We Only Want the World
Salute to the courageous WTO resisters in Seattle
Revolutionary Worker #1034, December 12, 1999
Sometimes light breaks through darkness and fog in an unexpected way.
Suddenly in Seattle, the sweatshop realities of global capitalism/imperialism stood exposed--and ugly.
The corporate empire-builders and faceless government deal-makers were in the spotlight. In the streets, before the eyes of the world, their crimes were called out--the domination of a few countries over the whole planet, the exploitation of poverty and powerlessness, the thoughtless rape of the rain forests and seas, the restless shifting of production from country to country, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
In a world where profit is supposed to rule without question--it was the World Trade Organization and everything it symbolizes that was on trial.
And during those moments of confrontation and resistance in Seattle, millions around the world saw something surprising and encouraging--that even in the U.S., in the very belly of this beast, they have allies and comrades who understand and oppose what global capitalism is doing.
The people accomplished all this--through struggle. Tens of thousands filled Seattle's downtown streets to oppose the crimes of capitalist globalization. They were determined in the face of police teargas and rubber bullets. They returned fearlessly, day after day, to challenge the "state of emergency."
To their own delight, the resisters in Seattle forged new alliances amongst themselves--uniting longshoremen and other trade unionists, young radical streetfighters, environmentalists, Filipino anti-imperialists, students, revolutionary Vietnam veterans, farmers, and outraged onlookers--against the monopoly capitalists and their brutal enforcers.
And for oppressed people in the ghettos and barrios of the U.S.--and all over the world--it was a beautiful sight.
This capitalist system rampages across the planet. It wrenches hundred of millions of lives to serve the profits of a few. It twists human inventions--like computers and communications--into vicious new ways of extracting wealth and delivering bombs. It enslaves science to profit--genetically altering food grains to ensnare small farmers or refining satellites to track our movements. Armies of lawyers are deployed to patent human knowledge and even DNA--so that everything of value can be catalogued and designated for corporate use.
The massive modern means of production--which offer an unprecedented potential for eliminating human poverty--are perverted into the means of wealth accumulation and thoughtless destruction. Punctured ozone, deadened coral, and the wrenching human tragedies of infant mortality and child labor in the world's shantytowns--these crimes are all the more bitter because they need not be.
As the year 2000 approaches, every human exchange is being commercialized--to ensure that maximum profit is extracted from each and every human. And all this comes wrapped in words about freedom--"free trade, free market, free enterprise....."
How welcome it is when the people puncture those lies. These protesters found vivid ways to make the point that "buy, buy, buy" is just a cover for "dog-eat-dog."
We want to salute and honor the courageous resisters in the Battle of Seattle.
The Revolutionary Communist Party was proud to unite with thousands of others in the streets against the common enemy. We deeply believe that "It's right to rebel!"and these last days show the power of righteous rebellion.
There will be debate in the aftermath of this WTO conference--among those who attended and those who watched. Taking a stand, exposing the system is a precious first step. And it raises the next question--how do we end this, how do we actually defeat the corporate and government forces of world imperialism--who cause so much harm to humanity? The seriousness and scope of this task is mind-expanding.
Those who hold this planet in their grasp will only be swept away by the most intense forms of struggle--by revolution.
Capitalism claims it is triumphant. But this is a world crammed with people who have no future under this system. Their hope--our common hope--lies in wrenching the world from the grip of those who exploit the labor of others. It lies in making revolution-- proletarian revolution--in every country, and taking the first historic steps toward a liberated global society, where the masses of people work in common for the common good of all.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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