Using interviews with thirty-two direct action activists and field notes from the period, this article argues that repression limited the diffusion of the tactics used in the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle to activists in New York City and Toronto. The tactics under review are affinity groups, blockading, jail solidarity, black bloc, and giant puppets. I argue that repression highlighted the ways that poor activists and activists of color were different from the archetypical white, middle-class, Seattle protester. Repression made it less likely that these activists would identify with the Seattle protesters, and less likely to deliberate about the tactics. Thus, repression and identity questions made incorporation of these tactics less likely. I also argue that repression, by limiting the diffusion of these tactics, interrupted the cycle of protest associated with the Seattle demonstrations.
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Research Article| January 11 2008
Breaking the Wave: Repression, Identity, and Seattle Tactics
Mobilization: An International Quarterly (2007) 12 (4): 377–388.
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Lesley Wood; Breaking the Wave: Repression, Identity, and Seattle Tactics. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 December 2007; 12 (4): 377–388. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/maiq.12.4.a38x78203j3502q0
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