Dear cj & rn, We are living in interesting times. Events in Seattle were extremely signfiicant, but more confusion than understanding has resulted. As for Y2K, we have no idea what is going to happen. The following items are interesting, but I do no recommend taking them at face value. My comments will follow tomorrow. rkm ============================================================================ # 1 ================================= From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••> Bcc: •••@••.••• Subject: Fw: EU-US Summit agrees way forward for new Round (Ref:4CLCX8) Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 09:58:27 -0800 It looks like powers are making concessions because of Seattle, but I think we should still challenge the legitimacy of the WTO. Note paragraphs on the ILO and the environment. Brian -----Original Message----- From: European Commission, DG Trade <•••@••.•••> To: •••@••.••• <•••@••.•••> Date: Monday, December 20, 1999 11:49 Subject: EU-US Summit agrees way forward for new Round (Ref:4CLCX8) This a communication from the Trade DG of the European Commission. Attention: Mr. Brian Hill Director Institute for Cultural Ecology Email: •••@••.••• The European Union and the United States held their biannual summit in Washington on Friday, 17th December 1999. The following EU-US statement on the WTO was issued at that event: The United States and the European Union consider the multilateral trading system one of the world's principal bulwarks of peace, sustainable development, and economic growth; and a primary engine for rising living standards and broad-based prosperity in the future. As we approach the new century, we must ensure that the trading system retains its dynamism and ability to respond to changing needs of an increasingly diverse membership. Accordingly, both sides note their disappointment at the failure to reach agreement on a new Round of trade negotiations at Seattle, but they agree it is now important to find a way forward. In this context, the EU and the US both pledge continued readiness to work with Director General Mike Moore and our partners to launch an inclusive new Round as soon as possible. A new Round has to be definitively different from its predecessors. It should encompass the built in agenda of agriculture and services, further and effective market access liberalisation, support our efforts to harness globalisation by strengthening and extending WTO rules, and address the concerns of both developing countries and civil society. With the Director General and all other members of the WTO, we need to take full account of the lessons of Seattle. In particular, work should be directed towards a set of measures that will provide better opportunities for wider participation by all members (including developing countries) in the decision-making processes of the WTO; offer greater transparency (both within the organisation and vis a vis the outside world); and improve public access, including through broader access to WTO documents and enhanced consultation procedures with civil society. This work should also consider measures to improve the efficiency of the WTO, and boost overall public support for the organisation. We should also seek agreement by all members on the separate review of WTO dispute settlement procedures, including measures to enhance transparency. The US and EU are committed to maximising the benefits developing countries gain from being in the WTO. We agreed to take forward a preferential market access initiative for least developed WTO members, initially with our Quad partners. We will work with other WTO Member to establish as soon as possible a new, revitalised programme for capacity building and technical assistance undertaken by the WTO, beginning with the Integrated Framework established in 1996, and in cooperation with other international institutions. We also agreed to consider what we would do to address the concerns of a number of developing countries with implementation of existing multilateral trade agreements. On issues of interest to our civil societies, we agreed that changes to global economy have brought new challenges to the trading system. Nowhere is that more evident that the debate that is now joined regarding the relationship between trade and labour. The US and EU are committed to working with our partners to engage the WTO and ILO in a constructive dialogue, including consideration of the relationship between core labour standards, further liberalisation, trade policy and social development, in order to foster understanding and consensus. And on trade and environment, we will work together to ensure that trade rules support and do not undermine the ability of governments to establish and achieve high levels of environmental protection. The cooperative relationship between the US and the EU has been crucial to the development of the multilateral trading system over the past 50 years. We recognise our shared responsibilities to continue this work, but also the need to involve all our WTO partners more directly. This will pave the way for continued prosperity, sustainable development, and long-term growth for the 21st century. European Commission, DG Trade, Information Unit Email: •••@••.