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Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

Norm Stamper

They came from all over, tens of thousands of demonstrators from around the world, protesting the economic and moral pitfalls of globalization. Our mission as members of the Seattle Police Department? To safeguard people and property—in that order. Things went well the first day. We were praised for our friendliness and restraint—though some politicians were apoplectic at our refusal to make mass arrests for the actions of a few.

Then came day two. Early in the morning, large contingents of demonstrators began to converge at a key downtown intersection. They sat down and refused to budge. Their numbers grew. A labor march would soon add additional thousands to the mix.

“We have to clear the intersection,” said the field commander. “We have to clear the intersection,” the operations commander agreed, from his bunker in the Public Safety Building. Standing alone on the edge of the crowd, I, the chief of police, said to myself, “We have to clear the intersection.”


Source: http://www.thenation.com/article/164501/paramilitary-policing-seattle-occupy-wall-street weiter...

The global moment

Pic: Poster

Seattle, ten years on

Rodrigo Nunes

What are we to make of an anniversary that no one celebrates? The year 2009 may be remembered for many things: the greatest capitalist crisis in over a century, the first year of the Obama presidency, the transformation of the G8 into a G20 (and the first massive geopolitical rearrangement since the fall of the Soviet bloc), the ecological crisis definitively establishing itself as a widespread concern (even if it means very different things to different groups). One thing, however, was conspicuously absent from the year’s calendar: the tenth anniversary of the protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, which made of 1999 the year when the ‘anti-’ or ‘alter-globalization’ movement, or ‘movement of movements’, or ‘global movement’ became a visible phenomenon across the world.

Source: http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2187&editorial_id=28817 weiter...

Gregoire: Copenhagen cops learn from WTO

Seattle 1999

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is working the Copenhagen climate summit to market Washington's "green" economy, but is finding Danish police have learned lessons from Seattle's men and women in blue.

"To the person, they have seen the film of WTO," Gregoire said, referring to demonstrations and riots at the World Trade Organization ministers meeting in Seattle a decade ago.

The Danes share Seattle's appreciation of the right to dissent, Gregoire added in a phonecall with reporters. But they move quickly to thwart potentially violent actions -- a lesson learned from the "Battle of Seattle."

"They also saw when you allow it to go too far, the consequences are severe," Gregoire added. "Nothing has gotten out of control."

Protesters did try to disrupt one meeting attended by Gregoire, but she said the disruption was quickly suppressed.

Source: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/188447.asp weiter...

Revisiting No Logo: A message from Naomi


Ten years ago, on November 30, 1999, tens of thousands of protestors shut down a meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. The activists were not against trade or globalization, despite the many misleading claims in the mainstream media. They were against a system of deregulated capitalism that was spreading around the world.

At the time of the Seattle protests, my first book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, was at the printer. The book tracked the ascendency of the "superbrands" as well as the first signs of a new fight back against corporate power. It was good timing for an author-activist: I had the rare privilege of watching my book become useful to a movement I believed could change the world.

On the ten-year anniversary of the Seattle protests, with anger mounting at the open collusion between corporations and governments, I am rereleasing No Logo with an extended new introduction. Among other developments, the new essay looks at the unprecedented bailout of Wall Street, as well as the rise of the Obama Brand (the most powerful brand in the world right now) and examines the troubling gaps between its marketing and reality.

Source: email weiter...

The Seattle activists' coming of age in Cophenhagen will be very disobedient


The climate conference will witness a new maturity for the movement that ignited a decade ago. But that does not mean playing it safe

Naomi Klein

The other day I received a pre-publication copy of The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle, by David and Rebecca Solnit. It’s set to come out 10 years after a historic coalition of activists shut down the World Trade Organisation summit in Seattle – the spark that ignited a global anti-corporate movement.

The book is a fascinating account of what really happened in Seattle; but when I spoke to David Solnit, the direct-action guru who helped engineer the shutdown, I found him less interested in reminiscing about 1999 than in talking about the upcoming United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen and the “climate justice” actions he is helping to organise across the United States on 30 November. “This is definitely a Seattle-type moment,” Solnit told me. “People are ready to throw down.”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/nov/12/seattle-coming-age-disobedient-copenhagen weiter...

The Battle of the Story of the "Battle of Seattle"

Pic: Cover

Chris Borte (Contributor), Stephanie Guilloud (Contributor), Anuradha Mittal (Introduction by), David Solnit (Editor), and Rebecca Solnit (Editor)

With the World Trade Organization in retreat globally, do we remember the seeds of the anti-capitalist movements that blossomed and, on November 30, 1999, brought Seattle to a standstill? Released just in time for the 10th anniversary of the Seattle WTO protests, this collection confronts the challenges of historical memory, and suggests just how much we have to learn from (and about) the past decade of activism against globalization.

Source: http://www.akpress.org/2008/items/battleofseattleakpress weiter...

Battle in Seattle gets beat up by simplicity

Pic: Movie

Review: Battle in Seattle

Before the World Trade Organization met there in 1999, Seattle's central claim to fame was the Starbucks Coffee chain and seminal grunge rocker Kurt Cobain.

Shortly after the WTO meetings were disrupted by riots and violent clashes between protesters and police, the little Emerald City on Puget Sound became a case example for the new realpolitik--where ordinary people, and not a proclaimed enemy of the state, suddenly became suspect in the eyes of lawmakers and politicians.

Source: http://www.canada.com weiter...

