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Greenpeace: Anti-corporate watchdogs

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Seattle protests
  3. Globalization and its effects
  4. Efforts to protect against harmful fishing and whaling practices
  5. Greenpeace's role in environmental protection
  6. The role of a Greenpeace volunteer
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 novella Fight Club narrates the experience of adult men disaffected by modern consumer culture who form underground boxing clubs before developing them into clandestine social terrorist groups aimed at destroying hyper-capitalist culture. Read as a critique on the emasculation of the North American male engendered by a lifestyle devoid of authentic meaning and devoted to shallow consumerism, the fictional events of Fight Club parallel the sense of vanishing individual autonomy before corporate multi-nationalism held by many in the anti-corporate activism movement. The 30 November, 1999, World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle, Washington, known colloquially as the ?Battle in Seattle,? reflected the actual resentment and opposition to international trade agencies (including the WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank) when in excess of 40,000 people mobilized in protest outside the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. This riot sparked the largest gathering of anti-globalization protest hitherto witnessed in the United States, garnering international media and public attention.

[...] This antagonism, where each group prizes its own agenda at the expense of the other, is a typical feature of the anti-corporate global activist movement; and continues to present one of the greatest obstacles to enabling significant political change. Quite simply, the small-mindedness and one-issue focus of many groups lends them to have disagree more often than not; and the only moment when an display of unification is demonstrated is when they attack a common adversary: typically for different reasons. [...]

[...] As his testimony reveals, synergy is not entirely existent within the anti-corporate protest movement. If this is the case, it is hard to follow the sentimental ideals of Naomi Klein that ordinary people will unite and oppose multi-nationalism by refusing to tune-in to corporate hegemony and cultural influence [No Logo, 2000]. Rather, the situation of contemporary anti-capitalist movements will continue to fragment and carry along divergent positions as like-minded individuals volunteer and follow their own political ideals. Greenpeace has a long and committed history to battling multi-national environmental abuses, and conducts its operations through the efforts of committed volunteers. [...]

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