News: Who's Who

Your Guide to the Protests

Nov 16, 2000 at 2:06 pm

Real easy now. Cincinnati isn't used to this kind of thing. But important issues are at play, so try not to get too caught up in the noise or the traffic delays. Remember the issues: Economic justice. Environmental protection. Workers' rights.

Here's a guide to the players this weekend.

Affinity Groups: Cells of five to 20 people who plan direct action against a political foe. They usually don't announce their plans in advance, hoping to avoid being kept from completing their mission by police.

Black bloc: A technique used primarily by anarchists, usually dressed in black, committed to direct action, not necessarily of the nonviolent variety.

CD: Civil disobedience, deliberately violating the law and risking arrest for the sake of a cause, a tactic practiced by Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

CDAC: Cincinnati Direct Action Collective, a N16 group committed to nonviolent direct action.

CHE: Coalition for a Humane Economy, the Cincinnati organization that's sponsored workshops and teach-ins on globalization and the TABD over the past few months.

DA: Direct action, anything from blockading a conference so participants cannot enter or exit to occupying vacant dwellings and demanding housing for the homeless.

FNB: Food Not Bombs, the nutritional arm of the opposition movement. FNB distributes food to demonstrators, some of it harvested from restaurant trash bins, a technique known as "dumpster diving."

N16: Nickname for the anti-TABD demonstrations, a shortened form of Nov. 16, the day the TABD conference begins.

TABD: Transatlantic Business Dialogue, whose conference at the Omni Netherlands Plaza Hotel is the reason for the demonstrations. Founded in 1995, TABD is a forum of 150 chief executive officers of the world's largest corporations. The organization's goal is to eliminate barriers to free trade — or, as opponents view it, to weaken consumer protection, environmental laws and workers' rights.

WTO: World Trade Organization, the international forum through which governments negotiate trade agreements. TABD has been called the "Power Behind the WTO." Protests against the WTO meeting in Seattle last December inspired N16, which aims to make Cincinnati "the Seattle of the Midwest." ©