Tag Archives: WTO

OPINION: Reclaiming the History of May Day

by JM Wong

On this year’s May Day, as we grieve and witness the calamity of state-sponsored or state- manufactured violence; the premature (because utterly preventable) COVID epidemic deaths raging from India to Brazil due to fascist governments more invested in power than people; and the unceasing state lynchings from Columbus, Ohio to North Carolina and Seattle, Washington — we need the memories that Lucy Parsons bequeathed our struggles for which this day, International Workers Day, was created.  

Lucy Parsons should be a household name at any May Day celebration. She had a vision of freedom for the working classes who had been made by histories of colonialism, slavery, settler violence, and migration. Her vision challenged the internationalism of capitalists who professed a right to universal exploitation while creating borders and racial systems to divide those they exploited or killed. Today, Parsons’ erasure is part of the whitewashing of labor history in the United States that abets American empire. Remembering her is a reminder that she and so many others, even in the belly of the beast, left us the foundation and resources for a workers’ internationalism that revokes capitalist claims to exploitation and reconstructs our global connections for the purposes of shared freedom.

Continue reading OPINION: Reclaiming the History of May Day

OPINION: Remembering the Battle in Seattle 20 Years Later

by Susan Fried (words and photos)

It’s been twenty years since I photographed some of the events surrounding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Seattle in November 1999. Lots of people who remember it at all, think of it as the “Battle in Seattle,” or the WTO riots,but my memories are of a mostly-peaceful protest attended by over 40 thousand people that thought like me; that believed in livable wages, safe working conditions, and protecting the environment. It was one of the most empowering events of my life. There were people representing labor, the environment, farmers, NGO’s, student and religious groups–all there to speak out against an organization that they believed had too much control over everyday people’s lives. They believed that–as one of the chants the protestors used–said, “Another World is Possible.” Continue reading OPINION: Remembering the Battle in Seattle 20 Years Later