Talk:1999 Seattle WTO protests

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Text from Vfd[edit]

Begin moved text

  • WTO Fighting of 1999- not saying I disgree with it, but somewhat POV to say the least... quercus robur 00:24, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
    • Edit for NPOV and merge somewhere else. --Daniel C. Boyer 20:42, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
    • Merge into Anti-globalization_movement#Seattle and keep as redirect. Onebyone 00:33, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
    • Agree. Keep and merge. Anjouli 05:25, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
    • Merge. I attempted an NPOV edit, in particular noting that much of this was criminal activities, but it needs major reworking. -- Pakaran 05:57, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
    • Delete (no redirect) and merge content as suggested above. Daniel Quinlan 21:38, Dec 4, 2003 (UTC)
    • Merge as appropriate and delete this article. Tempshill 00:31, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
      • I attempted an NPOV edit here, and voted - can someone else decide on this one? Thanks --Pakaran 06:22, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

End moved text

Next steps?[edit]

These protests certainly directly influenced the direction of the WTO. Having attended law school to more closely study these issues after attending the protests in 1999, I have been informed repeatedly by professors and colleagues that the WTO protests emboldened the developing countries to assert their interests more vigorously. As a result, the DOHA rounds on development issues were a main part of negotiations in following ministerials. Delegates of the developing countries themselves reported to the protesters and the newspapers that they felt supported by the protestors enough to demand more equitable offers from the developed world during negotiations.

If the title is 1999, then talk about 1999. You might also have someone review your new version for typos and incomplete sentences. Italo Svevo

This really is a topic that merits an article (in terms of History of Seattle, if nothing else), and my view is that for the most part this isn't the article. On the other hand a lot of people seem to have been in here, and I don't want to throw away their work without discussion. For now, I'm not going to clean up spelling and grammar. I am going to raise some issues and also ask if anyone who thinks this is basically the right article would like to clean it up. (I'd like to write an article more about what actually happened in Seattle - and, inevitably, Eugene, Oregon and Washington, DC - before and during the WTO session).

Issues with the article as it stands:

  • Why such emphasis on the anarchists? Even taken in the broad sense, "anarchists" were probably not more than 10-20% of the anti-WTO protestors in Seattle.
  • "Through high special interests payments..." - what, if anything, does this mean? It seems an odd conflation of "special interests" and "interest payments". Either way, it makes no sense to me in this context. In particular, the WTO has nothing at all directly to do with interest payments. It is not the World Bank. It is not the IMF.
  • "Anarchists ... seek out the WTO and gather wherever the WTO has it's meetings." - Maybe. Certainly never before in such numbers; this is the case whether we look at all of the protestors or specifically at the anarchists.
  • "In 1999 almost every WTO meeting in the continential US have been attacked by the Anarchists." - I find the word "attacked" very dubious here. It suggests physical assault. Sit-down protests are not a physical assault. For that matter, the few people who vandalized buildings were not "attacking the WTO meeting" in any other than a metaphorical sense; at best some were attacking what they perceived to be corporate assets and symbols, at worst others were having a fun time smashing things.
  • "February 1999. Anarchists conferenced inside a Oregon coffeehouse 'Out of the Fog'..." - I guess, though I'd feel more confident this was true if someone attached a city and a day to it; I'm guessing Eugene, but I could be wrong. In any case, why single this out over dozens of other such anarchist meetings around the country, or (more relevantly in my mind) organizing in Seattle by various breeds of activists, including trade unions and students (especially those at Seattle Central Community College, less than a mile from the convention site).
  • " June 18, 1999. A riot breaks out in Oregon." - Again, where in Oregon? What were the circumstances?
  • "Eventually, in anarchist circles, this would become known as the 'Battle in Seattle.'" - All I really can say is, "I don't think so." I really doubt some small riot in Oregon was known as "the 'Battle in Seattle.'"
  • "November 30, 1999. A riot breaks out in Seattle, Washington." - Quite a statement, with almost no context other than the lead paragraph. By almost all accounts, the first significant violence of any kind was by police, and by most accounts the majority of the violence -- and all or nearly all of the violence against people -- was by the police (especially the out-of-town police), mostly attacking non-violent protestors and utter bystanders. "Riot" is a very misleading word here.
  • "A questionable curfew was called in Seattle." - Indeed. Now here is something worthy of a paragraph, at least, but it gets seven words.
  • "Over 600 people were arrested." - True. As I understand it, though, almost none of these arrests led to convictions; several led to successful lawsuits against the police.
  • The last couple of paragraphs actually belong in the story. Mirabile dictu!

