Mass Protests Mar the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 in Seattle
Protest activity activity surrounding the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, which was to be the launch of a new millennial round of trade negotiations, occurred on November 30, 1999 (nicknamed "N30" on similar lines to J18 and similar mobilizations), when the World Trade Organization (WTO) convened at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington, United States. The negotiations were quickly overshadowed by massive and controversial street protests outside the hotels and the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, in what became the second phase of the anti-globalization movement in the United States. The scale of the demonstrations—even the lowest estimates put the crowd at over 40,000—dwarfed any previous demonstration in the United States against a world meeting of any of the organizations generally associated with economic globalization (such as the WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), or the World Bank). The events are sometimes referred to as the Battle of Seattle or the Battle in Seattle.
In November 1999, the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Third Ministerial Meeting in Seattle collapsed in spectacular fashion, in the face of unprecedented protest from civil society and governments around the world. We believe it is essential to use this moment as an opportunity to change course and develop an alternative, humane, democratically accountable and sustainable system of commerce that benefits all. This process envisions rolling back the power and authority of the WTO.