portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

human & civil rights

Is Democracy Excercised Democracy Beaten?

Letter to President Bush. Citizen outrage over Genoa tortures and human rights violations. Call for release of Sparks and Hager. Are sleeping people really rioting?! In last sentence, please use sarcastic humor.
August 1, 2001

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Bush,

Please consider taking a strong stand against the human rights violations toward non-violent demonstrators by police forces during the recent Genoa economic summit and urge Prime Minister Berlusconi and the other G8 leaders to do the same. Please excuse the tone of the letter, as the human rights violations at the summits by authorities are really that bad and we hope the presidents and prime ministers of the G8 are not to blame.
Are the G8 leadership committed to democracy for individual citizens or only elected officials and corporations? The world thinks litmus test every time its sees that democracy exercised is democracy beaten.

Please demand the immediate release from Italian authorities of two Oregonians, Sherman Sparks and Morgan Hager, brutalized in the attack by police at the gymnasium of the Genoa Social Forum. Conspiracy to loot is a trumped-up charge for both persons and frankly 'thinking about or planning it' shouldn't merit torture or a raid. In addition, I truly believe that salad forks and salad knives pose no threat to any one, save a catapult of thousands of the items. Torture survivor Sparks was reported as 'sleeping' before the Italian authorities injured him to the extent of needing to be treated in a hospital neurology department. Torture survivor Hager is reported as 'sleeping' before the police assault and beaten enough to require hospital treatment. I do not know her involvement in the 'salad fork high crimes, it must be guilt by place set. With hundreds of non-violent demonstrators treated similarly, Italy has heralded in a memorable 21st century act of repression. Sparks, Hager, and any citizen protected by international law, the Universal Declaration Human Rights specifically, has the right to peacefully demonstrate at any and all economic summits in a country where they would have a reasonable expectation of civil and human rights protection. Please support and apply Amnesty International's 12-point plan to stamp out torture in the Genoa situation and any future summits.

The US and the world's nations need the newly emerged global democratic citizen participation taken on by so many citizen-demonstrators of various countries. A world that cares about itself at the individual level preserves the basic unit of global democracy, individual participation. After the Italian summit, any US citizen and myself would want guarantees of protection from human rights violations perpetrated by police forces against any non-violent citizen demonstrating or witnessing any future summits. Anything less is a breach of the consent to be governed by US law and UN declaration. American Embassy in Italy should support law suites and proceedings filed on behalf of those injured, please be sure of this. While violent infiltrators of non-violent demonstrations have always occurred during demonstrations, the G8 summit law enforcement organizers and leadership should be experienced enough to require police forces to differentiate. By US and international law, are sleeping people really rioting?!

When I heard on ABC World News Tonight's broadcasts of the police beatings and tortures at the school Diaz, I realized there is an abhorrent pattern of scapegoating city police forces, like Genoa, by their national governments to deter non-violent democratic protest guaranteed by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I hold this opinion because I heard not enough outcries of injustice and promises to prevent its reoccurrence from various nations' leadership. If global democracy is to have any relevance, the human rights of citizens of all nationalities must be preserved during summits that effect their lives. US citizens should not have be harmed in Italy, just as Italian citizens should not be harmed during the Washington D.C. economic summit. When such blatant human rights abuses are perpetrated by authorities themselves, then there must be a restoration of civil and human rights by investigating those responsible; namely individual police detachments functioning during the event and those that reportedly told them that constitutional rights, UN and Italian, were suspended for the event and that 'its covered' presumably by the Berlusconi administration. If the active citizens of the globe force prosecution of police tortures, police forces around the globe will have to take their cues from democratic law and not top leaderships' scapegoating of either protesters or police forces. To save Italian national pride and police pride, some police officers protested their detachment's relinquishment of human rights; that preserves some hope in the humanity of police service everywhere. I've written Senator DeWine, Representative Regula, UN High Commissioner Robinson and the Italian Embassy in the US to express these concerns.

Please make a plan to preserve the outside gatherings and protests as an integral part of individual democratic process with police forces in a defensive posture only and recognizing individuals assaulting only. We, the citizens of the free nations of the globe, want dialogue, alternative ideas, and concerns of both demonstrators and witnesses.

When police forces crush bone and splatter blood against walls of sleeping non-violent demonstrators not presently engaged in a violent act and again brutalized these same demonstrators at police stations as arrestees, then the news viewing citizenry must speak-out. It is a crime against humanity and the democratic process for the police forces in Genoa to go unchallenged. We will all live in fear of repression of free speech, legal witnessing of democratic events, global citizenship participation and free movement without this challenge. This is unacceptable. Both the Swedes and Italians must be sanctioned by the United Nations until they prosecute their own law enforcement detachments, just as the USA should be sanctioned for any tortures that occur during the September summit without immediate investigation and resulting prosecution. The eyewitness demonstrator participation reports should be given consideration by the Office of President as the highest defender of human rights for non-violent US citizens harmed at the school Diaz and IndyMedia.

Please guarantee that any tortures and beatings by police forces during the Washington D.C. economic summit will be investigated and prosecuted by your administration.

For a 3-page letter it's really simple, only beat the ones that throw rocks at other humans, torture not included.

Sincerely,
Bruce Lupfer