I promise not to edit the article for a week. -- Jmabel 09:46, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)~


The title "WTO Fighting of 1999" is POV - Google shows NO ONE calls it this outside of one Wikipedia author. "WTO Meeting of 1999" seems much more NPOV, and I've changed it to that. -- JohnWoolsey 07:58, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I think that is good, and suggests what this article should be expanded into. There is really nothing in this article describing the WTO's POV. Glad we expaneded this rather than deleting. -- Jmabel 21:20, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The article as it now stands refers to a photo of a "Nike-wearing anarchist vandalizing Niketown." Well, the photo certainly exists (I've seen it), but the characterization of the person as an anarchist is conjecture, at best. Vandal? Certainly. However, unless I am very mistaken, this individual was later identified (from the photo) and turned out to be a rather apolitical person who had more or less wandered in to the middle of the action and more or less reacted by going "hey, cool, looks like fun" & started vandalizing Niketown. Does anyone else have some details or references on this? I'll leave the article alone for the moment, but unless someone has evidence to the contrary, I'd suggest we remove any claim this person's politics. -- Jmabel 20:29, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

See, for example [1], which seems to support what I wrote. -- Jmabel 20:32, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Though I don't have the time to find the picture right at the moment, my recollection of it is that the individual was dressed head-to-toe in black, suggesting a premeditated political involvement in the black bloc, as opposed to being a teenage vandal (plenty of whom were also photographed that day, none wearing black that I can recall). But obviously it's been a while, so I could be misremembering. Perhaps "black bloc member" would be the most strictly accurate phrase? RadicalSubversiv E 21:59, 5 May 2004 (UTC)


One thing this article lacks is information about the actual WTO meeting of 1999; I gather from the above that this was originally solely about the scuffles that broke out, and not about the meeting itself, but that it has subsequently been retitled. What issues were discussed, by whom, what did they hope to achieve? Why and by how much did the results fail to meet expectations? - Ashley Pomeroy 14:04, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"...dwarfed any previous demonstration..."[edit]

In the passage that previously read "...dwarfed any previous demonstration against a world meeting of any of the organizations generally associated with economic globalization (e.g., the WTO, the IMF, or the World Bank)", User:Heah modified "...dwarfed any previous demonstration against a world meeting..." to "...dwarfed any previous demonstration in the United States against a world meeting..." While the resulting statement is undoubtedly true, I believe it was already true without the qualifier, and that the qualifier strongly suggests that there had been at least a comparably large demonstration elsewhere against such an organization. If so, when and where? It should be mentioned in the article as a relevant precedent. If not, the qualifier should be removed. I'm unaware of any such demonstration, and I would consider myself generally well informed on this sort of thing.

I would genuinely welcome a citation, but if no one has within 48 hours, I am inclined to revert. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:32, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

ok, i'll give it a go, thanks for keeping an eye on this stuff. I'm pretty sure they did happen before seattle, without the media/etc that comes along with a protest in the US. Major protests are fairly standard events elsewhere. but of course, i understand the need to cite, and consent to the reversion if i cant find one.Heah 19:01, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There were huge protests in Berlin in 1988 against a World Bank/IMF meeting there. Check out this link: [2]. I'm going to write a stub about it. I'm also changing this line back to " America" - once and for all. :) -Danspalding 06:12, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

correctly named?[edit]

As has been already been mentioned here earlier, the current title, WTO Meeting of 1999, doesn't seem accurate. In its current state, this article is not about meeting; it is about the protests against the it. Something like 1999 Seattle anti-WTO protests might be more appropriate. On the other hand, if the article was expanded to include more information about the meetings themselves, the so-called "new millennial round of trade negotiations" and the specific impact the protests had on the negotiations, then the current title would be more accurate. I recall for example that many of the delegates from the developing world were said to have been strengthened by the street demos in their opposition to certain measures. -- Viajero 10:39, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Certainly this intention is that it is to be expanded in this way; people have simply been more interested in writing about the demos than about the delegates. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:57, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
  • The meetings were really historically significant for only two reasons: the protests, and the fact that negotiations broke down and have never really recovered. The second subject needs to be better covered -- once it is, this would be a rather comprehensive treatment of the subject. RadicalSubversiv E 07:19, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • I was just working on the Battle of Seattle redirect. I was under the impression that Battle of Seattle was how the subject of this article was most commonly referred to by people across the political spectrum. Is that true? The current name WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 seems a little misleading; as people have pointed out above, the actual conference subjects are sort of glossed over. My preference would be for Battle of Seattle to be the title of this article, with a little disambig at the top pointing to Battle of Seattle (1856), and the opening para having a link to WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 with information on what, exactly, was on the (shelved) official agenda. Thoughts? Kiaparowits 20:10, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The current title, World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity, doesn't really make sense to me. It's backwards, no? ~ (talk) 16:57, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Anarchist template needs to be changed or removed[edit]

Advertisers these days use tower ads to help them force the reader of a web page to have to look at their ad no matter what. It's an attempt to force themselves on to the viewer which, if used here, would probably count as POV. Oddly enough, that's exactly what the anarchist template is doing. As someone mentioned above, there is way too much emphasis on anarchism in this article when most protesters were not anarchists. And yet the pro-anarchism editors continue to force it on to us through this towers ad template. And funny enough, there's no need for it here; this protest was not exclusively their idea or their undertaking. I'm removing it for now; if the anarchists will consider changing their advertisement into a normal template then maybe it could come back. In the meantime, it's just a technical method of forcing POV onto the article. -- LGagnon 19:27, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

