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Anti-WTO Riot, State of Emergency in Seattle

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the five-six-seven-open-up-the-pearly-gates dept.

News 787

bridgette writes "The Mayor has declared a state of civil emergency, there is a curfew at 7 p.m. and the police have been using pepper spray and allegedly tear gas, paintball guns and rubber bullets." Stories are at KOMO-TV, MSNBC, Seattle Times, CNN, and probably almost anywhere else you look.

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Counter Strike (2)

Infopimp (115045) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491746)

I was playing Half Life's Counter Strike mod... turned on the news and found that it was more exciting to watch the action in real life. Great slide show at: eshow2.html -Infopimp

Seattle.. figures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1491747)

Reminds me of LA not too long ago..

What's a WTO? (1)

TDR-X (47001) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491748)

Hehehehehe I'm Canadian... we've already had our pepper-spray scandal for the year.

umm (0)

plebius (109223) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491749)

I think the wto is the worst thing to come around in a long time. im glad there are people protesting it and having a "carnival against capitalism". i only wish i could be there to take part in the festivities.

Re:Live high bw stream from a news station... (1)

pvthudson (100866) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491877) there is nothing going on now


descarte (118214) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491878)

I have liked some of the stuff Roblimo has introduced (e.g. interviews) but some of his topics are decidely wierd. Many would never have featured prior to his arrival. These riots are certainly interesting, how do they qualify as "News for Nerds?"

Besides, they are so decidedly mainstream that coverage can be obtained from any news source. In the past I have sided with Roblimo when he has introduced some non-geek topics, but this is too much. Can we have some editorial focus please?

Re:What an encore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1491879)

What deepened the great depression? Are you an economist or an economics genius? NO! You have to realize that tariffs and trade barriers increase world suffering. Japan would have NEVER attacked US in WWII if the US didn't bring about the Holly Smoot tariff which effectively cut Japan off. So in fact what you are protesting for is the collective suffering of everyone and a greater disparity between land renters and land owners rather than just rich or poor.

Re:No problem. (1)

whoop (194) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491880)

Hey! There's TVs, stereos, and bags of Doritos being held captive in stores all over this sad country! Let them be free, I say, let them be free!! It's about time someone put a stop to this cruelty.

Seattle's Y2K Compliance (1)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491881)

*grin* Never again will I say "it couldn't happen HERE... not in MY town..."

what a wonderful y2k preparedness test.
i wonder if all those riot police are y2k compliant.

WTO (2)

Pool (88868) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491882)

Honestly the WTO is an organization that has to be rethought as a whole. In this country (america) it is very hard to get a bit of information that does not have some sort of a spin on it. I am not surprized by the lack of information concerning the WTO. By design the wto is not open to the public. Although heads of corperations are present at the meeting average citizens are not allowed in.
I find this very disturbing. What I also find disturbing is that BILL GATES III!!!!! WILL BE CHAIRING THIS MEETING!!! If that is an indication of the quality of person that is at this meeting I would be very worried.

RTFM! (1)

I Hate Myself (118516) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491883)

These people and the WTO, RTFM! Proletarians of the world, RTFM!

Why Seattle? Why the WTO? WTF is Going to happen? (1)

Horizon (5394) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491884)

Why Seattle? Because Boeing has shipped endless jobs out of there in the last few years. Japan, China - they're all getting a slice. When a Chinese machinist costs $20 less per hour than their US counterpart, you can bet your bottom dollar that job will move.

Why the WTO? Because the theory is sound. Mind you, the theory is sound, it just happens to not actually exist as described. International trade theory - as espoused by the WTO - is based on 'comparative advantage'. Real trading practice - as carried out by nations such as China and companies such as Boeing - is based on market-access/offset deals and transfer pricing. The short form is that everyone - repeat - everyone is guilty of some dodgy bullshit here.

There's too much production capacity in the world; and it's getting worse. China was thought to be the Great White Hope of overstocked western firms, but that's going to vanish. Why? Because China will have say 200-300 million US-level affluent customers. But it will still have nigh on a billion dirt-poor dirt-cheap workers too. And that will severely fuck up the system.

The answer is not to back up on trade, to invoke protectionist measures. All that will do is exacerbate current oversupply problems (no exports possible) and cause a world-wide shrinkage in output. The short-form is that to go protectionist now is to replay the events of the Great Depression and the prelude to WWII. Even the stockmarket is acting eerily like it did before the Great Crash.

The answer is to realise that neo-liberal economic theory is bullshit when people are as poor as piss and there's a lot of them. We need to solve our over-capacity problems by radically increasing demand.

