April 21, 2001
An anti-FTAA rally and march was held in Boulder, Colorado in solidarity with the FTAA demonstrations taking place everywhere. The rally was strategically held on a field outside of Boulder High School to protest the continued drives to privatize education. More and more students and community members joined the crowd as the articulate speakers each made their point about human rights, labor, and even immigrant workers in Boulder. Others spoke out about the corporate imperialism that the FTAA treaty would promote across the hemisphere and its effects on the city of Boulder. In addition a resolution about the FTAA was presented to a Boulder city council member after she finished her speech.
Then after all had finished speaking about 150 people joined a march down to the Pearl Street walking mall in downtown Boulder. Other activists took off for Denver and Ft. Collins in highly visible caravans for coinciding rallies. There were tuba players, drumming and fan-fare as the group of fair trade advocates left Boulder High School. Next stop was the nearby farmers market, where the crowd made noise and saluted the Earth Day festival by singing happy Earth Day. It soon became a happy and hilarious scene for everyone present. Then the group went off to the speaker forum where Mayor Will Toor was finishing up and Colorado congressman Mark Udall had already spoken to the crowd. The large crowd quickly got the attention of everyone present to notice the pro fair trade march. Mark Udall got up and said a little about supporting fair trade not free trade and then talked about the importance of examining human rights and the environment in any trade deal. With the words of encouragement the marchers went off again led by cheers from the megaphone and the tuba/drumming music. It was a merry crowd and it seemed nothing could dispel their energy.
The group marched down and onto Pearl Street with vibrant energy. People stopped to tell shoppers to buy locally and oppose the FTAA. The crowd came to a collective halt at the GAP, Banana Republic, and Abercrombie (all located within fifty feet of each other) locale to tell them to stop using sweatshop labor. The crowd let them know that they should switch to fair trade and sweat free producers or we would not be shopping at there any more. The protesters continued marching and did an about-face and headed down to Starbucks and Borders to let them know that many do not approve of their corporate disregard for human rights, free speech, and the people’s (la raza’s) communities. After it was all over even a little rain could not dampen the crowd’s spirits on the march back to the Boulder High School field.