••• WWW: http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade Fax: +32-2-296-9854 To notify the European Commission of any changes to your contact details, please quote the following reference number: 4CLCX8 ============================================================================ # 2 ================================= Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 22:28:37 -0800 To: Recipient List Suppressed:; From: Randy Schutt <•••@••.•••> Subject: "My time in Seattle" Folks, Here is another nice description from a Christian perspective. Thanks Carol for passing it along. I've removed forwarding marks and corrected a few typos. --Randy News from the Front Lines of the Battle of Seattle by The Reverend Sharon Delgado (AKA Jane WTO) To be published in the Jan/Feb edition of Christian Social Action Magazine. Lying on my bunk wrapped in a thin blanket, alone in the cold cell under lock-down, time passed slowly. I could hear vague sounds of drumming and chanting, so I knew supporters had gathered outside the jail. Kaleidoscopic images were going through my mind: people marching and singing together, colorful costumes, puppets and posters, police, rubber bullets and tear gas, injured protestors, people laughing, people crying. Songs I had sung with other protestors while sitting in holding cells also came to mind, including an old Malvina Reynolds' song: It isn't nice to block the doorways, it isn't nice to go to jail. There are nicer ways to do it, but the nice ways always fail. It isn't nice, it isn't nice; they've told us once, they've told us twice, But if that is freedom's price, we don't care. Having nothing better to do, I updated the song by adding two new verses based on my experiences of the past few days: It isn't nice to breathe in tear gas or be doused with pepper spray, To be shot with rubber bullets or to hear their sound grenades. It isn't nice, it isn't nice, but if that is the price To save the earth from dying, we don't care. It isn't nice to be beat up or be dragged away to jail, To spend long hours in holding tanks or lock-down without bail. It isn't nice, it isn't nice; we've told you once, we've told you twice, But if that is justice's price, we'll be there. As I lay there hour after hour, my feelings were of triumph, solidarity, divine presence, and joy. After all, on Tuesday, through non-violent resistance we had succeeded in blocking the opening meeting of the World Trade Organization, one of the most powerful and dangerous organizations in the world. At that moment, alone in jail, there was no place I would rather be. I had come to Seattle to protest the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Under the guise and slogan of "free trade," the WTO gives "trade ministers" (read "corporate bureaucrats") the authority to make decisions which undermine democracy and deeply affect people's lives. Since its creation in 1995 as part of the "Uraguay Round" of GATT negotiations, the WTO has greatly increased the global reach of corporations by its authority to determine the "legality" of laws enacted by federal, state, and local governments. When a WTO tribunal rules that a particular law is a "non-tariff barrier to trade," its binding judgement leaves the convicted locale with three alternatives: 1) change the law so that it complies with the WTO ruling; 2) pay agreed upon penalties year after year; or 3) face financial sanctions specified and imposed by the WTO. Non-tariff barriers to trade include restrictions on imports based on environmental laws, labor laws (including child labor), food safety laws, laws related to human rights (such as banning products from oppressive regimes), etc. The position of the US government is that it will change our laws to comply. To date, several US environmental laws have been weakened or reversed due to negative WTO judgements, including the US Clean Air Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act ("dolphin-safe tuna" is no longer dolphin safe), and the Endangered Sea Turtle Act. The US has also brought cases against other countries to the WTO on behalf of US corporations. Since judgements are generally in favor of corporations, laws of other countries have been judged to be illegal as well. The goal of the WTO is not actually free trade, but regulated trade. Its hundreds of pages of guidelines regulate international trade in ways that benefit corporations. "Free trade" is about freedom for corporations to have access to every last person ("market") and natural resource ("commodity") in the world, using the cheapest labor for the greatest possible profit. In its meetings in Seattle, the WTO planned to create an agenda for a Millennium Round of talks to increase its power and continue the process of corporate globalization. I arrived in Seattle on November 26, the Friday after Thanksgiving, in order to attend the two-day Teach-In on the WTO sponsored by the International Forum on Globalization. The Teach-In was held in the 2,500-seat Benaroya Symphony Hall. It was filled to capacity. People with signs requesting tickets stood outside the door. Well-known speakers from all over the world reminded us of why we had come to Seattle, gave us more information on the effects of the WTO, and inspired us to resist its domination. The churches were highly visible during the Seattle events. On Sunday evening, Jim Wallace of Sojourners Community preached at a glorious service of Christian worship at St. James Cathedral, using the text from Leviticus 25, which calls for debts to be cancelled and slaves to be set free during the year of