News Release

Beyond Seattle: Now What?

ROBERT WEISSMAN
Editor of Multinational Monitor and co-author of “Corporate Predators: The Hunt for Mega-Profits and the Attack on Democracy,” Weissman said: “The protests in Seattle contributed significantly to the failure of the WTO negotiations, dealing a major blow to the ambitious corporate agenda of expanding the trade agency’s reach. The challenge before public interest activists now is to develop institutions, mechanisms and rules to rein in the corporate activity that has been plundering the planet under the banner of economic globalization. The delegates from the poorer countries were emboldened by the protesters and for virtually the first time resisted the arm-twisting by the industrialized nations.”
More Information
More Information

NORMAN SOLOMON
Executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of “False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era,” Solomon said: “What has emerged is a pro-democracy movement. And it’s global. The vibrant social forces that converged on Seattle — and proceeded to deflate the WTO summit — are complex, diverse and sometimes contradictory. Yet the threads of their demands form a distinct weave: We want full democratic rights for all people.”
More Information

MEDEA BENJAMIN
Executive director of Global Exchange, Benjamin said: “We have to blast through the myth that workers in developing countries don’t want their labor rights protected. It’s U.S. corporations that benefit from violations of labor rights and pit workers in different countries against each other. There’s a recognition that we need to bring the bottom up — and who at the bottom would not want to come up? We need to push this mass movement into the political scene — there is no politician on the national stage representing it. We’re sophisticated enough not to be mollified by rhetoric, like Clinton’s johnny-come-lately talk about openness in the WTO.”
More Information

DAVID BACON
An independent labor analyst and writer, Bacon said: “We need rules for international trade, but enforcement can’t be in the hands of the WTO. The whole purpose of the WTO is to increase the power of the transnational corporations; so giving it more authority over labor standards is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. Rules should be based on democratic processes through organizations that respect workers. The U.S. continues to refuse to sign international labor rights treaties, so Clinton’s professed concern about labor standards is a sham. Our basic problem is the global economic inequality between the haves and the have-nots.”

More Information
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020

NORMAN SOLOMON
Executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of “False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era,” Solomon said: “What has emerged is a pro-democracy movement. And it’s global. The vibrant social forces that converged on Seattle — and proceeded to deflate the WTO summit — are complex, diverse and sometimes contradictory. Yet the threads of their demands form a distinct weave: We want full democratic rights for all people.”
More Information