What do we have to do to get a little credit around here? In a not-very secret document that was leaked to the Mexican newspaper La Reforma the Mexican government compiled a list of "globalophopic leaders" who will be singled out for special scrutiny by the Mexican police and military. Despite the role that Portland activists played in the collapse of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle none of us made the list!
How many of us participated in the direct action that shut down the WTO meetings on N30? How many of us defied Mayor Schell's suspension of the Constitution in downtown Seattle on December 1, 1999 and were thrown in jail for it? How many Portlanders mobilized to get the arrested released? And yet these contributions are ignored.
Even though the longshorefolks of the ILWU shut down every port on the West Coast of the US and Canada to protest the WTO on N30, zero ILWU members made the list!
So who are the dangerous radicals that did make the list? Noam Chomsky, Laurie Wallach of Global Trade Watch, Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, physicist Vandana Shiva, Walden Bello of Focus on the Global South, journalist Naomi Klein . . . Yeah, real scary bunch of agitators there.
At least John Sellers of the Ruckus Society made the list (they do great direct action training). But I think the Mexican police just realized their picks would have no credibility if the direct actionists were completely shut out. So they put Sellers on as a token. But, Naomi Klein? I'm way more dangerous than Naomi Klein. Ok, Vandana Shiva is not to be messed with. But come on, Noam Chomsky throws like a girl!
In fact almost none of the people on this list ever throw anything but ideas. This just goes to show how out-of-touch the Mexican cops are. Representatives of the WTO continually say that they want a "dialog" with their critics, so surely can't be behind this list.
It also displays the class-bias of the Mexican state. They can't accept that a bunch of ordinary citizens are the one's who are the biggest threat to shut down the WTO. They want to give all the credit to a bunch of authors and professors. How typical.
I'm going to contact the Mexican government to protest being excluded from their list of anti-WTO "ultras" and demand that they add my name to it. If you feel like you have been unjustly left off their "watch list", please do the same. They even have a local office:
1234 S.W. Morrison
Portland, OR 97205
Tel: (503) 274-1450 * Fax: (503) 274-1540
The Mexico Solidarity Network have a protest letter that you can add your name to here.