Seattle and WTO will forever be the definitive lesson on the differences between demonstrating and rioting - a thin line at times. But eight years after

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A Sort of Apology

Free at last: The Seattle 175 get WTO settlement.

Seattle and WTO will forever be the definitive lesson on the differences between demonstrating and rioting - a thin line at times. But eight years after those gassy, bloody and occasionally futile protests (what was the point of putting Super Glue in the window locks of Nike Town?), City Hall has agreed to finally set things right for its illegal arrests of some WTO protesters.

This settlement brings to a close an important chapter in the history of this City," said Michael Withey, attorney for the Seattle 175, after City Hall agreed Monday to a landmark settlement in the WTO class-action case.

Officials agreed to seal and expunge records of those who were arrested mostly in Mayor Paul Schell's so-called "No Protest Zone." The city will provide more police training and give protesters $1 million to divvy up. That will come to $3,000 up to $10,000 per protester, depending on the number of class members who file claims.

Says Withey:

The lesson to draw is that the full constitutional rights of citizens can be guaranteed at the same time public safety is secured...We are proud to hold the city accountable and to contribute to this important victory."

Still to be decided: Is Super Glue a peaceful protest? That's what I watched a kid named Brad apply to Nike's windows because, he said, "Nike sucks." An older man told him, "OK, Nike sucks. But you can get there with nonviolence. Study the history of non-violence...March without breaking something." Retorts Brad: "Hey, man. Violence works!"

Other SWeekly WTO memories - including those from Berger, Dawdy, Parrish, Howland, Barnett, Bush, Scigliano, Gunn and others since departed - here.

 
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