The Battle in Seattle, 22 Years Later w/ the Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project

It’s the 22nd anniversary of the direct action shutdown of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle. The WTO is a transnational economic institution created to regulate and facilitate global (corporate) trade.

Listen in:

Organized by a scrappy group of organizers, the shutdown kicked off an anti-corporate globalization moment in North America which challenged austerity and the capitalist political economy. Globally, those movements had already been fighting austerity and corporate power for decades.

We talk with Nancy Haque, Stephanie Guilloud and David Solnit – three organizers that were all part of Direct Action Network to Stop Corporate Globalization (DAN), the body that organized the shutdown.


In 1999, our three guests were all grassroots lead organizers and co-founders of the Direct Action Network to Stop Corporate Globalization which organized the mass action shutdown of the WTO in Seattle.

Nancy was a labor-community organizer with Portland Jobs with Justice which uniquely bridged the labor movement with the Direct Action Network and mobilized hundreds of students and community folks from Portland.  Now, Nancy is the Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon, ensuring that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Oregonians experience equality by building a broad and inclusive politically powerful movement, shifting public opinion, and achieving policy victories.

Stephanie was a student at Evergreen State College where she worked with the Labor Education and Research Center and with student groups that mobilized hundreds of trained organized students. Now, Stephanie is co-director of Project South. Stephanie is the editor of two anthologies: Through the Eyes of the Judged; Autobiographical Sketches from Incarcerated Young Men and Voices from the WTO; First-person Narratives from the People who Shut Down the World Trade Organization.

David was with Art and Revolution Collective in the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to Seattle for 6 months to organize as part of the Direct Action Network.  Now, David is an arts organizer with the Climate Justice Arts Project–working to center arts organizing and narrative with Stop the Money Pipeline, Build Back Fossil Free and the Poor People’s Campaign. He edited/co-authored “Globalize Liberation”–a post-Seattle WTO global justice and anti-capitalist analysis and organizing anthology and “The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle.”

About the Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project//

On the 20 year anniversary, a small group of friends and fellow DAN organizers put together The Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project-a website of organizers and first person accounts and analysis and co-published a 20-Year-Anniversary series of articles with Common Dreams.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply