World Trade Organization (WTO) opponents commemorate 1999 protests in Seattle on November 30, 2000.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 12/11/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 2881
On November 30, 2000, opponents of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commemorate 1999 protests in Seattle with several marches downtown. The marchers tie up traffic, occupy the Westlake Mall area for several hours, wander up to Capitol Hill, and then return to the downtown area. After hours of largely peaceful protest, Seattle Police arrest approximately 140 persons who fail to comply with a dispersal order. One police captain is seriously injured by a thrown object.

Billed as "N30" by activists, the marches were intended to renew attention to the actions of the World Trade Organization. Opponents maintained that the international body was detrimental to human rights and to the environment. The main march of about 1,000 began at Seattle Central Community College and proceeded with a police traffic escort to Westlake Mall, arriving at about 4:00 p.m. The gaily attired, dancing, chanting, and generally peaceful crowd blocked traffic at 4th Avenue and Pine Street for several hours.

Police directed the crowd to Capitol Hill and demonstrators complied, but returned to Westlake Mall. The remaining protesters, about 500, were ordered to disperse by police and they moved, but only one block whereupon they sat down in the street. The police ordered them to move and they did, a block at a time. At Blanchard Street the officers surrounded those who sat down in the street. Approximately 140 were arrested.

Four protesters were arrested for felonies for the throwing of firecrackers or other objects at police. One officer, a captain, was seriously injured in the eye and hospitalized. One man was arrested before the demonstrations for emailing threats to city officials. All other arrests were for misdemeanors. There were no reports of property damage.


Sources: Janet Horne Henderson, "3 Charged In WTO Protests," The Seattle Times, December 6, 2000; Eric Sorensen, "WTO Anniversary Turns Into Downtown Standoff," The Seattle Union Record, December 1, 2000; Duff Wilson, "N30, Block By Block," Ibid .

Related Topics:   Government & Politics | Organizations | WTO Protests 1999

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