WTO Proposes Protest Zones for Summit

Original Publication Date: 
11 October, 2005

Organizers of a WTO summit in Hong Kong have proposed several zones to contain the 10,000 anti-globalization protesters expected to gather here in December for the conference.

Protesters will be allowed to gather at Wanchai Sports Ground, which has a capacity of 7,000 people, and a cargo handling area that could handle crowds of about 3,000-4,000, Janet Wong, head coordinator for the World Trade Organization summit in December, said Friday after a meeting with an umbrella protest group. Both venues are near the meeting site, Wong said.

Two soccer fields and a central lawn nearby could also be used, Wong added.

The Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO, a community group that is coordinating the protest plans, said the zones were acceptable. About 10,000 protesters are expected, said Elizabeth Tang, of the alliance.

Officials have already said that the WTO meeting venue, the Convention and Exhibition Centre, and surrounding areas will be cordoned off during the Dec. 13-18 conference.

There is widespread concern that the upcoming summit could be marred by violent protests like those that broke out during previous WTO summits in Seattle in 1999 and Cancun, Mexico, in 2003.