I agree. The article shouldn't be framed to be about anarchism like that. I also think this is a POV issue. The anarchist movement cannot take credit for something that at its heart from the labor, environmental and vegetarian movements. MShonle 23:49, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's an important event in anarchist history, regardless. --Tothebarricades 01:01, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
And yet there's no need to have the template here, especially not as a tower ad for anarchism. We can mention anarchists in it as they did have a role in it, but let's not treat this like it was all about anarchists. Like I said, the majority of participants were not anarchists. -- LGagnon 01:18, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough. --Tothebarricades 17:52, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the template does not belong here, but I think the article does a good job covering anarchist involvement in the protests (I am biased by having written most of it, however). RadicalSubversiv E 05:11, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Covered by insurance???[edit]

I find this passage POV and likely inaccurate: "Businesses lost approximately $9 to $18 million in sales, and suffered $2 to $3 million dollars in property damage (mostly covered by insurance)." First, 2-3 million sounds like a ridiculously low estimate of the damage. Does anyone have a citation for this? Second, why is the insurance status of the destroyed property mentioned? I don't know of any major media source that adds that information, and I know of no other place on Wikipedia that mentions insurance status along with damage estimates. It looks like that part was added to trivialize or even excuse what happened: "Oh, it's no big deal, it's covered by insurance." Yes, it is a big deal; that it's insured doesn't mean the loss is undone, it's just spread across more people. The costs of the premiums (higher after the riots) bleed through to all consumers.
If you find it absolutely necessary to mention the insurance status of the property, it would be better to phrase it as "Businesses suffered $2 to $3 million dollars in property damage (mostly covered by insurance) and lost approximately $9 to $18 million in sales (not covered by insurance)." Waiting two days for an explanation, then editing. 01:15, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Been two days, fixing bias. 03:27, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Infernal Noise Brigade[edit]

It says that the Infernal Noise Brigade had intended to protest at the 31st G8 Summit. The Summit has passed; did they follow through with their plans? --Omphaloscope 19:22, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

POV problems and relevance[edit]

I believe this article has a serious POV problem. Protestor violence is understated while police violence gets the spotlight. The illegality of the protests was not mentioned until I added it. While this article gives a decent accounting of the protests it essentially glosses over negative effects on the city of Seattle. I was in high school in a suburb of Seattle at the time of the riots and while I did not participate in the protests I most certainly remember them. I would really like a Seattle Police representative to rewrite this article, or at least see the content balanced.

Additionaly I think that the section on punk rock bands in the aftermath is irrelevant, or at least far too big. I'm going to delete it or cut it down unless someone objects.

Here's another example of POV: "This non-violent stance did not extend to all of the protestors. Certain activists, most notably a group of mostly-young anarchists from Eugene, Oregon (where anarchists had rioted that summer), advocated more confrontational tactics, and planned and conducted deliberate vandalism of properties in downtown Seattle owned by multinational corporations, such as Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike, Seattle-based Starbucks, various banks, etc." This is a half-truth. Yes, these stores were damaged, as any Seattle-ite will tell you, but so were mom-and-pop stores. I was standing there when the first windows got smashed by a black-blocker -- it was on the corner of 3rd & Pine, and it was a local jewelry store. When the anarchists and opportunists were finished, every window in a six block area was smashed, not just multi-nationals. But you don't have to rely upon my original research to know this -- while the Seattle PI and Times mentioned the vandalism at The Gap, Nike and Starbucks, no where in any of these articles does it mention that these were the only targets. Several articles describe the widespread destruction I mention above. But this is not the only problem -- this whole article looks mostly like a propaganda piece by those that supported the riots and the protester goals. Morton devonshire 09:57, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
We should reword to indicate that those stores were particularly targets - which I believe they were - but so as not to suggest that there was anything exclusive about the targetting. - Jmabel | Talk 22:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course this article is biased. Just look at the title (WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999) and then look at the content: "Organizations and planning: Planning for the demonstrations began months in advance". The article has not been written about a WTO meeting which probably took months of preparation and carried on successfully - it has been written about the "Battle of Seattle" on the streets outside, probably by the protesters. The section on Punk Music was most likely added as a parody by someone with a wicked sense of humour. Why not let them have this article for themselves though? It seems harmless enough. A bit like the riots. --Dilaudid 19:32, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Should we retitle this article then to specifically refer to the protests (for instance, WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity, so that an article can be written about the conference itself? That would "fix" the bias cited by Dilaudid, for one thing. SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes. It's about the protests, so say it's about the protests.--Dilaudid 18:51, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
We anarchists targeted the corporate stores. Other stores and buildings were damaged during the week of protests, mostly by projectiles fired by the police and by looting conducted by mostly locals. The anarchists planned, targeted and hit corporate targets. They left the mom and pop stores alone, in fact, several of them did a brisk business catering to protesters during the protests.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 26 December 2006.

Ward Churchill[edit]


American Indian scholar and activist Ward Churchill compared the Seattle WTO protests to the September 11 terrorist attacks in his speech "Pacifism as Pathology in the American Left." The speech was delivered to an audience of American progressives and radicals weeks after the attacks. His thesis was that, given United States foreign policy, if his audience supported the property destruction in Seattle, they ethically had to support the actions of Al Qaeda against the United States. The speech was also released as an audio CD. His controversial essay "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" contains many of the same arguments.

