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FTAA: Zach's Story - The Life and Thoughts of Zach — LiveJournal

Dec. 21st, 2003

05:29 am - FTAA: Zach's Story

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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 21st, 2003 11:50 am (UTC)
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A lot of what you ask is stuff I plan on writing about in future installments. I tried to focus on the direct experience in this writing, on things I saw and experienced and personally verified to be true. The analysis will come later (after new years because I'm pretty busy). We're also working on a DVD about the whole thing that'll have a TON of content and analysis.

The short answers...

Although there's been a lot of good coverage about this in the mainstream print media, the coverage on CNN and FoxNews was horrible. I'll be posting transcripts from their reporting on the day of the event with commentary and rebuttal. The one theme that seems to run throughout the mainstream media is this OBSESSION with explaining to people that the AFL/CIO was the only "legitimate" group there and that the direct action folks were "outsiders" and "anarchists" "bent on causing trouble". There is never any mention of the solidarity statements between the AFL/CIO group and the DA group, there is never any mention of the fact that most of the DA group joined the AFL/CIO march and that many AFL/CIO members joined the afternoon DA crowd. There is no mention of the fact that the AFL/CIO march wasn't JUST the AFL/CIO but a coalition of LOTS of environmental, labor, and human rights groups (without saying this they strongly imply that it's just a bunch of protectionist labor whiners rather than a broadbased grassroots movement). The New York Times and the Miami Herald did a much better job of reporting the whole story. I'd have loved to see the Univision and Telemundo (spanish language networks) coverage but I didn't.

I think that many things were gained from this experience.

1) The meeting essentially failed. It didn't fail because we blocked the delegates from entering but it did fail because the delegates (especially Brazil, Argentina, Venezuala, etc) were aware of a world wide movement resisting this thing. The talks failed because there is a movement and our protest was part of that movement. If we hadn't gathered it would represent a failure of the movement and the dissenting countries might have lost their resolve and been bullied by the US. I don't think we were the whole or even a major reason why the talks failed but we were a part of a very large puzzle.

2) Protest gatherings like this, however they go down, are as much for networking the protestors as anything else. The gathering is like a conference for those who wish to change the world for the better. I met a ton of people, I leanred a ton of new tactics, I learned a ton of new information at teach ins. I feel so much more networked with the movement and so much more energized to know that people all over the world are working on this (and that they are nice cool people that I can trust because we met and took care of each other and worked together for a week in Miami). Decentralized movements need to get together and folks need to meet. Just as global capital was meeting behind the fence to negotiate their strategy, global resistance was meeting on the streets.

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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 21st, 2003 07:00 pm (UTC)
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It'll be a few months until the DVD is ready and then I'll be pitching it here there and everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled.
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