Plymouth Assault: UAINE Statement Dec. 2 FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 4 Dec 1997 06:57:56 -0800 (PST)


FWD: Reply to sender <uaine19@idt.net> (United American Indians of New England)

        Dear friends:  We want to thank all of those people who have
contacted us and offered help.  We have felt strengthened by your prayers
and words of encouragement.  Sometimes we get tears in our eyes from the
incredible outpouring of support and the many heartfelt words.   We
apologize for the fact that we have not been able to contact some folks
to answer individual questions, but hope that will be forgiven in light of
how much has needed to be done in just a few days.
        The second group of defendants was arraigned this morning in
Plymouth County Court.  Much of the news media has stated that all of
those 25 people arrested were Indigenous.  That is not so.  The cops asaulted
and arrested Native, Black, Latino, Asian and white, straight and lesbian and
gay, young and old people.  All of us who were arrested are standing
strong and are united in the circle of struggle that began with the police
attack last Thursday, November 27.
        Below you will find our press statement of today, which contains
a lot of information about what happened as well as what we are asking
supporters to do at this time.  Thank you.
         Moonanum James for UAINE

News Release
United American Indians of New England
P.O. Box 7501, Quincy, MA 02269
Tel.  617 773-0406         E-mail  uaine19@idt.net
_______________________________________________________________________

Press Statement
December 2, 1997

       Our National Day of Mourning demonstrations have always been
peaceful events to re-educate the public about the Indigenous view of the
Eurocentric "Thanksgiving" and build Native pride.
       Why did the cops attack a peaceful march?  Why did they drag a
Native man by his hair when they arrested him?  Why did they arrest a peaceful
Native elder and medicine person?  Why did they intimidate and assault other
elders?  Why did they attack children with pepper spray?  Why did they
tear out the dreadlocks of a proud Black Man?  Why did they arrest people who
were standing on the sidewalk?  Why did they force pepper spray into the
eyes, noses and mouths of people who had already been handcuffed?  Why
did they single out people who wore buttons and T-shirts expressing support
for Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier?
       Did these cops go home afterwards and stuff their faces with
turkey?  Did they sit down with their own families after they had attacked our
families? Did they give thanks for keeping Plymouth's 377-year-old tradition of
racism intact?
       The most sickening part of what happened is that the police attack was
executed simply to protect the sacred image of the pilgrims and the sacred
image of Plymouth as a tourist shrine.
       The cop assault was planned and carried out simply to protect the tourist
industry in Plymouth.  The bottom line is not the safety of women, children,
elders and other people, but the protection of business interests.
       The human and civil rights of people of color -- and especially of
Indigenous people -- are expendable when money is to be made or tourists
might be inconvenienced.
       The police assault has backfired in their faces.  They have shown in
graphic detail the truth of what we have been saying all along.
       Did we attempt to destroy their precious property?  No!  Did we threaten
or attack a single person?  No!  Our "crime" was to speak the truth about
our history.  Our "crime" was to attempt to go down the street like free
human beings.  Our "crime" was to support Leonard Peltier and other
political prisoners.  Our "crime" was to unify people from all four
directions, to bring them together to denounce the pilgrim mythology upon
which the tourism industry in Plymouth depends.
       We point out to all the media here that the responsibility rests not only
with the town of Plymouth but with various state authorities.  Massachusetts
state troopers played a leading role in the cop assault on innocent people.
It was clear to us and to other observers that the cops had been trained in
so-called counterinsurgency tactics and had been training for some time.
There were also plainclothes cops there from unknown agencies.  Who were
they?  What agencies did they represent?

       Today, we are voicing to the world four demands as we stand here in
Plymouth, Massachusetts:
1.     We demand that the District Attorney's office drop all charges
immediately.
2.     We demand a public apology from the Plymouth Police Dept., the Plymouth
County Sheriff's Office, and the Mass. State Police.
>3.     We demand an open public inquiry into the police brutality that occurred
in Plymouth on Thursday, November 27, 1997.  This must be done by
independent parties, not by police agencies or prosecutors.  The fox cannot
guard the chicken coop.
4.     We demand that Governor Cellucci and other state and national public
figures break their silence and condemn the police violence that occurred in
Plymouth on "Thanksgiving" day.  These politicians must be held accountable
for what happened.  Cellucci and others authorized the use of state
troopers.  We will not allow Cellucci, Harshbarger, Kennedy, Kerry or any
other politicians to hide behind the ruse of trying to blame everything on
the town of Plymouth.  Why haven't any of them spoken out against this clear
case of police brutality on the streets of Plymouth?  When people all over
the world are outraged, why are they not outraged?

       We thank the thousands of people from the region, the hemisphere, and the
world who have contacted us in these last few days to express their support
and find out how they can help.  We thank them for their prayers.  We wish
to express our love and admiration for all those who have had the courage to
stand up with us.
       We are forming a defense committee to take up the day-to-day tasks of
defending all of those who were arrested last Thursday.  We know that many
people will want to be involved in this effort.
        Further, we have now set up a defense fund through the ACLU.
Supporters can send donations made payable to the "ACLU/Day of Mourning '97
Defense Fund" to UAINE at the above address.  Postage stamps are also
welcome.  If anyone in the New England area can arrange for the donation of
a photocopying machine, please contact us right away.

       At this point, we ask our supporters to do the following four things:
1.     Start a petition campaign demanding that all charges be dropped.
Petitions should be sent to UAINE. [Note:  An e-mail petition campaign would
be great, too.]
2.     Call Plymouth Visitor Information (508-747-7525) and the Plymouth
Chamber of Commerce (508-830-1620). Let them know that your family will not
spend a dime in Plymouth because of the police assault on "Thanksgiving" day.
3.     We ask that those who can, come to the Plymouth courthouse on January
29, when the Day of Mourning Defendants will next appear in court for a
pre-trial conference.
4.     We ask that our supporters be on alert and stand by, because we will be
planning additional actions.

       More and more people are becoming aware of how the town of Plymouth chose
to celebrate "Thanksgiving" this year.  The people are sickened and cry out
for justice.  No matter what, the truth will be heard.  Nothing can stop us
from speaking the truth about our history or about what happened here on
"Thanksgiving" Day in 1997.
       We are not vanishing.  We are not conquered.  We are as strong as ever.

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