This is an almost complete mischaracterization of what Ward Churchill said. And even if it were accurate, it would belong in the article on Ward Churchill, not here. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:43, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to know what other people think. I believe the removed paragraph is significant because the talk, "Some People Push Back," explicitly connected rationalizations for anti-WTO property destruction to the September 11th attacks. The Seattle WTO protests sparked a new generation of activists, and Churchill used his speech to challenge those activists.
I think the paragraph is an accurate description of Ward Churchill's talk. He gave his speech at the AK Press warehouse in Oakland, a popular venue for many bay area activists. Churchill's speech made the comparison that the property destruction in Seattle was justified because the stakes of economic globalization were so high - a statement many, if not most, of the audience could agree with. Churchill then stated that the stakes of US imperialism were so high that no tactics used to oppose it could be ruled out. This, frankly, pissed off a lot of the audience.
The anti-war movement at the time was saying it condemned all acts of terrorism, including state violence by the US. Ward Churchill stated he was also against killing people. However, he added that as long as the US imposed its will at the expense of billions of people around the world, terrorist attacks against the US were justified. This was one of the main points of his speech. About two months after September 11th, he set out to convince self-described radicals that if they truly support oppressed people's right to self-determination, they cannot oppose those same people when they "push back."
What do other people think? -Danspalding 06:38, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
From what I know, the people who probably attacked us on 9/11 were not operating out of some kind of liberatory anti-imperialist struggle, but were out to solidify their own authoritarian power. Of course, I get this idea based on media portrayals which probably aren't all that accurate, but still, it seems to me that people like bin Laden are just as screwed up as Bush, the only difference is that they don't have power yet, and are just trying to get it. Of course, frustration at our imperialism probably does play a huge role in the attacks, especially among the grunts who carried it out and the supporters who think it was justified. The Ungovernable Force 06:28, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Who cares what he said. He was not there. --8bitJake (talk) 21:26, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


Since I just reverted some material that appeared well-intentioned but (for various reasons) wrong, I figured I owe an explanation:

  • "Although these activists' actions were non-violent, many were declared illegal." I struck "declared" here, because the civil disobedience actions were illegal and were planned as such. Deliberately tying up city streets is not legal. It may even be commendable, but that doesn't make it legal.
  • "[the specific events of the protest/riot are detailed below]": we don't need one part of the article to say that there is another part of the article. That's why we have a table of contents.
  • "The local authorities cordoned off a zone in the heart of Seattle, denying access to anyone not on the A-list. Individuals responded to violent enforcement of the restricted zone." True, but out of sequence. This occurred on the afternoon of November 30; putting it in the section on "Organizations and planning" is misleading. Similarly, for the material that followed.
  • "The obvious contradiction of a peaceful demonstration being declared 'illegal' was the causation behind the violence." Well, no. Again, the tactics were illegal, and non-violent arrests would have been a typical and legitimate government response. A police riot was not.
  • "The no-protest zone and subsequent detainments were ruled unconstitutional long-after the legal abuse of power had been exercised." I'm not sure they were "ruled unconstitutional"—a citation on that would be good—but we already say "a 50-block 'No-Protest Zone' of questionable legality and constitutionality. "
  • "Similar no-protest zones have been met with equal disdain worldwide." Probably so, but "disdain" is clearly POV, and should not be used without attribution.
  • "This non-violent stance did not extend to all of the protestors. Certain individuals, most notably a collection of young anarchists, many from Eugene, Oregon where anarchists had rioted that summer in response to the attrocities of local authorities)…" ==> "This non-violent stance did not extend to all of the protestors. Certain activists, most notably a group of mostly-young anarchists from Eugene, Oregon (where anarchists had rioted that summer)…"
    • "Certain individuals, most notably a collection of young anarchists," ==> "Certain activists, most notably a group of mostly-young anarchists": I think "group" is relevant, since the Eugene group were an identifiable contingent even before these events.
    • "in response to the atrocities of local authorities": "atrocities" is an awfully strong word. It tends to refer to mainly to war crimes. I don't doubt that some people's civil rights were violated in Eugene, but it's not as if people were being raped and murdered by the Eugene police. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:48, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Sequence is wrong, and Pro-Protestor, not NPOV[edit]

