Sunday, October 19, 2008

Battle in Seattle
(Click on heading or image for trailer)

Protest activity surrounding the WTO Conference of 1999, happened on November 30, 1999, when the World Trade Organization (WTO) met at the Washington State Convention and Trade Centre in Seattle, Washington.

Monumental street protests outside the hotels and the Seattle Convention Centre ensued. The demonstrations put the crowd at over 40,000 which is pretty substantial in it's potential to become out of control and violent.

Even though I know that protests are a very important part of a democratic society, and are vital in keeping the rights of free speech...there are some, whom I feel have no business being at any protest.

Children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

In the film, Charlize Theron's character is a pregnant shop clerk who gets caught up in the protest and is injured.

...and that's not even mentioning those who get caught in the crossfire who wanted nothing to do with the protests at all...shopkeepers whose property is damaged, and workers who only showed up to do their jobs, which happen to be on the path that the protesters take.

So, while we often imagine protests as peaceful, where people join hands and sing "Kumbaya" in unity of what they feel is right, often things escalate and tip into mob like behaviour, and can...often do, turn violent and dangerous.

...but without them, where would we be?