Jubilee. The service lifted up "Jubilee 2000," a world-wide movement calling for the cancellation of the debt of the world's poorest nations. The call for debt relief challenges the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO with the recognition that there is something very wrong with the current global economic system, in which the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Churches have led this campaign in the belief that a just global economic system must put God's people and God's world above profits. The First United Methodist Church of Seattle displayed a sign which said "NGO Central," since it was a central location for the activities of many non-governmental organizations during the week. The church hosted daily educational forums and offered space for various groups to meet. Several marches originated from the church, including an environmental march on Monday which had thousands of people, including over 200 people dressed as Sea Turtles. A high point for me was hearing the turtles chant, "No more sweatshops!" Connections between human rights, labor, and the environment were finally being made. On Monday evening, an interfaith service sponsored by Jubilee 2000 and the Washington Association of Churches was held in the First UMC sanctuary, with an overflow crowd watching the service on video. Sweet Honey in the Rock sang; speaker after speaker called for debt relief. This service preceded a march on Monday evening, when a human chain of thousands of people encircled the Kingdome during the opening gala of the WTO, calling for a cancellation of the debt of the poorest nations. Early Tuesday morning, I walked with my friends Ruth Hunter (age 83) and Catherine (Cappy) Israel to join other protestors at Union and 6th, where we sat down in front of the Convention Center. Our purpose was to shut down the WTO. I linked arms with Ruth my on my left and a young woman in her early twenties on my right. About thirty of us sat blocking the entrance. Others joined us later. Many people were supporting us, bringing us water and providing "entertainment." Street theater groups and puppets came by to encourage us. Cheerleaders dressed in red gave cheers about the evils of corporate control. We sat in the wet street, shivering from cold and anxiety, laughing, singing, glancing back occasionally at the police who stood in rows behind us. At one point, two rows of police on motorcycles came toward us, as if to run us over, but a sea of protestors moved in front of them. Awhile later, police on horseback began slowly advancing on us from behind. This time, protestors laid down on their backs in front of the horses, feet first, to protect us, as people did in India in the time of Gandhi. The mounted police withdrew. We saw the police put on their gas masks and then take them off several times. Each time, we braced ourselves, then relaxed. The young woman on my right was terrified. After about two hours, the police put on their gas masks and suddenly began to attack. I felt the pain of hard plastic bullets hitting my back, felt the sting of pepper spray, heard loud explosive sounds of concussion grenades, and gasped in the suffocating clouds of tear gas. When I could no longer breathe, Cappy and I helped drag Ruth and ourselves away. I saw one woman lying unconscious, face down, on the street. Many people were crying in pain, tears streaming from their eyes. "Medics" working with the Direct Action Network helped drag people away, flushed their eyes with water, treated their wounds. One young man, who had not been blocking the entrance but was simply in the area, cried in agony from the burn of pepper spray that had been shot directly into his eyes. I know now similar scenes were taking place all over the city, and that it got worse. Since tear gas was also being used at the next intersection, there was nowhere to go. We were trapped, together with hundreds of other people. We finally found our way through a building and out of the area. Later that day, we joined the labor union march. Like other protest marches of the week, it was more like a huge parade that filled the streets with thousands of people. Colorful banners and signs, costumes and props, marching bands, drummers and dancers streamed along, creating a mardi gras atmosphere. It was thrilling to have so many people together in solidarity - labor unions, environmentalists, religious groups, organizations working for human rights, and individuals with a variety of concerns - all directed toward ending corporate rule. Smiles were on every face. A common chant was "This is what democracy looks like." A sign captured the essence of solidarity: "Turtles and Teamsters, Together At Last." Throughout the city, the streets were filled with people. Only once did we see any property damage taking place. In that instance, peaceful protestors stopped it, not the police. Every so often, we would come upon an intersection where the police were using tear gas. It wafted through the city most of the day. By evening, a curfew was in effect. We watched on TV in horror as we saw huge clouds of tear gas envelop the downtown. It looked like a war zone. We were also dismayed that the thousands of peaceful protestors got so little coverage, while scenes of the same few windows being broken were shown again and again. Early the next morning, on Wednesday, December 1, Ruth, Cappy, and I walked with another