At the first hearing on December 8, 1999, held at the Seattle Public Library, more than 500 people turned out and many were turned away.
The combined 18 hours of testimony represented the longest hearings in Seattle history. A total of 295 persons spoke to the council. One group called the Raging Grannies wore caps and feathers and sang a song. At the conclusion of the hearing, Councilman Nick Licata said that it appeared that all the attendees had their say and he doubted that another hearing would be necessary.
According to Seattle Times reporter Jeff Hodson:
"Many waited hours for their turn to speak. When they did, they railed against globalization, police brutality, the media and a host of social ills. At various times, it felt like a town-hall meeting, political rally and variety show."
On December 13, 1999, the City Council voted to impanel a three-person committee to investigate the events surrounding the WTO event. Councilman Jim Compton was assigned to head the panel, which would have the power to subpoena documents and testimony.