Re: Letter to Seattle Mayor Paul Schell

Graeme Addison (
Tue, 07 Dec 1999 13:49:25 +0200

South Africans watched the events in Seattle unfold with a sense of deja vu. Not
only do many of us remember the 1950s and sixties which, in this country, were
times of harsh police repression (no peace, flowers, freedom and happiness here!)
but we have witnessed massive street demonstrations in recent memory. As the
culture of human rights developed here, police became more savvy about handling
demos, but never to the point where they showed real respect for the rights of the
protestors. We still see major human rights violations.
Graeme Bacque's excellent letter to the Mayor of Seattle deserves to be answered -
and the homeless people's group should keep up the pressure until it is!

Graeme Bacque wrote:

> Graeme F. Bacque
> 319 Dundas St. E. #408 Toronto, Ontario M5A 2A2 CANADA
> V: (416) 368-3366 F: (416) 368-5984 Internet: <>
> <>
> December 3, 1999
> Dear Mayor Schell,
> I live more than three thousand miles away from your City but the images of
> this past week have dominated the news here and I am appalled at how the
> police and other officials have responded to the people expressing their
> legitimate dissent against the undemocratic and destructive World Trade
> Organization which has been meeting in Seattle.
> The level of violence unleashed by law enforcement against innocent persons
> is unacceptable and requires a number of immediate remedial actions from
> your Office including:
> 1. Ordering the immediate release of all imprisoned activists and dismissal
> of any criminal charges against them which may have resulted from the protests,
> 2. Launching an immediate and thorough investigation leading to
> the  dismissal and criminal indictment of police personnl or others
> complicit in assaults, civil rights violations, use of illegal chemical
> weapons and other crimes against innocent people,
> 3. Establishing a fund for compensating individuals for medical expenses,
> legal fees, pain and suffering and other issues related to the suppression
> of anti-WTO demonstrations,
> 4. Drafting a message to WTO officials condemning their policies of greed,
> exploitation and human rights violations and which clearly indicates that
> at no future point will they be welcome again in your City.
> I thank you in advance for your prompt attention to these urgent human
> rights issues.
> Sincerely yours,
> Toronto, Ontario

Graeme Addison
Writer * Researcher * Trainer
PO Box 645 IRENE 0062 South Africa
95 Zambezi Avenue, Doringkloof, Centurion, SA
Tel/fax 27 (012) 667-1838
Cellphone 082 458 1442