Activists Rap Report on Protests
- September 1, 2000
Activists rap report on protests
By SCOTT MABEN
Eugene activists have panned a Eugene Police Department
assessment of its response to political demonstrations
between mid-April and mid-June.
Members of the Eugene Active Existence, Anarchist Action
Collective, Independent Police Review Project and Copwatch
criticized the police report Thursday afternoon outside the
Lane County Courthouse.
The groups disagreed with many of Police Chief Jim Hill's
conclusions in an Aug. 18 report on what activists dubbed
the Seven-Week Revolt, which ended with dozens of protesters
being arrested June 17 and 18. In the report, police officials
said they saw no evidence of officer misconduct or excessive
force, contrary to accounts from some who took part in or
watched the protests.
Activists said the police report was full of errors, lies and
unanswered questions, and they characterized it as a case of
"foxes guarding the henhouse" because the conclusions were
based largely on a review of police videotape by the department's
internal affairs coordinator.
Sherry Franzen, with the Independent Police Review Project, a
group of activists, said it's no surprise the police would
absolve themselves of wrongdoing.
"The concept of police policing police is a hollow one. The
inherent bias is clear," Franzen said.
Although none of the activists or 72 people arrested during the
Seven-Week Revolt filed formal complaints with the police
department or sought mediation through the city's human rights
program, Franzen said civil lawsuits alleging excessive police
force "are certain to be filed."
"Knowing this, police management predictably issues a report
denying any police misconduct," she said. Franzen also reiterated
her group's call for "truly independent and external review of
police conduct and policy."
Martha Smith of Copwatch, a group that videotapes officers during
political demonstrations, accused officials of trying to cover up
"This report should be seen for what it is - a huge whitewash
serving to divert our attention from, as well as justify, a quarter-
million-dollar campaign of terror against the people of Eugene,"
Smith said, referring to the $218,577 that police report spending
on the protests.
Copwatch footage shown on the weekly cable television show
"Cascadia Alive!" in the past few months has "made public the
brutal beating of protesters" by officers wielding their bicycles,
Smith also said Copwatch videos were "instrumental" in the
acquittal last week of Erin Hauge, who was charged with disorderly
conduct for her participation in an April 24 march supporting
Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, who activists regard
as a political prisoner.
Police Lt. Rick Siel, who attended the Thursday news conference,
said the department continues to stand behind its report.
He also said it's important that people have an opportunity to
share their perspective, and that police will continue to encourage
citizens who have complaints about police conduct to use the
department's internal complaint system or the city's human rights
"We recognize that demonstrations are a healthy thing for any
community," Siel said. "It's healthy to have dialogue, as long as
it's legal and nonviolent."
The activists said their detailed response to the police report is
based on interviews with more than 80 residents. It includes a
chronology of key events during the Seven-Week Revolt, plus five
"damning observations" and a list of 10 police "lies" about the
For example, activists dispute Chief Hill's assertion that there
were no injuries requiring medical treatment during the seven-week
period. They said at least four of those who were arrested suffered
injuries ranging from cuts on an ankle to bruised knees as a result
of clashes with police.
One of those was Dan Heuston, arrested for disorderly conduct when
he crossed a street against the light in the Abu-Jamal march.
Heuston said police tackled him to the concrete, banging his head
just above the right eye. The eye became swollen and required
bandaging, he said, while he sat in jail five days.
Heuston entered a guilty plea and said he expects to be sentenced
this morning to 25 more days in jail. He admitted he jaywalked but
said, "I don't think that deserves the right to be tackled by the
Robin Terranova spoke on behalf of the Eugene Active Existence, an
8-month-old coalition of people from Eugene's "radical activist and
anarchist community." He said the group formed to create a
framework for coordinating weekly forums, workshops, training,
discussions and direct action.
The EAE mobilized the Seven-Week Revolt to promote "revolutionary
social and ecological change" in a more spontaneous and autonomous
manner than traditionally employed by radical and mainstream
activists in Eugene, he said.
"EAE has no doubt that the lies and distortions presented in Hill's
document will be used to justify yet more requests for funds for
policing of activists in the future," Terranova said. "It seems
that those in power always resort to such propagandizing, under the
mask of `public safety,' to put a friendlier face in their
ON THE WEB
Police report on Seven-Week Revolt:
The Website of Lord Weÿrdgliffe:
The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:
"Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas
zhiba. All Nyug bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam
not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel Chugnyi not;
Dharmakaya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang
and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in
night of Sun-chan and Yong-grub (Parinishpanna),
-- The Book of Dzyan.