Mass Non-Violent Uprising Against the WTO Declared a Victory Despite Police Brutality & Vandalism, Peaceful Protests Expose and Tarnish the WTO


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Seattle, Washington - In the largest US non-violent action in decades, nearly fifty thousand people of conscience from every walk of life came together this week peacefully and risked arrest to shut down the WTO. Despite the egregious brutality of the Seattle Police and tremendous attention focused on property destruction caused by a small contingent, organizers declared this week\'s protests a victory in disrupting the Ministerial meetings and exposing the shady and undemocratic nature of the WTO.

\"The WTO is now a household name synonymous with repression of ordinary citizens for trying to uphold civil liberties, democracy, environmental, labor, and human rights,\" said Randy Hayes of the Rainforest Action Network.

This week\'s historic mobilization against the WTO has united the labor, environmental, human rights, and fair trade movements in a lasting alliance against the globalization of corporate power and for the rights of free peoples to choose a fair and just economic path.

\"I believe that the global economic order will define its history as the time before Seattle and the time after,\" said Han Shan of the Ruckus Society, one of the leading organizers of this week\'s mass resistance.

The Seattle protests were an earthquake that shook the WTO to its foundations. \"The nonviolent actions of the people of Seattle and the world have opened the eyes of civil society to the illegitimacy and undemocratic structure of the World Trade Organization,\" said Stephanie Guilloud. \"We believe that the WTO and its like will be dismantled by the will of the people.\"

Nearly 600 arrests speak eloquently to the breath and depth of the resistance to the WTO. Most of those arrested still remain in King County Correctional Facility awaiting their release. Reports from jailed protesters have so far detailed police brutality as well as denial of legal counsel and medical attention. Some of those arrested have been \"separated\" from others and \"classified\" because, it is reported, they were advising other detainees about their basic civil rights.

\"Once we learn of the full story of what happened to prisoners of conscience as well as to innocent bystanders swept up in the police raids, we will take all steps necessary to expose misconduct and to demand that use of martial law – -the suspension of civil rights and the armed crack-down on citizens – never again occurs on American soil,\" said Nancie 4-Waters, a member of the legal team for the arrestees.\"

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