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Day Three
December 1, 1999

On December 1, 1999, Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) continue despite Mayor Paul Schell's declaration of a state of emergency. Vandalism causes downtown businesses to close during the busiest shopping season of the year. The mayor announces a curfew, and when it takes effect, protesters march to Capitol Hill where they battle police with rocks and bottles until after midnight.

1:30 am

President Clinton arrives in Seattle on Air Force One at Boeing Field. He plans to address the WTO.

6:00 am

Some 200 National Guard troops are on duty in Seattle for the first time in memory. Three hundred Washington State Troopers are also assigned to assist the Seattle Police.

7:00 am

The Seattle City Attorney drafts an emergency order prohibiting the possession of gas masks throughout the city.

7:15 am

"Let me get this straight," an officer says over the radio. "We're just supposed to arrest all the protesters?" "That's affirmative," a supervisor answers.

7:30 am

Police arrest eight persons at Westlake Center.

8:00 am

WTO Plenary Session is scheduled at the Convention Center. (Sponsored by WTO.)

8:00 am

Starbucks closes 26 stores in Seattle for the day. Tully's Coffee closes four stores. Coldwater Creek remains closed all week. Washington Mutual closes three downtown branches after windows are broken at the Pacific Place branch. The Seattle Art Museum closes for the day.

8:00 am

Police plainclothes teams are deployed for the first time to deal with acts of vandalism.

8:00 a.m.

Mayor Schell bans all protests in the Central Business District.

8:00 am

National Guardsmen and State Troopers are posted at every intersection on Lenora Street.

9:00 am

Trade and Labor issues meeting (invitation only) is scheduled at the Westin Hotel by the Seattle Host Organization.

9:00 am

Agriculture and food trade meeting (invitation only) is scheduled at Bell Harbor International by the Seattle Host Organization.

9:30 am

Session on Women and Democracy/Sovereignty panel discussion is scheduled at First United Methodist Church, 811 5th Avenue. (Sponsored by Center of Concern.)

10:00 am

WTO for Beginners is scheduled at the Musicians Club, 2620 Third Avenue. (Sponsored by United for a Fair Economy.)

10:00 am

By this time, 246 persons have been arrested downtown.

10:00 am

Mayor Schell signs an emergency order prohibiting the possession of "any device commonly known as a gas mask." The order is effective throughout the city except for military and the police (but does not exempt fire fighters).

11:00 am

African Day business forum and lunch is scheduled at Campion Tower, Seattle University. (Sponsored by African Chamber of Commerce.)

11:00 am

Mayor Schell announces the gas mask ban at a press conference.

11:30 am

Knut Vollebeck, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs is scheduled to speak at the Space Needle. (Sponsored by Norwegian Chamber of Commerce.)

1:30 pm

Protests downtown dwindle by noon.

1:30 pm

U. S. President Bill Clinton tells WTO delegates during a luncheon that they must "continue to find ways to prove that the quality of life of ordinary citizens in every country can be lifted, including basic labor standards and an advance on the environmental front." Regarding the protests in Seattle he says, "I condemn the small number who were violent and who tried to prevent you from meeting, but I am glad the others showed up"
(The Seattle Times, December 2, 1999, A-1).

2:00 pm

Steelworkers' rally and march to Seattle docks from the IBEW Office, 2700 First Avenue. About 200 protesters join the march.

2:00 pm

Agricultural Trade Conference is scheduled at the Sheraton Hotel.
(Sponsored by American Farm Bureau Federation.)

3:00 pm

Four hundred persons have been arrested, mostly in the Westlake Center area.

3:00 pm

Mayor Schell extends the gas mask exemption and journalists with credentials are authorized to possess gas masks.

3:30 pm

Governor Gary Locke tours downtown and declares that "everything is fine."

3:45 pm

Police confront protesters at 4th Avenue and Pike Street and clashes continue until after nightfall.

4:00 pm

Marchers shout "peaceful protest" when police fire tear gas, rubber pellets, and concussion bombs at 2nd Avenue and Pine Street.

4:00 pm

Approximately 800 protesters sit down in the intersection at 2nd Avenue and Pike Street, blocking cars. Police fire tear gas and the protesters run toward Pike Place Market.

4:00 pm

Police throw tear gas and concussion grenades at 1st Avenue and Pine Street, 2nd Avenue and Pine Street, 3rd Avenue and Pine Street, 1st Avenue and Pike Street, 2nd Avenue and Pike Street and 4th Avenue and University Street.

5:30 pm

Interfaith Prayer Gathering is scheduled at Freeway Park.
(Sponsored by Earth Justice Ministries.)

5:30 pm

Genetically Modified Products panel discussion is scheduled at Kane Hall, University of Washington.
(Sponsored by Hungarian Chamber of Commerce.)

5:30 pm

Mayor Schell orders that only WTO delegates, downtown workers, and the media will be permitted in a restricted zone downtown, effective until midnight Friday, December 3, 1999.

6:00 pm

"African Day Dinner and Discussions" is scheduled at Seattle Art Museum. (Sponsored by African Chamber of Commerce.)

6:00 pm

Concert and Theatrical Performance (free beer and food, live music) is scheduled at the First United Methodist Church, 811 5th Avenue. (Sponsored by Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment.)

6:00 pm

WTO Director General Dinner is scheduled (closed event for WTO delegates).

6:00 pm

Police begin to make arrests downtown to enforce the curfew.

6:30 pm

Farmers Meeting is scheduled at the Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Avenue N.
(Sponsored by National Family Farm Coalition, IATP, Via Campesina.)

6:55 pm

Police on horseback, on motorcycles, and in armored vehicles move protesters north out of the curfew zone from 4th Avenue and University Street.

7:00 pm

Curfew takes effect in downtown area.

7:00 pm

City Councilman Richard McIver is pulled from his car by police at 8th Avenue and Seneca Street on his way to a WTO reception. They start to handcuff him before releasing him.

7:05 pm

At Denny Way, several hundred protesters vote to turn east toward Capitol Hill.

7:30 pm

"Voices from the South" forum is scheduled at Garfield Community Center, 23rd Avenue and Cherry Street.
(Sponsored by Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador [CISPES].)

7:30 pm

At Denny Way and Interstate 5, protesters vote to march to Seattle Central Community College.

7:45 pm

Protesters meet another large group already milling around on Broadway at East Harrison Street.

7:50 pm

A combined force of about 500 protesters march up and down Broadway.

9:00 pm

Police try to scatter crowds with tear gas and flash bombs. The armored car is swarmed and kicked. Police reply with concussion grenades. For the next five hours, police and several hundred people exchange tear gas for bottles and rocks. Many in the crowd obviously enjoy the confrontation.

9:00 pm

More police and National Guard arrive on Broadway.

9:30 pm

Police close several blocks of Broadway between East John Street and East Republican Street. Protesters and residents heckle police. Police receive reports of protesters carrying gasoline bombs. Some protesters charge the police lines.

9:35 pm

Police pepper spray demonstrators at Broadway and East John Street. Then they detonate flash bombs and push south along Broadway.

11:55 pm

At the Sand Point booking facility, as many as 140 arrested protesters refuse to leave busses and to submit to the booking process.

12:00 pm

Five hundred and four persons were arrested by the end of Wednesday.

1:00 am

Approximately 300 people gather at Pine Street and Broadway. 911 operators receive phone threats from people who say they will bring weapons to the protest.

2:00 am

There are six more arrests. Finally, the crowd on Capitol Hill breaks up.

* Compiled from media accounts by HistoryLink.org
Used with permission



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