Downtown Portland was host to one of the many global protests over the weekend to protest against the World Trade Organization
's potential expansion.
Saturday's protest was timed to this week's meeting of the WTO in Geneva to negotiate and discuss global trade regulations. The WTOis meeting fell on the ten-year anniversary of the so-called “Battle in Seattle
,” a protest-turned-legend in which nearly 50,000 demonstrators actually managed to halt the WTO negotiations in 1999.
This weekend's Portland protest marked the Northwest's contribution to the 5 Days of Action, a global movement intended to both celebrate the Battle's anniversary as well as to continue efforts to restrict the WTO's etension. Many feel any extension of WTO policies would harm, and ultimately eliminate, the rights of small businesses as well as the working class, Oregon AFSCME's
Ken Allen, one of the speakers who adressed a rally following the march through downtown.
“Hey, hey! What's the fuss? Make the economy work for us!” was one of many chants which rang from the mouths of the several hundred protestors who weaved their way from Waterfront Park to the PSU campus.
Signs included, “Fuck the Banksters,” and “End Corporate Greed." Among the speakers at the indoor rally were Francisco Lopez of Oregon's CAUSA
for immigrants' rights. Vandana Shiva, internationally known physicist and activist, appeared via video.