Seattle 1999 and Its “This Changes Everything” Energy

WTO

By Chris Crass (November 30, 2019)

Twenty years ago today Nov. 30th, I was part of the Direct Action Network that successfully shut down the World Trade Center summit that was negotiating global capitalism in the interests of ruling classes and crushing human rights and dignity around the world.

Joining together with unions and people’s justice movements from around the world and activists from throughout the U.S. and feeling our collective power, beyond anything I thought possible, changed my life.

Seeing tens of thousands of people in the streets, with many of us in highly organized affinity groups, working together in clusters to take effective direct action and practice self-governance was incredible.

Seeing thousands of people get trained in non-violent direct axion in the months and days leading up to the multiple day direct action, helped me see the possibilities for movement-based educational workshops.

Feeling the energy of coordinated, high impact, mass direct action, as I walked with my affinity group in the pre-dawn mist of Seattle going to the intersection we were responsible for occupying.

Feeling the incredible energy of victory as word spread through the communications teams the we had successfully shut down the WTO, that anarchist and socialist anti-capitalists were making world news and changing the story, that another world is possible.

There was a “this changes everything” energy about what was possible for our movements.

So grateful for everyone who brought their leadership to make all of that happen, and to those sharing about their experiences today to help us draw our lessons and insights for our work today.

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