WTO Opponents Unfurl Five-Story Banner in Downtown Seattle WTO is Dangerous to Democracy and Environment, Say Activists

Rainforest Action Network

For more information, contact:

Ada Recinos at +1.510.473.7542 or ada@amazonwatch.org

Seattle, WA – In a virtuoso display of technical climbing, five activists from Rainforest Action Network scaled a giant construction crane downtown and unfurled a massive banner at sun-up protesting World Trade Organization (WTO) anti-democratic policies. The banner depicts two "one way" traffic arrows pointing opposite directions – one labeled "Democracy," the other "WTO."

At noon all five climbers came down from the crane of their own accord, and were arrested along with a safety coordinator. All six were charged with misdemeanor trespass and reckless endangerment. Arrested were John Sellers and Harold Linde, both 33, Michael Sowle (ground support), 35, and Shannon Wright, 33, all from the San Francisco Bay Area; and Ian Burke, 22, of Seattle.

"The WTO has already weakened the U.S. Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. If it adds logging under its jurisdiction we jeopardize all of the forest protection laws U.S. citizens have fought hard to pass," said climber Harold Linde.

Jennifer Krill, WTO campaigner for Rainforest Action Network, added: "For decades Environmentalists have asked folks to think globally and act locally, but I don’t believe irresponsible global trade was what we had in mind. Rainforest Action Network is here in Seattle because the stakes are too high for us to stay home."

WTO trade provisions take precedence over the laws of nations, shifting power away from local communities and governments and giving it to corporations. The WTO is fundamentally flawed because it develops far-reaching policies without public participation. These policies are prioritized only by their benefit to profit, without consideration for local economies, the environment, labor and human rights. WTO’s measures to expedite trade in forest products will increase consumption without concurrently implementing conservation measures. This makes WTO a direct threat not only to the world's remaining forests, but also to individual and national rights.

Satellite Video: W1, Transponder 13. 103 degrees West, 11AM Tuesday, November 30

Share & Comment


Yes, I will donate to protect the Amazon!

"The work you do is vital, and I am happy to support it."
– Charlotte R. A.


The Amazon Is in Crisis

The survival of the Amazon and its Indigenous inhabitants depends on what we do together now. Every dollar you donate goes directly to our program work, and every little bit helps!