Text of this interview can be found at the following url: http://depts.washington.edu/wtohist/interview_index.htm
People discussed in interview: Lydia Cabasco, Hop Hopkins, Tammy Lu, Nichole Pearson, Summer Thomas.
Places discussed in interview: Denny, SCCC Seattle Central Community College, Seattle Center.
Organizations discussed in interview: Basement Nation, Brown Collective, BSU, Cambodian Students Association, IMC Independent Media Center, IMF International Monitary Fund, Kaiser Steel, MEChA, No I-200-initiative 200,
People for Fair Trade, People's Assembly, People's Coalition for Justice, SNCC, World Bank.
Summary of intervew:
Denise Cooper (Basement Nation/Brown Collective) discusses why it was difficult to motivate and involve minority communities in the protests at the WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle. Many of the minority communities were uneasy with the protest movement. They felt middle-class, white males and their ideas dominated the protests and the recruitment efforts. This feeling was propelled by the inability of the larger, mainstream organizations to realize that the marginalized communities required different recruitment tactics. Some of Basement Nation’s main objectives during the WTO protests were to make sure the minority communities themselves were properly addressing sex and race issues and that their presence was felt. According to Cooper, the minority presence at the WTO protests in Seattle was greater than most people realized. She feels that the key to the future of minority-based community activism is to relate the community’s issues to the larger global issues. This will help people see the similarities between the plights of Third World countries and local oppressed communities. Cooper also discusses the formation of the post-WTO Brown Collective and its focus on alleviating oppression and issues such as racism and sexism. She also sees the need for the continuation of Basement Nation with a focus on police accountability and a focus on the disproportionate number of minorities incarcerated on charges of drug-related or pot property crimes.