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The price of Seattle’s incompetence

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 3, 2007 10:13 AM

Thugs rule

I’ve noted before that in December 1999, Seattle’s police brass demonstrated incompetent and reckless behavior during the WTO riots in 1999–chaos that then-police chief Norm Stamper blamed on underfunding, rather than his own abject failure to anticipate mass violence.

Now, Seattle is paying the price for that incompetence. The Seattle Times reports: Seattle to pay WTO protesters $1 million

The city of Seattle will pay $1 million to WTO protesters who were arrested in Westlake Park seven years ago and will clear their records, in a settlement announced today.

The money will cover the plaintiffs’ legal fees, with the rest divided among 160 protesters, who will get roughly $3,000 to $10,000 per person, said Mike Withey, their attorney.

“We think the cash settlement does send a message that what Seattle did was wrong and we shouldn’t have been denied our constitutional rights,” said Ken Hankin, a Boeing engineer and one of the arrested protesters.

The $1 million will come from the city’s insurer, not taxpayers, Withey said. The city has already paid $800,000 to settle multiple claims involving police misconduct during the WTO protests.

Believe it or not, the Times reported last fall that there’s a Hollywood movie in the works romanticizing the WTO mob…starring Charlize Theron:

Charlize Theron will play a pregnant bystander who loses her baby in Seattle’s WTO riots. Susan Sarandon may take the part of a newscaster sympathetic to the protesters.

Former Mayor Paul Schell just hopes the movie re-enacting one of the worst chapters of his political life tells “the whole story about the 21st-century Boston Tea Party.”

It’s true: Academy Award winner Theron is set to star in a major motion picture about the 1999 anti-globalization protests against the World Trade Organization that rocked Seattle and put our tear-gas-drenched town in an international spotlight.

Written and directed by Theron’s boyfriend, Irish actor Stuart Townsend, “Battle in Seattle” is scheduled to start shooting next month — in Vancouver, B.C, where Theron was spotted last weekend nibbling on sushi in a trendy restaurant.

“It’s going to be the next ‘Sleepless in Seattle,’ ” said James Keblas, head of Seattle City Hall’s film office. “Once you capture a star like Charlize Theron, you are instantly a big picture.”

Sleepless in Seattle? Try Lawless in Seattle. The nitwits in the Emerald City were all atwitter about which celebrities should play their roles:

John Sellers, who was then executive director of the Ruckus Society, one of the key organizers of the protests, said he’d like to be played by John Malkovich. City Council President Nick Licata said he’d advise Theron and offered up his personal cellphone number — with his wife’s permission.

Schell had no comment on who should play him in the movie, but his wife suggested Robert Redford.

The Barnum and Bailey clowns would be a closer fit.

Somewhat related: “War resisters” are now refusing to pay taxes.

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