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WEF Protest Arrests

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo Posted February 2nd, 2002 6:30 PM villagevoice.com exclusive Cops Move on Masked
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4 5:22 PM
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      Posted February 2nd, 2002 6:30 PM

      villagevoice.com exclusive

      Cops Move on Masked Demonstrators Black Bloc Busted for
      Bandanas

      by Lenora Todaro

      February 2—As a New York City police paddy wagon and NYC
      corrections department school bus drove up to the southwest
      corner of the midtown Plaza Hotel, nervous chatter skidded
      across the few thousand strong gathering of anti-World
      Economic Forum demonstrators. Police lines tightened and
      journalists and passersby were shooed onto corners.

      Soon after, at approximately 2 p.m., a scuffle indeed broke
      out. As protesters began to march toward the Waldorf-Astoria
      Hotel where the Forum is taking place, police isolated a
      group wearing bandanas across their faces, with a few clad
      in motorcycle helmets and swimming goggles. The activists
      carried plastic shields decorated with painted trees. Police
      moved in, pulling them out from the largely peaceful crowd,
      slapping plastic handcuffs on their wrists, and dragging
      them behind police lines.

      A few rounds of pepper spray were fired as the crowd swelled
      and began to shout "Whose streets? Our streets." At least
      one medic confirmed treating a demonstrator for pepper
      spray.

      No officer on the scene would confirm how many people were
      arrested or what they were charged with, but there were more
      than a dozen, and most likely they were cited for violating
      the city's obscure 1845 law against wearing a mask. Two
      protesters resisted arrest, prompting some five burly
      officers to sit upon them.

      Police confiscated and smashed the plastic shields and a
      large puppet. But the charges can't all be based on the mask
      law. According to Mina McFarlane, a laywer and legal
      observer with the Mass Defense committee, one arrestee was a
      Jeremy Hutchens, an attorney with the National Lawyer's
      Guild in Washington D.C. He was not wearing a mask.

      Two other arrests were made this morning at 10 a.m. at 57th
      street and Park Avenue at the International ANSWER rally, a
      police department spokesperson has confirmed. One person was
      charged with disorderly conduct, although the details as to
      what type of disorder are not available. The second person
      was released.

      By some reports, the crowd today included an estimated 5000
      people. At a press conference, Police Commissioner Raymond
      Kelly confirmed 27 arrests outside the Plaza Hotel, and 36
      altogether thus far, most for unlawful assembly and
      disorderly conduct.

      Tell us what you think. mailto:editor@...

      Posted February 3rd, 2002 7:00 PM

      Protesters Feel the Sting of New York's Finest

      The Ugliness of Force

      by Laura Conaway

      February 3-New York City police have been quietly savoring a
      public relations victory this weekend as they've so far
      corralled demonstrators at the World Economic Forum and kept
      property destruction to a minimum.

      But that doesn't mean their work has been pretty-or
      peaceful. These photos capture the scene that erupted today
      after 20 or so demonstrators began marching against traffic
      up Third Avenue in lower Manhattan. Cops quickly moved in,
      as if they knew the protesters were coming. As the blues
      poured in and the billy clubs started flying, the crowd
      swelled to some 200 activists, who broke off into impromptu
      games of Ring-Around-the-Rosie, chanted the familiar refrain
      of "Whose streets? Our Streets" and refused orders to get
      out of the road and onto the sidewalk.

      Police began making arrests, wrapping activists' wrists with
      plastic cuffs and putting people on paddy wagons. Since the
      Forum began last week, the official arrest tally has risen
      to 46-a much smaller number than activist and law
      enforcement insiders anticipated. At 6:30 p.m., the NYPD
      didn't have a full count of those picked up today, but in a
      press release activists said 60 people were arrested and one
      person knocked unconscious. Later reports brought the arrest
      total citywide to 154.

      Today's civil disobedience may provide a prelude for
      demonstrations tonight and tomorrow, as activists move away
      from the heavy police presence near the Forum's headquarters
      at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel and create spontaneous
      disturbances around the city. They seem to be enjoying the
      game of cat and mouse. Some this afternoon were heard joking
      they'd make the cops miss the Super Bowl.

      If the folks in blue do miss the game, at least they'll have
      been paid well. Early estimates of overtime cost to the city
      have run as high as $11 million.

      Tell us what you think. mailto:editor@...

      Posted February 2nd, 2002 11:45 AM

      villagevoice.com exclusive

      Five Nabbed in East Village Arrest Watch: Busted Fiercely at
      CHARAS

      by Ariston-Lizabeth Anderson

      February 2—Direct-action insiders here for the World
      Economic Forum anticipated an action at CHARAS, the East 9th
      Street community center evicted in December. The building,
      scene of CHARAS's long and lost battle with developer Gregg
      Singer, symbolized for them corporate greed. Had CHARAS
      still had possession of it, the converted school would have
      made a perfect convergence center for incoming
      out-of-towners. And the wooden boards now surrounding the
      building were no small reminder of the fence walling off
      free-trade delegates in Quebec City last April-those boards,
      like that fence, were waiting to be torn down.

