Series: Showdown in Seattle

Seattle's Independent Media Center's Showdown in Seattle: Five Days that Shook the WTO: A five part series featuring on-the-ground, non-corporate perspective and in-depth analysis on world trade issues, popular resistance and the police repression that you won't find elsewhere. This series was made each day of the protest week, with episodes bicycled (literally) to the uplink for satellite transmission to Free Speech TV and the Deep Dish network of community stations. Many video collectives and independent producers contributed footage to the series: Paper Tiger, Whispered Media, Big Noise Films, Changing America, Sleeping Giant, Headwaters Video and many others.

Part One- Seattle Prelude (28 min)
In part 1 of this 5-part series, the issue of the WTO ministerial is laid out by Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange, Anuradha Mittal of Food First, and author Michael Parenti. Seattle warms up as thousands pour into the city for week-long rallies and demonstrations and speak to the question: why we are here? Included are acrobatic banner drops, a building takeover by housing activists and preparations by the Direct Action Network. Interviews with Jubilee 2000 participants, labor leaders, and Congress people Maxine Waters and Paul Wellstone.

Part Two- People Unite, Police Riot (28 min)
Direct action blockades by activists delay the beginning of the WTO meetings and are met by Seattle police and barrages of chemical weapons and rubber bullets. Labor launches their big rally and march through Seattle with nearly every labor leader in attendance making their voices heard. A segment on how riot batons are manufactured with graphic illustration of their (mis)use by Seattle police. The show culminates with the police blockade of the Independent Media Center as curfew falls over an uncertain Seattle.

Part Three- Occupied Seattle (28 min)
The Steelworkers' rally/march is met with Police teargas when they venture too close to other protesters. Mary Reeves (National Lawyers Guild) and attorney Amy Kratz examine the legal issues posed by the Police abuse of civil liberties. A segment on Filipino Labor History with Dr. Carol Pagaduan (Araullo-BAYAN) and activist Liza Largoza-Maza Gabriela. A look at Indigenous issues and the WTO with Tom Gold Tooth (Indigenous Environmental Network), Ciprianna Jurapo (Center for Investigation and Worker Solidarity), and Carol Kalafatic (International Indian Treaty Council). A critical look at how the media has covered the protests and a revealing video verite walk with a WTO delegate.

Part Four- Unwilling Captives (28 min)
Over 600 arrests and questionable legal processing are discussed in part 4 of this 5-part series, with Larry Hauser (King County council member) and Doug Hoenig (ACLU) and scenes from King County Jail. It includes interviews with Seattle locals and bystanders caught in the police melee. The segment takes a look at the environmental hostages of WTO economic policy, with segments on the Global Free Logging Agreement and Genetic Engineering. A final segment on the international solidarity of farmers with French farmer Jose Bove, Ralph Nader, Jim Hightower, and Vandana Shiva.

Part Five- What Democracy Looks Like (28 min)
In the final part of the 5-part Showdown in Seattle series, the WTO ends in failure and celebration. Interviews with Victor Menotti (Int. Forum on Globalization), John Mwaniki (Zimbabwe delegate), Lori Wallach (Public Citizen), Scott Nova (Citizen Trade Campaign), Mr. Shinohara (Japanese delegate), and others. A look at the youth participation in the Seattle protest and what the WTO means to them. The Longshoreman rally closes labor's week of events. An ironic look at holiday shopping in Seattle during the siege. An inside look at the Independent Media Center and the process that made it work. The series closes with reflection on the week's events and inspiration for the mobilization ahead.

Year: 1999

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