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DW Gibson with Jim Brunner, Dana Schuerholz, Yalonda Sinde, Laurie Brown, Jim Pugel, and Vivian Phillips

The Battle of Seattle

Date:
Friday, June 28
Time:
7:30 pm PDT
Cost:
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
Learn more about Sliding Scale tickets.

Venue

The Great Hall
1119 Eighth Avenue (enter on Eighth Avenue)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

Book cover: Black and white image of a large crowd of protesters standing in the street. Yellow title in the center says "One Week to Change the World."
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One Week to Change the World: An Oral History of the 1999 WTO Protests

The Elliott Bay Book Company

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Headshots of DW GIbson, Jim Brunner, Dana Schuerholz, Yalonda Sinde, Laurie Brown, Jim Pugel, and Vivian Phillips
Arts & Culture

Whether or not you lived in the area twenty-five years ago, you’ve likely heard of the 1999 World Trade Organization protests, where more than 50,000 people converged on downtown Seattle. Sharing from his book One Week to Change the World, award-winning journalist DW Gibson pieces together a complex account of the “Battle of Seattle,” taking you back to the angst that defined the end of a millennium, complete with fight clubs and Y2K doomsday scenarios.

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Intertwined with that angst, the protesters’ goal was to push against runaway economic globalization that threatened working-class livelihoods. Violent confrontations between police and protestors resulted in hundreds of arrests and millions of dollars in property damage. But the media’s images of tear gas and smashed windows were not an accurate representation. In more than 100 original interviews with protestors, police, politicians, anarchists, artists, activists, union members, and many others, Gibson reconstructs the events in great detail.

 The 1999 WTO protests were not only a part of local history but also, Gibson says, a relevant example of some of today’s issues, including the vitalness and difficulty of grassroots activism, the aspirations and limitations of globalization, the militarization of policing, the sensationalism of the media, and the undeniable power of the people.

DW Gibson is most recently the author of 14 Miles: Building the Border Wall. His previous books include the award-winning The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century and Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today’s Changing Economy.  He shared a National Magazine Award for his work on “This is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn” for New York magazine. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Gibson’s radio work includes cohosting the podcast There Goes the Neighborhood, guest hosting various news programs for WNYC, and reading original essays for Live From Here, as well as All Things Considered. Gibson serves as director of Art Omi: Writers in Ghent, New York, and he cofounded Sangam House, a writers’ residency in India.

Jim Brunner has covered politics and government for The Seattle Times since 1998. He was part of the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning breaking news coverage in 2010 and 2015. He and colleague Lewis Kamb’s 2017 investigation of sexual-abuse allegations against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray won a National Headliner Award, the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and was an Investigative Reporters and Editors award finalist. He was on the streets of Seattle in 1999 for the WTO protests and talked his way into a building occupied by anarchists for a story.

For more than 40 years, Dana Schuerholz has been active in struggles for social justice and ecological balance. Her life’s work as a photographer, public artist, farmer, teacher, and mother involves inspiring, tending, and organizing the people and communities she is connected to. She is currently the lead instructor for Vashon Green School, which she founded in 2007. Dana is propelled in all she does by the idea that another world is possible and that what people do every day matters.

Yalonda Sindé is an award-winning community leader who many have hailed as the mother of the northwest Environmental Justice movement. She is a founding member of the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ), which became one of the most influential grassroots organizations in the Pacific Northwest. After serving as Executive Director of CCEJ, she moved on to start YIA Consulting where her team provides organizational management services to nonprofits and virtual administrative support.

Laurie Brown began her career working for two decades as an organizer, negotiator and leader with both private and public sector labor unions. Laurie went on to serve another two decades as a local government “people leader”, beginning as a senior strategic advisor in the office of Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, where she helped mediate a peaceful conclusion to the “Battle in Seattle” – the 1999 WTO protests. Laurie is currently learning about the joys and challenges of aging and retirement in our society.

Jim Pugel began working for the Seattle Police Department in 1981 after graduating from the University of Washington with a double major in Political Science and English Literature. He works in numerous assignments and was the West Precinct captain when Seattle was identified as the host city for the WTO ministerial. Jim eventually became chief of police in 2013, retired and then became the undersheriff for the King County Sheriff’s office. Jim retired from policing in 2018 and has been active in drug policy reform and developing alternatives to arrest for drug possession and consumption in the United States and parts of the world. He resides in Seattle and is active in various activities.

Vivian Phillips is a communications professional and arts leader. She is the founder of ARTE NOIR, which launched in 2021 as an an online publication celebrating Black art and culture. From 1998 to 2000, Vivian served as Director of Communications for Seattle Mayor Paul Schell and has been recognized for her community engagement and leadership in arts inclusion. She has received awards, including the Community Achievement Award from Key to Change and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Cornish College of the Arts. Currently, she serves on the University of Washington Foundation Board and resides in Seattle’s Central District.


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