Wednesday, December 02, 2009

10 Years Ago: A WTO Memoir Part 4 (Thursday, D2)

Once again, after teaching my early afternoon math courses, I made by way back to the C.D. about 3 PM.  As on the previous day, I immediately set off downtown.  Things were quieter this day.  This was probably because, as mention in the last installment, the police had actually used so much tear gas that the whole state had none left.

After stopping by the King County Jail, I made my way toward a planned union event north of downtown.  I therefore attached myself to a demonstration that began in the vicinity of the Labor Temple in Belltown which eventually stopped at the police line at 5th and Pine.  I spoke at length with a few union carpenters who came down off their scaffolding, still wearing their hardhats and tool belts, to join the march.  They were none too happy about being it with teargas while up on those same scaffolding the day before.  Their safety was certainly jeopardized by the actions of the police and they were going to let them know about it.  I had certainly pleased to find others who were of the same mind I was.  Who cares about the WTO when your own police force is rioting in the street?

At 5th and Pine, we let the police know what we felt about their collective conduct in no uncertain terms.  I inquired, "Why was it that I was tear gassed when I was 5 blocks away from a broken window, but when someone is shot dead in the C.D. in front of my house, by the time the police bother to show up, the body has been carted away?"  I told them that in a few days the tourists would be gone, but they would still have to deal with the residents that had been wronged.  As such, I informed them, "If I saw you lying bleeding in the street I would rather piss down your throat than call 911."  The carpenters mainly glared and  fingered their rigging hammers.  Judging my the uncomfortable looks on the faces of the police, I think we made our point.

I don't recall much else noteworthy from that day.   I do remember a discussion among locals concerning whether we should start packing our guns (we all have concealed pistol licenses).  It was agreed that unless the cops escalated then neither would we.  (However, as we were to learn later, some people had been harmed by the chemical warfare.)

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