Snookered in Seattle: The WTO Riots

Bild: Norm Stamper

By Norm Stamper
June 1, 2005

A Good Cop Wasted

The WTO debacle brought down Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, one of America's most progressive cops. Now he's published a memoir offering a frank look at his rise and fall, and the challenges of reforming law enforcement. By Nina Shapiro MORE

"Snookered in Seattle: The WTO Riots" is a chapter from the book Breaking Rank, copyright © 2005 by Norm Stamper, and appears by permission of the publisher, Nation Books, a division of Avalon Publishing Group Inc. The former Seattle Police chief will speak at Town Hall Thurs., June 9, at 7:30 p.m., sponsored by Elliott Bay Book Co.

I was "out of the loop" on the decision to invite the WTO Ministerial Conference to Seattle (November 29-December 4, 1999). I'm not sure how I would have voted anyway—for all I knew, "W-T-O" were the call letters of a Cleveland radio station. I will say this, though: Having your ass kicked so completely—by protestors, politicians, the media, your own cops, colleagues from other agencies, and even a (former) friend—does give cause for pause and reflection.

Source: www.seattleweekly.com weiter...

Seattle 1999: Was anyone at Westlake on Dec 1, 1999? Please forward.


We need to find ~ 175 individuals who were in Seattle during the WTO
protests in 1999.

We won an important lawsuit against the city of Seattle which violated
our rights and these folks need to contact the attorneys by AUGUST 28,
2007 if they want their portion of the settlement $$ (see below to
download claim forms.)

Sooo…. WHO DO YOU KNOW who might have been in Seattle at the WTO
protests in 1999? Please pass this along to them and to others who
might have some connections to those events. (Consider sending to your
lists or specific people, adding info to your blog, website or
announcement lists, and especially, talking to folks.)

Westlake, Dec 1, 1999? Nov 30, 1999:


The “Battle of Seattle” revisited: Or, seven views of a protest-zoning state


Steve Herbert


Increasingly, the expression of dissent at major events is controlled with a territorial strategy – it is banned from some areas and confined to others. One of the more notable uses of this strategy was in Seattle in 1999 during the ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization. After widespread unrest forced the cancellation of the conference's first day of events, the City of Seattle erected what it termed a “restricted access” zone, and what its critics termed a “no protest” zone. I use the Seattle events to consider what it means for the state to zone the expression of dissent in such a fashion. I extend and complicate Mitchell's notion of a “dialectic of public space” by outlining seven different perspectives from which one can view the protest-zoning state. This multiplicative nature of the state, I suggest, provides yet more reason to be skeptical of state efforts to confine dissent. Because the state is inherently a contested object, it must remain susceptible to robust discussion of its practices.

Source: www.sciencedirect.com weiter...

Seattle, Seven Years Later

G8 blockieren!

Our CrimethInc. cell is delighted to commemorate the seven-year anniversary of the historic Seattle WTO protests with the release of a new publication, N30: A Memoir and Analysis, with an Eye to the Future. This 64-page treatise draws on the perspectives of anarchist rioters and corporate think tanks alike, supplementing them with maps, forgotten archival material, and contemporary critique to present a coherent, comprehensive picture of what took place in Seattle and how that affected the course of history.


"N30: The Seattle WTO Protests – A memoir and analysis with an eye to the future "

Standard PDF (1.1MB file)
(Screen quality)

For reading on your computer.

64 Page Half-Legal-size Pamphlet




In den letzten Jahren hat die westliche Welt ein Revival des linken und anarchistischen Aktivismus erlebt. Dieser war gegen Freihandelsorganisationen und insbesondere gegen ihre Treffen gerichtet, so wie die der EU, der G8, der WTO und von IWF und Weltbank. Dies erscheint logisch, da diese Treffen der Führer der Welt von großer symbolischer Bedeutung für beide Seiten sind. Auf den ersten Blick sehen sie wie die ideale Gelegenheit aus, die etablierte Ordnung herauszufordern. Gelegentlich sind die Proteste beeindruckend. Die spektakuläre Blockade des WTO-Gipfels in Seattle hat bei vielen Leuten einen starken Eindruck gemacht. Aber ist die Euphorie völlig begründet?



Bild: Okinawa

In recent years the western world has witnessed a new revival of leftwing and anarchist activism. This activism has been directed at the free trade organisations and specifically at their gatherings, such as those of the European Union, the G8, the WTO and the IMF and the World Bank. This seems logical, given that these meetings of world leaders are of great symbolic importance to both sides. At first sight, they look like the perfect opportunity to call the established order into account. Occasionally, the protests are impressive. The spectacular blockade of the WTO summit in Seattle has made a great impression on a lot of people. But is the euphoria completely grounded?

Source: http://squat.net/eurodusnie weiter...

Seattle Police Botch Crowd Control

Seattle 1999

(12-02) 04:00 PDT Seattle -- In police academy textbooks for years to come, Example A of how to botch the job of crowd control will probably be Seattle 1999.

The chaotic street protests and vandalism seemed to catch city authorities by surprise, leaving them helpless as huge demonstrations spun out of control Tuesday and continued on a smaller scale yesterday.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle weiter...

Shattering the Myth of Seattle: it’s time to break more than just windows


Seattle (1999)

The now infamous actions against the WTO in Seattle have taken on mythological status,
with very little actual information existing on what happened, and how. Most of the published
“information” about the actions has come from such “experts” as the editor for Spa magazine
(and no, Spa isn’t an acronym for anything…), NGO wonks, and lefty journalists. Although
there are a handful of excellent stories and articles by organizers and participants in the
direct actions, these have not received widespread attention or distribution, and for the most
part are somewhat narrow in scope. At the same time, liberals and organized labor – who
spent much of December, 1999 falling all over each other trying to disassociate themselves
from the “illegal actions” (yes, the ones which succeeded in shutting down the meetings)
have since decided that in fact, it was they who shut down the WTO meetings, presumably
with their mock tribunals, letter-writing campaigns, and impassioned speeches to the masses
from distant podiums….

Download unter www.daysofdissent.org.uk/seattle.htm