Postcards from Seattle

The Mystery of the Missing Malcontents

Now you seem them, now you don't

Marines versus Marines

Image source:

Text: "Role players acting as rioters attack Marines from "C" Company, 1st Battlion, 6th Marines, during Urban Warrior training in Quantico, Virginia. Photo by: SGT CHRIS COX"

"Marines from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine participated in an experimental urban training package last September and October. This training was composed of basic MOUT skills, enhanced MOUT skills and security operations in the urban environment. The following photos were taken from Camp Lejeune, NC and Quantico, VA."

MOUT stands for "Mobile Operations in Urban Terrain" and it has been a recent obsession of the US military. In just the past few years, the military has conducted urban warfare exercises in over a dozen US cities.

Nine months before the Seattle WTO meeting, the US military, with NATO guests, conducted a massive urban warfare training exercise in the city of Oakland and other parts of Northern California. West coast police department personnel were invited to participate.

Playing "rioter"

It's a fact that rioter "role playing" is part of every thorough riot squad training. How hard would it have been for Seattle police or police collaborators to don masks and two-way radios (standard police equipment, by the way) and break a few windows? Were the so called "anarchists" using the radios to communicate with each other, or were they being directed to locations that had the most news cameras?

"I believe the police had their own people in there encouraging people to break stuff...I saw supposed protesters - they were screaming and so on - and then later, when everything was over, the same people tackled other protesters and put handcuffs on them."
- Jim Desyllas, Portland, Oregon. "Welcome to Seattle" - SF Beacon. December 3, 1999.

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