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Wed Jul 25, 2012, 02:03 PM

Interesting: Report on "Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street" [View all]

http://www.chrgj.org/projects/suppressingprotest.pdf

Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street

Report from The Global Justice Clinic (NYU School of Law) and the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice (Fordham Law School) as part of the Protest and Assembly Rights Project

Findings and Recommendations

Full respect for assembly and expression rights is necessary for democratic participation, the exchange of ideas, and for securing positive social reform. The rights are guaranteed in international law binding upon the United States. Yet U.S. authorities have engaged in persistent breaches of protest rights since the start of Occupy Wall Street.

The most egregious violations include frequent alleged incidents of unnecessary and excessive police use of force against protesters, bystanders, journalists, and legal observers; constant obstructions of media freedoms, including arrests of journalists; unjustified and sometimes violent closure of public space, dispersal of peaceful assemblies, and corralling and trapping protesters en masse. Pervasive surveillance of peaceful political activity, arbitrary and selective rule enforcement, and restrictions on independent protest monitoring also raise serious concerns. The government has also failed to make transparent critical policies concerning law enforcement activities.
Under international law, the United States is required to prevent continuing abuses, remedy past violations, and ensure that protest rights are respected. Yet there have been limited investigations and near-complete impunity for violations by authorities of protest rights in connection with Occupy Wall Street.

PART I: BACKGROUND, CONTEXT, LAW 6

Chapter One: Occupy Wall Street in the Context of Contemporary 6 and Historic Social Protest
1. Occupy Wall Street: Evolution and Characteristics 6
2. Occupy in the Context of Recent International Protests 14
3. Public Protest in the United States 19

Chapter Two: Policing: Background, Context, Guidelines 24
1. Major U.S. Policing Issues: Policing of Racial and Religious Minorities 24 and the Homeless
2. Protest Policing Strategies: An Overview 26
3. U.S. Policing Guidelines and Use of Force Rules 31

Chapter Three: International Law and Protest Rights 45
1. Introduction: The Right to Engage in Peaceful Protest 45 and Political Assembly
2. Protest, Assembly, and Expression Rights are Foundational to Democracy 47
3. Scope and Content of Protest Rights 52
4. Policing Protests: Use of Force, Policies and Training, Surveillance 64
5. State Obligation to Investigate, Prosecute, and Remedy Violations 68

PART II: HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS IN THE RESPONSE TO 71 OCCUPY WALL STREET

Chapter One: Aggressive and Excessive Police Use of Force 72
1. Bodily Force: Pushing, Shoving, Dragging, Hitting, Punching, Kicking 73
2. Weapon Use: Batons, Pepper Spray, Barricades, Scooters, Horses 75
3. Restraints: Flex Cuff Injuries 78
4. Delays and Denial of Medical Care 80
5. Unnecessary Police Force Violates and Suppresses Protest Rights 81

Chapter Two: Over-Policing and Poor Communication 82

Chapter Three: Obstruction of Press Freedoms and Documentation 84 at Protests
iv
1. Abuse of Press Freedoms During the Zuccotti Park Eviction 85
2. Arrests of Journalists 87
3. Physical Abuse of Journalists 88
4. Other Obstructions of Press Freedoms 89
5. State Interference with Press Freedoms Violates International Law 90

Chapter Four: Obstruction of Independent Monitoring by 90 Legal Observers

Chapter Five: Police Surveillance 93
1 . 2. 3.
Surveillance 93 Interrogations and Intimidation 96 Surveillance and Intimidation of Protesters Chills Protected Expression 98
Chapter Six: Zuccotti Park—Eviction, Park Closures, and 98 Arbitrary Rules
1. The Eviction 98
2. Shifting and Arbitrary Park Rules 106
3. Subsequent Park Closures 109

Chapter Seven: Public Space Closure—Strategies of Containment, 110 Exclusion, and Dispersal
1. Kettling (Corralling) 110
2. Arbitrary Park Closures 113
3. Sidewalk Closures and “Blocking Pedestrian Traffic” Arrests 115
4. Arrests of Protesters Sleeping or Lying on Sidewalks 118
5. Protest Permits and “Blocking Vehicular Traffic” Arrests 119
6. Arrests, Conditional Dismissal of Charges, Stay-Away Orders 120

Chapter Eight: Other Arbitrary “Rule” Enforcement 121

Chapter Nine: Accountability and Transparency Failures 124
1. Internal Discipline and Reporting 125
2. External Civilian Complaint and Oversight Mechanisms 126
3. Public Transparency 127

Findings and Recommendations 130

Appendix I: Table of Police Use of Force Allegations Appendix II: Letters from NYPD
Appendix III: Index of Arrests of Journalists and Others Documenting Occupy Wall Street

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Reply Interesting: Report on "Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street" [View all]
Hissyspit Jul 2012 OP
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