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WTO -The World's Still Watching- inside the squat,



I'm posting this because the author has something first-hand to say about
Seattle scene of last week. It's a change from the news-media garbage.

I've had no personal contact with the author; he is visibly "connected" 
with International Advocates For Health Freedom
 see http://www.iahf.co. His internal reference to CODEX is to the CODEX
ALIMENTARIUS Commission which is the world org which determines/decides on
global standards for food and food supplements, hence which is also has an
interesting relationship with Mr Greed. Thus from the CODEX official pages

< The officials and experts who laid the foundations and determined the
   direction taken by activities of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards
   Programme and the Codex Alimentarius Commission were first and
   foremost concerned with protecting the health of consumers and
   ensuring fair practices in the food trade. They felt that, if all
   countries harmonized their food laws and adopted internationally
   agreed standards, such issues would be dealt with naturally. Through
   harmonization, they envisaged fewer barriers to trade and a freer
   movement of among countries, which would be to the benefit of farmers
   and their families and would also help to reduce hunger and poverty.
   The founders concluded that the Codex Alimentarius would be a panacea
   to some of the difficulties that were impeding freedom
   of trade, a view that is reflected in the General Principles under
   Purpose of the Codex Alimentarius.>

Just as I said - free trade in food trade.
 
Now read this:


=====================
From: John Hammell <jham@iahf.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 1999
Subject: Eye Witness Account: The Battle in Seattle

I saw enough tear gas and rubber bullets in Seattle to last a lifetime,
but unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and we will soon
find ourselves being stomped into the ground under the iron boot of
tyranny unless more of us resist, NOW! Maybe those of you who think I've
been exaggerating the threat of jack booted NWO domination will be
believers upon reviewing the streaming video at <http://indymedia.org>

I've just returned from a history making demonstration in Seattle in which
thousands of demonstrators, angered by the gross injustice represented by
the World Trade Organization, succeeded in seriously disrupting the first
day of the WTO Ministerial Conference here, forcing the WTO to cancel the
first day of the scheduled week-long meeting. Video footage and the TRUTH
about what REALLY happened in the demonstration can be seen at
http://www.indymedia.org

They did a videotaped interview of me at the demonstration talking about
Codex and how the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO will be used to
dismantle American Dietary Supplement Laws in the not too distant future
unless more people become aware of what's going on and join us in
opposition to the WTO. I hope to get some digitized still photos from the
Battle of Seattle into http://www.iahf.com soon. 

The Governor of Washington was forced to call out the Washington National
Guard to totally shut down the demonstration as enraged demonstrators
overwhelmed Seattle Police and King County Sheriff's office which proved
insufficient to keep things in check. Some of you will get this mssg right
away, the rest will get it after I get back to VA in a couple days. 

It was clear to everyone present that the New World Order is moving in on
us with a vengeance, and that most law enforcement personnel in this
country are clueless as to what is going on - they are firing their
teargas on the wrong people - they should have fired it into the WTO
convention to stop the REAL criminals!! The myopic street hoods who
sprayed graffitti and broke into stores wrecked our demonstration. If not
for them, we could have successfully shut the WTO down for the whole week
they're scheduled to meet, and if police had intervened THEN, it would
have made THEM, not all of us. look bad. 99% of the people at the
demonstration were totally non violent except when the tear gassing began
and many of us, including myself, were forced to throw tear gas cannisters
back at the cops in self-defense. 

The Battle of Seattle, An Eyewitness Account

Sadly, a predominantly peaceful, very well organized and otherwise
peaceful demonstration was marred by anarchists, a group of young (16-20
year old)  disaffected youth combined with local gang members who broke
store windows, sprayed graffitti, and looted local shops including a Radio
Shack franchise. It is a real shame that this group of immature people did
so much to interfere with the vast majority of demonstrators who were very
orderly and well behaved - but then it is also not surprising that the
egregious offenses of the WTO would incite rioting, even though the
rioting effectively wrecked the demonstration by giving the mainstream the
weapon they needed in order to paint all demonstrators with the same
unfair broad brush (!) 

I got some insight into this anarchist group which disrupted the
demonstration, turning it into a violent war, a couple days ago when I
missed the last bus back to Everett where I've been staying at the home of
Gayle Eversole from the IAHF list. Missing the bus caused me to need a
place to crash in Seattle, where all motels and hotels and hostels were
sold out. 

