[Hpn] Fwd: Rally for Political Prisoners

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Sun, 06 Aug 2000 13:08:18 -0700

>Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000 10:42:16 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Andrew Rose <affirmingandy@yahoo.com>
>Subject: Rally for Political Prisoners
>To: talk@quiet.org
>X-Original-Envelope-From: affirmingandy@yahoo.com
>a forward (excuse me) from PDAG media group...
>--- Rolando de Aguiar <rolando@iname.com> wrote:
>>  To: <thepartysover@egroups.com>
>>  From: "Rolando de Aguiar" <rolando@iname.com>
>>  Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000 06:53:50 -0400
>>  Subject: [thepartysover] The Party's Over E-Newsletter: Rally
>>  for Political Prisoners
>>  ----------------
>>  update from the Philadelphia Direct Action Group
>>  http://www.thepartysover.org
>>  Sunday August 6, 6:30 a.m.
>>  Spread the word! Please distribute as widely as possible! For
>>  more
>>  information, keep a close eye on www.phillyimc.org!
>>  -------------------------------------
>>  Meet today at Franklin Park, at 1:00 p.m. for a monumental
>>  rally to support
>>  our jailed brothers and sisters. Protest continued police
>>  assaults on civil
>>  liberties and human rights!
>>  ------------------------------------------
>>  Human Rights Violations Accusations Ignored and Under-reported
>>  Activists demand independent human rights monitors, end to
>>  high bails, and
>>  immediate release of political detainees
>>  The R2K Network, the umbrella organization for the protests
>>  against the
>>  Republican National Convention, took heated issue with the
>>  Philadelphia
>>  Police Department today over its handling of arrestees and its
>>  account of
>>  what took place during the protests. "There is an active
>>  misinformation
>>  campaign taking place as we speak, and it is being undertaken
>>  specifically
>>  by those who swore to uphold the public trust," stated Matthew
>>  Ruben, an
>>  organizer with the R2K Network. "There have been numerous
>>  violations of 1st
>>  amendment, 14th amendment and other civil and human rights by
>>  the
>>  Philadelphia Police Dept. since last Tuesday."
>>  Protesters questioned the motive and the rationale for a
>>  Tuesday police raid
>>  on a puppet-making warehouse at 41st and Haverford. Nothing
>>  beyond chicken
>>  wire and PVC pipe were foundómaterials that were intended for
>>  use in
>>  constructing the giant puppets that are signature props for
>>  recent protests.
>>  "This is censorship in the first degree," said Jodi Netzer,
>>  one of the only
>>  "puppetistas" not arrested. "There were absolutely no visual
>>  messages or
>>  allegorical representations in the protests that could be
>>  experienced
>>  directly by the public. How can we get our political message
>>  out to the
>>  public if our signs and puppets are taken away? The raid was a
>>  grievous
>>  violation of our free speech rights. Iím sure there will be a
>>  major lawsuit
>>  as a result, just as there was in Wash. DC" after 1st
>>  Amendment rights were
>>  violated in a similar protest against the International
>>  Monetary Fund and
>>  World Bank.
>>  City prosecutors have demanded and obtained extremely high
>>  bail set for
>>  Kathleen Sorensen and John Sellers, two of the alleged
>>  ringleaders of the
>>  violent aspects of Tuesdayís events. Sorensenís organization,
>>  Philadelphia
>>  Direct Action Group, explicitly advocated non-violence and
>>  actively
>>  discouraged property destruction in its web site (See PDAG
>>  action guidelines
>>  for the four guiding principles of the direct action).
>>  Sellersí
>>  organization, The Ruckus Society, also forswears all forms of
>  > violence
>>  including property destruction. Despite lack of substantive
>>  evidence
>>  indicating violent tendencies on the part of Sorensen and
>>  Sellers, bail was
>>  set at $1 million.
>>  Recently released detainees have been vocal concerning
>>  mistreatment and
>>  intimidation through physical and emotional abuse. Joseph
>>  Rogers, a Quaker
>>  peace volunteer and President of the Mental Health Association
>>  of Southeast
>>  Pennsylvania, was detained on Tuesday evening. Rogers
>>  witnessed correctional
>>  officers tightening the handcuffs of protesters until their
>>  hands became
>>  blue. When Rogers asked the guards to loosen the cuffs, the
>>  guards retorted
>>  "This will teach them a lesson, this will teach them to come
>>  to Philly."
>>  After further protest, Rogers was removed from his cell and
>>  cuffed from his
>>  left hand to his right ankle. "I told them I was diabetic but
>>  they threw me
>>  to the ground so they could cuff me. I was told to hop but my
>>  damaged knee
>>  prevented me. They dragged me to my cell."
>>  Malcolm Emerich, another recently released arrestee, stated,
>>  "The arrest
>>  process was chaotic and no police could honestly state where
>>  and when I was
>>  arrested. As a result, I had five different officers, at five
>>  different
>>  times, falsely assert they had seen me, and I am now facing
>>  six separate
>>  misdemeanor counts. Because of the chaotic arrest procedure
>>  and the
>>  inability of the police to ascertain where and why people were
>>  arrested, by
>>  the time I left the jail, some protesters had gone up to 72
>>  hours without
>>  being arraigned. I met two protesters who had broken fingers
>>  from their
>>  arrests. The jail conditions were nothing short of
>>  Kafkaesque."
>>  The RNC protests were called in order to bring attention to
>>  what protesters
>>  consider to be the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the
>>  current American
>>  political system, where corporate greed has precedence over
>>  human need.
>>  While highly successful in bringing attention to the morally
>>  bankrupt nature
>>  of fat cats pouring campaign dollars into politiciansí
>>  pockets, protesters
>>  were subjected to abuses at the hands of the Philadelphia
>>  Police Dept. The
>>  growing litany of abuses has led to demands for independent
>>  human rights
>>  monitors in the jails, dropping of charges and end to the
>>  current police
>>  misinformation campaign.
>>  ..............................................
>>  rolando de aguiar            rolando@iname.com
>>  r2k network * philadelphia direct action group
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