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PATRIOT RAID

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  • ummyakoub
    PATRIOT RAID Jason Halperin, Alternet, 4/29/03 http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15770 Two weeks ago I experienced a very small taste of what hundreds
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5 6:50 AM
      PATRIOT RAID
      Jason Halperin, Alternet, 4/29/03
      http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15770

      Two weeks ago I experienced a very small taste of what hundreds of
      South Asian immigrants and U.S. citizens of South Asian descent have
      gone through since 9/11, and what thousands of others have come to
      fear. I was held, against my will and without warrant or cause, under
      the USA PATRIOT Act. While I understand the need for some measure of
      security and precaution in times such as these, the manner in which
      this detention and interrogation took place raises serious questions
      about police tactics and the safeguarding of civil liberties in times
      of war.

      That night, March 20th, my roommate Asher and I were on our way to
      see the Broadway show "Rent." We had an hour to spare before curtain
      time so we stopped into an Indian restaurant just off of Times Square
      in the heart of midtown. I have omitted the name of the restaurant so
      as not to subject the owners to any further harassment or
      humiliation.

      We helped ourselves to the buffet and then sat down to begin eating
      our dinner. I was just about to tell Asher how I'd eaten there before
      and how delicious the vegetable curry was, but I never got a chance.
      All of a sudden, there was a terrible commotion and five NYPD in
      bulletproof vests stormed down the stairs. They had their guns drawn
      and were pointing them indiscriminately at the restaurant staff and
      at us...

      "You have no right to hold us," Asher insisted.

      "Yes, we have every right," responded one of the agents. "You are
      being held under the Patriot Act following suspicion under an
      internal Homeland Security investigation..."

      When I asked to speak to a lawyer, the INS official informed me that
      I do have the right to a lawyer but I would have to be brought down
      to the station and await security clearance before being granted one.
      When I asked how long that would take, he replied with a coy
      smile: "Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month..."

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