Although I was initially appalled by the 1999 anti-WTO protests—the so-called Battle of Seattle—I'm in danger of becoming a fan lo these six years later.
Although the protests featured violence, property damage and excessive rhetoric by anti-globalization protesters, it's considered to have been a trigger to participation by little NGOs (Greenpeace, Oxfam) in the decisions taken by big NGOs (the World Bank, World Economic Forum, and the WTO itself). The key to little NGOs' increased profile since '99? The perception of their integrity. This phenomenon is highlighted in an article in Sunday's Los Angeles Times by its Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Evelyn Iritani. Check out "From the Streets to the Inner Sanctum," whose subhead is:
Activists have come a long way since the violent protests of 1999. Now companies and trade policymakers are giving them a place at the table.