Needle Exchange

"News about Seattle from far and wide."

SEVERAL NEWSPAPER accounts last week recapping the five-day World Economic Forum conference in New York City made special mention of the Emerald City's unsuccessful hosting of the 1999 WTO ministerial conference. The N.Y.C. event, which convened 3,000 politicos and corporate titans, resulted in just one vandalized building and only 201 arrests. Gotham coffers were fattened by tens of millions of dollars to boot.

As New York Times reporter Dan Barry pointed out in his account, it's not totally fair to compare the proceedings in New York to those here. New York attracted less than 10,000 protesters, as opposed to the 50,000 who descended upon Seattle. Many stories were clear to point out, however, that extensive study of failed police tactics in Seattle largely guided N.Y.'s preparations.

On a brighter note, extensive study of the Seattle Police's one-to-one officer-to-crowd ratio during this year's Mardi Gras could potentially help police departments everywhere forever eliminate all malfeasance.

Paul Fontana

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