corporate totalitarianism and the ftaa:
April 10, 2001 10:04 AM   Subscribe

corporate totalitarianism and the ftaa: Activists will gather in Quebec City, Canada on April 11, 2001 to protest the upcoming Summit of the Americas (SOA) meeting. The purpose of the SOA, which will be held April 18-22, is to hammer out the first full text of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), a proposed agreement that would turn the entire Western Hemisphere (except Cuba) into the largest international trading bloc in history.
posted by kliuless (3 comments total)
i'm curious about instances of protests that have actually accomplished something. the corporate/ government heads running these meetings already believe they're doing something good (so you're not changing their minds -- they just think you're idiot radicals). and, aside from seattle, i haven't heard of any other situation where the police weren't ready to crack some skulls and cordon the people off. I'm not saying just "let them get away with it"; i'm asking if public protesting is really as effective as people think it is; and, if you don't think it's affective -- what measure ARE effective?
posted by bliss322 at 12:11 PM on April 10, 2001

The funny thing is that these leftist radicals are probably going to be joined by laissez-faire capitalists in the protests.
posted by frednorman at 12:28 PM on April 10, 2001

I think that protests can be effective in a few ways.

1. they make corporations know that there are people who pay attention to what they do and have strong opinions on their activities, even if they just try to niche market revolution more than ever
2. they make "ordinary citizens" become aware of issues that they might not know about and encourage them to learn more about it, even if it's to shout down their teenager at the dinner table
3. sometimes they work, or affect smaller changes. Nike is one of the hugest consumers of organic cotton in the world. I'm not a Nike apologist by any stretch but do you think they would even bother buying more expensive materials if people weren't hassling them and specifically targetting them? Starbucks and shade grown coffee, same thing.
4. sometimes they make citizens realize the priorities of the government like during WTO [yes, agreed, unusually effective] when average Seattleites saw the Mayor coddling delegates and having the police fail to protect them
5. they let isolated groups of activists realize that they are not alone which is useful to "the movement" in many ways.

I guess the question you have to ask is what do you personally want them to be effective for? They seem effective to me. Fun, too.
posted by jessamyn at 3:28 PM on April 10, 2001

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