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imperialism & war

Police Tactics Escalating

Police opened fire with rubber bullets yesterday on anti-war demonstrators in Oakland, California...
Forty injured as police fire rubber bullets at peace protesters

Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Tuesday April 8, 2003
The Guardian

Police opened fire with rubber bullets yesterday on anti-war demonstrators in Oakland, California, in what was the first such action during the current round of anti-war protests. Organisers said that around 40 protesters were injured, one seriously.
More than 700 protesters had gathered yesterday morning to picket the local shipping company, APL, which transports munitions and ammunition worldwide. Organisers said police opened fire after ordering them to disperse.

"It was a peaceful, legal picket, not a blockade," said David Solnit, of Direct Action to Stop the War, a network of direct action groups. "We have a tradition of pickets here. We did it with apartheid ships. The police gave an order to disperse, which is unusual, and then they didn't give people enough time to disperse. They fired rubber bullets, wooden bullets and beanbags right into the crowd."

One man lifted up his shirt to show a welt about the size of a baseball, and several were hit as they were moving from the scene, as evidenced by large bruises on their backs.

"I have been to many protests over the years, and I have never seen police resort to shooting people because they didn't like where they were standing," said Scott Fleming, 29, a lawyer hit several times in the back. "They had loaded guns and started charging."

Mr Solnit said that one demonstrator was in hospital, three had been hit in the face and between 30 and 40 injured. "It was a cross-section of the local community here - my friend's grandpa, a lot of school folks and trade unionists," he added. "We have never had this level of violent response. The central issue we were out for was to stop this war."

Another protester, Sasha Wright, whose father and brother are longshoremen, said: "We want to send a strong message that there will be no business as usual for corporations complicit in this illegal war that threatens the lives of countless US troops and Iraqis."

Danielle Ashford, a spokeswoman for Oakland police, said a warning had been given to demonstrators before rounds were fired. "We gave our dispersal order. We gave them ample time to disperse. When we give our dispersal order, that's pretty much it."

Local council members in Oakland said yesterday that they would seek an inquiry into what had happened and why the police had opened fire. Around 30 people were arrested for public order offences.

There were also protests and demonstrations in San Francisco and New York. In San Francisco police arrested about 20 protesters who blocked the downtown Federal Building.

In New York around 30 people were arrested in Manhattan.

homepage: homepage: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,932146,00.html

hmmm... 08.Apr.2003 12:09


Hmm.... all these protests across the country with people risking chemicals, arrest, and beatings... and yet Portland is doing absolutely nothing. Where have all the protests gone... looks like PPRC is all that's left. Depressing.

Saw the SFO indy site 08.Apr.2003 14:27

and it's scary.

There was a picture on the SFO site yesterday of a woman who was shot in the face with a wooden bullet. It was awful. Why do we let the police do this to us? Why do we pay for them to have robo-cop uniforms and state-of-the-art torture devices and chemical weapons to use against us?

These are OUR streets, and we are NOT going to take this much longer. When did America turn into Nazi Germany? It's all happening so suddenly.

The state is moving to crackdown on the people, because the state is no longer representing us but still needs our consent to live off our labor and our resources. We need to stop them now. We need to take back what is ours. We need to disarm the internal military that is our cities' police forces.

If those soldiers really want to help protect our freedom and democracy, then they need to come here and help to protect us against what is happening here.