Anti-summit protest in Gothenburg, Sweden. June 15, 2001. Photo by Per Englund

“We Were Winning”: Reflections On the Alter-Globalization Movement

  • September 13, 2021

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People & Protest

This is the story of the rise and fall of the alter-globalization movement, and how its legacy shapes radical struggles today.

Twenty years ago, a global protest movement revolted against neoliberal globalization. After the defeat of really existing socialism, neoliberal ideologues celebrated global victory. Institutions like the G8, European Union, World Bank and International Monetary Fund thought they had a mandate to ruthlessly push privatization and free trade policies around the world. But when they convened their summits, in cities like Seattle, Gothenburg and Genoa, they were confronted by mass protests. Inspired by the Zapatistas and other struggles in the Global South, a movement demanding a globalization of social justice challenged the self-declared rulers of the world.

The alter-globalization movement was diverse but united, and characterized by confrontational non-violence. But the more powerful the protests became, the more repressive became the state’s response.

Protesters against the EU Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden – 14-16 June, 2001. Photo by Per Englund.


RAD DOX is a small not-for-profit collective producing short films on overlooked or little understood topics of social, cultural and political significance. From around the corner and around the world. We’ll introduce you to movers and shakers, creators and activists, fighters and thinkers — and we’ll let them do most of the talking.

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Magazine — Issue 11