... the New York Police Department has started using increasingly aggressive tactics against demonstrators - tactics that appear aimed more at unconstitutionally suppressing free speech than maintaining order:
* March leaders are being told by the police that they can proceed along a designated route - then, after a couple of blocks, hundreds of demonstrators (along with bystanders, news media, and legal observers) are summarily arrested.
* Demonstrators are taken to a filty, unsafe temporary holding facility, and many are kept there longer than the legal limit of 24 hours without being arraigned or released.
* Nonviolent marchers are being corralled into giant orange nets like animals.
* Protesters, including at least one pregnant woman, have been held more than 24 hours with no food or water. (Incidentially, the department also forgot to provide water for its own people during last Sunday's massive march; commanders had to scurry into convenience stores in search of liquid for their officers.)
All this is happening despite the fact that the demonstrations are overwhelmingly nonviolent, respectful, and attempting to follow police directives. Clearly, the agenda has more to do with politics than public safety.
TAKE ACTION NOW
At last report, hundreds were still in detention under squalid conditions and without basic Constitutional rights. Included in the round-up are a number of impartial lawyers who were present as legal observers, not demonstrators. And Thursday, with George Bush in New York, who knows what the police will do?
Let's flood New York's decision-makers with messages from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Please visit our urgent-action alert now and send e-mails and faxes to New York's Mayor, Police Commissioner, and Police Review Board. We also provide contact information for the broadcast network news anchors; urge them to pay more attention to what's happening in the streets around the convention, not just the dog-and-pony show inside the hall.
Visit our home page now and click "Tell NYC: Stop Oppressing Demonstrators" in the Top Alerts column (below the large photo):
( It's also the 1 September 2004 alert at: http://www.progressiveportal.org/alerts?action )
BUSH BEHIND BARS, CHENEY IN CHAINS
Between now and election day, let's make peace and justice visible issues. Our "Bush/Cheney '04" button shows the two of them handcuffed and in prison garb. Destined to be a political-button classic, along with "Somewhere in Texas a Village Is Missing an Idiot," "Drop Bush Not Bombs," "Get That Warmonger Out of the White House," "Real Patriots Defend the Constitution," and more, available for a limited time at: http://www.progressiveportal.org/resources/buttons.html?action
Bumper stickers include "In the Bush League, Everyone Strikes Out," "Regime Change Begins at Home," and "Dissent Is Patriotic": http://www.progressiveportal.org/resources/stickers.html?action
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P.S. If you can do it right now, please take action to defend free-speech rights before the Republic Convention ends tonight. Visit our home page now and click "Tell NYC: Stop Oppressing Demonstrators" in the Top Alerts column (below the large photo):