[sixties-l] Freespeech Newsletter

From: StewA@aol.com
Date: Sun Aug 06 2000 - 22:30:55 CUT

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    To: newsletter@fs.freespeech.org
    Subject: Urgent Action Newsletter - August 5, 2000

    Freespeech.org Newsletter, August 5, 2000
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    A young man handcuffed crucifixion style to a cell door. The screams and
    moans of young women echoing through the cell block C. Another young woman
    dragged naked, bloody through a garbage strewn prison hall. Hunger strikers
    denied access to water or toilets. Metal handcuffs pounding, smashing the
    fingers, hand and wrist of prisoners who refuse to be finger printed.

    These are the scenes reported by eyewitnesses from Philadelphia's central
    prison, the Roundhouse, on Friday morning, August 4th. As the Republican
    Party National Convention left town, over four hundred men and women
    remained in jail, many for the fourth day. Their bails range from $6,000 to
    $30,000. One man was given a bail of $450,000. Two people, including Ruckus
    Society founder John Sellers, are being held on bail of one million dollars.

    Their crime?

    They were among thousands of people who mobilized in Philadelphia this week
    to confront and challenge the corporate controlled power structure at the
    appointment of Republican Presidential candidate George W Bush.

    Free Speech TV has been in Philadelphia all week, providing live television
    broadcast from the Independent Media Center. All the news that the
    corporate media censors. Each morning an expanded two hour telecast of
    Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales has
    examined the issues and interviewed the young men and women who have dared
    disrupt the festivities of the powerful. Each evening, Crashing the
    Party! - an hour and a half report on the day's events, hosted by Radio for
    Change's Laura Flanders has told the real stories of their creative
    challenges and Philadelphia's brutal response.

    Free Speech TV's coverage can be seen on Dish Network Channel 9415 and has
    been carried live on over 30 Public Access cable stations around the
    country. It has also been streamed live and archived at www.freespeech.org.

    You can visit our website to get a Dish Network Satellite so that you can
    follow our coverage as we move to the Independent Media Center in Los
    Angeles on August 14th -18th to cover the mobilizations that will confront
    the Democratic Party at the coronation of Al Gore.

    We need your support to continue this unprecedented coverage. Please
    contribute to the effort at www.freespeech.org/donations.html.

    Now the emergency statement released by R2K, that has sponsored this weeks
    mobilization of opposition in Philly.

    August 4, 2000
    Contacts: Paul Davis, ACT UP Philadelphia, just released from jail, 215 280
    7536 (cell) R2K Legal: 215 925 6791 R2K Media: 215 545 1505



    Philadelphia, PA ~ On the last day of the Republican National Convention, in
    Philadelphia, the cradle of democracy, police and federal authorities have
    demonstrated a determination to undermine both the US Constitution and
    people's basic human rights. Jailed demonstrators continue to demand medical
    treatment, access to lawyers, access to phones, and timely release. Outside,
    solidarity actions continue, with rallies planned at Franklin Park at 7 p.m.

    Guards, police, and administrators continue to attack protestors in jail,
    seeking to demoralize and divide. Recently released prisoners have reported
    eyewitness accounts of widespread abuse that can only be described as
    torture. There are numerous accounts of arrestees who have been isolated,
    verbally abused, punched, kicked, thrown against walls, bloodied, and
    dragged naked across floors, in one instance through a 'trash trough'
    containing refuse, spittle and urine. There has been a reported sexual
    assault by a female officer who pulled and twisted a prisoner's penis. Seven
    witnesses saw one woman dragged naked and bleeding. Diabetics, epileptics,
    and asthmatics continue to be denied medication. Trauma and psychological
    stress are evident.

    Paul Davis, from ACT UP Philadelphia, reports his eyewitness accounts of
    brutality inside the Philadelphia jail. "I saw a man handcuffed to his cell
    door in a crucifixion position. I heard women screaming and being dragged
    along the floor. I saw a woman screaming in pain as a police officer said,
    'You want more?! You want more?!'"

    Arrestees have now been held for over 60 hours without arraignment, some
    without phone calls or contact with their lawyers. Detainees report missing
    paperwork, and arraignments with incomplete or slipshod records.
    Philadelphia continues to restrict R2K Legal Committee lawyers, allowing
    only a total of three lawyers access to all six detention sites, and
    hundreds of defendants. Prosecutors have set unprecedented high bail for
    non-violent civil disobedience. Most bails range from $15,000 to $30,000,
    while others are much higher. Two individuals have bail of $1,000,000, an
    amount typically reserved for serial killers, not community organizers,
    non-violence training facilitators artists and puppet makers charged with

    "I consider this a civil rights catastrophe of the first order," R2K Legal
    Committee counsel Ron McGuire stated. "This is an attack on our 14th
    Amendment. An attack on due process and reasonable bail." "This is a
    systematic political effort to undermine and destroy the momentum of a
    growing movement for social and environmental justice."

    R2K Legal has documented 381 confirmed arrests, not including members of the
    International Action Center and School of Americas Watch (15 more).
    Additionally, there are people we have not heard from (we estimate up to
    30), but due to restrictions on protester's access to telephones, there is
    really no way to tell. Of these people, approximately 60 have accepted
    "Release on Own Recognizance" or "Signed On Bail." Prisoners are working
    together to agree on and communicate their demands. Solidarity tactics to
    demand their release include singing, chanting, and story telling, along
    with a 150-person-strong hunger strike. Some have been on hunger strike for
    as long as 56 hours. Three men have fasted without water for 28 hours.

    Supporters are asked to phone Mayor John Street at 215.686.2181 and demand
    the immediate release of these political prisoners.

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