To do so in the developed economies would be destructive and inflationry. The answer is to give a shit about the 2.something billion people who live below the absolute poverty line. The UN's Development Program can create enough demand to fairly much solve this problem for about 80bn a year for a decade. 800bn is a lot for one country; but it's not so much for a half dozen or so. It'll cost a helluva lot more if the current system crashes; still more if war errupts.

Think about it.


Jumping down my throat? (3)

delmoi (26744) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491885)

First of all, sovereignty sucks. Really, I don't see what's so great about it. I mean; do you really feel like the US government acts in your interests? I don't see why a world government would be any worse. Think about how much the EU governments seem to care about citizen privacy when compared to the US government.

Look, France, Germany, and other European governments are giving up some sovereignty to be a part of the EU. I care about my rights, and as long as there preserved, why should I care whose running the show? (couldn't do a worse job then the idiots we've got now, could they?)

Also, while there were a lot of people, there were over 250,000 at Marten Luther King's March on Washington, and over 400,000 at the 'million man march' much more then 50,000. In any event, how can you possibly say that this single event, witch did turn violent is possibly larger then the entire civil rights movement, with its many, larger, and lessviolent protests?

ohhh, while watching CNN, I just saw an advertisement for you're little 'protest' "lets go to Seattle and put that on the WTO agenda" [] You can tell a real grassroots movement by there slick television advertisements.

As for people jumping down my throat, go ahead, I don't usually to ranting. I wouldn't mind hearing some of the real issues (witch you have not done).

CNN Live Video Feed Continues with JAG (2)

Chase (8036) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491886)

I was watching a CBS station broadcasting live from the center of the demonstration/riot. The interesting part is that I was watching this via a real video stream provided by "INTERVU". The news coverage ended about 30 minutes ago (11pm EST) so I am now watching an episode of JAG [] on real video.

I wonder if CNN knows they just bought an episode of JAG from CBS.

You mean there not protesting the WTO? (1)

delmoi (26744) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491887)


Re:WTO is about consumer choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1491888)

The world is cleaner now that it was in the 70s. The earth has the ability to accept and certain amount of waste and it can. We have already reduced pollution quite a bit. Just a little more and we will be back in the equillibrium with the earth which means we can still pollute but the earth can tolerate it.

Most of the protestors *are* peaceful (3)

Katydid (80531) | more than 13 years ago | (#1491890)

I'm going to school about an hour north of Seattle (WWU); our student body has a high percentage of hippies, although not as much as The Evergreen State College (south of Seattle). Accordingly, there have been signs up for several months now (possibly as long as a year) about the WTO conference, and many students are down in Seattle for the protest. I think there was even a University-sponsored bus, but that may be later this week. I've been watching the news all afternoon and many of my neighbors are in contact with friends who are in the middle of it.

Most of the protestors are non-violent, intelligent, and well-intentioned. However, a few are not, and they're the ones doing the damage. Apparently the looting, etc., this afternoon was done almost entirely by a small group (30 or so) of anarchists who dressed all in black and didn't even show their faces. The real protestors tried to stop them, knowing the damage they'd do to the protest. The few hundred people who intentionally broke curfew are mostly just doing it to defy authority because it's authority. Again, this is only three or four hundred out of 20,000+.

As a sidenote to one of the reports on the radio, they mentioned that many of the delegates conversed with the protestors outside the convention center (as they couldn't get in). Both sides actually talked about issues and explained why they were there. That's the news that should have come out of today, not the violence and looting and burning and such. But human nature being what it is, a small group had to ruin it for everyone.

BTW, there's a rumor here that this anarchy group has stolen a petroleum truck and plans to wreak havoc with it tomorrow - anyone else hear this? Is it just someone's imagination, or real?

Just ramblings from another annoyed Washington State college student...

CNN link (3)

jacobm (68967) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492061)

The cnn link listed in the article is broken. The correct link is here [] .

wow.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492067)

I find it pretty amazing that people were able to motivate Americans like this, what happend to the culture of apathy?

Oh well, I guess they have a right to exspress there oppinions, but they should have been a little more courtious.

Re:What's a WTO? (2)

delmoi (26744) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492069)

World Trade Organization.

a group of contrys working together, on trade issues. The idea is to alow free trade between contrys. A good thing IMO, workers rights and the environment would be just as bad without it, so I don't see why all these seatiletes are getting there pantys in a bunch.

