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Nancy Hall Wows the Crowd After Movie

North Texas Jobs with Justice, led by Rosemarie Rieger and Isabel DoCampo, carried out a good program in conjunction with the new Hollywood film, "Battle in Seattle." It was originally scheduled only in Plano, but the Angelika Theatre eventually brought it to their Mockingbird Station location. On October 10, after the 7 PM showing, they allowed us 30 minutes discussion in the auditorium.

The film used a lot of footage from the actual 1999 events, and it made the main point that the Battle in Seattle blasted the World Trade Organization and the entire scandal of "free trade" (gobblelization) into the world's consciousness. The emotional focus of the film was on the group of radical environmentalists who organized the initial blockades downtown and the policemen who opposed them. The masked "anarchists" who broke windows are mentioned in passing. Labor's historic turn toward working with environmentalists and other activists was largely brushed over. The enormous number of independent activists carrying signs opposing child labor, who impressed me more than any other contingents in 1999, weren't mentioned.

Nevertheless, the audience in Dallas was thrilled with the film. We could not restrain ourselves from repeating some of the marchers' chants after the house lights came on. "There ain't no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don't stop!" The President of the Dallas AFL-CIO, Nancy Hall, then gave a short report on her recent fact-finding trip to Colombia. She explained clearly that Colombian trade unionists, like us, want no part of Bush's proposed "Colombia Free Trade Agreement." She added that they were closely following the U.S. presidential race and urging us to vote.

Hall answered questions from the audience, who then broke out into another chant and left the theater with a strong commitment to get other activists to see the film. The next day's theater listing, however, dropped "Battle in Seattle." Plano had dropped it the day before. Undoubtedly, North Texans will buy and show the DVD when it appears.

"Battle in Seattle" is directed by Stuart Townsend and starring Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron and Woody Harrelson

Nancy Hall "South Americans don't like these 'agreements' any more than we do!"

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