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Global Day of Action Against Capitalism, June 18 (J18), 1999

Ben Trott


Friday, June 18, 1999 (which became dubbed simply “J18”) was a global day of action against capitalism, primarily in financial and banking centers around the world. It was the opening day of the 25th G8 (Group of Eight, most industrialized nations) summit in Cologne, Germany. Emerging out of a global movement which had been gradually growing in the wings of the world's stage, and going on to inspire the protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial in Seattle , USA, later that year, J18 belongs to the little-known prehistory of what has since become referred to as the counter-globalization or global justice movement . The collapse of the Soviet Union , the demise of western social democracy, the downturn in trade union militancy worldwide, and the crushing or cooptation of many anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles led Francis Fukuyama (1992) to declare “the end of history.” Fukuyama's thesis, however, did not ring true for long. On January 1, 1994, several thousand armed rebels, belonging to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) , emerged from their hide-outs in the Lacandon Jungle to seize control of a number of towns in Chiapas, Mexico, on the day the neoliberal North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was due to come into effect. The inspiration the Zapatistas provided to movements around the world stemmed not only from their hope ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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