Probably just a bunch of Ex-hippies wanting to relive there glory days, or somthing

Here is an interesting InfoWorld thread (2)

tilly (7530) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492075)

It gets going here [] . Worth skimming. (OK, so I am biased, but I don't feel like retyping all of those points I made..:-)


tibet (1)

joshua_doesnt_know (17636) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492079)

Doesn't this summit involve trying to keep trade with China? When I heard this was going to happen a week or so ago I thought that something might go down and a lot of people would be angry. There are many who support Tibet and want China to leave them alone. One of the efforts was to boycott products from China in order to show disdain for their policy in regards to Tibet. If that is what the riot is about, then it is sad to see it has turned to violence. There werent too many details I could see, so we will have to find out what really happened.


Now if we could just get them to move... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492082)

Now if we could just get them to move the meeting a few miles down the road.... Say Redmond for example. Sorry... Obligitory M$ bashing... Had to be done.

A real shame (5)

rlkoppenhaver (101366) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492087)

It really is too bad. Here we have a group of people who were trying to peacefully make a point about their objections to the WTO. Unfortunately, some other people couldn't keep it peaceful, and then the forces of law and order started resorting to violence even against those who weren't using it themselves. As a result, we're bound to see a lot of commentary on how people are animals, since we all riot at the slightest opportunity, or how the government is oppressive because they pull out pepper spray on peaceful protesters.

Unfortunately, this probably means that the message that the peaceful protesters wanted to get out, that the WTO has a poor track record with environmental and worker issues, is going to be pretty much lost in the noise.

Having Just come from there... (2)

Ryandav (5475) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492091)

I can assure the geek population (what does this have to do with 'news for nerds', btw?) that, to paraphrase another individual, reports are greatly exagerrated. The mainstream media and local coverage will begin to cover in more depth some of the amazing things that happened at the protest shortly, as soon as the idiots who have nowhere else to go disperse. Right now all that can be shown is just the blow-by-blow of what's going on in the streets right now. But this protest was an amazing success, one that will be remembered for some time to come, both for the things that _did_ happen, and for the things that did not (bloodshed, truely widespread looting, massive arrests, or truly violent confrontation).

Since I would not use this as a forum for political activism or similar unrelated offtopic discussion, I won't go into further detail, but if interested, email me.

Well that's an intellegent organization... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492093)

The protestors are being rude and unfair. They are savage beasts who's only goal is damage the downtown of Seattle. If they really cared about trade they would have actual intellegent debuts rather than listening to hippy banter on about the injustices of WTO just cause his other hippy friend claimed there was. 1/2 of the protestors don't know what they are protesting! In the USA you have the freedom of assembly and these people are assembling leave them alone. How would you like it if a bunch of successful middle class business men put on ponchos and starting smashing your house just cause you were holding LUG or a political meeting?

I find it disturbing that ... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492108)

a group of hippies is able to halt international-scale discussions. This is disturbing not only due to the magnitude of the trouble they are causing, but by the very nature of protest itself.

Among protests throughout history, very few have led to any constructive change, and more often than not, the protesters and their causes are likely to suffer. By its very nature, protest is destructive, not constructive, and offers no solutions. That such a hodge-podge mix of students and "labour union" supporters - union stiffs - are able to cause such havoc should certainly be cause for concern for everyone.

National Gaurd called in (1)

delmoi (26744) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492113)

I turned on CNN afrer reading this post, it seems the Natnl Gaurd has been called in

Live high bw stream from a news station... (1)

Pugget (21006) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492116)


WTO? The truth about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492121)

Yeah. that's right. WTO is tool for the giant capital to control the world resources. And WTo will put the international disision of labor into a way that only benefits only about 10% in US. For the whole world? Western contries will gain more advantage by puting 3rd world into product markets and raw material providers. The difference between rich and poor will become larger and larger. My dear American people, please ask yourself: where did Bill Gates get his XXX billian $? Read Karl Marx's book and your will find the answer. :) But a easy hint for most of brainless people, the average income growth rates of US workers are not as big as the ecnomic growth of US. The $$$ is becoming more and more centralized...

Re:Now if we could just get them to move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492127)


Re:Oh hell yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492130)

Sometimes got your a* kicked too?

WTO is about consumer choice (1)

Mr. X (17716) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492133)

The WTO is about tearing down trade barriers and allowing free trade. Only the special interests would be against this. Those special interests that have a monopoly in an area love trade barriers that force consumers to buy from them.

The political left, via the labor unions are against free trade. They support the protectionist policies that force people to buy their goods. Instead of the politicians and unions deciding, why not tear down trade barriers and let the consumer decide what to buy?

Workers UNITE!@! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492145)

Being a Marxist and a heavy computer user, I think this is the one of the first actual protests to be orginized mainly online. Solidarity!@!

Re:What's a WTO? (1)

Ryandav (5475) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492147)

Before 50 billion people jump down this persons throat, let's remember the forum, and remember that this is all pretty offtopic stuff.

