There was a small rally today in Westlake Center marking the 10-year anniversary of the WTO protests here in Seattle. My favorite memory of the event (besides being trapped in a building where they shut all the vents down because tear gas was getting into the building’s air ducts) was the woman running at me yelling, “Stop corporations from taking over” or something along those lines as she’s running in her Nike shoes and Eddie Bauer jacket and carrying her flyers procured probably from Kinko’s. At the time, I wasn’t fully sure what the WTO was about or whatnot — it seemed the protesters I talked to didn’t know either because when I asked about it, I was either ignored or this woman in a Patagonia jacket and Adidas sneakers hollered at me, “It’s about peace!” I questioned further and got, “It’s just about peace!” Apparently, it had nothing to do with corporations taking over or anything along those lines.
I was talking with my neighbor at the time who was convinced that a majority of the people involved actually knew what they were protesting. At the time, I wasn’t convinced. Ten years later, I think I’ve changed my mind and have to believe that the majority of the protesters knew what they were there for. At the very least, this woman here clearly knows what WTO was about.