Tony Tracy tony at SPAMtao.ca
Mon Dec 6 07:28:08 MST 1999

I'd have to respectfully disagree with the comrade from the SACP :)

Clinton certainly had way more means at his disposal to scuttle the
aims of developing countries than to organize provocateurs outside
the conference itself.

It was clear to me during my time in Seattle that the protesters, of
all stripes, came from a genuine position of opposition to corporate
globalization. Mind you, there was certainly mixed and uneven
conciousness amongst the gathered forces, with some looking to
protectionist measures (amongst them both the Canadian and American
versions of "left nationalism"), some to liberal anti-consumerist &
other "lifestyle" ideology, etc.

Without question, this was a divergent, contradictory and very mixed
crowd -- with a great deal of differences of opinion. And certainly,
as a socialist, I have great differences of political opionion with
many of the organized forces that were in Seattle. But I do not for
an instant question whether or not these folks were the genuine
thing... they were indeed.

And, as a bit of an optimist, I think that socialists have more than
a bit of a role to play in providing some clarity around trade
issues, around issues of corporate globalization, etc., which would
be of a great deal of value to this emerging movement. But I think
the beginning point for that role is to show some solidarity with the
movement itself, whatever it's mixed and contradictory character,
when it comes out in force against what it sees as one of the best
symbols of global capitalism, rather than write the movement off as
an agent of imperialism.


Tony Tracy

>I am cross posting this from another list... (without the name of
>the person who
>initiated it)... Although I have some strong views on the WTO/Seattle... would
>be interested to know what people make of this:
>The South African delegation (which included labour) did raise some
>interesting issues at the WTO. But what caught my attention the most were
>the comments of Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin. Erwin, a former
>trade unionist and still a member of the South African Communist Party,
>said that the protestors were acting in the interests of the US government,
>more or less hinting that they were provocateurs put their by Clinton to
>make sure the developing countries weren't able to achieve their aims at
>the Summit.
>Ismail Lagardien
>Office of the Chief Economist and
>Senior Vice President of
>Development Economics
>The World Bank
>Washington DC
>202 473 9603
>Visit the World Bank Chief Economist page at:

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