Friday, November 21, 2003

Shorter FTAA

Well, nothing like a little tear-gas to focus the mind…

The ministers at the Free Trade Area of the Americas decided to wrap things up a day early, accepting a watered-down version of the original draft of the agreement.

Police say they arrested 74 demonstrators today during protests that began peacefully but turned violent when “anarachists” tried to stop the AFL-CIO from arriving at their scheduled demonstration. Tear gas and rubber bullets were deployed. Six officers were reported injured in what the local TV station, with its eye towards tourism, described as a “scuffle.” But it was enough to get national coverage, and apparently the ministers figured, “Hey, you know what, I’m cool with this, let’s hit some South Beach bars and split in the morning.”