, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 109-128
Date: 05 Aug 2009

Peasant–farmer movements, third world peoples, and the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization, 1999

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This article, based on interviews and documentary sources, examines the participation in the N30 anti-WTO protests of peasants and farmers and, more broadly, the dynamics of transnational protest. It argues that participation in the protests by people from the Global South was important in convincing developing-country WTO delegates to derail the trade talks. The article suggests that N30 in Seattle was more diverse than is usually appreciated, both in terms of the provenance of the participants and in terms of the activities in which they engaged. The significance of N30 has less to do with the proportion of demonstrators who came from the Global South (or of those “of color”) than with the impact that the Seattle events had on those who did come, on developing-country WTO delegates, and on other sympathizers who stayed home but nonetheless followed the situation closely.