The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Battle of Seattle, Five Years Later
It was five years ago today that latte-sipping hippies and anarchists descended upon the Emerald City, wreaking havoc and disrupting the WTO meetings there. Property was destroyed, police authority undermined, and the protestors upheld the greatest of hypocrisies by violently attempting to block the WTO meeting, which was itself a peaceful gathering.
Such vile acts of self-proclaimed "civil disobedience" has done little, except to denigate peaceful activism and overshadow serious debate. These people have done more to discredit their own arguments and radicalize political discourse than their "Bushitler" bogeyman. As a lamenting libertarian non-violent activist observed:
Network news reports, which frequently stressed how well organized the "so-called anarchists" were, showed scenes of protesters breaking windows, looting several stores, smashing up a Nike store sign, occupying one under-renovation building, setting big nighttime bonfires in the middle of the street. Television network news video shows activists throwing a bottle at a police officer standing on top of an armored vehicle; he shoots back rubber bullets. Demonstrators block an entrance and exchange blows with an Asian delegate trying to get in. Other activists throw unidentified objects at police. Networks also repeatedly showed video of the June, 1999 Eugene riot where young people jumped on passenger cars and smashed at them with chains.
The ACME Collective, an anarchist group consisting of the most extreme violent protestors, would later brag of their challenge to civil authority and direct attack on democracy:
Those attacked by federal thugs [note: in reality Seattle Police] were un-arrested by quick-thinking and organized members of the black bloc.
And hey, this was back in the Clinton presidency!
The Battle of Seattle was the beginning of a strange new age, when "the people" conspired to keep regular folks from going to their jobs in the city and their "message" was sent through vandalism and destruction. Their insanity peaked in the prologue to the Iraq War, when anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism became the only two forms of "politically correct" bigotry. The question is how long will the damage from 1999 last.
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