Time Travel Seattle 90s: WTO riots, an alternative dream’s epilogue

Time Travel Seattle 90s: WTO riots, an alternative dream’s epilogue

In the last episode of the Time Travel we have seen how Seattle has created, directly or indirectly, some of the best known corporations in the world. However, in the late ’90s, the streets of the Emerald City have become the stars of a different story: that of the economic globalization protests.

That ferment that gave birth to grunge and created the concept of alternative, is overflowed crashing against a wall of riot shields, batons and handcuffs. Together with the youth of the city, in the Battle of Seattle there were young people and NGOs from all over the world.

N30 protests: Seattle in flames

November 30, 1999: The World Trade Organization meet at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. The expected economic negotiations, identified with the code name N30, were severely contrasted by a new social movement: the anti-globalization movement. The movement was born around the idea of the need for broad representation of interests in the negotiations of the WTO for the protection of human rights, fair trade and sustainable development. These agrees, in fact, could not be taken among few, when their reflection covered the whole global population. But there were many instances, as may were the souls of the movement.

In Seattle, the movement was at its second meeting. The first major anti-globalization protest was put in place in various cities around the world in June of that same year.

The protest march was joined by direct actions of vandalism and civil disobedience. Actions that led to the intervention of the armed forces. The result was a urban warfare.

Seattle riots, the end credits of a remarkable decade

As Federico Buffa explains in the end episode of the Barracuda Time Travel (watch the documentary film Time Travel Seattle), the fighting during the negotiations of the WTO in Seattle in ’99 were the symbolic culmination of an extraordinary decade, which had posed the Emerald City the center of the Western cultural revolution.