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Saturday, April 24, 2010

การประท้วง WTO Seattle ปี 1999

— In Seattle, National Guardsmen along with state and local police in riot gear enforced martial law during the World Trade Organization conference. Constitutional rights were ignored as hundreds of police shot, beat, and gassed tens of thousands of peaceful protesters, residents, and innocent bystanders.

The events surrounding the WTO conference in Seattle have all the earmarks of a government operation, scripted for the purpose of setting a relatively small-scale, local precedent for martial law. A handful of masked provocateurs vandalizing local businesses provided the excuse for an extremely vicious overwhelming attack upon law-abiding citizens.

According to Lori Wallach with the organization Public Citizen, the protest in Seattle began with tens of thousands of protesters blocking traffic and demonstrating their opposition to WTO policies in a peaceful manner. Speaking on CNN's Burden of Proof program, Ms. Wallach said that she walked among the crowds for hours without the slightest sign of trouble. The Seattle police stood by looking on, and did not interfere with the peaceful protest in any way.

Later that day, according to Ms. Wallach, about 60 to 70 hooligans wearing black ski masks suddenly appeared and began breaking shop windows and committing other acts of vandalism. The peaceful protesters appealed to the police to stop the vandals, but the police refused to do anything. Finally, in frustration, the peaceful protesters grabbed the window-smashing hooligans and physically brought them over to the police and asked the police to arrest them. Still, the police did nothing. Some steelworkers among the protesters finally wound up sitting on about 20 of the hooligans for several hours to prevent further vandalism. The peaceful protesters wanted the world to hear their message and did not want to be associated with the window-smashers.

At some point, the Secret Service called the Seattle mayor's office and said that the streets would have to be cleared of all protesters. "This is an embarrassment. The President will not come to Seattle with all of those protesters in the streets. Clear the streets now!"

That is when the police finally attacked, and when they did, it was in force, using everything from armored personnel carriers and horses to nerve gas and concussion grenades to clear everyone from the streets; young and old, peaceful or not.

The Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, who has since resigned, said that 99 percent of the protesters were peaceful. Why, then, did he allow such massive retaliation against a cooperative crowd?

Along with the protesters themselves, residents, journalists, shoppers, people caught in traffic, and other innocent bystanders were beaten, gassed, and rounded up to be taken to the nearby closed down Sand Point Naval Station to be processed. In fact, one Seattle reporter was gassed six times in a single day while trying to cover the story.

In order to make the citizens more vulnerable, the police banned anyone from possessing, using, buying, or selling gas masks in the city of Seattle. Gas masks are protective devices. Why do the police need to ensure that the citizens are defenseless, and where do they get the constitutional authority to unilaterally ban anyone from buying, selling, and possessing anything?

Multiple eyewitness accounts all agree on the following points regarding the Seattle police attacks:

Undercover government agents from unknown agencies infiltrated the protest. Some of these agents were observed acting as provocateurs, encouraging and engaging in the violence.

The police actions were universally described as "martial law" in a "police state".

The actual property damage and looting was minimal.

Less than 100 hooligans in black ski masks were responsible for the vandalism.

The police made no attempt to arrest the vandals.

The police engaged in extremely brutal and violent behavior against peaceful protesters and residents of the area, including the gassing of infants one year old and elderly ladies in their seventies.

Police tortured those who were arrested.

The national news media did not report accurately. The violence and vandalism was exaggerated, and the police attack was not presented as an assault on primarily peaceful demonstrators and innocent bystanders.

Text from YouTube page

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