GENTECH archive


-The Whole World Watched us win - for now,== Now fasten the , seatbelts.

  Let's dance for now - but there's still work to be done.
The rag-tag coalition win's another.



 Disappointed delegates of the World Trade Organization reported Friday
that they had failed to get agreement on an agenda for a new round of
global trade negotiations but they said they would probably try again to
bridge huge differences next year in Geneva.

``We had to suspend this meeting and that is a disappointment,'' Canadian
Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew told reporters late Friday night.

U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, the chairman of the
meetings, had called a session of all 135 countries for later in the
evening to announce the next steps.

But officials from some countries said they understood that the WTO would
try to restart the negotiations next year in Geneva, where the WTO is

The announcement represented the latest in a string of failures for the
WTO sessions, which the Clinton administration had hoped would launch a
new round of global trade talks.

The meetings were disrupted on Tuesday and Wednesday with huge protests
that turned violent, forcing Seattle police to use tear gas and declare a
civil emergency.

Word circulated quickly among protesters, who were being kept away from
the convention center by police and National Guard troops, called out to
restore order on Wednesday.

The protesters, who had vowed all along to ``Shut down the WTO,'' which
they saw as an embodiment of everything wrong with the global economy,
reacted with cheers as news of the failure of the talks was spread by cell
phones and bullhorns.

Outside the Westin Hotel, where President Clinton stayed when he visited
Seattle to promote the WTO negotiations earlier in the week, a group of
about 50 protesters cheered, high-fived each other and began dancing in
the street.

``We've won. We really disrupted it,'' said Tracy Katelman with the
Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment. ``Obviously, we haven't
won the whole battle. But we've made a pretty big impact. I think the
corporations will be shaking in their boots.''

Maude Barlow, with a Canadian watchdog group called Council of Canadians,
said, ``The system collapsed and for the right reasons. This has been a
victory for democracy, a victory for the civil society we live in.''

Protesters had claimed all week that the WTO was neglecting its demands to
seek better protections of workers' rights and the environment in future
trade negotiations.