But for you sir, I would say that indeed more research on your part might perhaps lend a different opinion. In addition to some of the things you bring up, there are also other very important issues at stake, such as national sovereignty and the like, and that enough people _from around the world_ felt it was a big deal that they gathered to enact the LARGEST protest and civil demonstration in all of american history, including the civil rights movement. It's not just 'seattleites', but indeed upwards of 40 to 50 thousand people.

Re:umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492152)

So you could loot Seattle stores in protest as well?

what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492156)

I live 5 blocks from the riots and this is no state of emergency.... what a joke.... This "mayor" dude, whomever he is, is going to lose his job!


Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492163)

This means that people *DO* care if their rights are take away by megacorps! (the WTO is pushing agreements hard that distroy indivigual rights to help corps)

It looks like Beirut here... (5)

strabo (58457) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492165)

It is AMAZING what's going on outside right now. I work in the Pioneer Square section of Seattle, just on the south end of Downtown proper. I'm probably insane for still being here, but that's what they pay me the big bucks for, right? Oh yeah, I'm salary. :P

Anyway, I've been watching this whole thing unfold all day, and it has been absolutely insane. The National Guard has been called in, the Downtown area (starting 2 blocks north of me right now) is under curfew until morning, and the tear gas was so thick at times that you could barely see across the street!

When I came down here this morning, it wasn't too bad - there were several tens of thousands of people protesting, but it was mostly under control and peaceful. A little tear gas here and there, but not much. The condition deteriorated throughout the day until around 4:30-5:00 - it started to get dark, and it seems like all hell broke loose.

Watching the news (and the streets, for that matter), it was very surreal - the first thing I wanted to say was "this is happening WHERE?" It looked like CNN coverage of some foreign city under seige by terrorists - not kidding at all... Police in all their riot gear, herding people out of the "curfew zone", shooting tear gas and pepper spray, rubber bullets, and now the National Guard. My kid sister even got tear gassed on her way to work this afternoon!

All in all, I must say that the police have shown some pretty decent restraint through all of this. Lots of gas, etc, but not too much violence, and VERY few arrests - I think the count is at around 22 people. 22 people out of THOUSANDS really isn't bad. The VAST majority of the protesters were also very well-behaved and got their point across well. It wasn't until some of the "hey, let's go riot!" people started coming out of the woodwork before it got nasty.

Very odd day, all in all. There's helicopters flying overhead every couple of minutes, and APC's just up the street, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get home, which is on the other side of the locked down area, but very interesting nonetheless...

*grin* Never again will I say "it couldn't happen HERE... not in MY town..."

- strabo

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (3)

jacobm (68967) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492167)

...unless you happen to think that civil rights, ends to oppressive regimes, and ending intolerable working conditions are "constructive."

Seatle Police Scanner Shoutcast (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492170)

Listen [] to history happening.

Yeesh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492172)

Although these protesters may have valid concerns about the WTO, but violence like this makes their causes look bad and the result is that people think that ALL of the supporters of these concerns are as violent and idiotic as these protesters are!
Bravo...These people just destroyed much of their causes credibility! Whatever happened to rational, NONviolent civil disobedience a la Emerson and Ghandi??

Kevin Christie

Re:umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492191)

>I think the wto is the worst thing to come around >in a long time. im glad there are people >protesting it and having a "carnival against >capitalism". i only wish i could be there
> to take part in the festivities.

Prove to me that WTO is bad! You have only given your opinion and nothing else. No one cares about your opinion they care what you did to form that opinion!

Protests and Response are a Good Thing (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492201)

I have to say that both the protests we've seen today and the response of the Seattle/Washington authorities have both been very good (positive).

The protests have been good because it is free speech and civil disobediance in a most American fashion. In 2/3 of the WTO countries, the public would have been severely restricted a priori, if not having "dissidents" rounded up and jailed weeks before the meeting. The degree of coordination of the protestors in taking downtown Seattle corner by corner and holding territory was impressively effective.

For the police response, it appears that they have taken back downtown Seattle in an organized and efficient way. The Governor's State of Emergency giving them a legal basis, the police have shown an amazing amount of restraint... there have been a few minor injuries, but no clubbing/takedowns/violence. I think that this is because the police would have been outmanned at the peak of the protests; when outmanned, they would have to use a greater proportion of force to disperse the protestors. Not to mention that after 12 hours of marching, the protesters would be easier to move.

I've been watching this live on Northwest Cable News for a couple of hours... Congratulations are in order to both sides for a good show.

Oh... and leave it to Seattle protestors to loot Starbucks... I can just see the stocking-capped hoods making off with pockets full of biscotti, pilfered mochas, backpacks full of stainless steele travel mugs.... in LA they have the sense to loot consumer electronics... guess in Seattle they have to feed their community addiction.


