Report by Jim Desyllas on Seattle (bounced from Jared Israel)

Jonathan Flanders jon_flanders at
Fri Dec 3 15:11:14 MST 1999

by Portland student/reporter Jim Desyllas <<

This is one of the best reports I've seen. I would only disagree with the
description of the police action as a "riot." That implies being out of
control. Clearly this was a planned action, designed to isolate the
protestors from the working class public with a "violence" smear.

In this I think the authorities failed. Conversations with co-workers over
the last several days almost always began with the question "what is going
on?" in a genuinely curious and friendly fashion. The door is now open for
discussion. I hope this new generation of young activists can take
advantage of the situation.

I do not see what happened as fundamentally revolving around the antics of
the anarchists. It was the calculated actions of the governmental forces on
the scene which drove matters. In other situations, the behavior of a
fringe group breaking a few windows would have been swallowed up without
much notice. Let's face it, with the corporate media the choice of coverage
is always between ignoring and minimalizing peaceful protest or blowing up
"violence" at demonstrations all out of proportion.

 Would I personally favor massive peaceful legal demonstrations? Of course.
And I don't think anyone can or should orchestrate adventurist action with
the hope of getting a Seattle. Again, it was the authorities that planned
and provoked what happened. To me it would be delusionary to think
otherwise. I said earlier, what is most interesting is the failure of the
violence smear.

  Jon Flanders

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