Bergþórugata 20, 101, Reykjavik

The Seattle Riots—20 years later

30th November 2019 @ 20:00 – 22:00

The Seattle Riots—20 years later

Saturday November 30th // 20:00 // Andrými // Bergþórugata 20 // 101 Reykjavík

(Unless everyone attending is OK with Icelandic, this event will take place in English.)

An informal event on the occasion of the 20 years anniversary of the riots that, on November 30th & December 1st 1999, overwhelmed Seattle’s police force & came close to shutting down the World Trade Organization’s summit taking place in the city at that time. Seen by many as the beginning, & by some as the climax, of the large anti-globalization movement—which, for the next good decade, attempted to cause havoc at just about every single meeting attended by the global political & financial elite—the spontaneous & militant mood during “the Battle of Seattle” was eventually traced back to a small yet fertile band of anarchists from Eugene, Oregon.

From the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa (where the Italian police killed 23 years old anarchist Carlo Giuliani) to Copenhagen’s COP15 in 2009 (where the omnipresent ghost of Seattle, 10 years later, overshadowed all attempts at successfully disrupting UN’s annual climate change conference), this loosely defined movement—sometimes referred to as “the movement of movements”—was faced not only with fierce state repression, but also the classic internal conflict regarding means & ends & the constant friction therein between. Did the movement only wish to speak truth to global corporate power—pushing for the realization of political slogans such as “system change not climate change”—or did it hope to bring down the modern world’s very foundations? What does it really mean to be against globalization? What are the obvious “legitimate” targets? Who—& by whom—should be allowed to use violence? Only the state? Or also those who resist it?

This informal anniversary event will start with a short introduction to the riots, followed by a few video documentations & finally—one would hope—an undogmatic & fruitful discussion.

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