The large scale of the demonstrations, estimated at no fewer than 40,000 protesters, dwarfed any previous demonstration in the United States against a world meeting of any of the organizations generally associated with economic globalization (such as the WTO, the International Monetary Fund, or the World Bank).
Alex Jones’ film Police State 2: The Takeover exposed how the black bloc anarchists were completely infiltrated and provocateured by the authorities during the violent 1999 WTO protests in Seattle. The authorities declared a state of emergency, imposed curfews and resorted to nothing short of police state tactics in response to a small minority of hostile black bloc hooligans. Police allowed the black bloc to run riot in downtown Seattle while they concentrated on preventing the movement of peaceful protestors. The film presents clear evidence that the black bloc anarchist group was actually controlled by the state and used to demonize peaceful protesters.
(Wikipedia) On July 16, Helene Cooper of the Wall Street Journal warned of an impending “massive mobilization against globalization” being planned for the end-of-year Seattle WTO conference. Next day, the London Independent newspaper savaged the WTO and appeared to side with the organizers of the rapidly developing storm of protest:
The way it has used [its] powers is leading to a growing suspicion that its initials should really stand for World Take Over. In a series of rulings it has struck down measures to help the world’s poor, protect the environment, and safeguard health in the interests of private—usually American—companies. “The WTO seems to be on a crusade to increase private profit at the expense of all other considerations, including the well-being and quality of life of the mass of the world’s people,” says Ronnie Hall, trade campaigner at Friends of the Earth International. “It seems to have a relentless drive to extend its power.”
On November 16, two weeks before the conference, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13141—Environmental Review of Trade Agreements, which committed the United States to a policy of “assessment and consideration of the environmental impacts of trade agreements” and stated, “Trade agreements should contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development.”
Activists staged a spoof of Seattle’s daily paper, the Post-Intelligencer, on Wednesday November 24, inserting thousands of hoax editions of a four-page front-page wrap-around into piles of newspapers awaiting distribution to hundreds of street boxes and retail outlets. The spoof front-page stories were “Boeing to move overseas” (to Indonesia) and “Clinton pledges help for poorest nations”. The byline on the Boeing story attributed it to Joe Hill (a union organizer who had been executed by firing squad in Utah in 1915). On the same day, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development reported:
developing countries have remained steadfast in their demand that developed countries honour Uruguay Round commitments before moving forward full force with new trade negotiations. Specifically, developing countries are concerned over developed countries’ compliance with agreements on market access for textiles, their use of antidumping measures against developing countries’ exports, and over-implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).