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Freedom of Speech and Assembly

by Candace Heckman Friday, Aug. 11, 2000 at 3:44 PM
candaceheckman@seattle-pi.com 425-497-1660

Protestors of the WTO in Seattle sued the city, the mayor, and the Police Departement and won. It's the first right secured by the Constitution, for the right reason.

WTO demonstrators settle with Seattle

3 protesters accept ,000 apiece after charging city violated right to free speech

Tuesday, August 8, 2000



Three people who filed a federal lawsuit against Seattle after the World Trade Organization conference accepted offers of judgment yesterday of ,000.

Andrew Russell, Lauren Holloway and Ronald Matyjas were among seven people who accused the city of suppressing their freedom of speech and assembly during the conference last year.

They had sued the city, the mayor and the Police Department.

"It's the first right secured by the Constitution, and it's first for the right reason," their attorney, James Lobsenz, said yesterday.

Both sides said they were pleased with the settlement amounts.

The three, however, are even happier that the city acknowledged their rights were violated, Lobsenz said.

The American Civil Liberties Union represented the group.

Another protester, who reported being left naked in a cold jail cell and deprived of food, also recently accepted a federal judgment.

Elizabeth Miltko reportedly settled with the city Friday.

She had filed a lawsuit with three other WTO demonstrators who said they were treated unfairly by the Seattle Police Department.

There was no response yesterday by City Attorney Mark Sidran's office regarding the four judgments.

But Anne Bremner, a private attorney working for the city, said yesterday that attorneys are pleased with the settlements.

"We think they're appropriate," she said.


P-I reporter Candace Heckman can be reached at 425-497-1660 or candaceheckman@seattle-pi.com

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