Re: Fwd: WTO the rampage!

Danny O'Brien (
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 23:42:38 +0000

It's kind of interesting matching the e-mail and press responses to the
Seattle protest to the reaction to the June 18th riots over here. At the time,
we got a lot of mails like this, and the press was uniformly opposed to the
"anarchist weirdoes" who persisted on dancing instead of doing anything
reasonable to make their voices heard.

Then, slowly, over the following weeks, more reports began to filter
through - filming done by the protesters, footage of one of the police vans
running over a woman, more attention spent by the media on the
details of the (rather diffused) complaints behind the campaign.

This time around, the UK media (at least on TV) have been more sympathetic.
One of the UK representatives at the WTO seemed genuinely shocked by the poor
preparation and handling of events by the Seattle police force.

Not taking sides here, but it'll be interesting to see how attitudes progress
in the next few months. Although I suspect a lot of the new approach has to do
with it being easier to cop the "concerned but impartial observer" tone when
it's not happening in your country.


On Tue, Nov 30, 1999 at 04:20:29PM -0500, B.K. DeLong wrote:
> *sigh*
> Some interesting ironies...the environmentalists destroying the
> environment, workers rights people causing more work for those they are
> fighting for:
> >this just in from my downtown reporter
> >
> >"I'm at my desk, more or less at the corner of 6th and Pike. There are
> >thousands of people, many of them in desperate need of a bath.
> >Occasionally the cops will drive around in their urban assault vehicles
> >and lob tear gas into the crowd, which only excites them further. The
> >environmentalists are in fine form, pulling down trees and spray
> >painting slogans on the walls. The workers rights people are throwing
> >paint at Niketown and Banana Republic, which minimum wage workers will
> >get to clean off later, using toxic chemicals. The streets that aren't
> >blocked by the police have been barricaded with overturned newspaper
> >machines and planters. Every once in a while a rumor floats up that the
> >protesters are throwing Molotov cocktails, but so far they are just
> >rumors. Most of the real trouble seems to come from the "anarchists" in
> >bandanas & face masks, who are either dangerous revolutionaries, or
> >don't want their Moms to know they didn't go to school today. I can
> >appreciate the carnival atmosphere, and I've been spending most of the
> >morning rubbernecking rather than working, but I think most people are
> >just here to make some noise, and the majority of them don't really
> >understand what they're protesting. On the other hand, the horses are
> >wearing little riot shields, which are kind of cute for some reason."
> >
> >The whole thing is really weird to me. I read cyberpunk and sci-fi (almost
> >exclusively). I've been reading about global corporate control for years,
> >it's a mainstay of set and setting within the genre. My question is, is
> >sci-fi prophetic? If you're first answer is no, think about the influences
> >Ray Bradbury and Philip K Dick have had on advanced technology which are
> >now part of our daily lives.
> >
> >The cops have started to use some new gas instead of the pepper spray.
> >:-P
> >
> >Nordstrom windows were broken.
> >
> >
> >but for those interested, here's what i've gotten so far,
> >including some shots
> >of the teargassing...
> >
> >
> >
> >ain't democracy fun!
> >
> >
> >Thomas
> >
> >
> >
> --
> B.K. DeLong
> Research Lead
> ZOT Group
> 617.642.7149