WTO chaos: victory for ’grassroots’ PR

WASHINGTON, DC: While the World Trade Organization’s recent meeting in Seattle may have seemed from afar to be the embodiment of chaos, the guerrilla PR unleashed by protest groups was in reality meticulously planned.

WASHINGTON, DC: While the World Trade Organization’s recent meeting in Seattle may have seemed from afar to be the embodiment of chaos, the guerrilla PR unleashed by protest groups was in reality meticulously planned.

WASHINGTON, DC: While the World Trade Organization’s recent meeting

in Seattle may have seemed from afar to be the embodiment of chaos, the

guerrilla PR unleashed by protest groups was in reality meticulously

planned.



Scott Nova, director of the Citizens Trade Campaign, said that

mobilization efforts started well before the actual location of the

conference was announced. The day Seattle was named, member groups of

CTC’s coalition were making hotel reservations.



’Because of this, we were able to put a progressive agenda for trade on

the political map in a way that has never happened before,’ said

Nova.



The CTC coalition included environmentalists, labor supporters, animal

rights activists and religious organizations - not exactly an alliance

that could have been thrown together overnight. Nova disputed labeling

the activities as ’guerrilla PR,’ describing them instead as ’grassroots

democracy.’



But controlling the message proved to be difficult with so many

organizations involved. While Nova took pains to disassociate the

coalition from the violence - he argued that this was the work of

anarchists, not serious protesters - he is disappointed that the news

media emphasized the riots.



In the wake of the protests - which all but buried mentions of the WTO’s

Seattle agenda - activists like the CTC now face the challenge of

maintaining the high level of interest.



Nova believes the coalition mobilized against the WTO will be

resurrected, hopefully with added involvement from conservatives

concerned with national security and the religious persecution of

missionaries and worshippers.



- Editorial, p10



- Weekly Web Watch, p14.



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