What a Riot, What a Gas
Tens of thousands of protestors, including many environmentalists, took to the streets of Seattle yesterday and succeeded in disrupting talks of the World Trade Organization. While a small minority of the protestors damaged some property, most were resolutely nonviolent as they tried to make their point that the WTO places corporate profits above human rights, labor concerns, the environment, and the sovereignty of local communities. Paul Hawken, noted environmental author, told Grist Magazine that he was among a group of nonviolent protestors that was sitting down to block an intersection when police attacked them with tear gas and sprayed pepper spray directly into their eyes. Cops in full riot gear also shot rubber bullets and used billy clubs as they tried to disperse demonstrators. City and state officials later imposed a curfew on the downtown area and called in the National Guard. A number of WTO events were cancelled yesterday, but officials say the meetings will continue this week. Pres. Clinton will join the meeting to address trade ministers today.