Friday, February 6, 2009
My Not-So-Secret Past: WTO Protester
I wanted to share a blast from the past with you. This shot was taken in Seattle whilst I was attending a rally before marching to protest the WTO. That's World Trade Organization.
YES, I WAS THERE! Yes, I smelled the tear gas. Blech.
Professor X and I had gone up with a group to participate in the People's Rally and March for Fair Trade on Tuesday, November 30, 1999.
I made my own special sign to carry. It read "WTO - Do your mothers know what you're up to?"
I am so clever.
Because you are my special friends, I will tell you a little something more. Something about the terrible destructive rioting that went on that evening. I was not part of it. I was headed home with my group, eager to see my two children. I'd left them home just in case things got a too wild. Little did I know.
Amazing Girl Child was a small baby then. I'd hated being away from her that day, mostly because I loved every minute of being with her. But also because she was breastfeeding. And by the time I got home that evening, I was swollen to bursting. Ouchies. Big ouchies! Boy, was I glad to see that baby. Too personal? Sorry.
I'd gone to the rally because I thought it was important to show support for those who had organized it. I'd joined 50,000 environmental, human rights, labor, and church activists in a peaceful and legal demonstration.
With our current economic crisis, the WTO is again in the news, but the focus is on resistance toward US protectionism. Articles like this show that media attention is not on abusive labor practices around the world or environmental degradation caused by low standards from WTO policies. I'm concerned that we might forget it's important to protect our air and water and workers because of concern for the economy.
I haven't forgotten. We can't sacrifice precious health and physical safety of workers - and ultimately, of ourselves - because we're scared about this downturn.
After all, what would our mothers say?