The sequence of events you describe is not factual, and could have been pulled straight off of the partisan Indymedia website. If you go back and look at the PI and Times accounts from December 1, 1999, you will see that the property destruction started, burning dumpsters, police car tires flattened, police cars turned over, etc. happened before the police launched into their now infamous tear gas assault and other over-reactions. I agree, the vast majority of protestors were non-violent, but violence from protestors was an objective fact, whether motivated by police response or not. I think you would agree in retrospect that both sides behaved badly -- please just let the facts speak for themselves, and let people make their own value judgements. Your version of the facts seems to be from the organizer's perspective, which isn't good Wikipedia style. Also, it's not 'm' minor clean-up when you totally re-write entire sections of an article, that's deceptive editing. Morton devonshire 18:33, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Morton, you may be right on that about the sequence. FWIW, although I live in Seattle, I was not there at the time, I was in Barcelona. Do you have specific articles to cite on the sequence of events? I suspect that accounts differ, and we should be seeking the range of credible accounts. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I know the sequence described is wrong, because I was there, but I wouldn't ask you to rely upon my original research. Look at Seattle Times and PI news accounts from December 1, 1999 through December 4, 1999 -- all of the archives are available online. N30 was widely covered by the press from outside of Seattle as well, so you don't have to just believe the local media. The Indymedia organization is/was the PR arm of the anti-globalization movement, so their account cannot be relied upon to write this article. Morton devonshire 02:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
You'd lend more credibility to your argument if you cited the sources yourself. Dig them up, link them here, and we'll be able to determine whether or not the article is POV. -- LGagnon 05:30, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Anti-U.S. Agendas[edit]

"…with others motivated by pro-Labor, environmental, or anti-U.S. agendas…" I'm sure there were many with anti-government agendas, but "anti-U.S. agendas" is a very strong accusation. Unless someone can cite specific examples (which ought to be explicitly cited in the article) this should be removed. - Jmabel | Talk 04:14, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Why do you insist on "cleansing" this article of all meaning. Please understand that the WTO rally in Seattle was a drammatic event, and not all of it was pretty, both on the police side and on the protestor side. It was what it was, and no amount of wordsmithing on your part will change that. Please just accept that the protestors were not angelic. Just flawed humans, some of whom were, yes, anti-US. Morton devonshire 06:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
You keep saying this stuff, but you have not provided any citations to back up your claims. Again: opposed to the U.S. government of the time? Clearly. Anti-U.S.? That's another matter. In my experience, "anti-U.S." or "un-American" are usually little more than stock phrases used by people on the political right in the U.S. use to attack people to their left. I don't go around throwing "anti-labor" into every article on a Republican congressman or senator I can find—even though with few exceptions I think it would be true—because I'm here trying to build an encyclopedia, not a manifesto. I expect the same courtesy from those on the other side politically. If you can cite people as specifically speaking against the U.S., in a context where that clearly means against the people, not the government, cite it and indicate whom. Otherwise, this is nothing but a POV characterization, and reads as a slander on the protestors. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:13, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Your anger is palpable. Morton devonshire 08:31, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you can smell it. Whoops, maybe that was me. MortonsSockpuppet 08:36, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Anger? I suggest a good long look in the mirror. - Jmabel | Talk 05:32, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Chill. No personal attacks.--JK the unwise 08:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm so chilled, I'm stiff. No. Wait. Don't be gettin' any ideas. MortonsSockpuppet 03:33, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with Jmabel —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) {{{2}}}.

Deleted text[edit]

Deleted: "Other protestors attempted to physically block the activities of the black bloc not realizing that the ones who were accomplishing more were the ones standing their ground and fighting instead of passively holding signs." Obvious NPOV violation. Beret 20:39, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Fine by me. SchuminWeb (Talk) 05:41, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


Can we just stick to the facts about the 1999 protest, and not get into tangents please. Morton devonshire 04:54, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

What does it hurt? Articles often talk about the cultural impact the subject had, and that is what this is doing. I see no reason why it should be removed. The Ungovernable Force 05:25, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Deleted text[edit]

Deleted "Many of them hippies, but a few with real jobs." from the last paragraph of the "N30" section because it is an entirly unproductive and malicous characterization of the protestors which adds nothing meningful to the historical understanding of this event. Thank you —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) {{{2}}}.

No arguments from me. SchuminWeb (Talk) 03:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Major movie about to be made on these events[edit]

See,,1863776,00.html --Xyzzyplugh 13:48, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

"Major" movie is all a matter of perspective. The film looks like a bomb. --8bitJake (talk) 21:23, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

article contradicts itself[edit]

The N30 section includes this sentence: one particularly widely-distributed photo showed a Nike-wearing anarchist damaging Niketown. The pop culture section includes this sentence: was inspired by a photo of a protester smashing a Starbucks window, and the irony of the Nike footwear he was wearing. Was the kid busting up Starbucks or Niketown? Natalie 16:26, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

The best way to answer that question is to find the photo. If it was widely-distributed, I'd think we can find it online somewhere... SchuminWeb (Talk) 23:51, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
True. I just thought maybe someone knew off the top of their head. Natalie 23:54, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Okay after a decent internet search, I can't find this photo at all. I'm starting to think it doesn't actually exist *sigh*. I have found a few mentions on blogs or op-eds, and they all say the kid was destroying a Niketown, but none of them cite any sources, provide links or give any info on the picture. Natalie 00:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, then, let's do this. Let's remove the potentially-contradictory passages until we get some verification on these things. Since it seems that this is unsourced... SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:30, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Good call. Given the lack of sourcing, etc, it may be an urban legend. Natalie 00:35, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

