Solidarity statement to the anti-WTO anarchist Black Bloc

Date Wed, 22 Dec 1999 00:10:08 -0500


The World Trade Organization (WTO), an international decision-making body and enforcement agency for unrestricted globalized capitalism, met recently in Seattle, Washington, for it's Third Ministerial Conference.

The WTO is a 133-nation governmental organization which favors multinational corporations, exploits farmers, supports child slavery, denies workers' rights, and destroys environments around the globe. On November 30th, as delegates were scheduled to begin the opening ceremonies of the week-long conference, they were met by tens of thousands of protesters who not only prevented the WTO's opening ceremonies from taking place, but also managed to shut down the entire downtown shopping district of Seattle for the better part of the day. This was achieved by the use of large-scale festive resistance, innovative protest tactics and solidarity amongst the varying constituencies of demonstrators.

As activists built effective blockades and successfully occupied street after street throughout the day, the police responded with the unprovoked use of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, pain-compliance holds, and clubbings, thus forcing a volatile situation into a series of riotous street battles. As part of the more militant forms of protest, a loosely organized cluster of individuals and affinity groups known as the anarchist black bloc, engaged in various forms of economic disruption by destroying specifically targeted corporate property. The corporations targeted included: NikeTown and Levi's (whose overpriced products are made in sweatshops), Fidelity Investment (major investor in Occidental Petroleum, the bane of the U'wa tribe in Columbia), the Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, Key Bank, and Washington Mutual Bank (financial institutions key in the expansion of corporate repression), among others.

The ACME Collective, in their communique on the black bloc, said it best by stating:

"As anarchists, we contend that property destruction is not a violent activity unless it destroys lives or causes pain in the process. By this definition, private property-- especially corporate private property-- is itself infinitely more violent than any action taken against it.

Private property should be distinguished from personal property. The latter is based upon use, while the former is based upon trade. The premise of personal property is that each of us has what s/he needs. The premise of private property is that each of us has something that someone else needs or wants. In a society based on private property rights, those who are able to accrue more of what others need or want have greater power. By extension, they wield greater control over what others perceive as needs and desires, usually in the interest of increasing profit to themselves.

Advocates of "free trade" would like to see this process to its logical conclusion: a network of a few industry monopolists with ultimate control over the lives of everyone else. Advocates of "fair trade" would like to see this process mitigated by government regulations meant to superficially impose basic humanitarian standards. As anarchists, we despise both positions. Private property-- and capitalism, by extension-- is intrinsic violent and repressive and cannot be reformed or mitigated. Whether the power of everyone is concentrated into the hands of a few corporate heads or diverted into a regulatory apparatus charged with mitigating the disasters of the latter, no one can be as free or as powerful as they could be in a non-hierarchal society."

We, the Initiative for a Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists, express our deepest solidarity with our comrades who took it upon themselves to strike capitalism where it hurts and demonstrating to the world the important role militant resistance will play in the struggles yet to come.

Do not let the blows against this capitalist system cease! From Athens, Greece to the streets of Seattle... Our anarchist resistance is, and will continue to be, as transnational as capital!

Solidarity and Revolution, The Initiative for a Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists


Groupe Anarchiste Emile-Henry (Quebec), Nosotros Group (Baltimore), Prole Revolt (Morgantown, WV), We Dare Be Free (Boston), Sabate (Boston), and a number of individual revolutionary anarchist-communists from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.

Back to Global Action
This page last updated January 15, 2000
Comments, questions? Send them to