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USWA Calls for Congressional Investigation into Police-State Assaults in Miami

Union condemns use of federal Iraq reconstruction funds to subsidize "homeland repression" at FTAA meetings
USWA Calls for Congressional Investigation into Police-State Assaults in Miami



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 24, 2003

Union condemns use of federal Iraq reconstruction funds to subsidize "homeland repression" at FTAA meetings

PITTSBURGH The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) is calling for a Congressional investigation into "a massive police state," created in part with federal funds, to intimidate union members and others critical of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and limit their rights during FTAA meetings in Miami last week.

"Last week, the fundamental rights of thousands of Americans ... were blatantly violated, sometimes violently, by the Miami police, who systematically repressed our Constitutional right to free assembly with massive force, riot gear and armaments," said Leo W. Gerard, USWA international president, in a letter to Congressional leaders.

"It is condemnable enough that a massive police state was created to prevent American citizens from directly petitioning FTAA negotiators for redress of their grievances," Gerard said in the letter.

"It is doubly condemnable," he added, "that $9 million of federal funds designated for the reconstruction of Iraq were used toward this despicable purpose. How can we hope to build democracy in Iraq while using massive force to dismantle it here at home?"

Citing "countless instances of humiliating repression in which the Miami police force disgraced itself," Gerard said that Miami police chief John Timoney should be fired, all charges against peaceful demonstrators should be dropped, and a Congressional investigation into the Miami police department's systematic repression should immediately be launched.

"To do less would be to endorse homeland repression in the guise of homeland security," Gerard's letter concluded.

Contact: Marco Trbovich (412) 562-2442

homepage: homepage: http://www.uswa.org/uswa/program/content/737.php

Miami Sux dot com 25.Nov.2003 13:41

fearless fosdick

I suggest that perhaps the most fruitful approach would be to contact various tourism based businesses, hotels, restaurants, etc. Miami Tourist Board, etc. and use a little bit of editorial license in composing letters such as the following, which would in fact get a helluva lot more attention than complaining to the "justice" system that some of their "Justice System" employees are perhaps being a little overzealous in their indeavor to wipe out the constitution. The following was sent to the Tourism board this morning, and similar ones have been going to various businesses I have googled today in the Miami area. Money talks:
"Hello..
My company has been seeking a place, preferably with a southern climate, where we could schedule a retreat, conference, and general get together. The natural choice seemed at first to be Miami. As we were preparing to launch our travel people into reservation mode, however, several employees contacted me with the news story about several media reporters being arrested and allegedly roughed up, for having the temerity to cover a free trade conference. Well, that sort of cracked the whole idea. If your police cannot handle a little dissent without busting heads and taking names of persons simply exercising their constitutional rights (are these still recognized in your world?), then I am afraid that we will have to seek someplace more enlightenned in which to hold our conference. Some of us have already written to the city to complain, but the Chief of Police seems to be in charge, and he merely blows the whole thing off, so hey! I am sure our money will be welcome elsewhere.
Oh, and my family and I have chosen to spend our vacation dollars elsewhere, as well. Cuba might be a little less repressive.

Public outcry important 25.Nov.2003 14:09

IMU

letter above somewhat believable, surely helpful. Union outcry commendable. thanks for the post!