I also took out the reference in the pop culture section, since without the photo it's a meaningless sentence, and this interview ("Venti Venting," article about Doughty's song "Busting up a Starbucks") gives a completely different inspiration for the song. Natalie 00:38, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I did a search on Corbis just now, and turned up two photos of someone vandalizing Starbucks. One (image 0000360420-015) shows a protester throwing a large black object through an already-broken window of a Starbucks coffee, but does not show the person's shoes. Another one (image 0000360437-001) shows a demonstrator putting their foot through a window identified as belonging to Starbucks in the caption. It shows a shoe, but I couldn't tell you what brand it is. Go to and search those numbers I provided to see the images. SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:59, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think that's a Nike. It looks like a generic hiking shoe. Seems like the whole story is apocrypha at this point. Natalie 18:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Seems that the call to just remove the troublesome passage was the right move, as it seems that our "photo" is actually descriptions of elements of a number of photos merged into one. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Here's where he claims to have seen a picture, at an AV Club interview, I think I saw the below-mentioned photos too, none of them had Nike's on, but at least we know it was about the WTO protests, even if it was anti-anti. —Fitch 18:26, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Here is a photo of the protestors demolishing the Niketown sign. Shoes not visible, but these are no black-clad anarchists. - Jmabel | Talk 18:50, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, that's definitely not a black bloc. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

If anyone wants to do a serious job on this article...[edit]

... there is a wealth of citable material in the online archives of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that has mostly not been mined. should get to most of it. - Jmabel | Talk 18:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Anarchist squat[edit]

I think we probably could use a section on the anarchists' occupation of a building. Links to articles for cites, primarily for my own future reference in writing this section:

SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:07, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Why a mention here? It's a pretty standard part of anarchist culture (especially anarchist youth culture) and I'm unaware of any particular upswing related to WTO. - Jmabel | Talk 01:06, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
The first article refers to a particular squat, quite large, which mywas occupied in the days & weeks leading up to the WTO Protests. They did so in a very public manner, garnering support from local homeless advocacy groups. I think they deserve a mention, as residents of the squat were heavily involved in the protests. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 03:45, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Public acceptance[edit]

Have removed the following:

While the protests dramatically increased the visibility of the anti-globalization movement, the rioting also led many of the general public to associate them with violence, inhibiting mainstream acceptance of anti-globalization views.

as it is a POV statement with no objective data to back it up. if there have been any surveys done to assess whether people's opinion of the anti-globalisation movement was negatively affected due to the rioting during the 99 WTO summit, and those surveys back up this statement, then it should return; otherwise it is simple editorialising. --Black Butterfly 11:26, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Couple of points[edit]

I have concerns with the following two statements:

Anarchists targeted corporate and chain businesses intending to leave local businesses alone.


Other protestors attempted to physically block the activities of the black bloc. Seattle police, led by Chief Norm Stamper, did not react immediately, however, because they had been convinced by protest organizers during the protest-permit process that peaceful organizers would quell these kinds of activities.

This may be my own bias in terms of what I perceive to be important, but is there a source for either of these? The former is relevant in as much as it offers a perspective on black bloc actions outside of the common "you just want to smash stuff" mentality - I believe there is a statement released by some people who took part in the black bloc on the day which may mention their intentions, if so I will add it as a reference.

The second is important in that it demonstrates the conflicts of agendas and tactics between different groups and so could do with a reference, as it sheds some light on the makeup of the protests. I recall seeing some photos of this - again, will do some investigating, but if anyone has a reference for this please be bold :). --Black Butterfly 11:27, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you'tre thinking of the ACME Collective's communique from after the protests? Jacob Haller 20:32, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Reference tag[edit]

I removed the tag that said that this article doesn't cite any references. It cites some, though not enough. (Is there another tag for that?) Morganfitzp 20:43, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

There is. It's {{refimprove}}. SchuminWeb (Talk) 23:23, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

What can we do to improve this article? What other references can we check?[edit]

  • There are several overall studies of the protests which can help.
  • More-or-less neutral studies include De Armond's "Netwar in the Emerald City" and "Storming Seattle" as well as Marx's "Complexity and Irony in Policing."
  • More partisan ones include several protester accounts and police after-action reports.
  • Many accounts may contradict each other about the times of events, get streets (Union & University, Pike & Pine) mixed up, etc.
On that last point, nice find! While we can't use the Wiki directly, the sources from that article are mostly reliable, therefore usable for us. Yay! SchuminWeb (Talk) 23:16, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Can we come up with a better title? Jacob Haller 01:35, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I'm satisfied with the title as it stands, because it matches the article about the conference itself, plus is similar to other pages about protests for multi-day events, as in 2004 Republican National Convention protest activity. It's also neutral as neutral can be, which is a good thing. SchuminWeb (Talk) 09:28, 11 July 2007 (UTC)


What's "N30"? It's the title of a section, but it never explains what "N30" means. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

It stems from how many activists refer to protest dates, with the first letter of the month and the date. For instance, April 16 would be referred to as "A16", January 20 would be "J20", and November 30 would be "N30". I admit this probably ought to be expounded on somewhat, since it's not covered here, and for the uninitiated... SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:20, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

