Chuck Grimes cgrimes at
Tue Nov 30 09:32:52 PST 1999

There was a one day ILWU strike at US west coast ports today. The Port of Oakland was completely shutdown in protest of the WTO Seattle meetings.

Local tv news covered the strike spokesman and the truckers who were stalled outside the port entrance for SeaLand. The independent truckers seemed more or less resigned to losing money because of the shutdown. I took that to be at least an improved awareness on their part of the labor issues involved.

The local media reported that the Seattle mayor had declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew, and was calling in the national guard. All bright news to my aged and nostalgia soded brain.

Ah, there is nothing like the smell of tear gas accompanied by the screams and cries of outrage in the morning. It smells like ... victory.

Well, not quite. Then, this, just in from Max Sawicky:

"The chaotic diversity of this movement is perfect for the mass production of radicals. There are a hundred ways into this struggle. The question will be whether it frays at the other end as well."

I sure hope so. But to keep it from fraying, a leadership committee has to emerge from this scene that at least coordinates the rhetoric so that the news media gets it right. Media should never be left to think on its own.

Tonight's news for example was a mix of confusing and meaningless statements. The effect just clouded the air and could be easily refuted by carefully manicured policy statements--a knack that Clinton has mastered.

It would sure be nice to think that labor and environment pros could force themselves to start using some of that old fashion leftist rhetoric again. You know plain words like greed, pig, capital, power, exploitation, and oppression. And definitely stop using words like trade, global, and free.

I look forward to Clinton's slime tomorrow--some variation of how trickle down imperialism provided us with jobs and feeds the starving children of India. All happy win-win crap.

And, another thing I noticed was the absence of minority people--black, hispanic, and asian groups with something to say on this scene and these issues. This means that minority national leadership is dragging its feet. What gives here?

Chuck Grimes

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