friend, Emily Maloney, to Denny Park to join in the civil disobedience planned for the day. We arrived at dawn, just as the curfew was supposed to be lifted. As people gathered, the park was surrounded by SWAT teams. Our group of about fifty walked a block and a half into the area that had been designated a "No Protest Zone." (The ACLU is currently challenging the legality of that designation.) The police ordered us to leave but instead we sat down, linking arms. When the police moved in to make arrests, I stood and helped Ruth up, holding out my arms. A policeman grabbed me and put the plastic cuffs on tight, behind my back, and made me lie face down on the street. The police were very rough, especially with those who refused to walk. They carried people face down, their hands cuffed behind them, then dropped them hard on their faces. Batons were used. Some people were in great pain. I pleaded with a policeman who was guarding me to loosen my cuffs, but he wouldn't. They were loosened two hours later. By then, one person's hands had begun to turn blue. Some screamed in agony when the cuffs were cut away. We were taken to Sand Point Naval Station, where we stayed until evening. No food was offered to us until the next day. Still, our spirits were high. Through a large glass window we saw another group of people who had been arrested. They taught us a song through the glass, which has become the theme song of the whole experience for me. It includes the Spanish words "Si, se puede," meaning "It can be done!": Rising, rising, the earth is rising. Turning, turning, the tide is turning. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. We sang it while being processed, when new people came in and after we were released. We sang and danced with joy and a deep sense of hope. Throughout the jail experience there was a powerful sense of bonding with fellow prisoners. Those of us who were older learned so much from the creativity, dedication, and wisdom of the young, and younger people felt encouraged to have elders with them. Most of us chose to be in solidarity with each other by not giving our names, as is our legal right, in the hope that there could be "equal impact" on all arrestees, including internationals. We were given numbered wristbands with the names "Jane WTO" or "John WTO." I turned over my clothes and everything in my possession. My wedding ring and money were not returned when I was released. We saw and heard some terrible things. When the women in our group were separated from the men at Sand Point, we were put in a cell where several young women had been pepper sprayed in their faces at close range. Their eyes were still red and they were traumatized. I also saw two women whose noses had been broken by police. I was with several people who were denied their medication, including Ruth. Later that week, I heard many first-hand accounts of police brutality. Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation into alleged human rights abuses. The ACLU is collecting reports on police brutality. The Seattle Chief of Police, Norm Stamper, has resigned amidst criticism. The Seattle City Council, after hearing accounts of police misconduct from hundreds of people, has established a civilian police oversight commission, which replaces the Police Department's Division of Internal Affairs. Not only did the protests shut down the WTO, they exposed the violence of the criminal justice system. As we were being booked into King County Jail on Wednesday evening, I witnessed an unprovoked attack by police against my friend, Cappy. A policewoman hit her as she frisked her, grabbed her by her long gray hair and dragged her around the corner, throwing her face down to the ground. Other officers got on top of her and twisted her arms behind her. Later, as we sat for hours in a small holding cell, her hair was coming out in bunches, she had a big bruise on her forehead, and her shoulders ached. Still, we talked and sang and tried to sleep on the cold concrete floor. Finally, around 2 a.m., we were taken up to our cells. I spent most of the next 26 hours in my cell, until I was released. I had no contact with the outside world. I had no way of knowing what was going on. I didn't know that the police violence had increased in the Capitol Hill area, that they were using military grade tear gas and arresting residents and protestors alike. I didn't know that ongoing protests on the streets of Seattle were putting pressure on Clinton to stand up for labor and environmental standards and were empowering delegates from developing nations to stand firm (against the patenting of life forms, privatization of services, etc.) in spite of pressures imposed by industrialized nations. I didn't know that the official meetings of the WTO were headed toward failure and that the success of the protests would be beyond my wildest dreams. As I lay there in my cell, all I knew was that I was witnessing a different kind of globalization in the teach-ins and worship services, as well as on the streets of Seattle, a worldwide network of citizens joining together not for the sake of profit, but for the sake of a shared vision of a just and sustainable world. I felt I was a part of an amazing, historic movement of kindred spirits coming together to demand fair trade rather than free trade, to promote justice and environmental sanity. I was part of a watershed event, supported by the prayers and hopes and hurts of the world, sustained by the presence and love of God. