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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-03 11:59 PM
Original message
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 12:48 AM by kskiska
In Miami, police unleashed unprecedented fury on demonstrators -- most of them seniors and union members. Is this how Bush's war on terror will be fought at home?

Editor's Note: This is the first installment of "Lost Liberties," a series of stories that will be published in the months ahead exploring the erosion of civil rights and personal freedom in the United States since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

By Michelle Goldberg

On Saturday, Nov. 22, a few dozen police on bicycles rode by the warehouse that activists protesting Miami's Free Trade of the Americas summit were using as a welcome center. The big protest had taken place on Thursday, Nov. 20, and most demonstrators had already dispersed. Some were in jail, others were nursing their injuries. But the cops wanted to deliver a final message to those still around. "Bye! Don't come back here!" shouted one. A pudgy officer gave the finger to an activist with a video camera. "Put that on your Web site," he said. "Fuck you."

It was the end of two days of what many observers called unprecedented police vindictiveness and violence toward activists. Certainly, complaints about the police have become a standard ritual after each major globalization protest. But what happened in Miami, say protesters, lawyers, journalists and union leaders, was anything but routine.

Armed with millions of dollars of new equipment and inflamed by weeks of warnings about anarchists out to destroy their city, police in Miami donned riot gear, assembled by the thousand, put the city on lockdown and unleashed an arsenal of crowd control weaponry on overwhelmingly peaceful gatherings.

Videos taken at the scene show protesters being beaten with wooden clubs, shocked with Taser guns, shot in the back with rubber bullets and beanbags, and pepper-sprayed in the face. Retirees were held handcuffed and refused water for hours. Medics and legal observers, arrested in large numbers, say they were targeted. A female journalist, arrested during a mass roundup, was made to strip in front of a male policeman. A woman's entire breast turned purple-black after she was shot there, point-blank, with a rubber bullet.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. No offense, but "unprecedented" is inaccurate.
They have been doing this stuff for a long time,
and people got killed and had the living shit beat
out of them. There has been progress of a sort, the
authorities are less sanguine about doing that sort
of thing now. Not that I intend to defend this sort
of police abuse mind you.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. absolutely right . . .
anyone remember the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago? . . . and the police riots that defined it? . . .
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. Is this in preparation for stealing the 2004 election?
We know how Republican staffers acting as street thugs shut down Florida recounts in 2000. We also know how cops harassed black voters to keep them from reaching the voting booths. Most likely some Democratic activists are taking steps to flood that state with activists to make sure it doesn't all happen again.

Is the "Miami Model" a pre-emptive message: "We're goddamn well going to steal it again by brute force, and we'll mangle you if you interfere!"?
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. where I live
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 12:15 AM by RainDog
...a guy just died as he was being processed by the police. the reasons for his death were a heart condition, drug intoxication, and electric shock (i.e. the police tazered him and he died.)

I know of another incident in this same jail where a guy was tasered for "resisting arrest' while his hands were up against a wall.

If the police taser someone to death because they're protesting, what happens to the police then?

with all the retirees and union members in that Miami protest crowd, I think the police are lucky that they didn't kill someone, because they would then be guilty of murder.

I saw some accounts from different journalists who were also there. Apparently the police drove the protestors into Overtown, which is, if you've ever lived in Miami, famous for being a dangerous place.

more than one journalist was mugged in Overtown, and police refused to stop for one of them when he had been injured.
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. the pigs pulled some COINTELPRO tactics too

"MIAMI Protestors seemed to skirmish with heavily armored Miami police outside the Riande Hotel Thursday morning, but nothing is at it seems this week. These "anarchists" were undercover police officers whose mission was to provoke a confrontation.

"The crowd predictably panicked, television cameras moved in, the police lines parted, and I watched through a nearby hotel window as two undercover officers disguised as "anarchists," thinking they were invisible, hugged each other. They excitedly pulled tasers and other weapons out of their camouflage cargo pants, and slipped away in an unmarked police van."

from Tom Hayden
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