIM-Seattle has to stink it up a little bit, for the sake of the truth, with the following remark from some Black Nation youth to some radical white youth as they pushing back against the pig assaults:
“Hey, where were you when we were getting beat down by the police?”
This brings up a larger issue to RAIM-S of the class outlook of the various groups involved in the protest. Is there some kind of white Amerikkkan exceptionalism within the outlook of many on the so-called “left”? Is this how many activists in the First World feel exempted from confronting the relative privilege of white “workers” and their parasitic i$$ues, even as they claim to support the issues of the internal oppressed nations and the Third World as a whole? Did fantasies of u$ “revolutionary working class” lead to a white dominated politics? Did this, in turn, keep away too many oppressed nation peoples from representing their nations at the WTO protests? That’s not to say that oppressed nations and the Third World weren’t represented, but let’s take a hard look at the following account from Betita Martinez to examine where RAIM sees this problem (6). Martinez quotes Jinee Kim of the Third Eye Movement:
“I was at the jail where a lot of protesters were being held and a big crowd of people was chanting ‘This Is What Democracy Looks Like!’ At first it sounded kind of nice. But then I thought: is this really what democracy looks like? Nobody here looks like me.”
This is not to say that individuals of white background, even as an organizational majority, cannot contribute to a net gain for global justice. That would put an incorrect subjectivist primary focus on who a person is versus what a person does on the one hand. Indeed, Martinez documents the solid discipline, knowledge, and organizational skills of many settler-descended activists, as well as its positive reception from the relative minority of oppressed nation activists. However, “democracy” is something more than gathering to protest and for voter registration drives. The struggle for democracy is overwhelmingly a torturous, long term armed struggle for national liberation in the Third World. The white so-called “left” needs to be aware of its First Worldist subjectivism with regard to concepts like democracy. RAIM-Seattle thinks that the best democracy that can exist is that of “one person, one vote” on a global scale. Because of imperialism, the mechanism for this global democracy, in the full utilitarian sense, does not exist as of yet. Since those of us in RAIM like to think of themselves as being consistent global democrats (small “d”; fuck the Demokkkratic parasite Party), we uphold the interest of the global majority in the Third World against the global minority in the First World. This makes it possible for us to act in a way that respects the “general will” of the global majority the best way possible, lacking the practical ability to count 6 billion votes under imperialism. Betita Martinez then shows RAIM the economic origins of this “left-wing” self-deception on “democracy”:
Unfortunately the heritage of distrust was intensified by some of the AFL-CIO leadership of labor on the November 30 march. They chose to take a different route through downtown rather than marching with others to the Convention Center and helping to block the WTO. Also, on the march to downtown they reportedly had a conflict with the Third World People’s Assembly contingent when they rudely told the people of color to move aside so they could be in the lead.
This is the crux of the issue for RAIM. In the midst of all this righteous militancy, where were the John Browns (traitors to the white oppressor nation) in the march to shut down Jimmy Hoffa Jr.’s parasite goons? Who was there to defend the nominal Third World leadership against imperialism? Perhaps it is because of a continuing fantasy among the “left” about some “natural” role for the Amerikkkan worker as some kind of leading “revolutionary” force for progressive change. RAIM holds that the only societal change that Amerikkkan labor can bring is fascism. Observe (7):
“The Seattle summit will be a historic confrontation between civil society and corporate rule”, says Mike Dolan. He works for the American consumer watchdog group Public Citizen founded by Ralph Nader. Public Citizen is connected to the IFG and initiated the campaign against the MAI treaty. Dolan now acts as the great coordinator and spokesman of the counter movement in Seattle. Not everyone seems to be happy with him, but little can be done about his presence. He sits in the middle of the web, like a spider. On the one hand Dolan supports the American PGA caravan with several thousand dollars, on the other he speaks up for the extreme Right Pat Buchanan, now a candidate for the American presidency, representing the Reform Party. “Whatever else you say about Pat Buchanan, he will be the only candidate in the 2000 presidential sweepstakes who will passionately and unconditionally defend the legitimate expectations of working families in the global economy,” Dolan writes. Indeed, Buchanan supports American workers. As long as they are conservative and obedient and not unemployed, black, gay, female, lesbian or Jewish. He’s also not particularly fond of left-wing workers. Buchanan on Argentina: “With military and police and free lance operators, between 6.000 and 150.000 leftists disappeared. Brutal: yes; also successful. Today peace reigns in Argentina; security has been restored.”
