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NYC to Pay $16,000 to RNC Demonstrators detained after Judge Ordered Release

NYC Agrees to Pay About $16,000 to RNC Demonstrators Kept in Detention After Judge Ordered Release
- The Associated Press
Is this what a free country looks like?
Is this what a free country looks like?
NEW YORK (AP) - The city agreed Friday to pay $150 each to 108 demonstrators who were arrested during last summer's Republican National Convention and kept locked up even after a judge ordered their release.

In addition to the $16,200, the city will also pay legal costs and attorneys' fees of about $215,000.

The payouts will settle the demonstrators' claims that the city was in contempt of court for not complying with a judge's order to release hundreds of the protesters.

Those arrested can still sue on other grounds, including allegations of excessive force by police.

More than 1,800 people were arrested during the four-day convention. Most arrests were for minor violations, such as disorderly conduct. Some were held for days. Some claimed they were not protesters at all but were swept up anyway by police.

AP-ES-04-15-05 1522EDT

This story can be found at:  http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGB0OIFSK7E.html

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I think that at least one of the members of Team Cascadia may be one of the 108 involved in the lawsuit. No doubt, there will be a response here to clarify that. In any case, $150 probably would not have gotten you a decent room for the night during the convention. However, the $215,000 for the legal defense team is a very good thing.

The accomodations members of Team Cascadia who got swept up in the mass arrests in NYC got for their $150 are discussed in this video:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/media/media/2004/09/297543.mpg

To view this film you need to have Apple's free Quicktime player installed.:

 http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/


For those who don't wish to download the movie (and that may be everyone) here are some excerpts from the interview:

Amelia: On August 31st at approximately 6 PM in the afternoon Chris & I arrived at the library [because] we had heard about some kind of convergence that would be happening [there].

Chris: We were just turning around to get Indian food... there was really nothing going on when they decided to fence us in. ... One guy was worried his wife and kids were going to think he died in a car wreck. He just disappeared. We weren't allow phone calls until we were 20 hours in. [Chris never was allowed a phone call].

[continued under next photograph]


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14. Is this what a free country looks like?

Chris: I was taken first and loaded into an unmarked van .... We were brought to a place called Pier 57 which is right on the waterfront on the West Side Highway.

Amelia: It was an old bus depot in the 50's, it was a bus garage. ... there had been a fire in the 90's which had released a lot of asbestos.

Chris: ... the walls were still lined with asbestos, and all the chemicals were still on the floor. I was told by one of the medics that if you sat or laid down on the ground people were complaining of respiratory problems or chemical burns and rashes so I was pretty careful not to do that. But several people I know have pretty serious chemical burns.

Amelia: I was in that cage from midnight until [noon]. Right above me, right in my view there are these signs, safety signs, that say that to be in that building, you need goggles, aprons, protective clothing which none of us had any of those things and our bare skin was on the cement that we were laying on. And they weren't taking anyone out, but they kept on putting people in. At one point we counted over a hundred people in that one 13 by 26 foot cell.

In conclusion, I was in jail for 44 hours not knowing my exact charges, without being arraigned and without seeing a lawyer until my 43rd hour in jail. [Until that 43rd hour] the entire time I was in jail I thought I had a Class "A" felony charge. A Class "A" felony is the same as rape and murder for having a pocket knife. ... Now I have to fight this in court. [Before she left jail Amelia's charge was dropped to a type 4 misdemeanor]

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