+Volume 2, Number 9                                                             December 6, 1999

The Farmer

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The Battle in Seattle

by Dr. Ridgely A. Mu'min Muhammad

 

The official estimates were given as 40,000 but unofficially there were 90,000 protestors in the streets of Seattle on Tuesday, November 30, 1999. Many have compared this to the civil rights protests and the Vietnam War protests of the 60's. But a major difference between those protests and the "Battle in Seattle" was that most people understood the reason for those protests and the participants could be easily categorized. However, in Seattle you had "pot smokers" walking hand in hand with "tobacco chewers". You had the steel workers protecting the "flower children". You had the grandmama's being embraced by the "gang bangers". In the many workshops and rallies you had to have interpreters to translate the speeches into English, Spanish, French, Japanese and Chinese. In other words the "world" showed up in Seattle. Why?

What is the WTO anyway? The local people in Seattle are trying to put their city back in order and trying to understand how could an obscure organization like the WTO insight so much emotion and draw so many detractors. The WTO is the World Trade Organization. WTO is a powerful global commerce agency set up in 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). WTO enforces 18 underlying agreements: an updated GATT (setting basic rules on trade in goods) and new pacts on food, product, and environmental standards, telecommunications, banking and other services, investment, patents and copyrights, and even how your tax dollars can be spent. WTO goes beyond basic trade rules and sets limits on the policies of the 135 nations who are called "Members." Included are caps on the level of food safety and environmental protection and bans on whole categories of policies, such as governments considering countries' human rights records before deciding to buy goods made there.

How does the WTO affect the common citizen? Right now Europe does not want to buy genetically engineered crops and livestock from the US. The US appealed to the three WTO "judges" and now Europe has to pay the US for loss in revenues caused by Europe not buying her meat (extortion).

As stated earlier there are 135 "Member" countries in the WTO. Supposedly each country has an equal vote, however if a concensus is not forthcoming, then the big countries retreat to the "Green Room" and make the decisions for the whole body. In other words as long as everybody agrees then there is democracy, but if there are major differences, then the rich countries take over (dictatorship).

Do we need the WTO? Proponents of world trade argue that we are moving inevitably to a one world economy and that we need such a body as the WTO to facilitate such a transition. However, in fact there is already such a mechanism in place under the United Nations. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations is responsible under the General Assembly for carrying out the functions of the United Nations with regard to international economic, social, cultural, education, health, and related matters. However, this agency of the U.N. has been sabotaged by the UN's funding crisis which has reduced the effectiveness of this branch of the UN charter. So up pops the WTO to fill the void.

This WTO conference in Seattle was supposed to be the full kick-off of the New World Order, where money rules all life. Everything in America is becoming privatized so that by the time Blacks and Hispanics become the majority population in America, there won't be much to vote on unless you have stock in the corporations that control your water and sewer, your schools, your police force, your prisons and your social programs. In fact small towns are being auctioned off to the highest bidder as we write.

The Black farmers lawsuit against the USDA was the beginning of the new resistance, the same as the civil rights movement was the precursor to the Vietnam protests. So when we heard about the mobilization to shut the WTO down, we knew that we had to be there. The Q'uran states:

 

"And those who disbelieve will say: Our Lord, show us those who led us astray from among the jinn and the men that we may trample them under our feet, so that they may be of the lowest." (Sura 41:29)

 

Even though many of the demonstrators were physically beaten, gassed or kicked in the groin, their spirit crushed their assailants and now public opinion will judge the WTO and its backers. The Black farmers will continue to show us those that have led the people astray and will be an example of resistance. You are invited to join us on the east steps of the Capital building in Washington, D.C. on Monday, December 13, 1999 at 10:00 A.M. We will expose the puppets (legislative and executive branch) of the USDA (backbone) of the WTO (beast). What they have done to the Black farmers was just a piece of the their master plan which was to take over all the farm land, corrall Black people in the cities then feed us poison (genetically modified food) to control our population.

For information about the rally call Mr. Gary Grant, (252) 826-3017 or email TILLERY@aol.com or contact Dr. Ridgely Muhammad at drridge@bellsouth.net.

 

Thank you.