Northwest NEWS

December 13, 1999


Writer was proud to be an American

   I was offended by the distorted interpretation of the Seattle WTO protests presented on the front page of the December 6 edition of the Weekly: "World Trade Organization meeting leaves strong impact on area."

   I have lived in Woodinville for eight years, and have been employed as an engineer for the Boeing Company for 18 years. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, I took a fully-approved day of vacation to participate in a peaceful anti-WTO demonstration, fully sanctioned by the City of Seattle.

   With other citizens, I joined members of the environmental community, along with some members of the Seattle City and King County Councils, in a rally at Denny Park. We then joined labor, human, and animal rights protesters at the Seattle Center, and everyone marched downtown. I felt proud to be an American, to have the right to educate myself about things like the WTO, to have the right to peacefully protest, and to exercise that right.

   Seattle had it right in sanctioning peaceful protest, and responded as well as it could to the unexpected tens of thousands of protesters. It is true that hundreds were arrested, but probably only dozens actually committed crimes; and through all this, injuries were only minor.

   In my opinion, the Seattle Times and P-I did a good job of reporting a very complex series of events. Over the next few months, the Seattle City Council, along with other agencies, will be reviewing those events, including police response. Hopefully, this review will provide a more accurate picture of what happened during the darker moments.

   Although the property damage was unfortunate, Seattle had it pretty much right. I'm not so sure about the Woodinville Weekly.

Rodger A. Herbst, Woodinville