Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Jane Kelsey: Round One To The Anti-WTO Activists

Round One To The Anti-WTO Activists

From Jane Kelsey in Cancun - Bulletin #4
10 September 2003

Today's opening of the fifth World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting in Cancun was upstaged by about 30 anti-WTO activists just one minute into the opening speech by General Secretary Supachai Panitchpakdi.

The group of accredited NGOs stood in the centre block of the main auditorium, silently holding up paper placards with such slogans as "WTO - Obsolete" and "WTO - Undemocratic".

Some had their black tape on their mouths to symbolise the silencing of thousands of ordinary Mexicans and international comrades who are now blocked from entry into the Hotel Zone. According to Maude Barlow, from the Council of Canadians, "the people of Mexico can't get past the barricades. We are the only voice the people have in this place. We have a responsibility to them to make sure their message is heard."

Media attention remained fixed on the group as they moved into the centre aisle, displaying their placards to all within the room. Just as Panitchpakdi proclaimed that "the hopes of the people around the world for a bright future" rested on the WTO and "we must not fail them" the group began to chant "SHAME, SHAME". Half the group left, followed by a bevy of media; the remainder stayed, chanting, for another five minutes then joined the others outside.

There was no visible reaction from the conference organizers. Those involved were still circulating in press area after the meeting, talking to journalists. Many were still holding their placards. Whether retribution will follow remains to be seen.

The first salvo in the 'inside/outside' battle of Cancun has been fired. The anti-WTO activists can claim victory in getting their message in front of the world's media and stealing the limelight from the leadership of the WTO.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>


Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>


Lyndon Hood: Notes On National’s Election Campaign, In Poem Form

Nationyl’s bitumen-ing / As they du du / Seed groweth / River floweth / Then ‘dozer drives thru / Highway ensu. More>>