Love & Rage: The Gendering of Peaceful & Violent Protest in Seattle, 1999

When the Cold War came to an end at the beginning of the last decade of the 20th Century, many thought a new era of peace and prosperity would reign over human history. Instead, a rapidly globalizing world dominated by free markets and interconnectedness shook people as much as the exponential speed at which technology was advancing. In this chaos of never before explored capabilities, both governments and common people attempted to make sense of their positions. While governments organized themselves into international bodies in order to better negotiate trade regulations as a means to streamline the process of globalization, many workers and individuals found themselves feeling marginalized, oppressed, or otherwise swallowed by the ever confusing new order of globalized free market capitalism¹. Trade agreements like NAFTA opened up new opportunities for corporations to expand profits, but left workers feeling threatened as jobs could now flow freely beyond borders. One important organization central to these new policies is the World Trade Organization. Formed in 1995 to replace outdated international commerce organizations, the WTO serves as a body in which trade policies can be discussed, debated, and resolved between delegates sent by most major nation states of the world². After negotiations fell through earlier that year, a ministerial conference was called on November 30th, 1999 that set off a series of protests that forever changed protest in the United States, as well as solidified the Anti-Globalization movement as a whole³. Through a variety of tactics both peaceful and violent, all while utilizing the powers of, and experiencing the drawbacks to anonymity and transparency, anti-globalization protesters achieved particular goals, while causing potentially detrimental consequences to the public opinion of protest in the United States.

¹ - Notes From Nowhere. We are everywhere the irresistible rise of global anticapitalism. Londres: Verso, 2003. pg 16

² - Cockburn, Alexander, and Jeffrey St. Clair. Five days that shook the world: seattle and beyond. London: Verso, 2001. pg 6

³ - Ibid, pg 9


Created as a part of the Politics of Peace and Gender Course at Cleveland State University