Show: Indymedia Presents

Episode: 0372 Indymedia Presents 5 Days that Shook the WTO part3.mpeg


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Episode Description:

It was Wednesday, day 3 of WTO week in Seattle, and day 2 of the Ministerial meetings. Tuesday had been a disaster for the authorities on every level, as wave after wave of activists poured into the town like the Seattle rain that poured from the skies. Tuesday morning the WTO had been shut down before it could even open and by Tuesday evening the National Guard had been called out, a large area in downtown Seattle had been designated a political free-fire zone, and public opinion had swung heavily against the WTO. Wednesday morning the world wondered whether things would settle down or what would happen next.

One of the great strengths of the anti-WTO protests in Seattle in late 1999 was what later became known as “diversity of tactics.” Different groups had taken different parts of the week to stage their activities, so that the movement always had fresh forces and a new focus to keep the pressure up. On Wednesday the Steelworkers held a permitted rally down on the waterfront. Other activists gathered in the Westlake area of downtown to challenge the legitimacy of the hastily declared “no-protest zone.”

Episode 3 of the 5-part “Showdown in Seattle” series is entitled “Occupied Seattle.” It takes up the street battles of the day, but beyond that it brings to the screen a group little mentioned by most documentaries of the protests, the Filipino community. One of the contingents, numbering in the thousands, that marched in its own march into downtown Seattle on Tuesday was organized by a coalition of Filipino groups. They understood and were there to protest the effects of “neoliberalism” which is the term for what the WTO represents.

Indymedia Presents #372 contains the third of five episodes “SHOWDOWN IN SEATTLE” produced at the Seattle Indymedia Center during the week of protests. IP #370 was episode 1, IP #371 contained episode 2. We will soon post the final 2 episodes as IP #373 & 374.

For a good but short definition of “neoliberalism” see www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

Here’s the short course:
Economic liberalism is different from the political liberalism most Americans associate with the left. Conservative politicians who say they hate "liberals" -- meaning the political type -- have no real problem with economic liberalism, including neoliberalism.
The main points of neo-liberalism include:
1. THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services.
2. CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
3. DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.
4. PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water.
5. ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

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File Name of SD Episode: 0372 Indymedia Presents 5 Days that Shook the WTO part3.mpeg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:27:59

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,007,905,952 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - 02:25


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