Re:Christ, were you home-schooled in Kentucky? (0)

biohazard99 (114288) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492204)

As a graduate of a public high school in KY, home schoolers are much better off than the "Mastery Learning" and "Outcome-Based Education", influenced dredges like me. The pointy haired boss has been runnning the show for the last ten years here, and unfortunately when the time comes to put kids through school, I'm going to have to do it myself

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492206)

No, wrong. The CCP and goverment are considering people's ecmonical interests more than the political interests. SO, there will be some small disorder, but the overall will be quiet. In US, the interests of big capitalists will be the first priority therefore you got all these protesters.

Re:wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492211)

they should have been curteous too, you dumb fuck.

! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492215)

they're rioting against bad software from redmond... free the source! move the protest!

Re:Now if we could just get them to move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492216)

Oh man !!! Wouldn't it be nice to see Bill Gates squeal like a pig, like they did in Deliverance !!!

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492220)

The protesters are trying to violate the civil rights of the WTO members by trying to stop them from meeting. EVER HEARD OF FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY?

No, I was not. (1)

delmoi (26744) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492239)

I was merely trying to answer the question quickly, and I didn't run a spelling/grammar check. Yes, I do have trouble spelling, and no, I don't care what you think.

However, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for adding so much to the discussion

The WTO (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492245)

The real problem with the WTO is that it gives away too much sovereignty. Here in California we're banning MTBE from gasoline because its somewhat water soluble, and may be a carcinogen. I've heard that there are oil companies in other countries trying to get the ban overturned in court because it violates the WTO guidelines.

If such a case were decided in favor of the oil co.'s, it would basicly mean that the US government has given away California's right to self govern, and the people would have to keep drinking MTBE contaminated water no matter what they thought of the issue.

That's the sort of thing they're protesting against. More power to them! I wish I could go to Seattle and join them.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

CFN (114345) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492246)

very very good CS

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Weasel Boy (13855) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492249)

No, stay away. They smell funny.

The rioters are dead wrong (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492252)

Anyone who has taken even an introductory class in Economics knows that free trade is the best way to economic growth and economic growth benefits everyone. Any kind of tariffs artificially raise prices. The extra money you now have to spend on a the tariffed good is money that can not now be spent on something else (called deadweight loss). This means less economic activity and fewer jobs for the people who are protesting. Ironic, isn't it? And this whole notion of jobs going to third world countries is bunkum. A simple accounting identity makes it near impossible; Net Exports == Net Foreign Investment. There's a fabulous piece written by an economist that does a good job of explaining in more detail why it's impossible (it was in response to Ross perot and his NAFTA opposition). I can't seem to find the url but if I find it i'll post it in this thread.

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492255)

The Boston Tea Party was a successful protest, you dumb fuck.

Hmm yourself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492256)

Dumbshit. You big dumbshit.

What is Clinton Doing??? (1)

JimboOmega (112678) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492259)

This, to me, seems like a great international blunder. Delegates from other countries are trapped, or even being attacked by protesters, and the conference can't go on. Clinton should be apologizing, and trying to restore order as quickly as possible. Instead, he's sympathizing with the protestors and saying their voices must be heard. What is he trying to do, anger the world? Make it seem like our citizens are free to be disruptive, riot, and block an international conference?

Re:Having Just come from there... (1)

evilad (87480) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492260)

The entire column is rather offtopic relative to /.'s stated purpose. I don't think your activist comments would not be offtopic in the slightest.

I, for one, would like to see a good discussion of the issues between intelligent people.

Disclaimer: I have been known to espouse anti-WTO views [] in the past.

Some pics / web cams: (1)

crayz (1056) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492262)

Here are some pics of the worst of it:

Here's a good web cam(looks like someone came through with an ugly stick):

This one is dark right now, but it may have good images in the morning:

Anyway, lets get some other pics/web cams posted here.

Re:WTO is about consumer choice (2)

rlkoppenhaver (101366) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492280)

First of all, let me clearly state that I am in favor of the existence of the WTO, and of free trade.

Now, some of those protesting were probably members of special interest groups or extreme leftists, but the protesters did have a couple of points which should be discussed, namely issues of environmental protection and working conditions. Since you won't find many people who are in favor of declaring war on any country that permits toxic waste dumping or child labor, economic sanctions, i.e., trade barriers, may be our best way of preventing such practices.

Re:A real shame (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492283)

What else is new?

Let violence == flaming,
WTO == generic_news_item,
protesters == posters,
and we're just talking about slashdot!

