The Battle In Seattle – Week Of December 4, 1999

There was a bigger picture.

There was the bigger picture and there was the Elephant in the living room.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio Weekend Roundup – December 4, 1999 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Fifteen years ago this week, the streets of Seattle were awash in teargas and protestors as the WTO Ministerial Summit met to discuss trade negotiations which began on November 30.

Instead, the WTO goings-on were eclipsed by the dramatic events as protestors, with some conservative estimates at upwards from 40,000, gathered and made their feelings known on no uncertain terms, and battles raged throughout the city and around the Convention Center.

Unlike similar protests which had taken place in years past, this one took on a violent tone, and protestors clashed with police repeatedly leaving hundreds injured and some 157 arrested.

Although the protests were condemned by many, it indicated to the future that peaceful protests were not always guaranteed and that the level of anger in people was getting deeper and more pronounced. This episode of CBS Radio‘s Weekend Roundup devotes some 15 minutes to the subject, but downplays some of the pressing issues and plays up the fact that the U.S. economy was booming, this week in 1999. We were now entering that phase of our history where reading between the lines was becoming a required task.

On the other hand, peace was breaking out in Northern Ireland. In what was described as the beginning of the end of 30 years of shootings and violence, the Northern Ireland Peace process was taking hold. Although it was cautious, it was cautiously optimistic, and all sides of the conflict were casting a semi-hopeful eye that something permanent could possibly take place. Although it was still hard for many to accept something resembling a peaceful solution was at hand. Many felt this was yet another in an endless series of fits and starts and a certain aura of cynicism was shared by the average resident of Belfast. Still, it was looking better than it had in the past.

And a preview of coming attractions for the 2000 Presidential race. It was looking more and more like a race between vice-President Al Gore and Republican challenger Governor George W. Bush of Texas. But November 2000 was a long ways off and anything could happen in the meantime.

And it did.

And that’s a little of what this week sounded like, the one that ended on December 4th 1999 as reported on the CBS Radio Weekend Roundup.

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