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Jury Concludes Seattle Violated WTO Protestors Rights

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posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 12:00 AM
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A federal jury has ruled that the city of Seattle is liable for the unlawful arrests of roughly 200 protesters during the second day of the World Trade Organization meetings in 1999.

However, the jury also determined that the arrests did not violate the protesters' free-speech rights because they were not made as a result of a city policy aimed at squelching anti-WTO viewpoints.

By finding the city liable for the illegal arrests, the jury cleared the way for potential financial damages to be assessed against the city on behalf of the protesters.
A separate trial will be required to determine financial damages.

U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman had previously ruled that the arrests of roughly 200 people at Westlake Park between 6 a.m. and noon on Dec. 1, 1999, were made without probable cause because the police did not try to find out if each individual who was arrested was in violation of a city order barring protesters from the area.

The mixed verdict, which followed three days of jury deliberations in U.S. District Court in Seattle, virtually assures that the seven-year legal battle over the Seattle Police Department's conduct during the 1999 WTO meetings will continue for months and possibly years to come.


SOURCE:
Seattle Times


Even though I was to young to really remember hearing about,
or particularly care about the WTO riots, I am still aware of them,
and I do believe that both the first and fourth amendment rights
of the protestors were violated.

I am glad to see that a jury has shown that atleast one of those
was, though I was dissapointed that they did not find both rights
violated. However, as this will continue on for quite awhile debate
wise, it may be found eventually that both rights were violated.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 12:20 AM
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I didnt know hippies had rights



posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 12:27 AM
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Originally posted by Soitenly
I didnt know hippies had rights


They do; because they are human beings and Americans (most of the WTO protesters). As a result, any violation of their civil rights should be viewed as a violation of yours as well.



posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 12:27 AM
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Originally posted by Soitenly
I didnt know hippies had rights


And just how exactly does that add to the conversationin any way.
It does'nt is the answer.

Really, if you have no productive thing to say, than don't say
anything at all.



posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 12:41 AM
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I was living in Seattle when this happened - and yes, I was downtown shortly before the riots broke out.

After 10 hours of peacful protests and marching - (not to mention a few less than civil infringments upon the rights of the convening WTO members) martial law was inacted and protestors were told - quite bluntly - and over the course of AN HOUR - to disperse, that the area was UNDER MARITAL LAW, and to please return home.

The people who chose to ignore these warnings were ready for a fight, and they got one.

As far as I'm concerned - this was a bogus judgement unless it granted amends to the people who were attacked leaving the protest zone, in their homes and subjected to the tear gas wafting up into their apartments, or unduly bullied by the riot cops (who did not wear name badges) - as was the case of one person driving by who was ordered to roll down her window and pepper sprayed in the face.

The majority of those who refused to leave the area KNEW what they were getting into - and most of them were downright READY for violent confrontation.

If those punks get any retributions out of this, I'm more than a wee bit upset. And I'm an experienced activist against the WTO myself.

Protesting is one thing - but trashing the downtown area is beyond the bounds of good taste and defeats the purpose of those who made their opposition peacefully.



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