FW: Re Social Architecture, Internet, and WTO -- reflections from

David C. Rupley, Jr. dcrupleyjr at bigplanet.com
Sun Dec 5 22:35:42 PST 1999

I am not certain of the policy here, but this is on the AI listserve.  The
relevance to Harrison's comments on the CD Peg has provided are obvious.

>From the AI listserve:

In a message dated 12/5/1999, Smartswork at aol.com writes:

<< Those of us who believe in AI have understood the necessity for dialogue.
 Perhaps most absent (from what I have been able to gather here in NY) from
 the WTO protests was that important ingredient >>

In a message dated 12/5/1999, sorensop at onramp.net writes:

<<      Demonstrators fail to see that when they move from expression
           to destruction that they have crossed an invisible line that
           separates the rule of law that protects us from disorder and
           the disorder that promotes the implosion of society. >>

I appreciate the deepening of dialogue that has in fact resulted from this
tumultuous week in Seattle -- here and across the globe.   I appreciate the
legions of young people becoming awakened to a political consciousness and
galvanized to action.  We have much to learn; I think reflection upon the
week's events will yield many lessons -- about the challenges of
globalization, about living in the chaos, about balancing safety, the status
quo, and free speech.  We are learning to do large group, 'real time'
strategic planning...  How can we create better designs for 'real time' on
the street mass public dialoguing?!

I want to express my appreciation to the thoughtful demonstrators on the
streets of Seattle.  The spirit of positive hope, vision, caring, mutual
respect was beautiful to experience.  The 'power of the people' was awesome
to behold.  The mingling of nver-before allied individuals and groups was
astounding -- 'rednecks', truckers and tree-huggers, radicals, old timers,
students, developing world, farmers, labor unions, ecofeminists, French,
Indonesian, Tibetan, etc. There were tens of thousands of demonstrators --
and the VAST majority were dedicated to meaningful dialogue and nonviolent
protest -- including refraining from any destruction to property and any
violence--verbal or physical.  Even the ardent "Direct Action Network" group
committed to these guidelines and participated in a huge effort towards
training in nonviolence and peacekeeping -- there were many of us who
provided many free sessions in nonviolence throughout the weeks leading up

During the demonstrations, I participated in and witnessed many incidents of
courageous peacekeeping.  99.9 % of the demonstrators were deeply committed
to respectful, peaceful and positive protest.  It was very disheartening to
come home from an event with 50,000 people yet find only two inches of news
amidst pages devoted to the violent few -- to find the TV covering tear-gas
troops launching non stop, yet mere seconds of the stirring and thoughtful
speeches.  How do we make images of reflective dialogue and peaceful
interaction as appealing to the media as the uglier images they find
irresistible-- and replay over and over, so that any single incident of
smashing a pane of glass is shown so many times it seems to multiply-- ?

I also want to express my appreciation to the police:  no one was seriously
injured and even the property damage was limited to graffiti and broken
glass.  I appreciate how all the sides in Seattle are now joining to try to
learn from this -- police, mayor, citizens, merchants, protesters, etc.
forums and candle light vigils for healing are being held, with
from all sides.

This week felt like the birth of a global grassroots movement -- labor pains
were intense, it was bloody and messy... the newborn is fragile.  The
challenge is to find ways to keep these passions going in ways to work for
the good of all people and the planet -- to encourage continued
demonstrations but find ways to help deepen dialogue and move beyond slogans
in peaceful yet powerful ways so the issues won't become side tracked into a
(vital but not future visioning) struggle for free speech and restraining
police action.

Susan Partnow
4425 Baker NW
Seattle, WA 98107
voice 206-789-8697
fax    206-782-7786
Susan4ps at aol.com
Jack Brittain mailto:Brittain at business.utah.edu
is the list moderator.  This list is sponsored by the
David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah.

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