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life, a life-changing experience. As Paul says in Romans 8, "Hope that is seen is not hope." For years, I had been preaching, teaching, and acting out of hope that I could not see. Now I can see. There is not just hope, but possibility for amazing and positive change in the world. And opportunity. Vast opportunity. Si, se puede! It can be done! It's happening now. Rising, rising, the earth is rising. Turning, turning, the tide is turning. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. Si, se puede. ============================================================================ # 3 ================================= Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 12:06:58 -0800 To: •••@••.••• From: Rosa Zubizarreta <•••@••.•••> Subject: Russia's warning to U.S. Dear list members, A few days ago I received the post below, written by the director of Sydney's Friends of the Earth campaign. It urges us all to focus our attention and actions for the next 10 days on the critical issue of nuclear weapons safety over the year 2000 rollover. Then, this morning, I received the following news item about Russia's warning to the world. It has underscored for me the importance of this issue. While I realize that this list is predominantly for academic discussion, I thought it might be pertinent for all of us to take some action that can ensure that our conversation can continue unimpeded. With all best wishes, Rosa Zubizarreta from the Boston Globe "In interviews with Russian news media, the chief of the missile program, Vladimir Yakovlev, stressed that Russia's economic crisis and new security threats had prompted a dramatic review of nuclear deterrence. ''Russia, for objective reasons, is forced to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons, extend the nuclear deterrent to smaller-scale conflicts, and openly warn potential opponents about this,'' he said. Read the full story at: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/352/nation/Nuclear_might_celebrated _with_a_Russian_warning+.shtml The following is the background information on nuclear risks: At the end of the next 15 days, the largest, oldest, most complex, most deeply interconnected, and previously least Y2K - compliant computer command and control systems in the world will experience Y2K. These are of course, the systems that perform command, control, communications, and monitoring for nuclear weapons systems. There are some 2,000 warheads in 500 land-based minuteman ICBMs in the US, and some 3,600 warheads in land- based ICBMs in Russia, on permanent 24 hour hairtrigger alert, with gyros spinning ready for launch at a moments notice. That doesn't count warheads in SLBMs or bombers. The launch of all 5,600 warheads could end all human life, and certainly would end civilisation, and would do irreperable and very profound damage to the entire web of life on earth. The Pentagon has spent over $4 billion and it says it is totally confident its systems will cope. The Russians say their control systems for their nuclear weapons do not utilise the date and will cope. Privately however, US officers worry about blank screens, false data, and communications blackouts. The Canberra Commission reccommended as far back as 1996 that as a first step toward nuclear abolition, nuclear weapons be taken off hairtrigger alert. The Tokyo Forum has also called for this to be done. Two UN resolutions passed this year and another two passed this year have called for de-alerting. Two resolutions of the Australian Senate and a resolution passed unanimously by the European Parliament have called for nuclear weapons to be taken off alert over the Y2k rollover. Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin and their secretaries of defence have been the recipients of a very large number of letters from NGOs all round the world calling for nuclear weapons to be taken off alert. So far there is no indication that they will do this. Instead, Yeltsin has threatened the US, saying they should remember that Russia has a large nuclear arsenal and has deployed ten of the latest Topol-M missiles. Nontheless, there are indications that the campaign has at least been noticed. And what will actually happen on the night of the rollover has implications that are about as ultimate as they could be. Hopefully nothing at all will happen. However, what will determine the future of us all and of all life is exactly how a possible false alert will be dealt with. That is why it is essential for the Pentagon and the Kremlin to hear our voices over the next 15 days. That is why I am asking everybody I can to place the Y2K de- alert campaign at the top of their priority lists for the next 15 (or more realistically the next 10) days. There are lots of campaigns that are important. There are lots of campaigns that have much more profound long term implications than this one. But we have to get through the Dec31/Jan1 rollover at the very least. Its all a bit pointless if we accidentally make the planet uninhabitable by a simple and utterly mindless computer glitch. And of course it has been pointed out to me that there may be Y2K - related glitches in command and control systems for months or even years afterwards. The danger from all of this would disappear almost completely of