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Riots Tear Through Seattle To Celebrate Anniversaries Of WTO Riots, George Floyd Death

Seattle, WA – Protesters smashed the windows of businesses and threatened to set fire to Christmas trees as they marched through Seattle to commemorate the six-month anniversary of George Floyd’s death in custody and the anniversary of the riots during the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in the city in 1999.

Police said the protest march by about 70 people was brief by chaotic, KOMO reported.

The riot on Nov. 30 began on Broadway Street and marchers vandalized businesses as they swept through the area.

Seattle police reported seeing violent protesters damage an ATM at about 8 p.m. on Broadway near Pine Street, KIRO reported.

The glass windows of a Starbucks on 12th Avenue located next to Seattle University were smashed, a nearby grocery store’s windows were also shattered, and a Key Bank was vandalized by protesters, KOMO reported.

Rioters claimed they were marching against police brutality and racial injustice as they painted graffiti on private buildings across the city.

Police made four arrests during the chaos, KOMO reported.

Initially, one person was arrested for investigation of property damage and two were arrested for investigation of obstructing an officer, KIRO.

A fourth suspect was arrested later for investigation of property damage as the marchers returned to Cal Anderson Park.

Officials have not yet released the names of those arrested, KOMO reported.

All four suspects were booked into the King County Jail, according to KIRO.

The 1999 WTO protests being commemorated were a massive embarrassment to the city of Seattle 21 years ago, the Seattle Times reported.

While city officials were trying to showcase Seattle as a destination for conferences and meetings on the world stage, the 5,000 journalists and 3,000 delegates participating were greeted by about 50,000 protesters who turned the international event into what is still remembered as the worst riot in Seattle history.

Protesters locked arms and surrounded the convention center and the nearby hotels where delegates were staying, the Seattle Times reported.

Rioters succeeded in shutting down the opening ceremonies for the event and trapped U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in her hotel.

Seattle city officials declared a 50-block “no protest zone” around the WTO meetings and declared a “state of emergency” with a curfew, the Seattle Times reported.

Police pushed the demonstrators out of downtown and the mayhem continued in the Capitol Hill area.

More than 500 arrests were made during the WTO riots, the Seattle Times reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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