The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle
By David Solnit and Rebecca Solnit

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The Battle of the Story of

By David Solnit and Rebecca Solnit

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With the World Trade Organization in retreat globally, do we remember the anti-capitalist movements that brought Seattle to a standstill on November 30, 1999? Released just in time for the 10th anniversary of the Seattle WTO protests, this collection confronts the challenges of historical memory, and suggests just how much we have to learn from (and about) the past decade of activism against globalization. Designed from cover to finish by Jason Justice, with over 50 dynamic photos and illustrations!

Oakland • 2009
ISBN 9781904859635 • $12.00
Paperback • 5.5"x8.5" • 130 pages

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From the back cover:

From dawn to dusk on November 30, 1999, tens of thousands of people shut down the World Trade Organization meeting, facing cops firing tear gas and rubber bullets, the National Guard, and the suspension of civil liberties. An unexpected history was launched from the streets of Seattle, one in which popular power would matter as much as corporate power, in which economics assumed center stage, and people began envisioning who else they could be and what else their economies and societies might look like.

The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle explores how that history itself has become a battleground and how our perception of it shapes today's movements against corporate capitalism and for a better world. David Solnit recounts activist efforts to intervene in the Hollywood star-studded movie, Battle in Seattle, and pulls lessons from a decade ago for today. Rebecca Solnit writes of challenging mainstream misrepresentation of the Seattle protests and reflects on official history and popular power. Core organizer Chris Dixon tells the real story of what happened during those five days in the streets of Seattle.

Profusely illustrated, with a reprint of the original 1999 Direct Action Network's "Call to Action" broadsheet - including key articles by Stephanie Guilloud, Chris Borte, and Chris Dixon - and a powerful introduction from Anuradha Mittal.

Contributing Authors:

Anuradha Mittal s the founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute, a leading think-tank on global social, economic, and environmental rights issues, which works with a grassroots constituency to strengthen popular struggles nationally and internationally. A native of India, Anuradha is an expert on trade, development, human rights and agriculture issues. She is the author and editor of numerous publications, including her most recent book Voices From Africa: African Farmers & Environmentalists Speak Out Against a New Green Revolution in Africa (Oakland Institute, 2009).

David Solnit lived and organized in Seattle in 1999 with the Direct Action Network, which the Art and Revolution Collective he was part of co-initiated. He has been a mass direct action organizer since the early '80s, and in the '90s became a puppeteer and arts organizer. He is the editor of Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World and co-author, with Aimee Allison, of Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War and Build a Better World. He currently works as a carpenter in Oakland, California and organizes with Courage to Resist, supporting GI resisters, and with the Mobilization for Climate Justice West.

Rebecca Solnit is an activist, historian and writer who lives in San Francisco. Her twelfth book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, came out this fall. Her previous books include Storming the Gates of Paradise; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender and Art; and River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A contributing editor to Harper's, she frequently writes for the political site She has worked on antinuclear, antiwar, environmental, indigenous land rights and human rights campaigns and movements over the years.

Chris Dixon is originally from Alaska, is a longtime anarchist organizer, writer, and educator, and a PhD candidate in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. During the late 1990s, he was a student activist at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. In 1999, Dixon helped launch the Direct Action Network and was deeply involved in organizing for the protests against the Seattle WTO ministerial. He is currently completing a book based on interviews with radical organizers across the U.S. and Canada focusing on anti-authoritarian politics in broader-based movements. Dixon serves on the advisory board for the activist journal Upping the Anti and lives in Sudbury, Ontario, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Territory, where he is involved with anti-war and Indigenous solidarity organizing.

Stephanie Guilloud was a key organizer of the Seattle WTO shutdown with the Direct Action Network. She edited an anthology of first-hand accounts called Voices from the WTO. Currently Stephanie is an organizer with Project South in Atlanta, and works closely with Southerners On New Ground (SONG). She worked on local, regional, and national planning committees to organize the 2007 United States Social Forum.

Chris Borte organized with the Direct Action Network and Portland Jobs With Justice. He mobilized Portland folks to the WTO protests and participated in the shutdown of the WTO with the Key Lime Cluster. He co-founded Portland Art and Revolution, and has been a tenant and community organizer. He still hates capitalism, loves democracy, and supports his partner Amy in her work as co-director of Rural Organizing Project doing rural, radical statewide organizing using a small group democracy model.

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