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Globalize This! The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule
Edited by Kevin Danaher and Roger Burbach

Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000
218 pp., $15.95
ISBN 1-56751-196-1

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If you want to know what the "Battle in Seattle" was really about, and not the biased, distorted version presented by the corporate national media, then Globalize This! The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule is a good introduction. This book gives a voice to the protesters, who were either ignored, or worse, belittled, by the national media. It also tries to provide answers to some of the movement's remaining questions, such as diversity, alternative institutions instead of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Most importantly, how do we restructure the global economy to value life and human welfare more than money?

We hear from the real people who were on the frontlines of this protest (Paul Hawken, Luis Hernandez Navarro, Martin Khor, Seth Ackerman). We hear from these non-violent protesters who were tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, and beaten by police officers who didn't seem to know how to cope with the tens of thousands of people who showed up to protest against the World Trade Organization (WTO). These protesters were human rights activists, labor activists, indigenous people, people of faith, farmers, environmentalists, students and teachers. They were well-educated, well-organized, and determined to have the WTO listen to their concerns. Created in part as a coalition of "equals", named the Direct Action Network (DAN), each group had a different part to play.

There were some problems with diversity — no coalition-building effort is perfect — and Globalize This! presents some of these views. Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez asks "Where Was the Color in Seattle?" Why were the majority of demonstrators Anglo, when the vast majority of the WTO's victims are people of color? More should have been done by the coalition to be inclusive. It is a problem that the movement needs to recognize, and do something about, if they want to continue building on their successes in Seattle.

There is a section on the reasons why the WTO is bad — reasons based on the WTO's constitution and methodology. Chief among them is that it doesn't allow for any other perspective other than economics when settling disputes among members. If your legislature wants to label — and enforce — the accuracy of dolphin-safe tuna, your nation can be penalized. Seeds you have grown for generations may now belong (genetically) to a Trans-National Corporation, which can genetically (and legally) alter them so you must now buy the corporation's chemicals to "activate" the seeds and make them grow.

For those interested in solutions, there is a section dedicated to them. There are segments by people such as The Nation's William Greider, as well as Global Exchanges Deborah James and Kevin Danaher (one of the editor's of this book). While not as riveting as the personal stories, these solutions are needed to show the public that the protesters in Seattle weren't just "anti-trade hippies", but people with a serious commitment to solving some of the ills of the World Trade Organization.

This book is interesting and educational. I didn't know about everything that went on in Seattle, so hearing from the major players was important. It gives you a greater understanding about the World Trade Organization, and how many hard fought environmental battles can now amount to literally nothing. Definitely a must read for anyone concerned about social, environmental, and citizen issues here and worldwide.

Annette Aguayo

Common Courage Press
Box 702
Monroe, Maine 04951
(207) 525-0900
fax: (207) 525-3068
email: orders-info@commoncouragepress.com

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"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth…that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamt would have come his way."
– W.H. Murray in The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.

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