157 individuals[edit]

"On January 16, 2004, the city settled with 157 individuals arrested outside of the no-protest zone during the WTO events, agreeing to pay them a total of $250,000." The only place I can immediately find to cite that number from a "reliable source" is this article in The Tribune of Chandigarh, India. Surely we should be able to find a source with more connection to Seattle, but I can't readily find it in the local papers. Makes me wonder whether the number might be incorrect, or something. - Jmabel | Talk 04:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC) I would check the Seattle PI, The Seattle Times, The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly, I believe that they all covered this event --8bitJake (talk) 16:30, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

The "Big Blog" on the Seattle PI just posted something about how they are going to donate the money from the settlement to charity. --8bitJake (talk) 20:24, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Is “Battle in Seattle” a work of fiction. Yes![edit]

It is not a documentary. Have you even seen the trailer? As someone who actually was there during the WTO police riot I have a hard time passing that movie off as anything but fictional. I also must have missed out on when Ray Liota was Paul Schell.

I don’t see why this fictional Hollywood movie that was outsourced to shooting in Vancouver BC for Seattle should be included in the article and the factually accurate documentaries “WTO 30 frames a second” and “This is What Democracy Looks Like” are not listed on this page? --8bitJake (talk) 19:01, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think saying the film is "Dramatic" specifically states that it is ultimately a work of fiction. --8bitJake (talk) 21:42, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, you see, if it were nonfiction, we'd say "documentary". Additionally, "based on" implies a work of fiction, rendering "fictional" redundant. No one is contesting that the movie is a work of fiction. We're just worried about the verbiage. SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I think it is dangerous and false to imply that a fictional film should be listed as a reference on a very real historical event that I was in. Calling it dramatic does not cut it. I think we should say that it is a work of fiction or take the reference to it out and only leave non-fiction and fact in the article. --8bitJake (talk) 21:19, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I deleted it since it is not really Wikiworthy and there is no consensus bout it. The article on the attack on Pearl Harbor does not need to have every bad fictional movie about it listed.

The article Pearl Harbor does list the movies made about the attacks, and gives a description of each one as well. The movie is notable per Wikipedia guidelines, and the movie is based on a notable event. "Dramatic" describes the film genre, which is drama (as compared to comedy or horror). Additionally, "See also" is not a references section. It is simply a listing of related articles, and Battle in Seattle is a related topic. The article's references are listed in the references section and the notes section. SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:29, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Well it is pointless fictional trivia and is not Wikiworthy. There is no consensus for how to it's inclusion so it is out. Be mindful of 3RR --8bitJake (talk) 01:49, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Which I have issued a warning for on both sides, and reverted to the diff before the war. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 02:00, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Well that is pointless because the weasel words about the Encyclopedic content is still there. That is just wonderful. --8bitJake (talk) 02:15, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I reverted to the "wrong" version. If you want to dispute my actions, take it to an RFC or even ANI if you wish. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 02:25, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

POV and Encyclopedic link[edit]

Since this article is passing off a fictional foreign made Hollywood dramatization about an American historical event in the same light as factual historical documentaries I feel that this article is POV and Un-Encyclopedic. --8bitJake (talk) 17:09, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

No one is trying to pass any fictions off as verifiable fact. We have been over and over this, and your little game is getting old here. SchuminWeb (Talk) 22:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
That is the "see also" section. It provides links to articles relevant to the topic at hand. A film based on the event is relevant. And how is "dramatic film based on the protests" POV? The article about the film even says it's a dramatic film. And according to the Drama film article, it fits that perfectly. I'm willing to file a request for comment to see what other people feel about this. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 22:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm removing the tags, since all have backed yourself up on is your own point of view. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 23:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I am contesting the neutrality of the article and that line. Hence that is why the POV tag should remain.

It is a work of fiction with almost no connection to history and should be noted as such. It contains fictional characters and blatant misrepresentation of actual living people. It’s a little personal to me since I was actually in the WTO protest and I think the movie is pure fictional crap. --8bitJake (talk) 23:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

In that case, its Request for comment time, then. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 23:39, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

RFC tag removed Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 15:20, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

You removed the POV tag prematurely without consensus. I have every right to contest the POV of this article --8bitJake (talk) 23:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not disputing that. I've initiated a request for comment to get outsiders opinions. At the same time, I've reverted the article to its state before our current situation, and requested it be locked from editing until the dispute is resolved. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 00:05, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
just so you know, Jake, I think you're wrong on the whole 'fiction' thing. if its got the same outcome and the majority of the storyline is how it happened, then you can call it loosely based, but not fiction. a 'fictional film loosely based' would be sort of like a WW2 film, but with the Germans winning at the end. a work of fiction that came from truth has to have major differences to be called fiction. Chocobogamer (talk) 08:52, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
  • This whole dispute is about the link in See also? From my reading it is clear enough that Battle in Seattle is a dramatization, and a reader would not be confused into thinking it's a documentary, or that we are endorsing its accuracy. I don't see any NPOV issue with it. --Fletcher (talk) 20:40, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
calling a film based on a true story 'fiction' is the point ofd view issue. If you see his personal talk page he explains reasons such as giving a character an accent. If it follows the events, bad casting or not, its not fiction. Chocobogamer (talk) 20:49, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I honestly think 8bitJake is making a molehill out of a mountain. There's no need to make any changes to the link. If any editor came upon it and was confused, they would have looked it up and edited the link to clarify what it was. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 02:23, 1 June 2008 (UTC) (Note: I am one of the involved parties in the dispute.)
A molehill out of a mountain... interesting analogy. :-) --Fletcher (talk) 02:43, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Mountain out of a molehill indeed. I've already explained round and round to him that this is bordering on WP:POINT and other forms of disruptive editing, and that no one is trying to represent anything as a documentary. Whether he was there or not is not germane in this case. SchuminWeb (Talk) 04:09, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Er... you know what I mean. :P Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 14:46, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

