Mike Weisman on 26 Nov 2000 00:20:09 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] [Fwd: Schell Mail #84 -- N30]

PaulSchell@MayorSchell.com wrote:
> The one-year anniversary of the WTO conference will be this Thursday,
> November 30.  Some groups are planning teach-ins, forums, and press
> conferences to commemorate and continue the public discussion that must be
> held worldwide about global trade.  I commend these groups for using
> constructive ways to educate people on these important issues and to keep
> the issues in the fore of public debate.  The King County Labor Council, for
> instance, will be hosting a press conference, forum, and potluck at the
> Labor Temple.  Major environmental and faith-based organizations have also
> chosen either to refrain from participating or to organize similar kinds of
> gatherings.
> Other groups are planning for street marches and rallies.  These too can be
> effective and peaceful forms of expression.  Unfortunately, events last year
> taught us that they also can take a very different turn.
> Over the course of this past week I have been speaking to this concern.  I
> thought I might pass my message along here as well.
> The top priority for my office and for the Police Department has always
> been, and will continue to be, public safety.  We fully support the right to
> free and peaceful expression.  We will swiftly respond to law-breaking or
> vandalism or violence of any kind.
> We are calling on any groups that wish to demonstrate to obtain permits and
> to obey the law.  Peaceful gatherings won't create problems.
> Freedom of speech is one of our country's highest values, but we cannot
> allow it to become freedom to vandalize, freedom to interfere with the
> rights of others, freedom to disrupt city business, or freedom to block city
> streets.  I think our citizens understand the difference and we will enforce
> the law as they expect us to.
> We are aware that several groups are planning to gather at Westlake Park.
> But because of the previously permitted carousel activity for children and
> families at that location, we are permitting groups that want an assembly
> point to gather at Victor Steinbrueck Park near the Pike Place Market.
> One final point.  It is important to recognize that this is not WTO.  There
> is no world conference occurring.  Far fewer people are involved.
> Nevertheless, Chief Kerlikowske and the Seattle Police Department have made
> thorough plans for any eventualities, taking into account all the lessons
> learned from last year.
> My hope is that N30 will be a peaceful day of public discussion about issues
> of importance to the future of the global community.  At the same time, the
> City is fully prepared to address unlawful behavior should it occur.
> more later...paul
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