On the front page of the Seattle Post Intelligencer I read an article
about an abandoned house at Virginia Avenue in downtown Seattle, just two
doors down from Seattle Police Headquarters, that had been seized by
demonstrators the day before. I knew I was at the right place when I saw
two police cars monitoring the place from the other side of the street, a
short distance down the block and I could see demonstrators on the roof
with black bandanas obscuring their faces. The demonstrators were in radio
contact with others inside the house. A guy was sticking his head out of a
broken window on the second floor to ask me who I was and what I wanted. I
explained that I was a demonstrator who needed a place to crash, and told
them who I was. After convincing a group of them that I was ok, they
removed the barricade to open the steel door on the street and ushered me
into the front entry and frisked me for weapons and to make sure I wasn't
a cop wearing a wire. They were very glad to learn of the IAHF website. 

They had barricaded the stairs so that the only way into the house after
they let me in was to crawl through a very small opening. This proved to
be a very effective way of preventing the house from being stormed by cops
earlier in the day when a street fight ensued in which the cops tried to
evict them. 

After being ushered into the house, they sent me to a room upstairs where
I had to read the mission statement of the people who had initially seized
the house. They were a group of idealistic students, mostly from
University of Oregon in Eugene, but combined with other students from
across the US and Canada who wanted to keep control of the house
throughout the coming week to use as a crash pad for demonstrators who had
nowhere else to stay, and they hoped to turn it over to a homeless
advocacy group at the end of the protest so that the homeless could have
it as a badly needed shelter.  Sadly, there are far more vacant houses in
the USA than their are homeless people - yet they are being forced into
the streets by corporate greed. 

The students who had initially started the "squat" moved in, boarded up
the windows, turned on the power and water, stockpiled food, water and
medical supplies, but the city turned the water and power off. The owner
did not give the police permission to kick the students out, but the
police tried anyway, unsuccessfully, and then kept the place under
surveillance throughout the night by shining a flood light through the
second story windows throughout the night as students on the roof with
walkie talkies monitored their whereabouts in case the place got raided. 

Inside, no one slept. People stayed up all night drinking coffee, talking
and playing guitars. Students from all over the US and Canada were there,
along with anarchist hitch hiking grungers who seemed to me to be deeply
alienated street kids with zero respect for much of anything, covered with
tattoos and body piercings who looked forward to open war with the police,
or as they called it "class war" - but THEY had about as much "class" as
the corporate scum who they professed to oppose. Periodically they mooned
the police from a bank of windows as the floodlight was shined into the
building, (keeping all of the rest of us awake, which annoyed me because I
was very tired from demonstrating all day. They also shined flashlights
back at police and taunted them calling them "pigs". Earlier in the day
one had spraypainted "Pig" onto the back of a patrol car during the melee
in which the window of the building got broken. It was very cold in the
abandoned building and I had no sleeping bag with me so I did my best to
sleep on the wood floor with no mat, in my coat, covered only with a
poncho. 

Prior to this I missed the bus back to Gayle's house in Martha's Lake due
to protesting in front of the King Dome where the WTO held their gala
opening party called Jubilee 2000. A well organized mix of organized
labor, environmental groups, and others opposed to the WTO marched on the
King Dome and formed a human chain in the rain to call for the WTO meeting
to be cancelled and to call on the World Bank, IMF and WTO to cancel the
debt of all nations, especially in the third world. The AFL-CIO had a
large trailer near the King Dome and we were all linking arms around its
perimeter singing "We Shall Overcome, We Shall Overcome, Some Way, Somehow
- Deep in My Heart, I Do Declare, We Shall Overcome Some Day". Several of
us circled over to the entrance to the King Dome where we heckled the
trade reps of many countries as they got in and out of limousines chanting
to the unelected dictocrats "who elected YOU?" and "we're here// we're
wet// CANCEL THE DEBT!" 

Earlier that evening, we stood in the cold rain while people pounded
rhythmically on drums getting soaking wet for over 2 hours while waiting
for people inside the church who were dancing to Sweet Honey and the Rock
to join us in our march on the King Dome. While waiting people burned
phony dollar bills called "Federal Repression Notes" that had been issued
by "The Corporate States of America, Inc" under the auspices of the New
World Order. The "Great Seal" on this "funny money" was replaced by a seal
bearing the words "work" "obey" and "consume" around its periphery, and in
the middle of the bill was a charicature of "wafflin willie clinton" 
dressed in a clown suit with a fake nose. 

