News Release

Clinton and Protests in Seattle

JUDITH BARISH
An editor of the World Trade Observer and former communications director for the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Barish said: “In 1994, Clinton promised not to support the establishment of the World Trade Organization unless it addressed labor standards, but that was forgotten. Now the administration is again talking up labor standards. But their proposals don’t measure up – for example, giving the International Labor Organization only observer status in the WTO. Of the seven ILO conventions supporting workers’ rights, the U.S. has signed just one. This argues that the Clinton-Gore administration is only paying lip service to workers’ rights to get political support of union members.”

KATHERINE OZER
Executive director of the National Family Farm Coalition, Ozer said: “Trade liberalization is hurting family farmers and peasants throughout the world, while the corporate food industry reaps record profits.”
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DEAN BAKER, MARK WEISBROT, ROBERT NAIMAN
These analysts with the Center for Economics and Policy Research are available for interviews.
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PAMELA SPARR
Part of an international planning team on gender, trade and development questions, Sparr works with the United Methodist Church. Among the voices she can direct reporters to are Gigi Francisco of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era from the Philippines (www.dawn.org.fj), who said the WTO’s “trade policies have led to more insecurity for women in the global South”; and Njoki Njehu from Kenya, director of 50 Years Is Enough (www.50years.org), who said: “The IMF, World Bank and WTO are forcing poor countries to pay foreign banks rather than invest in human needs.”
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KEVIN DANAHER
The public education director for Global Exchange, Danaher was detained briefly by police on Tuesday. He said, “The police made a strategic decision when protesters conducted civil disobedience: the police used violence. That brought out the worst elements of the city and drove many nonviolent protesters away. Some of these thug elements attacked peaceful protesters.” The police shot a Global Exchange volunteer, Brian Neuberg, in the chin with a rubber-coated bullet.
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SANJAY MANGALA GOPKL
Co-coordinator of the National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements of India, a coalition of 125 movements and organizations, Gopkl said: “The WTO is a global government driven by the profit motive of the transnational corporations, run by unelected officials without regard to the participation of people or sustaining the environment. This creates havoc in the lives of millions of people in India: farmers, fisher folks, laborers, and tribal people. The battle against the WTO is the battle for our survival.”
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PAUL LOEB
Author of “Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time” and associate scholar at Seattle’s Center for Ethical Leadership, Loeb has written extensively on why some citizens get involved in the larger issues of our time, while others abstain. He said: “Tens of thousands of people marching in Seattle were able to translate seemingly remote economic issues into concrete examples of how institutions like the WTO erode democracy.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (206) 770-9544 or (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167