December 8, 1999

Editor, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Assistant Police Chief Ed Joiner says (P-I, 12-8-99) that "in a perfect world" the police would have have liked to create "a deserted core where the [WTO] conference took place," shutting that part of the city to everyone else - shoppers, workers, and protesters alike - like they would in a military dictatorship. If anyone should be falling on his own sword after this affair, it would be Joiner, the man who ordered the police to use tear gas and rubber bullets against thousands of non-violent protesters and out-of-luck Capitol Hill residents. If a new police chief is to be chosen from the ranks of the SPD, let's hope it's not someone from Joiner's culture.

Meanwhile, Bill Bryant, a Seattle consultant on international trade, was reported to have said, "If this were run by corporate elites, the trains would have run on time." He should take this obvious allusion to Italian fascism and move to Singapore, where he and Joiner would probably be more appreciated than in Seattle.

These two wishful practitioners of a police state are well in tune with the ethos of the WTO - unelected tribunals serving only corporate interests as they meet in secret to strike down environmental protection and worker safety laws.

Roger Lippman

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Seattle Residents Clash With Police
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Peter Aronson from KUOW reports that police fired tear gas into a crowd in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, about a mile from downtown. (4:17)