We Won This Round: The Cancún WTO Ministerial Summit – Lesley Adams (2003)

1990-2010, Blockade/Barricade, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Imperialism, Institutions, Occupation, Sabotage/Ecotage, Subjects Redefined, Tactics of Disruption, The 'Natural World', The Bourgeoisie

This piece was written by an activist at the 2003 ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization in Cancún. Over 10,000 protesters from around the world took action throughout the summit, occupying a building, conducting marches, disrupting the opening ceremony, using bolt cutters to break down barriers, and employing other direct action tactics. Activists faced the challenge of integrating different cultures, who each had their own organizing methods, social relations, and disruptive tactics. Many of the activists were farmers, who were protesting the globalist free trade policies that they argued had privileged multinational businesses at the detriment of their livelihoods. This was shown by one farmer, Lee Kyung Hae, who stabbed himself as an act of sacrifice, expressing, “WTO kills farmers. I am taking my life so that others can live.”

“Building alliances and solidarity between struggles is vital to counter the ways in which the current power structure is connecting our global community. The world is being globalized whether we like it or not. They choose to globalize capital. We choose to globalize resistance.”

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