The Seattle 1999 WTO protest was a battle for food sovereignty

The Seattle 1999 WTO protest was a battle for food sovereignty


I was in Seattle as part of the IFG, the International
Forum on Globalization, which brought together all of us who were questioning GATT, which
was the precursor of the WTO before the Marrakesh agreement was signed. I was fighting GATT because of the corporations
who mentioned GATT first in a meeting in 1987 in Geneva and in a resort outside Geneva. And they were talking about patenting seeds
and life. They were talking about an international treaty
which would make it a requirement for all countries to patent seeds and would make it
illegal for farmers to save seeds, and that this free-trade agreement is what they were
going to work on. And they talked about five corporations controlling
food and health by the year 2000. That conversation of 1987 started me on the
path of saving seed, working with my government to not allow patenting of seed, working with
our ambassadors to not allow TRIPS to be designed like Monsanto had designed it where they said
we were the patient, diagnostician and physician all in one. But because I come from India–to colonize
the country, East India Company was created. The first free-trade agreement was not NAFTA
or WTO; the first free-trade agreement was imposed on India by the East India Company,
716 [sp]. So we were very familiar with the use of so-called
free trade for corporate rule. And having become free after famine killed
60 million people, we didn’t want to be re-colonized again. And I am so happy that for that period, our
former prime minister, our former GATT ambassador, joined us as the Peoples Campaign Against
WTO and we passed laws in that window that defended the sovereign entity of the seed,
the sovereign entity of farms. But as the corporate rule continued, the monopoly
on seeds continued, we have lost 400,000 farmers to suicide because of debt. Permanently a billion people are hungry. And when you introduce the protests going
on in Chile and Colombia and other parts of the world, I actually see the process of today
in every part of the world as a continuation of the fight against neoliberalism, a fight
against austerity, a fight against the permanence of structural adjustment, which is what free
trade is about. It has given us the control of four giants,
Poison Cartel, over our seed and our food. It has given us the billionaires. Bill Gates is a child of WTO. He got rules written so he wouldn’t have
to pay taxes in transporter transfer, which is why software was outsourced to India. Jeff Bezos shipping goods around paying no
taxes anymore. These trillionaires are children of the WTO
rules. And even then, we said, “Our world is not
for sale.” We said, “We are writing other rules.” Movements have written other rules. Another world is possible. We are making it. But the brutality and limitless greed of the
handful of corporations and billionaires is now really reaching ecocidal
and genocidal limits.

17 Replies to “The Seattle 1999 WTO protest was a battle for food sovereignty

  1. She is 100% correct Amy you are amongst one of the greatest people on the planet she is a knowledge keep her like no other. When my young friends tell you that these issues are catastrophic to farmers with epidemic suicides around the world for farmers to means death.

  2. That’s a yuuuge dot on her forehead. That means I’m supposed to take her more seriously than most Hindus, right?

  3. Racism in the comments, be careful.
    I agree that free trade is a multinational corporations ploy. It undermines the sovereignty of both individual and country.

  4. Still selling ROUNDUP at hpme centers in the USA
    Ink on lawsuits hasnt even dried yet!
    Bayer/mansonto👎 👺👺👺👺👎

  5. Fiery strong woman!!! You go girl!!! SO true every word… money-grubbing fatcats' days are numbered….

    peeple are no longer sheeple… catching a major wakeup…

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