However, you won't get that free TV set from posting on slashdot, and you're probably pretty safe from the pepper spray too.

Let's hear it for Anarchy. I've seen more of it on slashdot lately, that's what happens when any system fails to meet the needs of the people. (Windows? :) They should expect it more, in an indirect democracy, that occasionally they should have more referendums or polls about the issues that matter, and less silly news media coverage about Pokemon or Monica or whatever this week's dead, beaten horse is in the media...
pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [] .

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492285)

It's AOK too, you dumb fuck.

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492289)

ever heard of the civil rights movement moron? shut up before I hurt you.

No problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492291)

I'd like to thank you as well for your unintuitive crack at the protesters, of which you haven't a clue as to what they're protesting about.

Re:WTO? The truth about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492295)

Dumb, d-dumb dumb dumb.

Read Karl Marx's book and your will find the answer. :)

What sort of desolate rock did you just come out from? Are you being serious, or is this a satire of a colossal moron?

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (2)

jacobm (68967) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492296)

Yes I have. It reads like this: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Think about it.

Re:WTO is about consumer choice (1)

Philom (24273) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492299)

Be that as it may, there are very real environmental concerns over the WTO's policies. Increased trade and industrialization around the world are likely to lead to greater pollution and exploitation of largely unspoiled natural areas.

Although many countries and their citizens stand to benefit economically from the increased commerce, we cannot overlook the potential for permanent damage to our entire planet.

Those jeans you're wearing... (3)

kuro5hin (8501) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492301)

Hey, you there, with the sign.. yeah you, throwing that stick... were those jeans you're wearing organically grown in a Salvdoran cooperative, or were they assembled by 8-year-olds in a Malaysian sweatshop?


Morning gray ignites a twisted mass of foreign shapes and sounds

Hey Beavis, lets go break something. (1)

biohazard99 (114288) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492302)

Excellent, just think, by the time we're soiling our Depends (TM) undergarments, this will be the revisionist's "The populous, fearing the coming millenium, reacted instinctively, without the good judgement 2,000,000 years of evolution had brought them to thus far."

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492328)

>It's AOK too, you dumb fuck.
People usually start picking on spelling when they have no real arguement and very frustrated by what a previous post has said mainly because the original post is so truthful. So why don't you go buy a dictionary and come with some constructive criticism rather than "dumb fuck".

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492333)

you're really quite absurd.

Re:Workers UNITE!@! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492336)

Being a Marxist and therefore a self-avowed moron and lunatic, what business do you have sneaking out from your padded cell to post here?

WTO Protests (3)

Gurny (99941) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492339)

Okay first things I was in downtown Seattle were all of the demonstrations occurred. The news media (even local) is focusing on some rather limited acts of vandalism the have happened over the course of the day. A group of "anarchists", which were in reality about 15 nineteen year old kids dressed in black broke some windows and spray painted all kinds of things. I think it is important to understand that the action of these 15 or so kids is what you are hearing about in the news, and doesn't represent the actions of many thousands of protesters you demonstrated peacefully. As far as the police, they were very patient for the most part and did use tear gas and rubber bullets. For whatever reason they are denying the use of the rubber bullets but they were used at a couple of occasions during the day. While I wasn't there to protest the WTO directly I can't say that I agree with the closed door nature of there meetings, or many of their decisions (gene patents anyone?). PS In reply to an earlier post the CSE department at UW is quite good, but it is small and VERY difficult to be accepted to.

I want child labour products, and I want them now! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492340)

Preach on brother... all those hippie's should just shut up, give me my dirt cheap products... who cares if the average live exptancy of the people who made them is below 30 due to working conditionts, they aint no family of mine. As for the fact they throw large amounts of toxic waste into the environment while doing it... well its their environment :) As long as they dont live near me who cares.

Re:What's a WTO? (3)

shazam* (83121) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492343)

here's my two bits
free trade is good for developing countries
it is, however, probably a bad thing for many north american labour unions
if unlimited growth in the production of wealth is unrealistic (and I believe it probably is)
then the only way for the quality of life for the average third worlder to improve is for us to share the wealth
ultimately, we (western citizens) may be poorer, but the system will be more fair
to hell with national sovereignty, citizenship is only an accident
The chinese (most of them) don't want democracy
they want color tv sets
If the labour groups really want to help the average third world worker, they would be pro WTO, then help them unionize at home
thought must come before action
these knee jerk responses and rhetoric spouting assholes are driving me up the wall

Re:Seattle.. figures. (1)

pvthudson (100866) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492346)

I would hardly call it a riot, I was in Pullman when they had the riot there which wasn't much of a riot either. For the most part you have a couple hundred people just standing there just to see what happens and about 30 who are up to no good. If the watchers left, then the hoodlums would get their butts tossed in jail where they belong. Its basically over now, the news no longer is covering it.