Earlier on November 29th I listened to a very informative program at the
Methodist Church titled "The Human Face of Trade: Health and the
Environment - People's Tribunal" where the rally began in which a panel of
US Congressmen (Defazio (D-OR), and Maxine Waters (D-CA), Magda Aelvoet,
the Belgian health minister; and Bill Blaike a member of the Canadian
parliament (NDP) heard and questioned two different panels of NGO members
from around the world, all of whom had VERY serious misgivings about the
lack of transparency within the WTO, which has been conducting its
meetings in secret, shutting out the people of the world as the
corporations seek to make an unbridled power grab by making an end run
around any national, state, or local legislation that interferes, in any
way, with their profits. The NGOs and foreign speakers included Alejandro
Villamer representing Mexican farmers, Todd Steiner - Sea Turtles
Restoration Project; Steve Shrybman, West Coast Environmental Law Center
(Canada), Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Indigenous Network for Policy Research
and Education (Phillipines), Cipriana Jurado Herrera, Centro de
Investigacion y Solidaridad (Mexico), Barry Castleman, ScD, Environmental
Consultant (USA), Navik Leonen, Friends of the Earth, Phillippines; and
Dr. Zafar Mirza, Health Action International - Pakistan. 

The WTO should be abolished completely, and it will never have any
credibility if it excludes a People's Jurispudence such as the Tribunal
that I sat on which met at the Labor Temple (AFL-CIO) on November 29th
where I served as the rough equivalent of a grand jury member, listening
to testimony of people from around the world who had eye-opening
experiences involving corporate genocide and greed. Currently the WTO has
set its own charter, and totally ignores the grassroots in all of its
activities - listening only to corporate agendas and their lackies in
government. 

Lawyers from various public interest groups served as prosecutors before
our Tribunal, and we handed down indictments against several corporations
including Shell, Cargill, The Gap, Union Carbide and Monsanto - charging
them with Crimes Against Humanity on a basis of the Nuremberg Code and the
Geneva Convention. For a crime to be a crime against humanity it has to be
systematic in nature, and large in scale. When we attempted to serve
citizens arrest warrants on some of the trade ministers, two of our people
were placed under arrest for crossing police lines. One of the people
arrested, Cheri Honkala, represented a homeless advocacy group in
Philadelphia called the Kinsington Welfare Rights Union which presented
facts to our tribunal and she awaits trial next year after being indicted
for moving homeless people into an abandoned building in Philadelphia
where her group was barred from speaking at the Liberty Bell and thrown
out of the state government building after seeking a meeting with the
Governor of Pennsylvania. More at http://www.libertynet.org/kwru

Other very strong cases that we heard were against Cargill (genetically
engineered seeds and polluting Puget Sound), Shell Oil (committing literal
genocide and outrageous pollution against the Ogoni tribe in Nigeria's
Delta region. Shell's private goons combined with corrupt Nigerian army
troops murdered villagers and hung Ogoni environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwo
along with 8 other Ogoni leaders in 1995. Project Underground, which
examines has documented many environmental and mining abuses at
http://www.moles.org -- while the clear cutting of redwood forests in
Northern California is exposed at http://www.havc.org

On the tribunal I also heard shocking testimony from a sweat shop laborer
from the Phillipines who was shanghied into working in Saipan, behind
barbed wire, at a factory where impoverished women from China, Vietnam,
the Phillipines and Malaysia are paid $3./ hour and forced to work 12
hr/days, 7 days/week under very unsafe conditions in which many are
indentured servants. These women are automatically fired if they so much
as fall in love, let alone get pregnant and armed guards strongly
discourage them from leaving the company barracks. They are forced to pay
room and board for horrible food and truly slum like living conditions.
Technically, Saipan is an American Territory, but they aren't governed by
American labor laws so don't forbid sweat shop labor. Clothes made there
say "Made in USA" The witness I heard contracted TB from no ventilation in
the factory (horrendous dust) while many others got environmental illness
and cancer from offgassed formaldehyde fumes in the ironing room. The GAP
is well aware that they are paying the Saipan sweat shops for clothes sold
in their stores, but have done nothing to help correct the horrendous
conditions on which they have made millions. American corporate greed is
clearly driving the NWO agenda and all of us had better WAKE UP, or we too
will be enslaved just like the workers in Saipan! 

In other venues, such notables as author Ken Kesey, and Ralph Nader spoke
and engaged in debates respectively and as we manned picket lines in the
streets we discussed the things they'd said to us. 