course if the 5.600 weapons now on 24 hour hairtrigger alert in the US and Russia (land - based ICBMs only) were taken off alert. With luck all this will prove to have been without foundation. We'll turn out to have been a lot of nervous nellies and paranoid doom -mongers, and there will really have been nothing to worry about. Realistically, what we are dealing with is a classic 'High-Consequence, low- probability' event. But there is nothing to lose. A massive manifestation of global concern, focussed on the Kremlin and the Pentagon is the best shot we have at giving the world the best chance of getting through the new year. And with luck nothing whatsoever will happen, and we'll all be wrong - till the next hairraising near miss. I'll be posting a proper alert with updated sample letters tomorrow. Seriously, I am asking everyone to consider whether the possible risk and the possible stakes over the rollover even if the risk turns out to be very small indeed, don't warrant your concerted effort for at least the next week, so that we are sure we will be around for those high- priority, long - term, deeper implication, campaigns. Think about it. But not for too long. In the meantime, The fax number of US Defence Secy William Cohen is +1-703-695-1149 Bill Clinton's fax is +1-202-456-2461 The Kremlin fax is +7-095-205-4330 Igor Sergeyev, the Russuan defence minister is on +7-095-247-2722 (but you may need to try quite a few times). The cost of a single page A4 fax to Russia, as counted on a telephone bill from Australia is $1.00-$1.50, but public fax agencies charge an arm and a leg just to dial the number. John Hallam Friends of the Earth Sydney, 17 Lord street, Newtown, NSW, Australia, Fax(61)(2)9517-3902 ph (61)(2)9517-3903 •••@••.••• http://homepages.tig.com.au/~foesyd http://homepages.tig.com.au/~foesyd/nuclear/bbletter.html ============================================================================ # 4 ================================= Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 22:32:18 -0800 From: frank scott <•••@••.•••> To: cyberjournal <•••@••.•••> I promise a response to your(as usual) thoughtful comments...for the moment, here is something from someone who may not have responded to your list directly... fs ----fwd------ Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 01:00:11 -0800 To: •••@••.••• From: •••@••.••• (Michael Smith) Subject: fs post Thanks for your post and Richard K. Moore's remarks on the Seattle protest. I heard from a friend of mine who lives in Seattle that the police behavior was pretty brutal, but as you say, nothing by the standards of what routinely occurs elsewhere. Apparently, in jail there was some forcing of pencils between protestors' fingers with hands held behind the back and then breaking of them, causing a great deal of pain. Also, another friend reports she had her face smashed into the concrete floor by a guard in jail. The mild end of the torture spectrum, but still, enough to be outraged about. I hadn't realized that people were using the Nazi/gas chamber analogy for this, which is, as you say, simply ridiculous. The left is never going to get anywhere in this country if it reacts hysterically at the first challenge and resorts to the Nazi analogy for every injustice down to parking tickets. There has been to date, thank God, only one Nazi Germany, and hopefully there will never be anything like it again. What happened in Seattle is to be expected; next time, since the police will likely be better prepared, it could be worse. But this is not to say that we are entering a police state. There is, at present, no danger of a military coup, and the primary method of social control is mind manipulation. The achievements of American public relations are simply awesome, and the effectiveness of indoctrination here largely obviates the reliance on the cruder tactics characteristic of police states. This doesn't have to remain the case forever, of course, but at the moment I see no danger of dicatorship or anything like it. The reflexive hysteria and exaggerations of our predicament (certainly bad enough as it is) must be overcome. There have been quite a few examples of sweeping change in recent years that have occurred with minimal bloodshed - Iran (1979), Eastern Europe (1989),USSR (1991), South Africa (1994), which should give encouragement to those of us seeking extensive change now. But somehow on the left it has become a badge of militance to project bleak scenarios and deny all possibility of change without torrents of blood. We are a long way from revolutionary change now, but it seems to me that if a revolutionary movement ever emerged in this country it would stand an excellent chance of avoiding being crushed by force - the scourge of revolutions generally - simply because Canada and Mexico are too weak to intervene, and more distant powers lack the power projection capabilities to do so. Internally, of course, anything might happen, but if a democratic ideology went deep enough repression would simply hasten fundamental transformation. What we need to do is not to spread hysteria about the inevitability of a police state, but to stick to what has been working so far - education, outreach, and organizing - and keep attacking the neoliberal ideology that for the first time in a long time is on the defensive. Let the business classes be hysterical - as they customarily are at the first sign of protest. The war on drugs has been fought largely to put a superfluous population behind bars, not to form a new Gestapo for use on middle class protests against neo-liberal economics. The whole idea of equating non-lethal crowd control technology with the vast apparatus of death constructed by the Nazis is an insult to those who were liquidated by the real Gestapo. Let's get a grip here! Mike Smith ============================================================================ # 5 ================================= Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 22:20:25 -0800 From: frank scott <•••@••.