(call for solidarity with Seattle 140!)
SEATTLE ACTIVISTS HAVE CALLED FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY WITH WTO ANNIVERSARY PROTESTERS
Seattle activists ask for solidarity vigils and rallies for the "Seattle 140" arrested on N30, 2000 on the one year anniversary of last year's mass arrests.
A vigil has been set up outside the jails in Seattle just like last year and supporters say they will not leave until all 140 are released. A tent city has been established at the site which is also helping to feed the homeless and other prisoners being released. A welcome party awaits each person released, with music, drumming and lots of warm tea and hot food. The National Lawyers guild is keeping track of arrestees and briefing them after release.
On N30, 2000 police arrested 140 citizens in Seattle, including news editors, labor leaders and legal observers. This crass violation of the US Constitution has resulted in vigils and rallies outside the King County Jail much like last year after N30, 1999.
After a day long celebration of art, music and resistance, with thousands of participants, the Seattle Police Department's Cheif Gil Kerlikowskie decided to crackdown on the protests around 8 PM on N30. Police used pepper spray on bystanders and members of the media at 4th and Pine and then chased the marchers who had been planning to disburse using projectile weapons and chemical agents.
Undercover police infiltrated the crowd and assaulted marchers near Westlake Park. Near the Labor Temple(just like last year) the crowd was trapped by police who would not let them disburse, then the SPD charged them marchers with "failure to disburse". The mass arrests included bystanders and media, including an editor and an Associated Press reporter(See NY Times website). 10 legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild were also arrested.
The prisoners have not all been released and some are waitling for a court date. Once again, as with last year, they were held on buses and harassed. The Executive Director of the King County Labor Council, Steve Williamson was arrested along with two other AFL-CIO officials. World press is shocked by the news, not expecting such blatant acts after criticism resulting from WTO conference 1999 police actions.
We stand in solidarity with the entire world and alll those who struggle for freedom and justice.
Free the Seattle 140!