I think its great that ... (1)

InsomniacsDream (60934) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492349)

there is still some soul left in this country. I certainly don't agree with any of the violence, but I think its nice to see that people can unite for a common cause. Look at how the FBI has been recently harrasing people for expressing their views about crypto or for displaying 'inappropriate' web content. It's time to let the stuffed shirts in government know that 'the people' are unhappy about the way things are progressing. Sometimes the only way to do that is to scream it from the rooftops.

Re:umm (1)

whoop (194) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492351)

Nothing says "Don't let China in the WTO" better than taking a new TV and a bag of Doritos from you local merchants. I know I'm convinced now.


MattXVI (82494) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492352)

Lowering trade barriers does quite the opposite. It increases my individual right (NB ALL rights are individual rights) to buy products without state interference and taxation. This benefits the buyer and seller.

Re:wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492376)

they should have been curteous too, you dumb fuck

sounds like the dumbfucks leading the dumbfucks to me, shithead.

% grep urteous /usr/dict/words


Please... (1)

Imperator (17614) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492378)

...don't flame others for their grammar. Not everyone who posts here comes from an English-speaking country and received good schooling in grammar. It's the message that's important.

Lob a Molotov for me, would ya guys? (2)

babbage (61057) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492382)

These protesters, aside from going about things the wrong way, have the right motivation. I'm not by any means one of those New World Order fearing right wing wackos, but the wackos do have some good points: organizations like the WTO and World Bank transfer authority from the hands of governments like the United States to private corporations to do with as they please. Is that a good thing?

Say what you will about the government, but at least in theory it exists to serve the common good. Corporations don't even pay lip service to that ideal -- they just want to maximize their bottom line for themselves and for their shareholders. Nowhere does it say that they have to do the rest of the world a shred of good, and if they absolutely don't have to, they won't. Take a look at the campaign to revoke Phillip Morris' corporate charter [] , and while you're at it, poke around the rest of the Adbusters [] site.

I'm also sympathetic with the laissez faire Libertarians who point out that government can't step in and tell the corporations what to do or who to serve. That is rightly their own business to manage. But at the same time, a government that allows one group to exploit the rest of the population is bankrupt and needs an overhaul. Revolution lies down that path.

What is a good middle ground? I don't know -- no one has come up with it yet. Socialism atrophied and went nowhere; capitalism has become a festering tumor that is strangling the people and the planet. There has to be some happy medium. Any suggestions? Maybe some of these protesters (who came from all the world, fon't forget -- it isn't just Seattle's ex-hippie population) could come up with something. We're overdue for a nice purging riot -- maybe some good will come of it. I sure hope so -- the current system, booming economy here in the US notwithstanding, is headed down the wrong path fast...

Re:umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492384)

And you've done a lot to prove that it isn't bad.......

What an encore (1)

MrEd (60684) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492386)

This protest is certainly in fine form for the West Coast - A year and a half ago the protest in Vancouver against President Suharto attending the APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Community) conference resulted in the RCMP breaking out the pepper spray with a little too much enthusiasm. This Seattle protest, however, was more than just a bunch of University students standing around with signs and setting up tents on campus (I live in Vancouver, I saw it all). This protest involved shutting down a huge chunk of downtown Seattle, and I believe was a success. It's too bad that crowds tend to attract the violent, as now the backlash against this incident is likely to fuel the conservatives for another few elections....

Think about free trade for a second. What free trade is is a way for the rich to get richer. Those who can afford to set up manufacturing plants in foreign third world countries and ship manufactured goods benefit immensely from Free Trade. It allows them to exploit the rest of humankind for our North American benefit, and profit ridiculously for doing it. That's all I have to say.

ZNet, a community of people concerned with social change. []

This sure beats e-trade! (1)

wsb (91803) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492388)

Why use credit cards, when you can loot? I mean - just cut out the middle man and pick up stuff for yourself...


Re:No problem. (1)

MattXVI (82494) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492389)

It's not likely the protesters themselves have a clue what they're protesting about.

Not really... (5)

strabo (58457) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492390)

From what I have seen (I am in downtown Seattle right now), there has been VERY minimal police violence, almost no injuries to people, and the vast majority of the protest WAS nonviolent.

There were a lot of people that started coming out, particularly toward the end of the afternoon/evening, who saw this as an excuse to riot and destroy property. There were also a large number of peaceful protesters trying to talk them down.