Former Republican big shot Buchanan is known for his sharp attacks on international trade treaties like GATT, NAFTA, MAI and now the WTO. “Traditional antagonists as politically far apart as Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan are finding some common ground on trade issues,”says IFG member Mark Ritchie. He is also director of the American Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which supports small farmers. Reform Party spokesman in New Hampshire John Talbott agrees with Ritchie. “If you close your eyes, it is difficult to hear much of a difference between Ralph Nader on the left and Pat Buchanan on the right when they talk about the devastating effect of free international trade on the American worker and a desire to clean big money and special interests out of Washington.”According to Buchanan this big capital is mainly in the hands of “the Jews”. He presents himself as “the only leader in this country who is not afraid of fighting against the Jewish lobby”. Buchanan calls Hitler “an individual of great courage” and doubts whether the holocaust really was that big an event. But “Jewish capital” isn’t the most important reason why Buchanan wants to be a candidate for the presidency. No, in the first place he wants to end “illegal immigration”, that is, according to Buchanan, “helping fuel the cultural breakdown of our nation”. The populist Buchanan is probably the foremost representative of the extreme right in the US. His constituency consists of Christian fundamentalists, militia members and neo-Nazis. These millions of people might explain Dolan’s flirt with Buchanan. Together with his enthusiastic commentary Dolan sent around a newspaper article in which Buchanan openly says: “American workers and people first.”But Buchanan is not alone with that opinion. Also the big right-wing trade union AFL-CIO wants to make “the rights and interests of US workers a priority”. The union also mobilises their rank and file for the demonstrations in Seattle.
Make no mistake: The fascist agenda of the Amerikkkan organized labor is not the “false consciousness” of Amerikkkan workers ideologically swindled by Patrick Buchanan the AFL-CIA (yes, that’s how we spell it) and other u$ labor leaders. The protectionism, racism, and militarism of the Amerikkkan labor aristocracy are, in reality, their true class consciousness. The imperialist structure of the world set up by the Bretton Woods conference, with all its various phases, have made 90% of Amerikkkans among the world’s richest 15%! (8,9) Why in the hell would they want to change the very exploitative basis for that privilege? (10) Unless, of course, these crackkkers are complaining about Third World and oppressed peoples driving down their parasitically inflated wages, taking “their jobs”, or driving up the cost of “their” gasoline for their pick-up trucks and SUVs. This is the “Amerikkka first” fascist agenda, not a progressive global justice one. It is an agenda that the left-wing of parasitism keeps giving space to with their fantasies of a white-worker led revolution. The common “left” narrative of strategy goes something like this: Win the “90% against the 10%” in within country by country, rather than on a overarching global scale. Treating every country, both in the First World and Third World, as if they all have progressive national majorities will only lead to disaster. One can see where this white populist fantasy leads: to the teaCrackkkers and the goddamn minuteKlan. To RAIM, this is NOT what democracy looks like… This is what DUMBokkkracy looks like.
J. Sakai quotes ideological founder of fascism Benito Mussolini (11):
[Mussolini understood] his need to put forward the most “left” face possible on his way to State power. Mussolini even spoke favorably about the spontaneous workers councils movement that was taking over factories and calling for anti-capitalist revolution:
“ No social transformation which is necessary is repugnant to me. Hence I accept the famous workers’ supervision of the factories and equally their cooperative social management; I only ask that there should be a clear conscience and technical capacity, and that production be increased. If this is guaranteed by the trade unions, instead of by the employers, I have no hesitation in saying that the former have the right to take the latter’s place.”
Again, does today’s third position fascism sound more radical than that? Not hardly.
Never forget class struggle!
RAIM-S gives a clenched-fist salute to those John Browns of the global justice movement in their continued harassment of the imperialist states at the various international policy conferences around the world, including at the recent Copenhagen conference. Never forget that First World “labor” is not the friend of the world’s exploited and oppressed. Your real friends are the freedom fighters of the Third World proletariat who are landing the hardest blows against imperialism (12,13).
Fuck the AFL-CIA! Up with the Third World!
Turn the World upside down!
1. Steven M. Suranovich, International Finance Theory and Policy, chapter 100, http://internationalecon.com/Finance/Fch100/F100-1.php
3. The Uruguay Round, http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/fact5_e.htm
5. John Tarleton, Love and Rage in Seattle: The Day the WTO Stood Still, http://johntarleton.net/wto.html
6. Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez, Where Was the Color in Seattle?: Looking for reasons why the Great Battle was so white, http://colours.mahost.org/articles/martinez.html
7. Merijn Schoenmaker and Eric Krebbers, Seattle ’99, marriage party of the Left and the Right, http://www.savanne.ch/right-left-materials/seattle-marriage.html#13
8. US Census Bureau, 2006; income statistics for the year 2005
10. J. Sakai, Aryan Politics & Fighting the W.T.O, http://colours.mahost.org/articles/sakai2.html
11. J. Sakai, excerpt from Confronting Fascism: Discussion Documents for a Militant Movement, http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/books/fascism/shock.html