What Happened


DAN co-founder Chris Dixon writes a comprehensive narrative based on first-hand accounts from organizers to describe the lead-up to Seattle, what actually happened, and what we can learn from it.

Image: Original Direct Action Network WTO blockade map dividing downtown Seattle into 13 “pie slices” surrounding the WTO Ministerial held at the Washington Convention & Trade Center (dark triangle in center). Section “A” is Interstate Hwy 5, which cuts through downtown Seattle and directly under part of the WTO/Convention Center. Different clusters of affinity groups took responsibility for blocking each pie-slice section. Two 7am marches marched on the WTO Meeting site from both sides, one from the Seattle Central Community College on Capital Hill (marked with an X in a circle) and one from Victor Steinbrueck Park, at Elliot Bay by Pike Place Market (marked with a circle at the bottom of the map). The labor march route is marked with a line with arrows around pie slice “K”. The heavy lines with short diagonal crosses around the WTO/Convention Center mark a guess of where police might set up their lines. The Convergence Center at 420 Denny, is marked with “420,” in Pie slice “B.”


DAN produced a broadsheet to circulate the call to action and information about how to participate. Partnering with the Earth First! Journal, they printed and distributed 50,000 copies.


DAN produced a 20-page training document to prepare people for the mass nonviolent direct action of the November 30th, including action guidelines and jail solidarity.


In the months leading up to the protests, DAN organized a roadshow to tour along the West Coast, offering presentations, performances, and trainings.


After the protests, some DAN organizers compiled a zine about the infrastructure of the mobilization, including security, communications, space coordination, and medical, tactical, and legal support.

We All Made it Happen

VOICES FROM THE WTO: An Anthology of Writings by the People who Shut Down the World Trade Organization in Seattle 1999

Voices from the WTO was produced within four months of the shutdown by a team of organizers in Olympia, Washington. Download the complete document.

Online collections of narratives from the protests, books related to the global justice movement, and films about the mass direct action in Seattle.