•••> To: •••@••.••• Subject: Re: cj#1041,rn-> Frank Scott: "Enough already, with the gas chambers and nazis" I appreciate rkm's comments on my -perhaps harsh sounding - criticism of what I found over-the-top about some posts on this list...and others, as well, since this is not the only place where there has been over-reaction to the Seattle police behavior...in response to some points: I'm well aware of how nasty and brutish some of the treatment was, but merely pointed out, or tried to, that nasty, brutish behavior by the police is not a sign of a nazi take-over, or out of the ordinary when the establishment is threatened. pepper spray and tear gas and rubber bullets are awful, but they beat the hell out of real bullets! Pepper spray is designed to be sprayed in the eyes, not to flavor chili...it is awful, but bombs and rockets are worse, and they are designed to kill and maim. I don't believe we are convincing to the great mass of people who don't feel the way we do about the world, if we constantly scream bloody murder anytime some of "us" suffer rough, even vicious handling at a demonstration. Yes, there are and have been and probably always were tendencies towards a police state inherent in any system of domination, but there are less in this one, especially where white, middle class people are concerned. The fact that many such had their first experience of clubbing, gassing, etc, is not a sign that the heavens have fallen and the goose-stepping storm troopers are on their way. By the way, as to "pepper spray in the eyes", which, again, is where it is designed to be used, you may not be aware of an incident that took place in california not too long ago. Demonstrators blocking the office of a congressional representative - they chained themselves - were not sprayed- they had the stuff rubbed onto their eyes with q-tips! And this was video-taped!! BY THE POLICE..no more exclamation points...vicious and nasty? yes..a sign of impending nazi attacks on mainstream america? Hardly... The corporate capital state will act to suppress when it is threatened, and do so through its soldiers, sailors, marines and air force when it means the worst...the cops are first line stuff, and while they can clue as to what may lie ahead for some, they say little about most... Once again, the behavior in Seattle was shocking and dreadful to those who never had such experience, but unfortunately commonplace to those who've been there before. Watch a film of what went on at, say, the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, where some demonstrators had the crap beaten out of them and it was shown on TV, but where previously, Fred Hampton of the Black Panthers had been murdered in his bed by the police, and that was not on TV. By the way, much has been made of the anarchist group who "destroyed property" (shudder-gasp-etc) and were not arrested, while peaceful demonstrators were, as though this indicated plots-conspiracies...not so... the anarchists got away with it because the cops were inept, the anarchists were better organized, and the peaceful folks (who got nailed) were not...plus the fact that anyone blocking entry to an establishment citadel will likely be dragged off, or stepped on, or even beaten on the spot if not later, not as a sign of a coming police state, but simply as a sign of authority cracking down as it does all the time, every time, and in cases other than seattle, with far, far, far more deadly results.. to end this post, I want to add that I find much of rkm's work and the other posts here valuable, interesting, informative, challenging and necessary..all the more reason why I get ticked off when there is an occasional foray into what I find less than reasonable theorizing about conspiratorial tendencies re shooting down airliners, murdering princess di, laying the groundwork for nazi-ism and such. If these things were coming down on some other list, I might not even bother speaking to them, It's because they are here that I get upset. Not a damned thing at Seattle was "unprecedented" in the response of the authority, except to not only be wrong, but pay a price for it: Seattle, even the USA, will not see the WTO for a long time, if ever. What was truly unprecedented was the coalition of groups ,the outpouring of people and the wonderful surfacing of the WTO for most of the world to see it as never before. Let's make the best of that and build on it....conspiracy tales, rumors of secret nerve gas used by authority, alleged set-ups of a military police state, etc are not only useless, but DUMB. fs ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Richard K Moore Wexford, Irleand Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance •••@••.••• http://cyberjournal.org Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one.