For the most part, the police simply used tear gas (not pleasant, but nonviolent), pepper spray, and some rubber bullets. Mostly gas and pepper spray. And they used it fairly sparingly until it became evident that something had to be done to get things under control, and they imposed the curfew. Then they got more agressive with the tear gas to get people OUT of the downtown area.

There was a lot of property destruction done by a small (in comparison) group of people, and the police, for the most part, excersized a good deal of restraint in dealing with it.

Also, for the most part, the protesters (peaceful) that I have talked to feel that today was a GREAT success, that their message was heard, and that their objectives were accomplished. I don't think that will get lost in the noise at all.

All in all, I must applaud both the peaceful protesters of today -and- the police. They both did their jobs, did them well, and nobody really got hurt (that I'm aware of). It could have been A LOT worse.

- strabo

Re:umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492391)

and the opinion of an Anonymous Coward is more respected?

Re:I find it disturbing that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492392)

>you're really quite absurd. Post constructive criticism. It is rather "absurd" to just post some useless tripe which does nothing. Criticism could be well that RIGHT is for political parties and not for capitalist scum dogs. See that's an arguement / criticism that didn't involve personal insults. Think before you write!

Y2K Compliance (2)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492415)

what a wonderful riot-police y2k preparedness test.


Re:Some pics / web cams: (2)

yelvington (8169) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492419)

Pictures and Web cams from SeattleInsider:

* Slide show: Battle in Seattle []

* Slide show: Mobs and mayhem []

* Live Seattle traffic cams []

* Pine Street []

* Live traffic conditions []

* Road closures []

Re:umm (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492422)

If you had read any of the reports, you would have realized the the great majority of the protests were peaceful, and only a handful of idiots rioted. The police even said they were very pleased with the outcome.

better than no publicity (1)

linuchristo (17002) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492423)

before today, most people were not aware of that many people were displeased with the WTO.
the riot is a more effective way of publicizing this fact than purchasing 10s of millions of dollars in ads.
"bad publicity is better than no publicity", the saying goes.

The SCARIEST Part of the WTO.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492425)

The worst part of the WTO is that it has the authority to overrule a country's laws.

Environmental Protections ? -- Naahh!

Health Care ? -- Naahh!

Antitrust Rulings against Microsoft ? -- Naahhh!

NOW you know why Bill Gates was so eager to have the WTO Conference hosted in Seattle.

Re:Having Just come from there... (2)

Silicon_Knight (66140) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492428)

I wasn't there, but my roommate was. And a flashbang grenade from the cops went off not too far from him. He caught wiffs of teargas too. He wasn't there to be some anarchist punk asshole rippin' crap up, he was just there to see what's going on. (Curiosity doesn't always pay, I guess).

True, most of the protest were pretty peaceful. True, there weren't any wide spread looting. Thank god. I really feel sorry for the protesters though. They have every right to stand in a peaceful protest, and they exercised that right, to bring to people's attention the *other* side of the issue involving the WTO. Only to have some punk anarchist bastards screw everything up for them with their vandalism.

-=- SiKnight

Re:wow.... (1)

Imperator (17614) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492429)

If you insist on flaming, note that the correct spelling is "courteous".

This is great (2)

DanMcS (68838) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492430)

(From the Seattle Times) Environmentalists joined hands with steelworkers, nuns, French cheese-makers, vegans and sea-turtle impersonators. Teenagers in baggy-legged pants and graying hippies walked side-by-side. Social workers and lawyers shared picket lines with body-pierced punks and tattooed grungers.
I love America. Sometimes I get disillusioned, but something like this always comes along. If you don't like the state of the country, change it. I'm in Columbus, Ohio, and there are protests /here/ against the WTO. Why do we keep bitching and moaning about the loss of privacy, stupid patent laws, crypto restrictions, all that crap. I'm ready to protest for privacy rights!

Re:WTO? The truth about it. (0)

bbcat (8314) | more than 13 years ago | (#1492431)

You seem to know very little about world trade.
Free trade in the world guarantee that the best
products are produced at a competitive price.
Each country makes the products that they're
best at.

Contrary to what you think we get a good income
and good living conditions in the US, the best
country in the world. To think the contrary is
a symptom of stupidity and ignorance.

We in the US as well as most countries in the
world benefit from a free market place.

The criminals in Seatle are for the most part
unions brainless jerks, basket weaving university
graduates and other morons. Hopefully they will
get what they deserve. Free speech doesn't mean
that you are allowed to destroy other people's

Re:Well that's an intellegent organization... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1492432)

That's my feeling on this too. I believe they should have the right to protest and all that, but not physcially interfere with people going to it. That's just going too far. I'm against the WTO, and if I was in Seattle, I'd probally be up there protesting too, but this is just getting out of hand. Let other people live their damn lives.
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