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by A protester
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 6:33 PM
d2kla007 213-555-1212 figueroa avenue
LAPD curtails right of free assembly for immigrants and youth; delegate disgust cited
Between 8:30 and 9 p.m., the LAPD made good on the threat
that Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine relayed
to the crowd near the beginning of their free concert outside the Staples Center: they disrupted the alleged "illegal action" in the protest zone on the pretext that people were standing next to the security fence. Channels Seven, Nine, and Eleven are reporting that one or two bonfires among the hundreds-strong crowd prompted the police to sweep the area and begin firing projectiles at the crowd; their reporters on the ground, however, have noted that the fires began only after the police began to disperse the crowd. The LAPD on horseback, motorcycles and in armored formation drove the protesters up Olympic to the 101 underpass just as President Clinton finished his fanciful paean to the American dream and delegates began to file out of the Staples Center. So-called "bean bags," soft bags filled with hard pellets designed to knock people down, were fired at protesters, downing a prominent LA acitivist on behalf of the homeless. In addition, "stingers," or projectiles fired at the pavement that unleash a number of BB-style pellets at ankle level in order to inflict pain and perhaps to incapacitate subjects, were also fired according to a Channel Eleven expert in police tactics. Flash bangs and perhaps tear gas were also used against the mostly young and heavily Latino protesters.
The police action came not more than an hour after RATM concluded their defiant if low-decibel benefit concert on behalf of the anti-death penalty movement and the other causes brought to the fore by the many speeches and marches occurring throughout the day. Before and during the concert, the dismay of the elegantly dressed and cell phone-toting delegates at the presence of the unwashed masses crashing their party was palpable. Delegates wandered into the fenced-in protest area, apparently under the impression that they could walk directly to the Staples Center, only to mill about in confusion and yell out for their companions upon learning that they'd gone the wrong way.
It should be fairly obvious to anyone that was there that the kids on the fence weren't hurting anybody, and that their presence was using as a cynical excuse to clear the area for the comfort of the prople that really matter. Doubtless some high-rolling Democratic delegate complained to the Convention organizers, who in turn instructed the LAPD to cleanse the streets of the young, diverse and peaceful crowd that assembled to exercise their First Amendment rights of protest and free expression. No one should be surprised that the special interests and party loyalists who would turn up for such an event would not want to mingle with many of their victims just after Zack and United Farm Workers Representatives just finished expressing their dissent and calling for justice.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 26 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|Note the timing
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 4:20 AM
|it's no surprise
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 6:47 AM
|You're missing some facts
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 7:17 AM
|Take your time but Hurry Up!
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 7:23 AM
|Not difficult to believe
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 7:34 AM
|I was there!
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 7:41 AM
|I WAS THERE TOO...POLICE TACTICS UNCALLED FOR
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 8:16 AM
|The armed guards of the system
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 8:40 AM
|Civil rights are individual
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 8:46 AM
|Present at the Melee
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 8:51 AM
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 8:54 AM
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 9:04 AM
|thank you rage against the machine
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 9:27 AM
|L.A.P.D. STRIKES AGAIN
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 10:14 AM
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 11:00 AM
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 11:43 AM
|Protesters' messages lost among chaotic hype!
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 11:50 AM
|rocks, bottles, etc
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 12:19 PM
|self defense is peaceful
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 12:43 PM
|comfort for delegates
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 12:58 PM
|They Don't Want You To Talk!
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 2:45 PM
|Rememeber....you reap what you sow
||Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 7:13 PM
|freedom is a myth.....
||Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 5:42 AM
|police protect the haves from the have nots
||Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 12:49 PM
|In reference to gh's statement
||Monday, Aug. 21, 2000 at 8:43 PM
|Jock mentality is to blame
||Thursday, Aug. 24, 2000 at 12:08 AM
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