This clever sign was used by anti-globalization activists to protest the 1999 World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting, a conflict nicknamed the "Battle in Seattle."

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  • On November 30, 1999, more than 40,000 protesters forced the cancellation of opening ceremonies of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference being held in Seattle, Washington. The conflict earned the nickname the “Battle in Seattle.”
     
    The protests were led by anti-globalization advocates. The anti-globalization movement opposes what it interprets as the unregulated power of multinational corporations. Protesters think that through free trade agreements and organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), companies are able to reduce labor, environmental, and safety standards. Critics also think free-trade slows the operation of a free-market economy.
     
    Although the anti-globalization movement had organized protests at meetings of the World Bank and IMF for more than a decade, police and WTO organizers were unprepared for the scale of the protests in Seattle. Protesters broke windows and looted the retail outlets of many multinational corporations, such as Starbucks, Bank of America, and Banana Republic. The conflict caused millions of dollars in damage before troops from the National Guard and neighboring police units ended the protests and the WTO meeting continued as planned.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    advocate Noun

    person who speaks, writes, or otherwise supports a person, idea, or cause.

    cancel Verb

    to stop a planned event.

    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    damage Noun

    harm that reduces usefulness or value.

    decade Noun

    10 years.

    environment Noun

    conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

    free-market economy Noun

    system where the distribution of goods and services, as well as prices, are largely determined by supply and demand.

    free trade Noun

    international exchange of goods and services without taxes or other fees.

    globalization Noun

    connection of different parts of the world resulting in the expansion of international cultural, economic, and political activities.

    Encyclopedic Entry: globalization
    International Monetary Fund (IMF) Noun international economic organization whose mission is "to help ensure stability in the international system. It does so in three ways: keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries; lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and giving practical help to members."
    interpret Verb

    to explain or understand the meaning of something.

    labor Noun

    work or employment.

    loot Verb

    to steal or take something illegally.

    movement Noun

    group of people or organizations with a common set of interests and plan for pursuing them.

    multinational corporation Noun

    business that manages the production of goods or delivers services in several countries.

    National Guard Noun

    military force controlled by a U.S. state but funded by the federal government and called up as part of the Army during national emergencies.

    organize Verb

    to coordinate and give structure to.

    police Noun

    local, state, or national government organization for law enforcement.

    prepare Verb

    to assemble or get ready for something.

    protest noun, verb

    demonstration against a policy or action.

    reduce Verb

    to lower or lessen.

    regulate Verb

    to determine and administer a set of rules for an activity.

    retail Adjective

    having to do with the sale of finished goods to consumers.

    scale Noun

    distinctive relative size, extent, or degree.

    troop Noun

    a soldier.

    World Bank Noun

    United Nations organization that loans money to poor and developing nations.

    World Trade Organization (WTO) Noun

    group that works with governments and international organizations to regulate trade and resolve trade disputes between countries.