> No, but Wednesday night, the cops did charge down a busy street in a
> residential neighborhood, lobbing tear gas and rubber bullets into a
> crowd consisting almost entirely of area residents, who weren't
> protesting anything at the time. That they weren't using metal
> bullets is, I suppose, a certain level of restraint, but some (for
> instance, the Seattle city councilman who was gassed when he
> approached the cops to attempt to negotiate) might wonder if it is a
> *commendable* level of restratint. (My source for this is the
> Thursday morning broadcast of Morning Edition on NPR).
I'll second that, as all this crap was happening about three blocks from my
apartment. For the last two nights, I've gone to sleep to the sound of
helicopters flying above and concussion bombs exploding. Tonight seems to be
much calmer, save for an occasional helicopter. On Monday night, the police
pushed the protestors out of downtown (the "protest-free" zone) onto Capital
Hill, which is an eclectic, young residential area adjacent to downtown. At
first, the police made their stand on the highway overpasses, and a crowd of
about 300-500 people amassed in an intersection just outside the curfew area.
After about ten or fifteen minutes, they started pepper gassing the crowds.
They were firing four or five canisters at a time. The whole area was
blanketed with pepper gas, an area with many apartment buildings and small
family-owned restaurants and shops.
The police fought with the "protestors" block-by-block, gassing everything in
their path. They eventually pushed the crowds onto Broadway, which is the
center of Capital Hill's activities. At some point between downtown and
Broadway, the "protestors" transformed from a motley group of WTO
demonstrators to an angry crowd of residents who were just pissed off that
the police would come into their neighborhood and pepper gas entire blocks.
The same scenario repeated itself last night to a lesser extent. In
television interviews with the "protestors", people said that it had nothing
do with the WTO, it was a protest against the reckless acts of the police.
I know I was just saying that the police were too nice, but I meant that they
screwed up early on when they let the protestors get away with whatever they
wanted until it got out of control. But that's another story. It's the same
kind of crap that went on when they let one crazy guy with a samurai sword
take control of ten square blocks of downtown Seattle for eight hours.
P.S. So where's Rohit? I met him in SF back in August through a mutual
friend, Adam (IFK). I don't think I know anybody else here. Glad to meet
you. I'm a software developer up here in Seattle. I met Adam through the
message boards at fool.com. I'm notorious for criticizing the market bubble
among the Fools who are inflating it. Check out
http://members.aol.com/Rimpinths/BubblePort.htm for more.
P.P.S. Uh-oh, more helicopters.