GENTECH archive


Dissent is alive and well in America (fwd)

Thanks MetthewT

From: Matthew Townsend <>
Subject: Dissent is alive and well in America

Another account of the protestors' experience in Seattle. This fellow's a
friend of mine and quite reliable.
X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Chris Doran" <>
Dear friends, thank all of you for your tremendous support and concern for 
my well being over this last week.  Both Sarah and I are okay- tired, a 
little shaken, but also exhilarated and so inspired by what we have been a 
part of.

Yesterday I was released after four very full on days in jail.  Tuesday,
the first day of the WTO Ministerial, I was beaten, pepper sprayed
directly into my face and eyes while being held down by cops, beaten with
a baton, and received extensive pain holds.  Later in the day I was tear
gassed, shot at with concussion grenades and rubber bullets. 

Wed AM the city of Seattle declared martial law and outlawed protesting
downtown.  I was arrested along with at least 200 others for peacefully
siting and chanting in a public park.  I sat on a bus in custody outside
the police processing centre for 14 hours without food or water or access
to a toilet, along with approx 60 other arrestees, because we refused to
leave the bus until we saw our lawyer. 

Our lawyers were standing right outside the bus and we were still denied
access.  After 14 hours we were driven away to another spot to be taken
off the bus.  Our lawyers and the media were threatened with arrest if
they followed.  We were then drug off the bus, some of us by our hair,
most with intense pain holds, and several people were pepper spayed to the
point of serious injury.  All of us were practising non violent civil
disobedience and no one physically resited.  Nearly all of the over 500
arrested in total refused to give their names and address, ensuring we
would be in for awhile and that the cops would not have the capacity to
arrest anyone else.  People were beaten and pepper spayed in jail.  Many
people were arrested, held for four days, and released, having never been
charged or gone before an aarraignment.

Soon after the first arrests, hundreds and then thousands of people
gathered outside the King County Jail downtown, in direct violation of the
no protest zone, demanding our (arrestees) demands be met.  Our demands
were that everyone have their charges dropped and be released immediately,
among other things.  Nearly eveyone was released on their own recognizance
eventually, and we now have 500 plus people going to court, requesting
full jury trials, requesting speedy trials (within 90 days), and
requesting court appointed lawyers.  Not to mention the innumerable civil
lawsuits being prepared (this is America, after all).  The city of Seattle
will not be able to cope, and hopefully they and every other city in
America will think twice before they suspend the US Constitution, declare
martial law, and turn the police force into a legalized para military gang
accountable to no one. 

The WTO was not able to meet on Tuesday, and by the end of business Friday
African nations refused to sign anything, saying they were inspired by us. 
There is no new round, no plan for them to meet again, and the entire WTO
is in serious disarray.  Just as importantly, it is clear to the world
that dissent is alive and well in America, and Clinton and crew cannot say
to other countries that he has the full support of the American people in
globalizing the planet. 

We won.

Love to everyone, Chris

Chris Doran

Matthew Townsend
Ph: 61 (3) 9225 7319
Fax: 61 (3) 9225 8668