      Protesters even anticipated the NYPD taking a heavy hand
      against the action. What wasn't expected was how quickly the
      police rushed to the scene and how roughly the protesters
      were dealt with.

      Around 10:45 last night, a crowd of about 30 longtime CHARAS
      supporters, out-of-town WEF protesters, and Manhattan kids,
      came around the corner of Avenue C and 9th Street, singing
      festively as they marched toward their former safe space.

      One kid banged on the front of the building, while a couple
      of others yanked on the boards, managing to pull off two
      planks of wood. Instantly, at least two dozen police
      officers, some in plain clothes, rushed from the direction
      of Avenue B, running with nightsticks held high above their
      heads. One female officer shouted, "Cuff anyone who's
      running!" Five or six activists were thrown to the ground
      and beaten with sticks.

      "It was really ridiculous, absolute police brutality," said
      John Spiegler, 15, who had just come from a punk show when
      he witnessed a close friend being hauled off. "They handled
      this the wrong way." In the end, five protesters were
      arrested, proof of the zero-tolerance attitude police had
      promised.

      A police spokesperson this morning said the five were
      charged with attempted burglary and were likely awaiting a
      court hearing today.

      Before today, eight people had been arrested as WEF
      protesters, including seven ACT UP members who have been
      released.

      Tell us what you think. mailto:editor@...

      Posted February 1st, 2002 2:15 PM

      villagevoice.com exclusive

      Seven Activists Freed

      Arrest Watch: NY Jails Called Unprepared

      by Laura Conaway

      February 1—All seven ACT UP activists arrested yesterday
      have been released, giving the world a first glimpse at New
      York's plans for handling what could eventually be hundreds
      of arrests during the World Economic Forum. Police have said
      they can handle a flood of a thousand arrests if need be—but
      faced with an initially small stream, they seemed less sure
      of the right response.

      ACT UP member Sharonann Lynch said she and four other women
      nabbed while hanging a banner downtown on Thursday morning
      spent much of the day being driven around Brooklyn by
      police. Two male activists were separated from the group and
      released yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, Lynch and the
      others-labeled WEF Females 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-were initially
      taken to the Brooklyn Naval Yard, only to have the officers
      discover that facility had been reserved for male
      protesters.

      Next, cops took them to the "Tombs," a jail in Lower
      Manhattan, where Lynch said five cells are ready to receive
      protesters. Those pens will quickly overflow, she said, if
      police begin rounding people up during weekend
      demonstrations. Still, the officers seemed excited over
      their new system for processing protesters. "There were a
      lot of kinks," she said. "It was funny to see five people
      working on putting one wristband on one inmate."

      Lynch said police talked early on about hitting them with
      serious charges like burglary and breaking and entering.
      That would be consistent with law enforcement tactics in
      places like Philadelphia, where Police Commissioner John
      Timoney rounded up hundreds of demonstrators at the 2000 GOP
      convention on felony charges that were later drastically
      reduced. Under Timoney, now a private consultant helping
      mastermind New York's enforcement this week, protesters
      faced bail as high as $1 million-enough to keep them off the
      streets until the meetings ended.

      In the end, Lynch and company were accused only of criminal
      mischief and reckless endangerment. After they were
      interrogated and held for a few hours at Manhattan's Central
      Booking, police set them free at 4:30 this morning. "They
      were decent," she said, "and we kept making the point that
      you're decent now, but we hope you'll still be decent after
      you've arrested your 50th protester."

      In addition to the ACT UP members, a lone man from
      California was arrested Thursday for spraying graffiti on a
      Starbucks coffee shop. At noon, a police spokesman said that
      so far no one else had been arrested.

      Tell us what you think. mailto:editor@...

      Posted January 31st, 2002 3:30 PM

      villagevoice.com exclusive

      AIDS Activists Among First Jailed Arrest Watch: Eight and
      Counting

      by Laura Conaway

      January 31—The New York chapter of ACT UP reports seven of
      its members were arrested at dawn this morning while hanging
      two massive banners in midtown and downtown Manhattan. The
      banners demanded that corporations carry the cost of
      treatment for their workers in poor countries and criticized
      the Bush administration's lack of attention to AIDS issues.

      The seven activists, among the first to be arrested in
      protests at the World Economic Forum, were taken to the
      Brooklyn Navy Yard and the "Tombs" facility in lower
      Manhattan. Two had been released by Thursday afternoon, but
      ACT UP expects the others may be held until the meetings
      end.

      Demonstrators are watching to see whether New York cops
      replicate what has become the prevailing strategy at global
      confabs, where hundreds have been arrested on charges that
      are later dropped or radically reduced. Kate Krauss of ACT
      UP described this "preventive detention" approach as an
      unconstitutional means of squelching dissent. "All you have
      to do is charge them with an exorbitant charge and they're
      frozen," she said.

      A police spokesman said five of the demonstrators had been
      charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment,
      and another two had been nabbed on administrative
      violations. No information about the possibility of posting
      bail was immediately available.

      In addition to the ACT UP members, a lone man from
      California was arrested for spraying graffiti on a Starbucks
      coffee shop.

      Tell us what you think. mailto:editor@...

      --
      Dan Clore
      mailto:clore@...

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