In 1999 in Seattle, Washington, tens of thousands of working people congregated to protest the annual gathering of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), being held there. What ensued went down in history as The Battle of Seattle, when cops and protestors ended up fighting a pitched battle. The event was considered to be the birth of the global anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movement, which for a brief period exploding across the international political firmament.
In 2015 the New York Times ran a story detailing the abuse of employees by the global online retailer Amazon at its corporate headquarters in Seattle.
The significance of those two events taking place in the same city 16 years apart could not be more stark. It begs the question of whatever happened to the anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movement, and whether we will ever see its like again?
Given the parlous plight of workers today, not only across the developing world but increasingly in the West, under the impact of this globalized free market model that is no respecter of borders, cultures, national sovereignty, or even human beings, the need for such a movement has never been more evident.
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