Yesterday's demonstration began for me at 5 am, when the people who'd
organized "the squat" roused us all by beating drums to call a meeting of
the house. They were afraid we might be raided before 6 am to keep us from
demonstrating, so when the lookout on the roof announced over the walkie
talkie that the coast was clear we exited the house and dispersed back to
the streets. I joined a group of Oregon University students at 7 am who
barricaded several key intersections in order to keep WTO delegates from
being able to get from their hotels to the convention center and to snarl
up traffic throughout Seattle. We succeeded in causing total gridlock
within the city, and frustrated the hell out of delegates who we wouldn't
let through our lines. Several attempted to barge through and were told to
"walk back to the airport and leave the country." 

Tense stand offs with Seattle police and King County sheriffs clad in riot
gear occurred all over downtown Seattle who started using rubber bullets,
pepper spray and tear gas against demonstrators starting around 1 pm as
some demonstrators climbed atop gridlocked busses, while others climbed
lamposts, and on top of a pedestrian overhang on the Nike Town store where
they also hung many huge banners. 

Large numbers of demonstrators, including myself, wore gas masks and
hurled tear gas cannisters back at police in self-defense, as percussion
grenades went off making thunderous booms which echoed through the
concrete canyon of downtown Seattle where Christmas decorations lent a
surreal air to everything going on. Some demonstrators overturned trash
containers and set fires in the street, broke shop windows, slashed tires
on police cars and sprayed grafittis while others, (including me) did our
best to stop them.  Several times we stopped police from charging by
chanting as news media looked on "The Whole World is Watching! The Whole
World is Watching!" and also "Non Violent Protest! Non Violent Protest!" A
few WTO delegates attempted to physically push through our lines, and
angry words were exchanged in both directions. On the whole, given what
they were confronted with, I give the Seattle Police credit for keeping
calm, but at the same time feel strongly that the King County Police
overreacted badly on several occassions, using rubber bullets and tear gas
out of fear when they didn't have to and it only escalated the actions of
the punks, spurring them on to break more windows, spray more graffitti,
slash tires, attack busses and commit other senseless acts of vandalism. I
heard one vandal bragging about ripping the mirror off the side of a bus
and reaching inside to punch the driver, and I told him he was an asshole
for wrecking our demonstration. 

Demonstrators wearing helmets with red crosses served as medics and
administered first aid to several of us who were overcome by the tear gas. 
A lot of children and older people in the crowd were really hit hard by
the tear gas, including some who were veterans of the Vietnam war
demonstrations years ago who looked nervously at the armored cops
concerned that they might start cracking skulls with billy clubs as they
recalled from the more violent demonstrations in the '60s. Some
demonstrators brought food and water to people on the picket lines so that
we could keep our arms locked to block delegates from crossing, and the
police from breaking through. In several intersections everyone sat down
in the street to block police, and we experienced 10 of the most
tension-filled minutes of my life as an armored personnel carrier bore
down on us as we sat in the street, facing it down while reporters
nervously filmed the event. Students did street theater and made speeches
denouncing the evils of corporate greed. 

Many of the street theatre skits imaginatively creative, very positive (in
stark contrast to the stupid things the vandals did) and were obviously
well rehearsed by students from University of Washington and University of
Oregon and others who took pains to conduct themselves responsibly - but
there was some blurring of the lines amongst the ranks of the more radical
environmentalists who scaled the walls of downtown buildings to hang
banners, while standing shoulder to shoulder with the punks who sprayed
graffiti. 

I got out of Seattle shortly before dark, after the National Guard had
been called in. The city had been placed under curfew before I left and
they were already starting the mass arrests that broke everything up as
police have massively expanded their perimeter. Herr Clinton is here at
the Westin Hotel, so security has been ramped up considerably. King 5 TV
news reports today, December 1, that over 450 demonstrators were arrested
today for failing to disperse, and firemen have been using Water Cannons
to force people to disperse in the Pike Street Market. Possession of gas
masks by civilians has been outlawed, and a rally by steel workers was
broken up with arrests made. Today the police filled several busloads with
arrested people who they processed through a temporary holding facility at
the Sand Point Naval Station where demonstrators have been refusing to
disembark from the busses or answer any questions by police. Before
pulling out I shot two rolls of film which I hope to get developed in the
morning and digitized for posting on the IAHF website. 

    Your Friend,
    John Hammell
    http://www.iahf.com
================


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