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I’m only twenty minutes in, and already I hate the Seattle Police Department…

August 2, 2010, 8:59 PM

I just finished a 20-minute workout on the exercise bike, and I feel like I got a lot done. I did a few miles, definitely broke a sweat, and I feel like I accomplished something.

In the DVD player for tonight’s workout: Battle in Seattle. Every anarchist should know about the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, and more importantly, the protest activity surrounding it. I’ve studied it over the years, and I bought the movie Battle in Seattle in order to enjoy a dramatic recreation of the event.

So far, my impressions are this: The protesters are a dedicated bunch, and the cops and the mayor are slime. The WTO ministers can’t get in? The mayor just assumed the protesters are being violent, and had to be talked down from that assumption. The cops then talked him up to allowing them to gas protesters. In the first twenty minutes of the movie. Yikes!

Then the 20-minute mark passed, meaning my workout was over and I stopped the movie. This is going to definitely be a workout-enhancing movie, that’s for sure. If I’m already getting pissed off at seeing the police officers basically begging to be able to rough up some protesters, this movie will really help get the heart rate going. After all, I’ve been in how many of those kinds of things? By my count, I’ve been to more than 20 significant mobilizations on various topics and using various tactics – mainstream protest tactics, as well as more radical ones such as black bloc and radical cheerleading. I know how these things generally go, and what can be accomplished when people work together for a cause. Admittedly, though, the demonstrations I’ve been to, while some have been quite large, pale in comparison to the Battle of Seattle. DC demonstrations aren’t like some of the ones I’ve read about in other cities. The demonstrators and the police generally know each other (though I don’t think Jeff Herold knows my name), and that relationship (even if adversarial) shows in some of the interactions.

So perhaps Battle in Seattle is the way to make the pounds melt away like magic. I have promised myself that I will only watch this movie when the pedals are turning. No exercise, no movie. And this one is a “page-turner”, it seems…

Web site: Global Issues on the Seattle WTO meetings in 1999

Song: "I'm No Saint" by Jennifer Vazquez. See if you recognize anyone from Schumin Web in this clip. Here's a hint: It's not who you might expect.

Quote: And if you can't already tell that this is a movie that I can really get into, I was shouting "OUR STREETS!" with the demonstrators in the movie, almost instinctively...