We are only talking about changing one word but it changes how the fictional film is linked to from the historical article. Just one or two words but it completly changes the meaning of the reference --8bitJake (talk) 17:23, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

thats the thing Jake, the one required word is in there: loosely. it means there are inaccuracies. fiction is a too strong word for something based on a real event. a definition of the term loosely is: without regard to specific details or exceptions. Therefore the term is adequate. Chocobogamer (talk) 17:42, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
This article has been protected for way too long. Can we come up with a definite solution? I think we should leave it as it is right now, and unprotect it. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 21:28, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree. No one but 8BitJake thinks there is a POV issue, and he has admitted having his own strong POV about the film. Our link should not should not editorialize as to the film's accuracy; from its description it sounds somewhere in between fiction and non-fiction, so labeling it one or the other is to endorse a POV about it. Calling it a "dramatic film" "loosely based on..." should be non-controversial. I hope 8BitJake can realize that failing to criticize the film is not the same as endorsing it. Fletcher (talk) 22:16, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I think we've come to an agreement on this as well. I'll request unprotection for the article. SchuminWeb (Talk) 23:40, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
FYI, 8bitJake can be banned from any article he disrupts, per this ArbComm remedy. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 15:19, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Some link to discussion?[edit]

I came to read up on this event and figure out the substance behind the accusations leveled at Gap, Starbucks, etc. The page was entirely useless on that front. Why doesn't it link to perhaps some editorials from the time discussing the protesters' accusations? I read through the page and really have no notion what anybody was legitimately protesting about (apart from that short quoted "Corporations Targeted" section) and whether or not their accusations were accurate. The page doesn't have to espouse an opinion on its own, it just should acknowledge that a variety of opinions exist and hopefully link readers to information on what these opinions are and how defensible they are. (talk) 20:18, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion{{subst:#if:| regarding [[:{{{1}}}]]}}. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:06, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Too little detail[edit]

Can we get a little more details than we currently have? I mean, come on, what was the point specifically for the conference, repercussions, effects, some explanations for the layman, and WHY were there protests, what were they afraid of, concerns, point of views, philosophies. There weren't newspapers or any sources? This article's not really saying anything. It's as plain and mysterious as "the dinosaurs died a long time ago", and that has even more impact than this event. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:24, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The conference has it's own article, which is linked, and the point of the conference is mentioned in the lead. The reasons for the protests is also already discussed as well. Repercussions and effects of the conference would be better suited to the article about the conference itself. You have asked for layman's explanations - of what specifically? What passages are unclear or confusing? Natalie (talk) 12:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Worth mentioning? Seattle based hip hop group made a song detailing this protest[edit]

Hip hop duo Blue Scholars has a song detailing the protest activity entitled "50 Thousand Deep." I'm not sure if it's something worth mentioning on the article (maybe coupled with "further reading"), but it is certainly interesting to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:06, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I'd pass on it. SchuminWeb (Talk) 18:25, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
If we could find enough pop culture references to warrant an "in pop culture" section then I think it'd be warranted. Zoasterboy (talk) 20:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
No, it really isn't. Trivia sections are strongly discouraged, and the fact that an unrelated group wrote about a song about an event has no bearing on the event itself. If you want to discuss it on the page about the group, go for it, but please note: if you create an "in popular culture" section on this article, I will remove it on sight. SchuminWeb (Talk) 03:25, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Then-chief Stamper now believes police tactics were wrong[edit]

Norm Stamper, Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street, November 9, 2011, in the November 28, 2011 edition of The Nation. Probably Stamper's viewmore than a decade later deserves mention, no? - Jmabel | Talk 16:57, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Seems worth some discussion. SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:13, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

POV issues[edit]

I really feel that this article doesn't paint the whole picture well. It seems slanted towards the protesters' point of view, as apposed to being neutral. The article spends more time talking about how many groups of protesters were there, the buildup, and the aftermath especially seems like it is geared towards a police brutality mindset. I edited some on the N30 section, because it didn't even show the National Guard or State Patrol had been sent into Downtown Seattle.

There is more that I wanted to edit, but just could not find a source to quote, and my personal memory, from being downtown during the time is not a proper reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmf12b (talkcontribs) 10:13, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

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