Like many out there, the images of Occupy protesters facing police officers clad in riot gear brings back to mind the "Battle In Seattle" in 1999 during the World Trade Organization meetings. For some perspective, Grist interviewed the presiding police chief at the time – Norm Stamper – who brings his perspective to the Occupy protests which, as stated before, is an environmental movement.
(This photo was taken in Seattle – but in 1999 or 2011?)
Q. Take us back to 1999 and the first couple of days of the WTO protests in Seattle.
A. We thought we were ready. We had put in 10,000 hours of training. We had sent officers around the country. We had studied what had happened at previous international financial conferences. Monday [the first day of the WTO meeting] comes and goes with a few incidents, with many thousands of protesters on the streets. They're praising us for our friendliness, our restraint … On Tuesday morning, however, starting at 2 or 2:30 in the morning, we get reports from our officers that large contingents of protesters, some of them holding gas masks, were starting to converge on the downtown area.