By Mark Taylor-Canfield
Tension Is High In The Emerald City As Police Prepare
Chemical Agent And Prisoner Processing Teams
In Response To N30, 2000 Protests
Seattle Activists Call For International Solidarity -
Seattle WTO Protest Anniversary Events Are Planned In The Following Cities -
New York - Ontario - Paris - Philadelphia - Portland, OR - San Francisco - San Diego - Santa Cruz - Springfield, IL - Tacoma - Vancouver, BC - Walla Walla, WA - Washington D.C. - Wilmington, NC - Albuquerque, NM - Berkeley, CA - Brussels- Columbia, MO - Decatur, IL - Las Vegas - Los Angeles - Missoula, MT
Organizers in Seattle say that events are being planned all around the world to mark the N30, 2000 "International Day of Solidarity Against Corporate Globalization".
In Seattle, where a stand-off between hard-line city officials and protesters has put the city on the edge of a confrontation, activists are preparing for non-violent civil disobedience in the face of oppressive positions taken by Mayor Paul Schell and Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske toward the WTO protest anniversary events. The city has denied permits to demonstrators wishing to gather at Westlake Center in the heart of the downtown business district. Organizers say this is a violation of their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and free speech.
Kerlikowske says that unpermitted marches will not be allowed, but marchers still pledge to go forward with their plans to converge in dowtown Seattle on November 30th on the one year anniversary of the protests which shocked the world. Mass arrests are expected by some members of the community.
According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, chemical agent teams and prisoner processing teams have already been formed by local law enforcement agencies. Many civil rights attorneys fear that violence may once again be used on non-violent demonstrators, bystanders and members of the media. Organizers of the WTO anniversary events are consulting with the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild and the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.
Seattle activists are encouraging other people around the world to show solidarity with them either on the streets in Seattle or in their own communites. Organizers fear that without a large show of support, the police and city may trample their civil rights once again. They are asking people who attended last year's protests to come back on November 30 and join the protests against corporate globalization and against civil and human rights violations.
A woman was reportedly seen outside the city hall holding a sign -
"The people must be allowed to march!"
For More Information:
www.scn.org/wtocal - (Schedule of Seattle Events)
www.citiaction.org/home/n30 - (International Events)
http://ourworld.cs.com/_ht_a/Johns4peace/clga_report.htm - (Report on N30)