Global Policy Forum

Seattle Protesters Make Me Sick,


By Andrea Hopkins

February 6, 2001

The head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Mike Moore, lambasted antiglobalisation protesters yesterday, saying that they made him want to be sick.

A new global free trade round was a moral imperative in the face of an impending slowdown in America, Mr Moore said. "The people that stand outside and say they work in the interests of the poorest people ... they make me want to vomit. Because the poorest people on our planet, they are the ones that need us the most," he said on a visit to the Australian capital to promote the need for a new round of free trade negotiations.

As he spoke, a small but vocal group of protesters pounded on the windows of the National Press Club, at times nearly drowning out his speech, chanting: "Michael Moore kills the poor." They blocked the driveway to prevent his car leaving.

Trade ministers from the WTO's 140 member countries will meet in Qatar in November in a renewed attempt to launch a global trade round after the failure of talks in Seattle in 1999, which were marked by massive anti-globalisation protests.

Mr Moore said that while dialogue with globalisation opponents was important and politicians needed to listen to their people, the success of the new talks was paramount. An American economic slowdown had the potential to spur trade talks but could also threaten free trade.

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